Division of Specialized Information Services

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) produces information resources covering toxicology, environmental health, HIV/AIDS, outreach to underserved and special populations, HIV/AIDS, drugs and household products, and disaster/emergency preparedness and response. The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) covers toxicology, environmental health, and chemistry. The Outreach and Special Populations Branch (OSPB) works to improve access to accurate, quality health information by underserved and special populations. The Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) provides online and downloadable resources about emergency preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. The Office of Clinical Toxicology (OCT) develops new resources and enhances existing NLM resources for professionals in toxicology and related fields. SIS also coordinates many of the National Library of Medicine's HIV/AIDS information activities.

Toxicology and Environmental Health Information

The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) provides resources produced by TEHIP and by other government agencies and organizations, most notably, TOXNET®, an integrated database system of hazardous chemicals, toxic releases and environmental health. The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a component of TOXNET, has comprehensive, peer-reviewed toxicology data for more than 5,000 chemicals. TOXMAP® uses United States maps to explore data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund programs. The Haz-Map® database contains information on the health effects of exposure to chemical and biological agents used in industry, on the job and at home.

Some SIS resources address the information needs of the general public. One such resource is Tox Town®, a guide to toxic chemicals and environmental health issues in everyday locations. It is available in English and Spanish. The Household Products Database gives information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in common products used inside and around the home. ToxMystery™, available in English and Spanish, helps children ages 7 to 10 learn about toxic substances in the home. The tutorials ToxTutor and ToxLearn are written at an advanced level and offer a basic introduction to toxicology.

Outreach to Special Populations

The Outreach and Special Populations Branch (OSPB) manages and develops programs to eliminate disparities in health information access by providing community outreach support, training health professionals on NLM's health information databases, and designing websites that discuss the concerns of various racial and ethnic groups. These programs reach health professionals, public health workers and the general public, especially about health issues that disproportionately impact minorities such as environmental exposures and HIV/AIDS. OSPB collaborates with other components of NLM involved in similar activities, particularly the National Network of Libraries of Medicine® and the Office of Health Information Programs Development. As part of its outreach, OSPB has created web sites with information of interest to targeted populations: American Indian Health, Arctic Health, and HealthReach.

OSPB works to improve access to toxicology and environmental health information to underserved communities, health-related disaster information in Central America, HIV/AIDS information resources by community-based organizations, and health information for all minorities and underserved populations.

The branch has a growing program for the elementary through high school community of educators, students and parents. The Environmental Health Student Portal has links to government and other reviewed and selected sites and provides a safe and reliable environment for teachers and students to study the environment and its impact on health. GeneEd compiles safe and useful genetics education resources for students and teachers in grades 9 - 12. GeneEd allows the user to explore topics such as Cell Biology, DNA, Epigenetics, Genetic Conditions, Evolution, Biostatistics, and many others. The branch also develops lesson plans and activities that involve using SIS web sites.

Disaster and Public Health Emergency Response Information

The Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) develops and provides access to health information resources and technology for disaster and public health emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. DIMRC focuses on maintaining access to health information at all phases of disasters and public health emergencies, developing innovative products and services for emergency personnel, conducting research to support disaster health information management, and collaborating with other agencies and communities.

Several tools are available to help emergency responders in hazardous materials (HazMat) or Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear (CBRN) incidents:

The Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER®) is available on the web and as a stand-alone application for mobile devices and Microsoft Windows PCs. Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) assists emergency responders and health care providers to manage large-scale chemical incidents. CHEMM is available on the web and is integrated into the WISER app for mobile devices. Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) provides guidance to health care providers on the clinical diagnosis, treatment, and management of radiation contamination and exposure during radiological/nuclear emergencies. REMM is available on the web, for mobile devices, and for Microsoft Windows and Mac PCs.

Access to the literature is made available through PubMed and the Disaster Lit: The Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, with links to online documents and resources from numerous organizations and government agencies. In addition, DIMRC supports the Disaster Information Specialist Program, a collaborative effort to explore and promote the role of librarians and information specialists in the provision of disaster-related information resources to the workforce and communities.

Drug and Dietary Supplement Information

SIS produces several resources that can help professionals and the public learn more about drugs and dietary supplements.

The Dietary Supplement Label Database has the full label contents from a large number of dietary supplement products marketed in the United States. The Drug Information Portal provides access to current drug information for over 70,000 drugs, from the time they are entered into clinical trials (ClinicalTrials.gov) through their entry in the U.S. market place (Drugs@FDA). LactMed® (Drugs and Lactation) is a database of over 1,000 drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. The Drug-Induced Liver Injury Database (LiverTox®) provides comprehensive information about liver injury caused by prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals and dietary supplements. Pillbox combines images with appearance and other information to help users visually identify unknown oral solid dosage form medications (pills).

HIV/AIDS Information

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 material in AIDSinfo is available for Spanish speakers by visiting infoSIDA.

Staying in Touch with SIS

Keep up to date with what's happening at SIS, its various resources, and related information from other federal agencies. Visit the Listservs, News, and Social Media page for more information.

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
e-mail: tehip@teh.nlm.nih.gov
URL: https://sis.nlm.nih.gov

For general 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)
email: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/contacts/contact.html
NLM Customer Service Form at Contact NLM

Phone: (301) 496-6308
Fax: (301) 496-4450
email: publicinfo@nlm.nih.gov