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The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS®) database is a comprehensive collection of basic toxicity information including: prescription and non-prescription drugs, food additives, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, solvents, diluents, chemical wastes, reaction products of chemical waste and substances used in industrial and household situations.

What RTECS covers

The RTECS database covers six categories of toxicity data—acute toxicity, tumorigencity, mutagenicity, skin and eye irritation, reproductive effects and multiple dose effects.

In late 2011 we are starting to add aquatic and in-vitro toxicology data as well.

History of RTECS

The RTECS database was originally built and maintained by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from 1971 through January 2001.

BIOVIA now produces the RTECS files using existing data selection criteria and rules established by NIOSH. The RTECS file is distributed quarterly to licensees under the terms of the License and Distribution Agreement entered into on October 29, 2001 between MDL Information Systems (now BIOVIA) and the United States Public Health Service within the Department of Health and Human Services.


RTECS is updated quarterly by BIOVIA and delivered to customers via the Download Center as three files:

  • Two delimited ASCII files containing the data and literature references
  • RTECS User Guide in PDF format

Value-Added Resellers

As well as being available from BIOVIA, RTECS is also offered for purchase by several value-added resellers including:

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