Skip to Content
United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Fact Sheet
Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB®)

HSDB is a toxicology data file on the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®). It focuses on the toxicology of potentially hazardous chemicals. It is enhanced with information on human exposure, industrial hygiene, emergency handling procedures, environmental fate, regulatory requirements, and related areas. All data are referenced and derived from a core set of books, government documents, technical reports and selected primary journal literature. HSDB is peer-reviewed by the Scientific Review Panel (SRP), a committee of experts in the major subject areas within the data bank's scope. HSDB is organized into individual chemical records, and contains over 5000 such records.

Web Access/Searching

HSDB is accessible, free of charge, via TOXNET at:

Users can search by chemical or other name, chemical name fragment, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (RN), and/or subject terms. Search results can easily be viewed, printed or downloaded. Search results are displayed in relevancy ranked order. Users may select to display exact term matches, complete records, or any combination of data from the following broad groupings:

Human Health Effects
Emergency Medical Treatment
Animal Toxicity Studies
Environmental Fate/Exposure
Environmental Standards & Regulations
Chemical/Physical Properties
Chemical Safety & Handling
Occupational Exposure Standards
Manufacturing/Use Information
Laboratory Methods
Special References
Synonyms and Identifiers
Administrative Information

Users can easily conduct their HSDB search strategy against other databases: Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System, Integrated Risk Information System, and GENE-TOX.

HSDB Review Status Tags

Associated with each data statement in HSDB is one of the following review status tags indicating the level of quality review: "Peer Reviewed" - representing data which has undergone peer review by the Scientific Review Panel or other high level review group, "QC Reviewed" - representing data which has received a quality control review, but not yet been reviewed by the Scientific Review Panel, "Unreviewed" - used for a limited number of data statements, such as industry submissions, which do not readily lend themselves to scientific review.

Further Information

For detailed information about HSDB or TOXNET, contact:

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

For information on NLM services, contact:

National Library of Medicine
Customer Service
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Telephone: 1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656) or (301) 594-5983

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: 12 February 2008
Last updated: 25 September 2006
First published: 01 January 1994
Metadata| Permanence level: Permanent: Stable Content