INCEM - Chemical
Safety Information from Intergovernmental Organizations
IPCS INCHEM is a means
of rapid access to internationally peer reviewed information on
chemicals commonly used throughout the world, which may also occur
as contaminants in the environment and food. It consolidates
information from a number of intergovernmental organizations whose
goal it is to assist in the sound management of chemicals.
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - arsenic
in drinking water
& Arsenic Compounds - collective view of
- Safety & Health Risks
- Human Health Aspects
Acid, Methanearsonic Acid, and Salts -
Health & Safety Guide
for Arsenic This site on arsenic, in a "frequently
asked questions" format, was produced by the Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a division of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the ATSDR
is "to prevent exposure and adverse human health effects and
diminished quality of life associated with exposure to hazardous
substances from waste sites, unplanned releases, and other sources
of pollution present in the environment." The FAQ is one in a
series of summaries about hazardous substances and their health
effects. Site includes phone contacts for additional information
and a listing of related resources.
Tutorials — National Library of Medicine, U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services The Toxicology Tutorials
are a set of three instructional units written at the introductory
college student level covering the basic principles of toxicology.
The tutorials include a basic introduction to terms such as
"dose-response" and "risk assessment"; a unit
on toxicokinetics (how a substance gets into the body and what
happens to it) and a unit on cellular toxicology (the toxic
mechanisms that operate at the cell level). The Toxicology and
Environmental Health Information Program of the National Library
of Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services produced
the tutorials. The site is intended to provide a basic
understanding of toxicology as an aide for users of toxicology
literature contained in the National Library of Medicine's
Chemical and Toxicological databases.
rulemaking: EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
Describes the history of the United States Environmental
Protection Agency's rulemaking efforts related to federal
standards for arsenic in public drinking water supplies. The
revised standard was required by the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Includes fact sheets on arsenic, news releases from the EPA and
links to support documents including scientific reviews by the
independent expert panels convened by the National Academy of
Sciences, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council and the EPA
Science Advisory on the politics of arsenic regulation. Good
reading for informed citizens. Requires Adobe Acrobat to view PDF
in Drinking Water FAQ A brief summary on arsenic and its
health effects produced by the National Resource Defense Council,
an environmental advocacy group. It includes a FAQ on arsenic,
including advice on filters that can be used in the home, and
links to related pages on drinking water quality, water pollution
and a broad spectrum of environmental issues including exposure to
in Ground Water of the US A site detailing the occurrence
of arsenic in ground water in the United States maintained by the
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), an agency under the US Department
of the Interior. The USGS researches conditions involving the
country's natural resources. The major feature of the site is a
map showing the location and extent of arsenic in ground water
across the country, along with related reports and analyses and a
fact sheet on interpreting the information. The site also includes
basic information on arsenic and an extensive set of arsenic
Arsenic Project Maintained by Harvard University's Richard
Wilson, this comprehensive site focuses on the public health
aspect of acute arsenic poisoning from drinking water, with an
emphasis on the catastrophic problem of arsenic poisoning in
Bangladesh. Includes numerous links to online articles, scientific
and technical papers, an extensive bibliography, information on
instruments for measuring and speciation of arsenic, a photo
gallery, lists of conferences and a multi-national viewpoint on
Periodic Table: Arsenic Includes extensive information on
the chemical properties of arsenic, from the simple to the
complex. Designed for students and for curious, somewhat
science-savvy citizens. Includes geology, bond enthalpies, and
uses, and details properties, compounds, and interdisciplinary
Arsenic Studies Group The site, produced by the U.S.
Geological Survey, is intended to increase communication among
scientists working on arsenic and to make the work of USGS
scientists more widely available to others working on arsenic
studies. The site includes descriptions of ongoing studies with
contact information, a bibliography on arsenic research, and a
list of symposia sites with arsenic research abstracts and papers
somewhat technical information.
Case Study — Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry
(ATSDR) This ATSDR case study, while written for
primary care providers and therefore full of medical terminology,
provides comprehensive information on risk, exposure, fate,
effects, and treatment of arsenic. Set in the Northwest, the case
study follows the diagnosis and treatment of a carpenter exposed
to arsenic via a variety of pathways. Some of the terminology may
impede understanding for those without a medical degree, but most
of the information is simple and direct. Providers may use this
site as continuing education credit, authorized by AMA, AAFP,
ACEP, and AOA.
Bengal and Bangladesh Arsenic Crisis Information Centre
The Arsenic Crisis Information Centre, or ACIC, contains several
valuable resources — a monthly newsletter, presentations, news
articles, international conference information, and a rather good
links page. Also set up are three discussion groups over Yahoo
Servers. Several international groups comprise the ACIC, although
the site is unclear about how they are organized.
London Arsenic Group This group of British geologists
and mineralogists focuses on the source, fate, and transport of
arsenic in the environment. This page contains good general
information on arsenic, as well as specifics relevant to the
Bangladeshi crisis. Publications from the popular press as well as
papers, posters, and conference presentations from the group
members are all located here. Of interest is the “Layperson’s
guide to the way groundwater in Bangladesh has become polluted by
arsenic,” located on the main page.
International Conference on Arsenic Exposure and Health Effects
The most interesting segment of this web site for the July, 2002
conference is the 4th Conference proceedings and
abstracts/posters. The 5th Conference web site has not yet been
updated with the posters and papers presented there — however,
it serves as a directory to find posters and abstracts from many
other conferences. These papers deal with arsenic exposure,
bioavailability, toxicokinetics, dose-response relationships,
health effects, EPA's arsenic risk assessment and MCL, abatement
and control strategies.
Effects and Geochemistry of Arsenic and Lead —
Columbia University’s NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program.
Columbia University’s Superfund Program focuses on health
problems arising from arsenic and lead in soil and drinking water.
Consisting of four biomedical projects and three geological
projects, this research takes place in four Superfund sites and
has connections to the ongoing problems in Bangladesh. The web
site outlines all these projects and their related cores, as well
as presenting all the publications from the group.
and Human Health —
National Library of Medicine. A very comprehensive
links page. Divisions include Government Information, Current
Interest, and some directly from the National Library. The latter
are probably the most informative, as they are directly from
MedLine. The Current Concerns section includes CCA-pressure
treated wood and munitions cleanup along with groundwater arsenic.
King of Poisons —
Dr. Anil Aggrawal’s Forensic Articles Dr. Aggrawal
writes the series "Poison Sleuths for the Science
Reporter," a monthly science magazine published by the
National Institute of Science Communication in New Delhi. This
article, published in February 1997, gives a good, simple overview
of arsenic poisoning and how it is diagnosed, in a conversational
format between a forensic pathologist and a visitor to his lab.
Because this site is located on tripod.com, it does have a number
of extra popup windows, so be advised. (There is a computerized
version of “Did you ever know that you’re my hero” playing
continuously as well.)
in Pressure-treated Wood —
Environmental Working Group The EWG is a Washington,
DC-based environmental advocacy group that produces reports,
original analysis and critiques of government data and other
studies. This page contains three reports on pressure-treated wood
developed by the EWG as well as an arsenic-test kit ordering link.
Arsenic Network A group founded in 1994 to help
people suffering from the widespread arsenic poisoning in Asia
publishes this web site. Each major site is listed and a
description given, along with research aimed at a better
understanding of arsenic and its remediation.
Arsenic in Drinking Water and Ground Water —
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The aquifer supplying
water to much of Wisconsin is embedded in a natural sandstone,
which happens to contain arsenic. This Wisconsin Arsenic page,
therefore, has maps of potentially high arsenic sites, test kits
and laboratory information, and a hefty supply of recommendations,
articles, and studies, to keep citizens well-informed.
Health Effects Research Program —
University of California at Berkeley This page
showcases the broad epidemiological studies of the UC-Berkeley
research team, specifically studying the relationship of arsenic
exposure to cancer. Much of their research has taken place in
Argentina and Chile, although recent work in the South-western
United States is published here as well.
in Drinking Water 2001 Update —
National Academies Press This is an open-book
formatted publication from the National Academies Press. While it
cannot be downloaded in its entirety (only page by page), it is
possible to read the entire update on screen. The most important
feature of the online format is the impressive search capability.
Related books are accessible and quite interesting as well.
in Health and Disease — University of Edinburgh
This site was produced by a group of students from the College of
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh,
Scotland as a class assignment. Well researched, it gives
information on metals in nutrition, in medical diagnosis, and as
drugs and toxins.
for Air Toxic Metals — Energy and Environmental Research Center,
University of North DakotaThe United States
Environmental Protection Agency designated the Energy and
Environmental Research Center of the University of North Dakota as
the Center for Air Toxic Metals, in order to develop sufficient
information to devise effective regulations for the Clean Air Act.
By amassing international and multidisciplinary data and
technologies, the CATM has become a world leader in air pollution
control, mainly from energy and incendiary sources. Available on
the site are all issues of the CATM newsletter, as well as the
entire downloadable database.