What I think you'll find with any compiled dataset is that the quali
ty of information depends both on what data are actually available for any
given chemical as well as how thorough the literature search was that was c
onducted to retrieve it. There is also the issue of not only the re
lease data on the dataset, but actually when the literature search and re
trieval was done. New data are published constantly and if there is
no ongoing mechanism by whoever compiles the dataset to review new data an
d no ongoing mechanism for incorporating the new data into the dataset and
releasing it for general use, then there will be serious problems with cu
When I was editing one fairly large dataset, we had an ongoing review of all the Tables of Contents of all journals that our local medical library s ubscribed to, and we retrieved any new articles published on any chemical in our dataset. We also had a large library in-house of standard r eferences and a tracking system to obtain new editions as they were publish ed. At revision time, we then conducted a wide variety of literat ure searches including PubMed, Toxline, etc. We had a schedule for regular article adds, reviews, revisions, and for adding new chem icals to the dataset based on various criteria including user feedback/requ ests. And with all that, it was still nearly impossible to be com pletely up-to-date because we had a 3-month update cycle largely based on p ersonnel resources to accomplish all that work.
What I do find is that it is always valuable to consult a number of sources (for example, HAZMAT teams routinely consult a minimum of 3 diffe rent resources for "due diligence"). How many and which resources w ill depend on the data you actually need, what are the circumstances of u se, what are the hazards of the chemical itself, what quantities are in volved, and on ad infimitum.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
My Colleague, an IH at the New Jersey Department of Health has asked me to inquire if our CHAS members use the New Jersey Ri ght To Know Fact Sheets as a source for chemical and/or response informatio n. In case you are unaware of their existence, the site is located at: h ttp://web.doh.state.nj.us/rtkhsfs/indexfs.aspx. Thank you in advance fo r any input you would like to convey.
Rather than clog-up the listserv, you may respond to me directly at hazmatchemist**At_Symbol_Here**gmail.com.
Oliver (Jay) Toigo M.P.H. Candidate
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