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Welcome to PSR's Environmental Health Policy Institute, where we ask questions -- then we ask the experts to answer them. Join us as physicians, health professionals, and environmental health experts share their ideas, inspiration, and analysis about toxic chemicals and environmental health policy.


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Toxics tools and resources

Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on December 5, 2011

Happy holidays from the Environmental Health Policy Institute! This holiday season we highlight some of our favorite tools and resources for health professionals and others concerned about the health effects of industrial chemicals. We hope that compiling this "gift list" will help you in your efforts to make the world a safer place. Have you used these resources in the past? Do you have other ones to suggest? Please, join the conversation by commenting below. Peace to you and yours.

Toxics databases

These databases enable research into environmental links to specific diseases, health and safety data for specific chemicals and consumer products, toxicity information, and chemical policies.

Collaborative on Health and the Environment The toxicant and disease database from the Collaborative on Health and the Environment summarizes links between environmental chemicals and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions.
The Endocrine Disruption Exchange The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, or TEDX, maintains a list of potential endocrine disruptors. More than 800 chemicals are listed, with citations for published scientific research demonstrating interference with hormones.
Environmental Protection Agency The Environmental Protection Agency's Chemical Data Access Tool searches health and safety data that have been submitted to the Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The tool scans four different databases, including newly declassified Confidential Business Information data.
Health and Environmental Alliance The Health and Environmental Alliance provides a list of databases on chemicals and health, as well as information on chemicals policy in Europe.
Lowell Center for Sustainable Production The state-level chemicals policy database, from the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, allows you to search by state, region, chemical, product type, year, and other categories for state-level policies addressing toxic chemicals in consumer products.
Pesticide Action Network
The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Pesticide Database is a one-stop location for detailed toxicity and regulatory information about pesticides. Search by chemical name, product name, country of registration, poisoning symptoms, and ecotoxicity by species.
Skin Deep The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database provides online safety profiles for more than 69,000 cosmetics and personal care products.
Toxipedia Toxipedia is a free toxicology encyclopedia offering articles and resources about toxic chemicals, health conditions, ethical considerations, the history of toxicology, laws and regulation, and more. A moderated wiki, Toxipedia maintains a chemicals list with information about the health impacts of a range of industrial chemicals in commerce.
US National Library of Medicine TOXNET is the National Library of Medicine’s database of hazardous chemicals, toxic releases and environmental health. It searches multiple US government toxicity database on over 5000 chemicals. Also searches over 3 million citations of peer-reviewed literature.

Clinical tools on toxics

These tools are specifically for healthcare providers addressing environmental health issues in the clinical setting. They include reference guides, patient education materials, assessment tools, and handbooks.

American Academy of Pediatrics The American Academy of Pediatrics lists their resources for clinicians in pediatric environmental health, including their policy statements. The brand new 3rd edition of the "Green Book," their encyclopedic handbook of pediatric environmental health, is also available, for a fee.
Collaborative on Health and the Environment The Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment has posted resources on integrating environmental health into clinical practice of reproductive health. Their webpage includes links to clinical assessment tools and clinical training programs on environmental health.
Healthcare Without Harm The Healthy Food in Healthcare program of Healthcare Without Harm, developed in collaboration with PSR, has produced "Food Matters," a comprehensive package to encourage hospitals and healthcare professionals to become leaders and advocates for a food system that promotes public and environmental health. The program offers CME-accredited trainings, advocacy training, and patient patient education materials
Migrant Clinician Network An excellent list of and links to clinical tools in environmental and occupational health, with a focus on farmworker exposures, especially pesticides, from the Migrant Clinician Network.
 Physicians for Social Responsibility PSR's Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit is a combination of easy-to-use reference guides for health providers and user-friendly health education materials on preventing exposures to toxic chemicals and other substances that affect infant and child health. The materials are visually appealing, practical and easy to use. The Toolkit is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Advocacy tools on toxics

These resources for a general audience offer information about the links between chemicals and health, as well as toolkits and consumer guides for making safe choices and changing the policy landscape.

Center for Health, Environment, and Justice The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice's anti-PVC campaign has produced many useful resources about the health hazards of polyvinyl chloride, including a guide to affordable PVC-free school office supplies and building materials that schools can purchase; an interactive website; and an organizing toolkit and guide to action for college students.
Environmental Defense Fund Not a Guinea Pig, a project of Environmental Defense Fund, has a "Chemicals of Concern" series, which details health concerns for specific chemicals, with many links to further resources. Their health professionals page highlights the health effects of chemicals routinely used in healthcare institutions such as hospitals.
Safer Chemicals Healthy Families The Safer Chemicals Healthy Families campaign, a national coalition working to strengthen federal chemical policies so that they protect us from toxic chemicals, offers resources about the Toxic Substances Control Act and what's happening with toxics on Capitol Hill.
 UCSF's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment UCSF's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) offers several useful toxics tools. "Toxic Matters," produced in collaboration with PSR, is a nontechnical brochure filled with scientifically verified tips and suggestions for avoiding toxic chemical exposure, written in both English and Spanish. PRHE also houses a database of statements endorsed by physicians' professional organizations calling for regulatory and other efforts to address exposure to toxics.
Women's Voices for the Earth Women's Voices for the Earth produces consumer-oriented resources on toxic chemicals in consumer products, with a focus on products marketed to or used primarily by women (i.e., cosmetics, fragrances, cleaning products). WVE provides recipes for safe cleaning products and a “green cleaning party” toolkit to help you and your friends mix up safe cleaners. Also see their tips and fact sheets.


Mark Rossi said ..

I agree Molly, great list. You should also note: Green Screen for Safer Chemicals (which evaluates chemicals based on their inherent hazards)- Also BizNGO has created a set of aspirational Principles for Safer Chemicals and a protocol for alternatives assessment based on hazard assessments (all of which can be found at: Finally BizNGO just released a set of principles for sustainable plastics -

December 8, 2011
Jim Vallette said ..

Great list Molly - I'd also like to point folks to our Chemicals and Materials Library at This library cross references over 10,000 chemicals against over 25 authoritative hazards lists. We also identify chemicals used in the manufacturing of many of the materials listed in the database. Pharos is a project of the Healthy Building Network

December 6, 2011

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