An Internet Database for the Classification and Dissemination of Information About Hazardous Chemicals and Occupational Diseases


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Abstract

BackgroundThe amount of information about hazardous agents in the workplace exceeds the capacity of human memory. There is a need to accurately represent or map this scientific knowledge for digital storage and retrieval.MethodsA relational database of hazardous chemicals and occupational diseases was constructed by first collecting and sifting through the large volume of information. The information was indexed with a controlled vocabulary and documented with references to the scientific literature.ResultsThe evolving database is available on the website of the National Library of Medicine. It enables users to browse categories and query by pick lists. Users can drill down to find specific information that may be useful for intervention and prevention.ConclusionsThe large amount of information needed to support decisions concerning occupational exposures and diseases can be distilled, classified, and summarized in a relational database and disseminated by means of the World Wide Web to assist in the prevention of work-related diseases.

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