This toxicological profile is prepared in accordance with guidelines* developed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The original guidelines were published in the Federal Register on April 17, 1987. Each profile will be revised and republished as necessary.

The ATSDR toxicological profile succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for the toxic substances each profile describes. Each peer-reviewed profile identifies and reviews the key literature that describes a substance's toxicologic properties. Other pertinent literature is also presented but is described in less detail than the key studies. The profile is not intended to be an exhaustive document; however, more comprehensive sources of specialty information are referenced.

The profiles focus on health and toxicologic information; therefore, each toxicological profile begins with a public health statement that describes, in nontechnical language, a substance's relevant toxicological properties. Following the public health statement is information concerning levels of significant human exposure and, where known, significant health effects. A health effects summary describes the adequacy of information to determine a substance's health effects. ATSDR identifies data needs that are significant to protection of public health.

Each profile:

  1. Examines, summarizes, and interprets available toxicologic information and epidemiologic evaluations on a toxic substance to ascertain the levels of significant human exposure for the substance and the associated acute, subacute, and chronic health effects;
  2. Determines whether adequate information on the health effects of each substance is available or being developed to determine levels of exposure that present a significant risk to human health of acute, subacute, and chronic health effects; and
  3. Where appropriate, identifies toxicologic testing needed to identify the types or levels of exposure that may present significant risk of adverse health effects in humans.

The principal audiences for the toxicological profiles are federal, state, and local health professionals; interested private sector organizations and groups; and members of the public.

This profile reflects ATSDR’s assessment of all relevant toxicologic testing and information that has been peer-reviewed. Staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal scientists also have reviewed the profile. In addition, this profile has been peer-reviewed by a nongovernmental panel and was made available for public review. Final responsibility for the contents and views expressed in this toxicological profile resides with ATSDR.

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Christopher J. Portier, Ph.D.

Assistant Administrator

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


*Legislative Background

The toxicological profiles are developed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA or Superfund). CERCLA section 104(i)(1) directs the Administrator of ATSDR to “…effectuate and implement the health related authorities” of the statute. This includes the preparation of toxicological profiles for hazardous substances most commonly found at facilities on the CERCLA National Priorities List and that pose the most significant potential threat to human health, as determined by ATSDR and the EPA. Section 104(i)(3) of CERCLA, as amended, directs the Administrator of ATSDR to prepare a toxicological profile for each substance on the list. In addition, ATSDR has the authority to prepare toxicological profiles for substances not found at sites on the National Priorities List, in an effort to “…establish and maintain inventory of literature, research, and studies on the health effects of toxic substances” under CERCLA Section 104(i)(1)(B), to respond to requests for consultation under section 104(i)(4), and as otherwise necessary to support the site-specific response actions conducted by ATSDR.