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U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is an arm of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is responsible for determining the toxicology and health affects of hazardous substances, and publishing Toxicological Profiles for the substances.
The ATSDR also produces the Substance Priority List (SPL) of substances that will be studied based on their toxicity and potential for human exposure. Previous priority lists and explanations of how the list is ranked are available on the SPL Resource Page.
Sometimes there are emergencies involving hazardous substances which haven't been analyzed by the ATSDR yet. In those cases, the ATSDR and the CDC will review available data and recommend the minimum substance exposure level for humans. The emergency reports can be located on the CDC's Recent Outbreaks and Incidents webpage, or by searching the CDC website for the name of the substance and the location of the release or spill.
U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that regulates drinking water and is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA sets limits on the amounts of contaminants that can be present in drinking water, which are called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). The current List of Contaminants and their MCLS is available on the EPA website. There are approximately 90 microorganisms, chemicals, and other substances on the list.
The US federal government maintains a number of databases that will help you find literature on toxicology topics. If the full text is not present, check the library's online catalog to see if we have the journal and issue that you need.
DART: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Database
A recently updated database from the National Institutes of Health. This is strictly an index without full text articles. You will have to identify citations and then look for the articles at our library.
TOXLINE: Toxicology Literature Online
Another database from the National Institutes of Health. This is strictly an index, and you will have to search for the articles at our library after identifying citations on your topic.
TOXNET: Toxicology Data Network
A portal to over a dozen toxicology databases supported by the US federal government, including TOXMAP: Environmental Health Maps and the Hazardous Substances Data Bank.
MSDS and Where to Find Them
MSDS are Material Safety Data Sheets required by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. The HCS was revised in 2012 and the sheets were renamed, Safety Data Sheets (SDS). You will see both names and abbreviations when searching for information. SDS are produced by chemical manufacturers and must include toxicological information, first-aid measures and much more about all manufactured chemicals.
Read this 2012 brief from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to get full details on the information required in an SDS.
UNT Libraries do not subscribe to database of SDS (Safety Data Sheets); however, many SDS are available for free on the Internet. Here are a few resources to check for the SDS concerning the substance you are studying:
Set up a free account to get access to Material Safety Data Sheets. Start at the Get Started button at the lower left.
A resource from the National Institutes of Health that searches over more than a dozen government databases containing toxicity information. Much of the information available is the same as you'll find in the SDS.