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Chemical Safety: RTECS

Chemical safety data information resources. [Shortcut:]

What is RTECS?

From the CDC:

The Registry of Toxic Effects of Controlled Substances (RTECS) is a definitive toxicological database with supplemental information pertinent to both the chemical industry and the occupational safety and health community. This technical data is needed to assess workers’ exposures to chemicals, particularly to lesser-known-and-used chemical substances. OSHA has designated RTECS as a primary source for toxicity data for Material Safety Data Sheets in its Hazard Communications Rule. In recent years RTECS has grown to include more than 160,000 chemicals. The toxicological data are organized into six fields: primary irritation, mutagenic effects, reproductive effects, tumorigenic effects, acute toxicity and multiple dose toxicity. Each data line includes the citation to its bibliographic source. RTECS provides a host of reference data including, but not limited to: CAS Numbers, OSHA PELS, ACGIH TLVs, NIOSH RELS, Carcinogenic assessments, Beilstein Reference Numbers, and Bioassay results from the National Toxicology Program.


The Library provides RTECS access through RightAnswer Knowledge Solutions (previous access was via Micromedex).

  • RightAnswer requires a one-time registration, then you login with your email address.

RightAnswer is a platform for two database systems of chemical safety (ChemKnowledge) and regulatory (RegsKnowledge) information. RTECS is part of the ChemKnowledge suite, along with other toxicology databases. RegsKnowledge is a full-text search of the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, and state environmental and safety regulations.

Use the Integrated Search to search your compound across all of the databases, either by name or CAS Registry Number. From the results, select RTECS Registry.

Other databases in RightAnswer: CCRIS (carcinogenicity and mutagenicity), CHRIS (Chemical Hazard Response Information System), DART (developemental and reproductive toxicology), ECOTOX (ecotoxicology), ERG (Emergency Response Guidebook), GENETOX (genetic toxicology), HAZARDTEXT (Hazard Management Database), HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank), IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System), MEDITEXT (Medical Management Database), REPROTOX and REPROTEXT (Reproductive Hazard Information Database), Shepard's Catalog of Teratogenic Agents, TERIS (Teratogen Information System), ToxRes (toxicity residue), MSDSonline (MSDS).