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Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS)


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The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) is a toxicology database of over 191,000 chemicals compiled, maintained, and updated by the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Its goal is to include "all known toxic substances... and the concentrations at which... toxicity is known to occur".

The acronym also stands for "Residential Transportation Energy Consumption Survey" by the US Department of Energy, which was discontinued in 1994. It is unlikely that RTECS ever appeared on a Safety Data Sheet in this context.

Additional Info

RTECS was mandated by the same act that created the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It was originally called the Toxic Substances List. RTECS data is obtained from the open scientific literature and maintained by NIOSH.

Unlike many other government databases, RTECS is only available from vendors (if you dislike this, which you should, consult your congressional representatives). NIOSH has additional info and a vendor list if you would like access to the database. That page is a bit out of date, with several of the vendors having undergone consolidation. We were unable to find any firm that publicly posts its current pricing.

Books Available

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SDS Relevance

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RTECS data can be used to help you construct a Safety Data Sheet. Six types of toxicity data are included in the file:

  1. primary irritation
  2. mutagenic effects
  3. reproductive effects
  4. tumorgenic effects
  5. acute toxicity
  6. other multiple dose toxicity, including LD50 and LC50 values.

Further Reading

See also: EPCRA and the hyperlinks above.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.

Entry last updated: Sunday, January 8, 2023. This page is copyright 2000-2024 by ILPI. Unauthorized duplication or posting on other web sites is expressly prohibited. Send suggestions, comments, and new entry desires (include the URL if applicable) to us by email.

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