ATSDR’s Toxic Substances Portal

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ATSDR’s Toxic Substances Web Portal makes it easy for researchers and individuals to find information about toxic chemicals, understand how these chemicals can affect health, and learn how to prevent exposure.

Asbestos, formaldehyde, arsenic, lead—many of us know that these substances are potentially dangerous. But do we know the levels at which they become toxic or the specific health effects of exposure? What about the toxic substances we hear about in the news—mercury in canned tuna, BPA in plastic, cadmium in jewelry? Visit to the Toxic Substance Portal to learn about the health hazards of these substances and the dangers of exposure.

The Toxic Substances Portal features a search engine that facilitates finding substances by substance name, CAS number (Chemical Abstract Service registry number), synonym, or trade name. Users are also able to search for substances in other ways:

Toxic substances website

Health care professionals can search the Toxic Substances Portal for specific information about health effects caused by exposure to toxic substances.

Toxicological resources are arranged by:

  • Health effects – substances that may cause cancer and/or have effects on organ systems (e.g., cardiovascular or respiratory systems) and
  • Chemical class – metals, pesticides and volatile organic compounds.

Toxicological resources are tailored by audience:

  • Community members who seek simple but accurate information about chemicals and their health effects;
  • Toxicological and public health professionals who want specific information about toxicity and associated health risk levels;
  • Emergency responders, emergency department physicians and other professionals who manage sudden chemical exposure incidents;
  • Healthcare providers who can use free evidence-based medical education courses addressing the clinical health effects of hazardous substances.

Toxicological resources are tailored by product:

  • Toxicological Profiles (TP): detailed synthesis of the peer-reviewed scientific literature on the toxicological and adverse health effects of each substance;
  • Public Health Statements (PHS): plain language summary overviews of each toxic substance profile, including exposure health effects;
  • ToxFAQs: fact sheets written in plain language that answer the most frequently asked questions about a toxic substance and its health effects;
  • Case Studies in Environmental Medicine (CSEM): self-instructional courses designed to teach primary care providers about hazardous substances and how to evaluate patients potentially exposed to them.

Browse through the Toxic Substances Portal today!

Page last reviewed: March 16, 2020