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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS AND TOXIC CHEMICALS WHERE YOU LIVE, WORK, AND PLAY

About Tox Town

Tox Town, a product of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), provides easy to understand information on: 

  • everyday places and situations where you might get exposed to toxic chemicals
  • chemicals and substances in the environment that may affect your health
  • ways to protect yourself, your family, and your community
  • tools for researching potential hazards in your community
  • links to authoritative online information connecting health and environment

Tox Town offers high quality consumer-level non-technical information about connections between chemicals, the environment, and the public's health. Tox Town's target audience includes the general public, community leaders, educators, and students above elementary-school level. It is a companion to the NLM’s extensive information in the TOXNET collection of databases that are typically used by toxicologists and health professionals. 

You can explore Tox Town by browsing Sources of Exposure or Chemical and Contaminants links. 

  • Sources of Exposure links describe places and situations where you might encounter hazardous chemicals and contaminants.
  • Chemicals and Contaminants links provide non-technical information about common hazardous chemicals and contaminants, their possible health effects, and how you can protect yourself. 

Tox Town also links to information about common Diseases and Conditions often influenced by environmental factors and includes links to Community Action Tools and Tools for Teachers for use by high school and middle school environmental science, biology, chemistry, and health classes.

Information on chemical and environmental concerns comes from the TOXNET and MedlinePlus resources of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), as well as other authoritative sources. Selection guidelines (based on MedlinePlus) are used in evaluating links to web pages. The chemical descriptions (example - "What is arsenic?") were written for Tox Town based on TOXNET and other resources and were reviewed by NLM toxicology staff. 

Chemicals included in Tox Town meet the following criteria: 

  • Toxic (or perceived toxicity of interest to general public)
  • Commonly encountered in the United States
  • Known or expected to impact human health
  • Of interest to federal agencies that regulate, research, or advise on a chemical's health effects. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry are examples of federal agencies concerned about toxic chemicals.

Chemicals or substances that are voluntarily ingested, such as drugs, dietary supplements, or caffeine, are not included. 

Tox Town is a project of the Specialized Information Services Division of the National Library of Medicine. It’s original version was launched in October, 2002. The current version launched in July, 2018. 
The National Library of Medicine invites you to link from your web site to Tox Town at http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov

If you think that you have been exposed to a toxic chemical, contact your health care professional. For poisoning emergencies or questions about possible poisons, please contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 in the United States. Tox Town cannot respond to questions about individual medical cases, provide second opinions, or make specific recommendations regarding therapy. Those issues should be addressed directly with your healthcare provider. As this project is entirely U.S. federal government funded, Tox Town neither allows advertising on this site nor endorses any company or product. 

Please send your comments or questions on Tox Town to tehip@teh.nlm.nih.gov.  

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