Friday, March 22, 2013

Structure-Activity Relationships and the Classification of Chemicals

Haz-Map has been published on the National Library of Medicine (NLM) website since 2002. In 2003, there were 1237 chemicals in Haz-Map, including all regulated by OSHA and published in Documentation of the TLVs and BEIs, 7th Ed. by ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists). Since 2006, the author has been contracted by the US Department of Labor to work full-time to add chemicals to Haz-Map. The count was 5723 in 2010 and is currently 7438. At current rates for completing profiles, the count by the end of this year will be 11,480.

Haz-Map can be seen as a research project to explore what we know and don't know about the thousands of chemicals to which workers are exposed, with application to environmental toxicology as well. In adding chemicals to Haz-Map, the structures of new chemicals are compared to the structures of well-known chemicals already in the database. Most of the new chemicals added can be classified as members of a class. There are now 250 classes (Categories) of chemicals in Haz-Map under 12 Major Categories. It is basic logic that members of a class inherit the properties of that class.

In summary, Haz-Map is a research project to publish the established occupational health effects of hazardous chemicals and to study the structure-activity relationships of workplace chemicals. Such research can help to classify chemicals for the prevention of occupational and environmental diseases.