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  • Dictionary of Substances and their Effects (DOSE)
    An excellent source for detailed information. Contains data for over 4,100 chemicals, including physical properties, toxicity, environmental fate, etc. Also available in print.
  • Toxicological Profile Information Sheets
    These substantial profiles for hazardous substances are provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
    A bibliographic database (so it will give you citations to articles, etc) providing comprehensive coverage of the biochemical, pharmacological, physiological, and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals from 1965 to the present. TOXLINE contains over 3 million citations, almost all with abstracts and/or index terms and CAS Registry Numbers. This database used to be a part of TOXNET, a cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related topics, however the National Library of Medicine has integrated this collection of databases into various other resources.  See the list
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
    Physical description and properties, incompatibilities and reactivities for each substance, and personal protection information. Free resource from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • CCINFOweb
    A set of databases from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Free access is provided to CHEMINDEX: an index of chemical names, CAS Registry Numbers and synonyms; ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety; and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) 1988 Classifications.
  • Sigma-Aldrich
    Database catalogue from a commercial supplier of chemicals. Check substances carefully, specific products can vary depending on concentration in solution. Provides data and literature sources for other data.
  • Pistoia Alliance Chemical Safety Library
    An open access platform providing access to hazardous reaction information that has been crowd-sourced from academic, industry and government institutions around the world.

MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheets

A Material Safety Data Sheet is written by the company that produces and sells a chemical. MSDS do not have a standard format but generally give company information, chemical composition, CAS-RN, use, emergency procedures, etc. See the new suggested ANSI format with 16 sections. See also this MSDS FAQ

  • CCOHS MSDS Search
    Database of Material Safety Data Sheets from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.  
  • Internet Resources for MSDS
    Directory of MSDS search engines.
  • Sigma-Aldrich
    Database catalogue from a commercial supplier of chemicals. Check substances carefully, specific products can vary depending on concentration in solution. MSDS are located in the "Related Information" section of the product fiche.
  • ILO International Chemical Safety Cards
    Datasheets containing health and safety information for chemicals in the workplace


Tips for searching SOFIA

  • Search by KEYWORD for the name of the substance of interest AND (toxic* OR hazard* OR health).
    • Example: chromium AND (toxic* OR hazard* OR health).
  • The truncation symbol (*) is important to retrieve the best results: toxic* retrieves toxic, toxicity, and toxicology. Also truncate the name of a class (hydrocarbon*).

  • If the topic is related to environmental toxicology/biochemistry also use environment* in the search statement.

  • Searches for complex chemical names are not likely to produce results in SOFIA so try using the class of substances or the name of an element or substance for which you want information on its compounds.

  • Included in results will be references to printed publications in the World Health Organization Environmental Health Criteria series (this series is also online), as well as publications from Health Canada or other environmental bodies.
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