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Fact Sheet
Division of Specialized Information Services

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS,, National Library of Medicine (NLM), creates information resources and services in toxicology, environmental health, chemistry, and HIV/AIDS. Another component of SIS, the Outreach and Special Populations Branch (OSPB), seeks to improve access to quality and accurate health information by underserved and special populations.

SIS's Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP, produces TOXNET® (, a collection of toxicology and environmental health databases. TOXNET includes the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB®), a database of potentially hazardous chemicals, TOXLINE® (containing references to the world's toxicology literature), and ChemIDplus® (a chemical dictionary and structure database). 

TOXMAP® ( is a resource that uses maps of the United States to show the amount and location of certain toxic chemicals released into the environment. WISER® ( is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. Haz-Map® ( links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms.

SIS also produces DIRLINE® (, a directory of organizations and other resources in health and biomedicine and Health Hotlines® (, a database of health-related organizations operating toll-free telephone services.

Some SIS products help to address the toxicology and environmental health information needs of the general public. One such resource is Tox Town® (, an interactive guide to toxic chemicals and environmental health issues in everyday locations. It is a companion to the extensive information in the TOXNET collection of databases. Tox Town also offers some resources in Spanish ( The Household Products Database ( is a consumer's guide that provides information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in more than 7,000 common household products used inside and around the home. This database allows consumers, scientists, and health professionals to investigate ingredients in brand-name products.

SIS coordinates many of NLM's HIV/AIDS ( information activities and its web site provides access to a comprehensive list of resources within and outside of NLM. SIS collaborates with other agencies to produce AIDSinfo (, the primary Department of Health and Human Services web site for federally approved treatment guidelines, clinical trials, drug, and vaccine information.

The Outreach and Special Populations Branch ( manages and develops programs in an effort to eliminate disparities in accessing health information by providing community outreach support, training of health professionals to use NLM's health information databases, and designing special population Web sites that address specific concerns in various racial and ethnic groups. SIS outreach programs reach health professionals, public health workers and the general public, especially about health issues that disproportionately impact minorities such as environmental exposures and AIDS. OSPB is committed to improving access to health information by minority and underserved populations.

Further Information

For detailed information, contact:

Specialized Information Services
National Library of Medicine
Two Democracy Plaza, Suite 510
6707 Democracy Boulevard, MSC 5467
Bethesda, MD 20892-5467
Telephone: (301) 496-1131
FAX: (301) 480-3537

For information on NLM services, contact:

Customer Service
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Telephone: 1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)

A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at:
(alphabetical list)
(subject list):

Or write to:

Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894

Phone: (301) 496-6308
Fax: (301) 496-4450

Last reviewed: 13 May 2008
Last updated: 13 May 2008
First published: 26 June 2003
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