3
Other Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Services

The TEHIP databases represent only a small subset of the numerous databases containing information related to toxicology and environmental health. This chapter discusses some of the other toxicology and environmental health information resources currently available and describes a role for NLM in providing access to this information.

Responsibilities for research, regulation, and risk communication on environmental health issues are fragmented between numerous local, state, and federal government agencies, international organizations, industry, and other private-sector businesses. As a result, numerous databases that are relevant to fulfilling each organization's specific environmental health mission or goals have been developed. As seen in Figure 3.1, responsibility for the federal government's involvement in environmental health spans numerous jurisdictions and boundaries, including most federal departments and many agencies. The cross-cutting nature of environmental health issues can be seen in the range of concerns that federal agencies are mandated to address, for example:

  • Populations and individuals exposed to potential hazards through occupational, environmental, and accidental exposures. Responsible agencies include the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD), Energy (DoE), Health and Human Services (DHHS), Labor, Veterans Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • Manufacture, use, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. Responsible agencies include the U.S. Departments of



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3 Other Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Services The TEHIP databases represent only a small subset of the numerous databases containing information related to toxicology and environmental health. This chapter discusses some of the other toxicology and environmental health information resources currently available and describes a role for NLM in providing access to this information. Responsibilities for research, regulation, and risk communication on environmental health issues are fragmented between numerous local, state, and federal government agencies, international organizations, industry, and other private-sector businesses. As a result, numerous databases that are relevant to fulfilling each organization's specific environmental health mission or goals have been developed. As seen in Figure 3.1, responsibility for the federal government's involvement in environmental health spans numerous jurisdictions and boundaries, including most federal departments and many agencies. The cross-cutting nature of environmental health issues can be seen in the range of concerns that federal agencies are mandated to address, for example: Populations and individuals exposed to potential hazards through occupational, environmental, and accidental exposures. Responsible agencies include the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD), Energy (DoE), Health and Human Services (DHHS), Labor, Veterans Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Manufacture, use, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. Responsible agencies include the U.S. Departments of

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Commerce (DoC), DoD, DoE, Transportation (DoT), EPA, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Exposure pathways (including air, water, and soil). Responsible agencies include the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (DoA), Interior (DoI), DoC, and EPA. Additionally, environmental health concerns are often specific to a localized region or a particular population, because, for example, of a chemical spill (e.g., Superfund sites) or an occupational exposure. As a result significant sources of data at the state and local levels are incorporated into databases. Many authoritative international sources of toxicology and environmental health information are also available, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the International Labour Office's Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre, and the United Nations Environmental Programme. The private-sector is also involved in the development of online factual and bibliographic databases related to toxicology and environmental health. Each agency, organization, or business collects and organizes information specific to its mission and develops online databases each with its own focus, search language, and unique database fields and input methodologies. Generally, there is no standardization of data collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, or reporting of environmental health data across the federal government or between the private and public sectors (Sexton et al., 1992). Database software and search interfaces use diverse computer operating systems that are frequently incompatible (Lu and Wassom, 1992). Thus, the challenges to health professionals and other interested users of environmental health information are, first, to be aware of and locate the database(s) that contains the information to address their question; second, to have the proper computer connection to the database(s); and finally, to understand the background and nature of the information, including the implications of data collection methodologies. Table 3.1 lists only a sample of the toxicology and environmental health databases available. It focuses primarily on federal government databases and is not a comprehensive list, but rather serves to illustrate the number and diversity of information resources available in this field (see also EPA et al., 1992; Wexler, 1988). Additionally, it should be noted that there are a rapidly expanding number of Internet Web sites that compile information on this field and that aim to provide information to diverse audiences including advocacy groups and the general public. It is not within the scope of this report to address the plethora of issues that would be involved in attempting to coordinate the development and management of environmental health databases at the federal level or beyond. The committee is aware of several ongoing coordination efforts within the federal government. The DHHS Data Council is addressing issues relevant to the coor

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FIGURE 3.1 Executive branch departments and agencies involved in environmental health issues. NOTE: ATSDR=Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; CDC=Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CPSC=Consumer Product Safety Commission; EPA=Environmental Protection Agency; FDA=Food and Drug Administration; FEMA=Federal Emergency Management Agency; NCEH=National Center for Environmental Health; NCI=National Cancer Institute; NCTR=National Center for Toxicological Research; NIEHS=National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; NIH=National Institutes of Health; NIOSH=National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; NLM=National Library of Medicine; OSHA=Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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dination of health and nonhealth data collection and data analysis activities within DHHS, including coordinating health data standards. Additionally, DHHS has an interagency Environmental Health Policy Committee (EHPC) that focuses on the coordination of environmental health policy and programs. There are liaison members to EHPC from six other federal agencies and departments. One subcommittee of EHPC is specifically examining environmental health information issues. Currently, NLM has a representative on EHPC, but NLM is not represented on the subcommittee on environmental health information issues. The committee believes that is important for NLM, and specifically, the staff of the TEHIP program, to be involved in these coordination efforts, particularly those focused on information issues. One model for coordination efforts is the ongoing development and implementation of the National Environmental Data Index (NEDI). NEDI is an element of the National Information Infrastructure and is designed to provide distributed access to existing environmental information systems with the goal of facilitating access to this information by the general public the scientific community, government, and industry (NEDI, 1996). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is leading the implementation of NEDI on the Internet with the cooperative efforts of DoA, DoC, DoD, DoE, and DoI, as well as EPA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (see Chapter 7). CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Although the committee's charge did not include the compilation of information on all of the toxicology and environmental health information resources, in assembling Table 3.1, the committee noted the vast extent of available information in toxicology and environmental health, as well as its utility to health professionals. Unfortunately, because of the diffuse sources of environmental health information and the disparate manner in which data are collected, the multitude of databases may not be known or easily available to those who would benefit from this information. Thus, the committee believes that it is important for NLM to carry out the traditional and expert role of a library by organizing (cataloging) online information resources in toxicology and environmental health beyond the TEHIP databases and increasing health professionals' and other interested users' awareness of the relevant resources. Comparable to cataloging books and journals on toxicology and environmental health, the committee believes NLM's role should include a cataloging of databases and other online information resources in this field. By providing users with information on non-NLM resources (e.g., a description of the information resource and its access points),

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NLM will be delivering the valuable library service of providing users with the information needed to access the most relevant resource available. One ongoing project with this emphasis is TEHIP's Internet World Wide Web page with links to other toxicology and environmental health-related information resources both within the federal government and internationally. This emphasis on the broad spectrum of information resources in toxicology and environmental health could also be included as an integral part of the TEHIP program's training and outreach activities (Chapter 5), making these activities an education on the realm of information resources in this area. In order to carry out this role effectively, it will be necessary to incorporate an evaluation mechanism and to consider the funding required to implement this recommendation. The committee recommends that NLM consider expanding its traditional library services in toxicology and environmental health by organizing and cataloging the full spectrum of online toxicology and environmental health information resources. TABLE 3.1 Sample of Current Toxicology and Environmental Health Databases Source Database Subject Content Department of Agriculture Federal Government Databases National Agricultural Library Agricola Bibliographic database covering scientific literature on general agriculture, animal and plant science, aquatics, and pollution EPA ACQUIRE (Aquatic Toxicity Information Retrieval System) Factual and full-text database of toxic effects of approximately 5,100 chemicals on 2,400 aquatic organisms and plants   CERCLIS (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System) Directory of information on >36,000 releases of hazardous substances and Superfund data on hazardous waste site assessment and remediation   Dermal Absorption Bibliographic, factual, and full-text database of qualitative and quantitative health effects of approximately 3,000 chemicals administered via the dermal route

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Source Database Subject Content   ENVIROFATE (Environmental Fate) Factual and full-text database on the environmental fate of approximately 800 chemicals (produced in quantities exceeding 1 million pounds per year) released into the environment   Gastrointestinal Absorption Database (GIABS) Bibliographic database covering the literature on experiments in gastrointestinal absorption, metabolism, and excretion   IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System)a Factual database on health and regulatory information on >660 chemicals; includes carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risk assessment data   Oil and Hazardous Materials/Technical Assistance Information on the assessment of hazards encountered due to oil discharges or hazardous substance spills   Resource Conservation and Recovery Information System Directory, factual, and full-text database of information on hazardous waste generation and management facilities and transporters   TRI (Toxic Chemical Release Inventory)a Factual database with data on the release and transfer of >300 chemicals by medium and site of release (air, water, underground, land, off-site) EPA TRIFACTSa Factual database containing information related to health and ecological effects, safety, and handling information on most chemicals listed in the TRI database   TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) Chemical Substances Inventory Directory, factual, and full-text database of information on approximately 131,000 chemicals used in commerce in the United States and covered by the TSCA Initial Inventory   TSCA Test Submissions Bibliographic, factual, and full-text database on approximately 4,200 chemical substances described in health and safety reports submitted by chemical manufacturers, users, and importers EPA/IARC EPA/IARC Genetic Activity Profiles Factual database includes genetic activity profiles on >300 agents EPA/DoT ERNS (Emergency Response Notification System) Factual database with information on >275,000 initial notifications of oil discharges and hazardous substances releases in the United States since 1986

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Source Database Subject Content FEMA GEMS (Global Emergency Management System) An international index of emergency management resources compiled and maintained by FEMA; includes access to information on emergency management, fire fighting, search and rescue, etc., through Internet links to agencies with the required expertise Department of Commerce     NOAA NEDI (National Environmental Data Index) Index of environmental data and information descriptions related to human health, safety, and welfare across several federal agencies; information from NOAA, DoE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information, United States Geological Survey, NASA, EPA, and others Department of Energy     Oak Ridge National Laboratory EMIC (Environmental Mutagen Information)a Bibliographic database on the testing of chemicals and other agents for mutagenicity and genetic toxicology Office of Epidemiologic Studies PAREP (Populations at Risk to Environmental Pollution) Studies of off-site populations who are at risk for environmental pollution   ICIE (Information Center for Internal Exposure) Information on doses of radionuclides and body burden   CEDR (Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource Program) Epidemiologic information from the Health and Mortality Study of the DoE workforce   Human Radiation Experimentation Data Base Information from DoE files on radiation exposures Department of Health and Human Services     CDC CDC Wonder General-purpose public health information and communication system that provides query access to about 40 text-based and factual databases ATSDR HazDat Toxicological profiles for public health assessments and studies on various sites related to environmental and occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals

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Source Database Subject Content NCI CANCERLIT Bibliographic database covering all aspects of cancer NCI CCRIS (Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System)a Bibliographic, factual, and full-text database containing the results of carcinogenicity, tumor promotion, and mutagenicity studies on >7,100 chemicals   PDQ Directory and full-text database of information summaries on treatment (for health professionals and for patients), supportive care, screening and prevention, and investigational or newly approved drugs for cancer NCI/NIEHS National Toxicology Project (NTP) Genetic Toxicity Database Results of long-term carcinogenicity studies with mice and rats NIEHS/NTP Chemical Health and Safety Data Information on >2,000 chemicals studied by NTP related to health and safety NIOSH NIOSHTIC (NIOSH Technical Information Center) Bibliographic database covering occupational safety and health literature   RTECS (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances)a Factual database on >133,000 chemicals; contains toxicity data including threshold limits, carcinogenesis bioassay results, and regulation status NLM/EPA/NIEHS DART (Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology)a Bibliographic database covering literature on teratology and other aspects of developmental and reproductive toxicology; contains citations to literature published since 1989 (teratology literature from 1950 to 1988 can be found in ETICBACK) NLM ChemIDa Factual and full-text database containing a chemical dictionary information on >294,000 compounds; includes Superlist information on regulatory lists   CHEMLINE (Chemical Dictionary Online)a Chemical dictionary file for >1.4 million chemicals; includes CAS Registry Numbers, chemical synonyms, molecular formulas, chemical names, and other identifiers

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Source Database Subject Content   HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank)a Factual database on toxicology of >4,500 hazardous chemicals; includes information on emergency handling, treatment, detection, environmental fate, and regulatory requirements   TOXLINE and TOXLITa Bibliographic databases with toxicology-related citations from MEDLINE and 17 other sources including Chemical Abstracts, BIOSIS, and NIOSHTIC Department of Defense     Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology DENIX (Defense Environmental Network and Information Exchange) Bulletin board with information on environmental legislation, compliance, restoration, clean-up, safety and occupational health, security, and DoD guidance information; provided to DoD personal and contractors in the environmental security arena Department of Transportation     Coast Guard CHRIS (Chemical Hazards Response Information System) Information on >1,210 chemicals for use in spill situations; full-text and factual database   International Databases Canada     Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety CHEMINFO/INFOCHIM Factual and full-text database on health, occupational control measures, storage, and handling information on chemicals and chemical mixtures   MSDS/FTSS Factual and full-text database on material safety data sheets for commercially-available chemical substances Commission of the European Communities ECDIN (Environmental Chemicals Data and Information Network) Factual database on >120,000 chemicals; includes information on acute and chronic toxicity, first-aid treatment, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, relevant legislation, and civil protection IARC IARCancerDisc Factual and full-text database containing complete text of IARC reports on exposures to environmental chemicals and human cancer Sweden     National Swedish Board of Occupational Safety and Health Amilit Research reports on occupational safety and health

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Source Database Subject Content National Chemicals Inspectorate Library, Sweden RISKLINE Bibliographic database on risk assessment reports in toxicology and ecotoxicology United Kingdom     Royal Society of Chemistry CSNB (Chemical Safety Newsbase) Bibliographic database on occupational hazards involving chemicals Great Britain Health and Safety Executive HSELINE Bibliographic database of the worldwide literature on occupational safety and health   DHSS-NSF Health Aspects of Food and Environment Bibliographic citations to literature on safety of food, water, and the environment United Nations     International Labor Office CIS DOC (CIS Abstracts or CISILO) Bibliographic citations to worldwide literature on occupational safety and health UNEP International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals Factual and full-text database with chemical, toxicological, environmental, and legal data on hazardous chemicals UNEP and the International Programme on Chemical Safety Chemicals Currently Being Tested for Toxic Effects Chemicals currently being tested for toxic effects (other than carcinogenicity)   GELNET (Global Environmental Library Network) Links libraries serving the members of the GEENET network in which each library has established an Environmental Health Reference Center containing essential information on environmental health hazards and their control   Other Databases AEA Technology MHIDAS Factual and full-text database containing information on >6,000 incidents involving hazardous materials that resulted in or had the potential to produce an impact ''off-site." BIOSIS TOXBIO Bibliographic citations to literature on toxicology and related issues; derived from BIOSIS Previews   TOXCAS Bibliographic citations to chemical literature on toxicology and related issues; derived from Chemical Abstracts

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Source Database Subject Content Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Health and Safety Science Abstracts Bibliographic citations on safety science and hazard control with topics on industrial and occupational health   Pollution Abstracts Bibliographic citations on environmental pollution research and the toxicology of pesticides, radiation, and other occupational and environmental hazards from pollution   Toxicology Abstracts Bibliographic citations on toxicology and on clinical and environmental toxicology Chemical Abstracts Service Chemical Abstracts Bibliographic database covering the scientific literature on chemicals Chemical Information Systems, Inc. Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products (CTCP) Factual database with chemical and toxicological information on > 20,000 commercial products Environmental Data Resources (EDR), Inc. EDR Combined State Environmental Records Directory of information on state hazardous waste sites, solid waste facilities and landfills, leaking underground storage tanks, and registered underground storage tanks   EDR Superfund Material Full-text and directory information on Superfund clean-up priority sites, including related technical and health issues Elsevier Science EMTOX Bibliographic citations to literature on drug toxicity and environmental toxicology Michigan Department of Natural Resources CESARS (Chemical Evaluation Search and Retrieval System) Factual databases on chemical toxicity of approximately 370 chemicals to humans, animals, and aquatic and plant life; physical-chemical properties; and environmental fate Micromedex, Inc. POISINDEX Full-text database on substance identification and on management and treatment protocols for >650,000 toxic and nontoxic substances Micromedex, Inc. TOMES PLUS Bibliographic, factual, and full-text database containing chemical, medical, and toxicology information; includes clinical effects, range of toxicity, and workplace standards Occupational Health Services EHN (Environmental Health News) Full-text of news stories and regulations related to environmental and occupational health

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Source Database Subject Content   HAZARDLINE Factual database with regulatory, health, and precautionary data on >90,000 hazardous chemicals   OHS Material Safety Data Sheets Full-text, directory, and factual database on >90,000 chemical substances including their toxicity, health effects, first aid, and antidotes Purdue University National Pesticide Information Retrieval System Factual and full-text database of information on the active ingredients in approximately 60,000 pesticide products Reproductive Toxicology Center, Washington, DC REPROTOX Bibliographic and full-text database on effects of >4,000 drugs and industrial and environmental chemicals on human reproduction Resources Consultants, Inc. CHEMTOX Online Factual database of toxicology profiles and emergency management information on >10,300 regulated chemicals Technical Database Services (TDS), Inc. Carcinogenicity Information Database of Environmental Substances (CIDES) Bibliographic and factual database on test results of carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of approximately 1,000 substances University of Washington TERIS Factual database containing summaries of risk of teratogenic effects NOTE: ATSDR=Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; CDC=Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; DoD=U.S. Department of Defense; DoE=U.S. Department of Energy; EPA=U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; FEMA=Federal Emergency Management Agency; IARC=International Agency for Research on Cancer; NASA=National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NCI=National Cancer Institute; NIEHS=National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; NIOSH=National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; NLM=National Library of Medicine; NOAA=National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and UNEP=United Nations Environmental Programme. a Database is a part of the TEHIP program. SOURCES: ASTDR (1996), CDC (1996), DoD (1996), EPA (1995), FEMA (1996), NCI (1996), NEDI (1996), NIEHS (1996), NIOSH (1996), NLM (1996), Nolan, (1995), Springer-Verlag Heidelberg (1996), University of Washington (1996), WHO (1996).

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REFERENCES ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry). 1996. ATSDR's Hazardous Substances Release/Health Effects Database [http://atsdr1.atsdr.cdc.gov:8080/hazdat.html#A3.1]. November. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 1996. CDC Wonder [http://wonder.cdc.gov]. November. DoD (U.S. Department of Defense). 1996. Denix: Defense Environmental Network and Information Exchange [http://denix.cecer.army.mil/denix/denix.html]. November. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). 1995. An Overview of ERNS. Washington, DC: Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, EPA. EPA, Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 1992. Inventory of Exposure-Related Data Systems Sponsored by Federal Agencies. EPA Publication No. EPA/600/R-92/078. Prepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc., Lexington, MA. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). 1996. Global Emergency Management System [http://www.fema.gov]. November. Lu P-Y, Wassom JS. 1992. Risk assessment and toxicology databases for health effects assessment. In: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Proceedings of the Symposium on the Access and Use of Information Resources in Assessing Health Risks from Chemical Exposure. Oak Ridge, TN: ORNL. NCI (National Cancer Institute). 1996. CancerNet [http://www.nci.nih.gov/clinical/cnet.htm]. November. NEDI (National Environmental Data Index). 1996. National Environmental Data Index [http://esdim.noaa.gov]. November. NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences). 1996. National Toxicology Program Chemical Health and Safety Data [http://ntp-db.niehs.nih.gov/Main_pages/Chem-HS.HTML]. November. NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 1996. RTECS [http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/rtecs.html]. November. NLM (National Library of Medicine). 1996. NLM Online Databases and Databanks [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/publications/factsheets/online_databases.html]. November. Nolan KL, ed. 1995. Gale Directory of Databases, Vols. 1 and 2. New York: Gale Research Inc. Sexton K, Selevan SG, Wagener DK, Lybarger JA. 1992. Estimating human exposures to environmental pollutants: Availability and utility of existing databases. Archives of Environmental Health 47(6):398–407. Springer-Verlag Heidelberg. 1996. ECDIN CD-ROM [http://www.springer.de/newmedia/chemist/gg/ecdin.htm]. November. University of Washington. 1996. TERIS: Teratogen Information System [http://weber.u.washington.edu/∼terisweb/teris/index.html]. November. Wexler P. 1988. Information Resources in Toxicology, 2nd edition. New York: Elsevier. WHO (World Health Organization). 1996. GEENET Home Page [http://who.unep.ch/geenet]. November.

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