New Web Site Pinpoints Harmful Chemicals in Communities
Bethesda, Maryland The National Library of Medicine
(NLM), a part of the National Institutes of Health, announces an
interactive Web site that shows on maps the amount and location
of certain toxic chemicals released into the environment in the
United States. The site, called TOXMAP, is free and no registration
is required. The Web address is http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov.
TOXMAP focuses on the geographic distribution of chemical releases,
their relative amounts, and their trends over time. This release
data comes from industrial facilities around the United States,
as reported annually to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
TOXMAP also links to NLM's extensive collection of toxicology and
environmental health references, as well as to a rich resource of
data on hazardous chemical substances in its TOXNET databases (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/).
There are also fact sheets and summaries about the various chemicals,
written by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
For example, a family moving to a new city can locate facilities
releasing toxic chemicals by entering the city's name and state,
generating a map of facilities in that area. For each facility,
information, including location and chemicals released, is provided.
Information about the health effects of the specific chemicals identified
is also provided.
Dr. Jack Snyder, NLM Associate Director for Specialized Information
Services, said, "The National Library of Medicine has a special
mission to address toxicology and environmental health needs. TOXMAP
is part of this mission, and allows us to serve the public and professionals
in a unique way. This Web site allows users to explore maps of what
and where chemicals are released and by whom."
"In the last several years, the Library has created a number
of Web sites with the consumer in mind," said NLM Director
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg. "TOXMAP is a prime example. It joins
Web resources for consumer health information broadly (MedlinePlus.gov),
research studies (ClinicalTrials.gov),
and older Americans (NIHSeniorHealth.gov)."
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Library of Medicine,
the world's largest library of the health sciences, is a component
of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human