ISSN 1535-7821
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 Vol. 22 No. 2 2006 

Link to ArticleArticles

Link to Article MLA 2006

Link to Article Update from the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services

Link to ArticleBook Reviews

Link to ArticleBerman, Robin E., Arthur Kurzweil, and Dale L. Mintz. The Hadassah Jewish Family Book of Health and Wellness.

Link to ArticleDrummond, Edward. The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs: Straight Talk for Best Results. Rev ed.

Link to ArticleLoughlin, Kevin (ed) and Joyce Generali (ed). The Guide to Off-Label Prescription Drugs.

Link to ArticleNestle, Marion. What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Choices and Good Eating.

Link to ArticlePublication Information

Link to ArticleSubmissions

Link to ArticleAdvertising



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2006 Annual Meeting in Phoenix Was a Huge Success

CAPHIS sponsored the very successful pre-conference symposium / CE program “Patient Safety: A Proactive Approach for the Information Professional.” This program was organized and moderated by Lorri Zipperer.  For those interested in information on this topic please consult the “Partnering for Patient Empowerment through Community Awareness” website at   Sponsors for this program included Thomson Gale, CINAHL, the National Patient Safety Foundation, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

The CAPHIS Annual Business meeting was sponsored by SWETS Information Services. At this meeting the section determined that this years primary goals will be reorganizing and designing the section web site, complete an overhaul of the CAPHIS Top 100, the establishment of an aggregation of consumer health library policies, and continuing the process of establishing a formal award (or several awards) sponsored by CAPHIS.  Our Annual Board Meeting was sponsored by SCOPUS.

For the past few years Kay Hogan-Smith has done a great job of maintaining the section web site, but has expressed interest in sharing the wealth and allowing another section member the joys of maintaining it. I am pleased to announce that Gillian Kumagai has assumed this position and will undertake the redesigning the site. Redesigning the web site is a process so please does not expect this to happen overnight, but please notice the small changes that take place throughout the year. Kudos to Kay and Gillian.


Barbara Bibel, our chair-elect, will be heading a strong team of section members that will be reviewing and updating the CAPHIS Top 100. Joining Barbara are Joy Kennedy, Michelle Spatz, and Nancy Dickenson. This group of library leaders plan on having this job completed by late summer or early fall.

Your newsletter editors, Howard Fuller and Nancy Dickenson, have also been looking to transition the position to a new member. I am excited to report that Joe Nicholson from the UC-Berkeley Public Health Library has offered to take over Consumer Connection starting with the Fall 2006 issue. Kudos to Joe.

Our section program, Promoting Patient Safety, was moderated by Lorri Zipperer and sponsored by Matthews Books. Our contributed paper program featured compelling presentations from Tania Bardyn and Dorice Vierira of NYU’s Ehrman Medical Library, Joanne V. McHugh-Romano of Texas Woman’s University, Julie Beauregard of Vanderbilt Medical Center, and Doug Varner of Johns Hopkins. Thanks to all the speakers who made this program a huge success.


Matthews Medical Books

Matthews Medical Books: Let Our Employee-Owners Work for you.

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    * Distributor of Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences

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    * Call Ashley White at 1-800-633-2665 x374 or e-mail for more information about our library services.



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Update from the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services

Submitted by Colette Hochstein, D.M.D., MLS (, Division of Specialized Information Services, NLM

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS, at the National Library of Medicine creates information resources and services in toxicology, environmental health, chemistry, and HIV/AIDS. Another component of SIS, the office of Outreach and Special Populations, seeks to improve access to quality and accurate health information by underserved and special populations. Many SIS products help to address the toxicology and environmental health information needs of the general public.

The Household Products Database Now Contains More Than 6,000 Products

The Household Database ( is a consumer guide that provides information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in more than 6,000 common household products used inside and around the home. This resource helps scientists and consumers learn about ingredients in brand-name products.

Environmental Health Concerns on the Farm: The Newest Neighborhood for Tox Town


A Farm neighborhood is the newest addition to Tox Town, a Web-based introduction to environmental health risks and toxic chemicals. Tox Town ( invites visitors to explore a farm to learn about environmental health issues related to agricultural waste, drinking water quality, air pollution, pests, and farm animals. Farms share many of the same environmental health concerns found anywhere in the US, but they also have unique concerns and issues, such as exposure to hazardous agricultural chemicals and toxic gases from animal waste.

New locations to explore on the Farm are farm buildings, feeding operations, landfills, agricultural runoff, farm animals, farm ponds, meat processing, tree farming and logging, off-road vehicles, and nearby urban sprawl. Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations in the U.S. Because farm families usually live where they work, all family members are at increased risk of farm-related injury and illness.

Tox Town uses neighborhood scenes, the Farm, City, Town, and US-Mexico Border, along with color, graphics, sounds and animation to add interest to learning about connections between chemicals, the environment and the public’s health. Tox Town’s target audience is high school, college, and graduate students, educators, and the interested public.

TOXMAP Adds New Chemical and Health Data

In response to feedback from users, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has added new chemical and health-related data to its interactive mapping site, TOXMAP ( Released in September, 2004, TOXMAP helps users explore the geographic distribution of certain chemical releases, their relative amounts, and their trends over time. This release data comes from industrial facilities around the United States, as reported annually to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Now, users can also use TOXMAP to find information about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites and substances. The Superfund program ( is part of a federal government effort to clean up land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA ( as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or to the environment.

The substances found at Superfund sites have been designated as causing or contributing to an increase in mortality or in irreversible or incapacitating illness, or posing a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or to the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed. More than 800 ( substances are currently designated as hazardous, and many more as potentially hazardous.


TOXMAP has also added mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as age and gender data from the US Census, and income data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

TOXMAP links to NLM's extensive collection of toxicology and environmental health references, as well as to a rich resource of data on hazardous chemical substances in its TOXNET databases ( The resource also provides fact sheets and summaries about the various chemicals, written by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and EPA progress reports on the Superfund sites.

Since many users may not be experienced in reading maps or understanding map data, TOXMAP provides a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ( and a "Glossary of Terms" ( Both resources attempt to provide questions/answers to supplement the user's ability to understand the map displays and the data.

More information about TOXMAP can be found at

HazMap: New Features

NLM's Haz-Map ( is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms.

HazMap has been updated with two new features:
1. A new disease category "Infection, Travel" has been added. It includes:
        African Trypanosomiasis        
        American Trypanosomiasis               
        Cyclospora cayetanensis infection              
        Dengue fever           
        Entamoeba histolytica infection        
        Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection             
        Hepatitis E            
        Schistosomiasis, hepatic and intestinal        
        Schistosomiasis, urinary               
        Severe acute respiratory syndrome              

2.  Images of skin lesions and X-rays have been added for some diseases:

HazMap Skin Lesion Images: top
Candida paronychia
Atypical mycobacterium skin infections
Herpetic whitlow
Orf (Contagious ecthyma)
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
Lyme disease
Cutaneous larva migrans
Dengue fever
American Trypanosomiasis
Boutonneuse fever

HazMap X-ray Images: top
Lung cancer
Asthma, occupational 
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Dengue fever

Pesticides: Links to Health Information including Toxicology and Environmental Health

 A new web page that addresses the relationship between pesticides and human health has been added to the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Enviro-Health Links. The page provides links to selected web sites on pesticide exposure, as well as on the treatment and prevention of pesticide poisoning.


In our everyday lives, we all handle many chemicals (including pesticides) that can be toxic if ingested or inhaled. Acute or chronic exposure to pesticides can cause severe and even life-threatening illnesses.  The risk of potential injury to a chemical is determined by exposure and toxicity. Without both factors there is no risk. If we take care to limit our exposure and handle these substances safely, we reduce

our risk. This web page provides selected links to help identify and reduce the risk.


NLM also offers other Enviro-Health Links on topics such as:


Children's Environmental Health

Indoor Air Pollution

Outdoor Air Pollution




NLM Enviro-Health Linkstop


TOXNET ( is a collection of databases from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and related areas.

TOXNET now can dynamically generate specific "multi-database" searches via simple Web links. Information about creating these links can be found in the TOXNET FAQ "How do I create a link to the results when I search all the databases in TOXNET?" (

Specific "chemical links" to records in a TOXNET database can also be created. For details, see the TOXNET FAQ "How do I create a link to a record in a TOXNET database?" 

TOXNET now can be accessed from a Web browser on a PDA device with a network connection

LactMed: A New Database on Drugs and Lactation

LactMed (, a free online database with information on drugs and lactation, is one of the newest additions to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) TOXNET system, a Web-based collection of resources covering toxicology, chemical safety, and environmental health.  (

Geared to the healthcare practitioner and nursing mother, LactMed contains over 450 drug records.  It includes information such as maternal drug levels in breast milk, infant levels in blood, potential effects in breastfeeding infants and on lactation itself, the American Academy of Pediatrics category indicating the level of compatibility of the drug with breastfeeding, and alternate drugs to consider.  References are included, as is nomenclature information, such as the drug’s Chemical Abstract Service’s (CAS) Registry number and its broad drug class. 

LactMed was developed by pharmacist who is an expert in this subject area. Three other recognized authorities  serve as the database’s scientific review panel.  Ancillary resources, such as a glossary of terms related to drugs and lactation, and breastfeeding links are also offered.  LactMed can be searched together with TOXNET’s other databases in a multi-database environment, to obtain other relevant information about drugs.  As a work in progress, LactMed will continue to expand with additional drugs and be enhanced with other substances, such as industrial chemicals and radiation.



ToxSeek ( is a meta-search and clustering engine that enables simultaneous searching of many different information resources on the World Wide Web. ToxSeek uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to retrieve, integrate, rank, and present search results as coherent and dynamic sets. ToxSeeks results clustering feature helps users to more easily identify particular concepts. These clusters are created from what is retrieved in the original query, and can be useful in uncovering a specific concept or focus for more in-depth searching.

ToxSeek searches across a wide range of authoritative sources including

  • All TOXNET databases
  • Additional selected resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), including PubMed
  • Resources from other NIH institutes, toxicology/environmental health information from other United States government agencies
  • Selected international resources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Resources from professional societies and scientific organizations

New Structure Searching Features: National Library of Medicine's ChemIDplus

The National Library of Medicine's ChemIDplus has added new structure searching features to its Advanced Search page (

o       "Exact (parent only)" searches for exactly what is drawn or transferred to the structure box, with all the structure's atoms and bonds identical in the retrieved compound.              

o       "Flex" and "Flexplus" search for records containing a parent structure plus additional components (salts, hydrates, or mixtures with other chemicals). Example: Searching "Aleve" (naproxen) via "Exact (parent only)"retrieves one record. Searching "Aleve" via If the "Flex/Flexplus" retrieves nine records (the parent naproxen record, and seven other salts and mixtures of naproxen).

More information about these search features can be found in the Help section of ChemIDplus Advanced at

WISERversion 2.2 is now available


WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders)
(  is a system designed to assist First Responders in hazardous material incidents. Developed by the National Library of Medicine, WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression guidance.

This WISER release includes:

* Updated data for existing chemicals
* 15 new substances (listed below), including all that have been suggested by users
* The "Help Identify" feature of WISER for Windows now allows searching by NFPA 704 placard. This feature will also be coming soon in the PDA and WebWISER applications, and will include more comprehensive data.

New WISER substances include:

        • Acetic Acid (64-19-7)
        • Acetonitrile (75-05-8)
        • Chloroacetic Acid (91-11-8)
        • Dimethyl Sulfoxide (67-68-5)
        • Glutaraldehyde (111-30-8)
        • Methly Isobutyl Ketone (108-10-1)
        • Phosphoric Acid (7664-38-2)
        • Potassium Hydroxide (1310-58-3)
        • 1,2-Propanediol Dinitrate (6423-43-4)
        • Sodium Hydrosulfide (16721-80-5)
        • Stoddard Solvent (8052-41-3)
        • Sulfur (7704-34-9)
        • Amosite Asbestos (12172-73-5)
        • Chrysotile Asbestos (12001-29-5)
        • Tremolite Asbestos (14567-73-8)

Download this new release from the WISER web site, or try WebWISER, the on-line version of WISER

Stay Informed: Join NLM’s NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L

NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L ( is an email announcements-only list available from the NLM  SIS. The purpose of the announcement list is to broadcast updates on SIS's resources, services, and outreach in toxicology and environmental health.

SIS RSS Feed Available top

SIS also offers RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds of its News page ( RSS is a Web standard for sharing and distributing news and other frequently updated content provided by Web sites. The SIS feed address is

The SIS News feed will keep you informed about new resources and updates to NLM/SIS databases, and alert you to scientific meetings at which SIS will have exhibits, presentations, or classes.

An RSS reader, also called an aggregator, is required to use this service on your computer. There are many RSS readers from which to choose and many are available to download free from the Web. They offer a variety of functions; each has its own advantages. Instructions for adding the Division of Specialized Information Services News RSS feed to your reader are available at

Now you can also learn about NLM’s environmental health and toxicology resources via a four minute "Quick Tour" (  The tour provides an overview of several environmental health and toxicology resources including Tox Town, the Household Products database, TOXNET, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus.  It is available from the Environmental Health and Toxicology portal (  Macromedia Flash Player is required.


Book Reviews

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Berman, Robin E., M.D. Arthur Kurzweil, and Dale L. Mintz. The Hadassah Jewish Family Book of Health and Wellness. Jossey-Bass, 2006. 528p. index. ISBN 0-7879-8071-4 [ISBN 978-0-7879-8071-9].

Judaism has long concerned itself with health and wellness. Taking care of the body is required, and Hadassah, a nonprofit organization involved in supporting healthcare, has produced a book offering a Jewish perspective on topics such as healing and spirituality, marriage and family, women’s issues, mental health, and exercise. In addition to discussing the mitzvah (commandment/religious requirement) of visiting the sick and what to do to help the patient or his/her caregiver, the authors cover abortion, circumcision, infertility, child rearing, nutrition, and eating disorders. They also discuss Jewish genetic diseases: their diagnosis, treatment options, prenatal diagnosis, and related ethical issues. The editors and contributors are physicians, rabbis, and other health professionals. The mixture of clinical information, religious and ethical discussion, and spiritual content makes this volume a unique and welcome addition to collections that serve Jewish patrons.


Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

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Drummond, Edward, M.D. The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs: Straight Talk for Best Results, rev ed. Wiley, 2006. 341p. ISBN 0-471-75062-X. paper. 18.95.

First published in 2000, The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs, offered patients, families, and health care practitioners a resource that they could easily read and understand. Dr. Drummond, a psychiatrist trained at Tufts and Harvard, is the associate medical director of the Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This revised edition provides the latest information about treatment options for mental disorders. He begins by explaining the difficulties involved in diagnosing psychiatric conditions and the risks and benefits of using medication to treat them. He then offers patients important advice about choosing medication, telling them what to discuss with their physicians before starting a drug, noting the increased risks of these drugs when used on children, women, racial and ethnic minorities, and the elderly, and describing alternative treatments that may be helpful. Dr. Drummond explains the most common psychiatric disorders and their treatment, discusses the various types of drugs and therapies used to treat them, and provides detailed instructions for starting, monitoring, and stopping medications. He also discusses the management of side effects and provides specific information about the major psychiatric drugs that are currently prescribed. Two appendices explain the biology of the brain and how medications work and offer resources for further information and support.

The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs is a reasonably priced source that provides useful and empowering information for patients and their families. It is an excellent addition to consumer health collections.

Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.


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Loughlin, Kevin (ed) and Joyce Generali (ed).The Guide to Off-Label Prescription Drugs. Free Press, 2006. 1200pp.  ISBN 0-7432-8667-7. paper $24.95.

If you never before imagined that Viagra might be used to treat high altitude pulmonary hypertension and are curious to find out more, turn to The Guide To Off-Label Prescription Drugs. The use of off-label prescription drugs, those used for conditions or in dosages beyond the scope of that initially approved by the FDA, is increasingly common. Editors Loughlin, MD (Harvard Med School) and Generali, MS, RPh (Kansas Univ. Med Center) worked with a team of physicians and pharmaceutical experts to author this text that will help demystify more than 1500 off-label options.

The twenty chapters in Part I are organized by body system, each divided into alphabetical listings of ailments and diseases. Entries include a paragraph about the disease and commonly prescribed on-label drugs.  Off-label drug options are listed and summary information is provided, indicating how the drugs work and the class to which they belong. Studies, case reports, and research about efficacy and side effects of off-label use are summarized in one or two paragraphs and the page number for the corresponding drug profile is given.

More than 400 medications are described in the single-page profiles that comprise Part II. These offer abbreviated information: FDA-approved indications, description, side effects, cautions (including FDA pregnancy risk categories), food, drug, and herbal interactions, and special information. Part III offers further drug information such as lists of sugar-free and alcohol-free drugs, drugs that shouldn’t be crushed, drugs newly approved by the FDA, and a glossary. Cancer-related drugs are not covered in the book.

A recent study (Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1021-1026) reports that approximately 20% of all prescriptions are off-label, 73% of which have "little or no scientific support."  These statistics underscore the need for consumers to know about off-label options and be aware of relevant research such that they can make informed decisions regarding prescriptions. The Guide to Off-Label Prescription Drugs is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and offers sufficient information such that the reader will be prepared to ask pointed questions of their prescribing physician.  This is an excellent addition for consumer health and public libraries.

Reviewed by: Gillian Kumagai, Stanford Health Library, Palo Alto, CA


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Nestle, Marion.What To Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Choices and Good Eating.   North Point; Farrar, 2006. 640p. index. ISBN 0-86547-704-3 (ISBN 13 978-0-86547-704-9). $30.

Americans are finding it difficult to choose foods. With new diet books appearing daily, commercial advertisements for products offering miraculous nutritional benefits, and dire warnings about almost any food, they are wondering what they can really eat safely. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, comes to the rescue with this shopping guide. She points out the inherent conflict between the consumer’s quest for healthy food and the producer’s interest in marketing for profit. She also reviews nutrition basics, explains organic and genetically modified foods, and notes the major health problems associated with obesity. She then takes readers to the market and shows them how to choose the best foods from the overcrowded shelves. In the process, she teaches them to read the labels and ignore marketing gimmicks. She also points out inadequate government regulations and deliberately obscure research findings resulting from the close relationship of special interests and regulators. Armed with this book and Nestle’s sound advice to return to the basics -- eat less, exercise more, and consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – consumers will be able to navigate the supermarket and come home with a selection of healthy, enjoyable food.

Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.


Publication Information

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Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and is published quarterly.

Content for each issue is cumulated online at, primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.


Please submit items for Consumer Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following quarter.

Submit by this newsletter For publication newsletter issue:
March April-June
June July-September
September October-December
December January-March

Please send submissions in electronic format to the editor:

Joe Nicholson
E -mail:
Telephone: (650) 725-3308


See Advertising Rate Sheet


Vol. 22 No. 2 2006 
ISSN 1535-7821     

Home About CAPHISManaging a CHISContact UsFor Health Consumers

CAPHIS, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section, is a section of the Medical Library Association, an association of health information professionals with more than 5,000 individual and institution members. MLA fosters excellence in the professional achievement and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance the quality of health care, education, and research.

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