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CHEMINFO is provided on two CCOHS products - CHEMINFO and CHEMpendium™. For more information on these products, also refer to the CHEMpendium™ FAQs. Individual CHEMINFO Profiles are also available, please contact CCOHS Client Services.


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Who writes CHEMINFO Profiles?

Staff at CCOHS write CHEMINFO Profiles. Scientists and professionals with expertise in toxicology, human health hazard assessment, chemistry, fire hazard assessment and control and occupational hygiene write and review CHEMINFO Profiles. These highly regarded chemical Profiles are currently an exclusive CCOHS product.

What sources do you use to write CHEMINFO Profiles?

CHEMINFO Profiles are written using rigorous procedures to ensure high quality. The hazard assessment sections (fire, reactivity and health) are written by scientific staff following extensive consultation of original literature, reliable reviews and textbooks. We rely almost exclusively on peer-reviewed, primary scientific data to write the hazard assessment sections in each CHEMINFO Profile. The key original literature is referenced. Some of the hazard control sections, for example Personal Protective Equipment, are written using specific sources which we feel set the industry standard for a particular type of information. Other hazard control sections, for example Storage and Handling, are written by scientific staff at CCOHS following consultation of relevant literature and a complete evaluation of the specific hazards and properties of a chemical.

A list of the textbooks and standard sources we commonly consult in developing CHEMINFO Profiles can be found in the database help. The original literature and other specific sources used are referenced in the bibliography of each record.

Why do you have short and long records?

Short records contain readily available information from sources which CCOHS has identified as being reliable and credible. Therefore, the short records require less evaluation by scientific staff, yet provide good quality, useful information for a large number of important chemicals. Typically, these records contain identification information, physical and chemical properties, occupational exposure limits, methods for sampling and analysis, selected fire fighting information, carcinogenicity evaluations, respiratory selection guidelines, information on resistance of materials for glove selection, U.S. and Canadian transportation information and European Union classification information. As resources permit, short records are turned into long records based on our priority list.

In long records, the hazard assessment sections are completed following extensive consultation of original literature, reliable texts and reviews. The hazard control measures are determined based on the hazard assessment information and a complete summary is written. Development of long records takes more time because the hazards of each chemical are evaluated and summarized individually.

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How do you establish priorities for adding to CHEMINFO?

The priorities for CHEMINFO Profiles creation have been established bearing in mind both the volume of use of the chemical in world commerce and the degree of concern people have about a chemical's potential hazards. For example, a chemical like ammonium nitrate is on our priority list because it is one of the top 50 highest volume chemicals sold in Canada and the United States. On the other hand, a chemical like tetraethyl lead has virtually had its use in Canada and the United States eliminated because of concerns about potential health effects. This chemical remains on our priority list because of these concerns and the level of public interest.

Customer feedback also influences the priority records are given. When a high degree of interest is expressed in a particular chemical or chemical family, these records are given higher priority.

How often do you review CHEMINFO Profiles?

Short and long records are up-dated every time the original source material is up-dated, for example annually with the ACGIH Threshold Limit Values. For long records, we have a "current awareness" process in place which allows us to follow recent scientific developments in the literature. If significant new information is identified, we "flag" the affected CHEMINFO Profile(s) and up-date them as soon as possible.

Do CHEMINFO records have exposure limits?

Yes, you will find exposure limits in the "Exposure Guideline" part of Section 8 - Exposure Control. In CHEMINFO, you will find:

  1. Threshold Limit Values (TLV) from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
  2. The Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) from the United States government.
  3. The Workplace Environmental Exposure Level Guides (WEEL) from the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

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Please contact CCOHS Client Services if you have further questions about these products and services.