|February 7, 2003 [posted]|
|Chemicals, Jobs and Diseases (Haz-Map®)|
az-Map (Copyright© 2000-2002) is one of the latest additions to the National Library of Medicine (NLM's) Specialized Information Services (SIS) group of information products. It is an occupational toxicology database designed to link jobs to hazardous job tasks that may be associated with occupational diseases and their symptoms. Haz-Map can be found at http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov.
The database contains three types of information: Hazardous Agents, Occupational Diseases, and High Risk Jobs. The 1997 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is the basis for the Haz-Map Jobs data and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system for the Industries data. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) underlies the Diseases data. Additional information came from the classification and summarization of textbooks, journal articles, and electronic databases.
Currently, there are 986 chemical and biological agents in Haz-Map tied to industrial processes as well as non-occupational activities such as hobbies. The records for these agents include synonyms, chemical formulae and properties, and descriptions. Some examples of agents are metals, solvents, and fluorides.
The database links 180 occupational diseases to signs and symptoms of a disease and to hazardous job tasks. This connection to a hazardous job task suggests an increased risk for significant exposure and subsequent disease. Examples of the high-risk jobs included are cleaning & pest control, food processing, and the health care industry. Chronic occupational diseases are linked to both jobs and industries. Acute diseases and infectious diseases are linked only to jobs. Cancers are not linked directly to jobs, industries or findings.
Haz-Map contains a Glossary of the chemical and disease-related terms contained in the database. In addition to the Glossary, there are connections to the web sites of many of the materials used in the creation of the database.
Users can run a Text Search by clicking the Text Search button and keying in the desired terms. These terms are searched in all Haz-Map text fields. When using the Agent, Disease, or Job icons, the system makes wild card matches for word or word fragments. Phrases can be searched by enclosing words in double quotes ("). Searching by Jobs, Symptoms, or a combination of both retrieves Disease information.
Chemicals are retrieved in several ways. In a standard search, the primary record is returned first, followed by additional records containing the word or word fragments of the original query. When a query is enclosed in double quotes ("), only the primary record is returned. Users can browse by category, by alphabetical order, or by adverse effects of agents. A link to TOXNET is included, allowing users to retrieve more information on a particular chemical. A chemical's Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number is also searchable in Haz-Map.
Results pages link to information related to the particular record of interest. An example is the disease aplastic anemia. In addition to the link to the main record for this disease, you will also see links to "Symptoms associated with this disease," "Hazardous agents that cause this disease," and "High risk job tasks associated with this disease."
The founder of Haz-Map is Jay A. Brown, MD, a physician with more than 10 years experience in occupational medicine.
By Stephanie Publicker
Publicker S. Chemicals, Jobs and Diseases (Haz-Map®). NLM Tech Bull. 2003 Jan-Feb;(330):e7.