Frequent Questions

How may I get health effects information on a particular chemical or hazardous waste?

If you are interested in the health effects resulting from the exposure from a specific chemical, you may want to access EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), an electronic database containing information on human health effects to various chemicals found in the environment.  IRIS is available at  You may also find health effects information on specific types of wastes evaluated by EPA at the following URL:

You may also want to obtain a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the substance. The MSDS sheet is generally provided by the manufacturer or distributor of a chemical. 

In addition, you may also contact the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for general health effects information for chemicals or contaminants. ATSDR has developed a series of toxicological profiles and fact sheets for over 200 hazardous substances.  ATSDR is available at the following URL: 

If you have an immediate health concern, we suggest that you initially attempt to contact a doctor or local health care agency. For instance, you can contact your local health department at the phone number listed in the blue (government) pages of your phone book. 

Additionally, you may wish to contact your state environmental regulatory agency. You can find contact information for your state agency at the following URL:

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