Environmental health bulletin board systems and databases.This article is the second in a series on computer applications in environmental health. As explained in an earlier issue (1), we assume the reader has access to a computer and modem, and the software to coordinate this hardware. Despite some initial doubts, these programs really can be operated without advanced training. The biggest requirement is the patience to read through manuals for the various commercially available programs (2).
Computer bulletin board systems are generally comprised of bulletins (public messages displayed on-screen on·screen or on-screen
adj. & adv.
1. As shown on a movie, television, or display screen.
2. Within public view; in public. ), files (various text files and programs that must be downloaded to your own computer), and e-mail (private messages). These areas are accessed by selecting from an on-screen menu shown after logging on. Beyond that, there are many differences in accessing bulletin boards, and the best way to learn is to experiment. To start this activity, the following bulletin board systems (BBS (1) (Bulletin Board System) A computer system used as an information source and forum for a particular interest group. They were widely used in the U.S. ) represent only a fraction of the available systems (3,4). It is probably best to start with systems that carry a 1-800 number (e.g., the FDA FDA
Food and Drug Administration
n.pr See Food and Drug Administration.
n.pr the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration. or WTIE WTIE Wastewater Treatment and Information Exchange systems), because mistakes are free on these toll free numbers. Other guidelines include the following:
1) The system generally asks for your first and last name. New users should simply follow the instructions. Previous users will then be asked to give their password.
2) Consider using the same password for the different systems, because you are less likely to forget your password. While this runs counter to the concerns for system security, it is best to assume that there is no confidentiality on most of these systems.
3) Log on procedures may ask if you wish to use graphics packages. If you answer "no" to these requests, you can always upgrade as you become more comfortable with the system. If asked which modem format you use, Xmodem usually works on most systems. (Consult your own software manuals for additional information.)
4) While each menu board may be unique, many boards tend to use these commands:
F = see list of files available, B = read latest bulletins, R = read e-mail messages, U = upload your files on to the board, D = download their files on to your system, G = goodbye (log off the system), Q = quit (same as G).
5) Most modem programs have a command to record everything that occurs during a session, usually entered into a file with the name "log" (e.g., Procomm has a Procomm.log file). After a session, you can use any word processing word processing, use of a computer program or a dedicated hardware and software package to write, edit, format, and print a document. Text is most commonly entered using a keyboard similar to a typewriter's, although handwritten input (see pen-based computer) and program to enter into these log files, edit them, and print them if you wish. Be sure to record the first few sessions in this manner, because it is an excellent way to analyze problems, record menus for each system, and print out instructions.
The following systems provide the modem number (the connection for your computer and modem), the voice number (the connection for personal assistance, generally from the system operator, or "sysop"), and the parameters (maximum speed for modems, data bits, parity, and stop bits).
FDA Electronic Bulletin Board
modem: 800-222-0185 voice: 301-443-7318 parameters: up to 9600 baud baud (bôd, bōd), measure of the rate at which signals are transmitted over a telecommunications link. It is equivalent to the number of elements or pulses transmitted in one second, e.g. , 7-E-1
Sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration, this system offers news releases, enforcement reports, federal register summaries, an on-line version of the magazine, FDA Consumer, and many other resources. After you dial in and select #1 (FDA BBS system), log in by typing "bbs" (without the quotes). You will then be asked to give your name, and the system will recognize you as a new user. You will be asked for additional information, such as your address and employment. You'll also be asked to give a password for future log ins.
Once logged on, you can type the command topics (for a list of topics by the BBS) or manual (for a summary of commands on the system).
PIN - EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. Pesticide Information Network
modem: 703-305-5919 voice: 703-305-7499 parameters: up to 2400 baud, 7-E-1
Sponsored by the EPA, this BBS provides access to three searchable databases: the Pesticide Monitoring Inventory (PMI See Private Mortgage Insurance. ), which contains information from federal, state, local, and private projects; the Restricted Use Products file (RUP (Rational Unified Process) Software from IBM that provides guidelines, templates and examples for each team member in the system development process. Supporting the Unified Modeling Language (UML), RUP can be used with other Rational tools to provide a uniform set of ), which contains a list of restricted pesticides, associated products, and reasons for restriction; and the Chemical Index, a cross-referenced list of all chemical names, synonyms, and CAS numbers contained in the files.
By 1995, new databases should be in place for ecological incidents, biological pesticides, and pesticide applicator ap·pli·ca·tor
An instrument for applying something, such as a medication.
n a device for applying medication; usually a slender rod of glass or wood, used with a pledget of cotton on the end. training; the RUP mentioned above will be upgraded to a regulatory information dataset, which will add information on cancelled uses and special reviews.
This system requires the use of capital letters only! Log in by entering your last name, first name, and middle initial. For first time users, instruction manuals can be downloaded by entering "A" at the main menu.
HMIX HMIX Hazardous Materials Information Exchange - Hazardous Materials Information Exchange
modem: 708-972-3275 voice: 800-752-6367 parameters: up to 2400 baud, 8-N-1
Sponsored by FEMA FEMA,
n.pr See Federal Emergency Management Agency. , this BBS is devoted to emergency management, training, resources, technical assistance, and regulations regarding hazardous materials. HMIX is not intended to provide information during an emergency. The two major features of HMIX are the bulletin board and message exchange. The bulletin board provides a listing of new items and a listing of subjects within the system. The message exchange system includes e-mail, electronic file exchange (upload and download), and chat (communication with other users).
SWICH a. 1. Such.
Swich things as that I know I will declare.
- Chaucer. - EPA's National Solid Waste Information Clearinghouse
modem: 301-585-0204 voice: 800-67-SWICH parameters: up to 2400 baud, 8-N-1
Sponsored by the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, SWICH has a library system that includes various journals, reports, proceedings, and periodicals. Many of the publications are abstracted. It also contains case studies, curricula, films, and video tapes on solid waste issues. An electronic BBS provides updated information on meetings, new technologies and publications, and updated legislative and regulatory information. The main SWICH topics include waste management techniques, administrative issues, and special issues.
NPS NPS National Park Service
NPS Naval Postgraduate School
NPS Net Promoter Score (customer management)
NPS Non-Point Source pollution
NPS Native Plant Society
NPS Norfolk Public Schools (Virginia) INFO - EPA Nonpoint non·point
Not found or located at a single, definable point, as pollution whose source cannot be ascertained. Source Information Exchange
modem: 301-589-0205 voice: 301-589-5318 parameters: up to 9600 baud, 8-N-1
Sponsored by the EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, this system provides information related to nonpoint source pollution Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) does not come from a single source like point source pollution. It comes from many different sources with no specific solution to rectify the problem, making it difficult to regulate. . It offers a newsletter, publication announcements, and educational databases. It has a list of job opportunities and various files for downloading (including databases on GIS systems).
ATTIC - EPA Alternative Treatment Technology Information Center
modem: 703-908-2138 voice: 703-908-2137 parameters: up to 14400 baud, 8-N-1
Sponsored by the EPA Office of Environmental Engineering and Technology Demonstration, this BBS provides information on alternative treatment methods for hazardous wastes developed through the SITE program (Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation). It provides databases, bulletins, and e-mail regarding SITE for emerging technologies (laboratory testing), demonstration technologies (field testing), and monitoring and measuring technologies (also under field conditions).
CLU-IN CLU-IN Clean-up Information Bulletin Board System - EPA Cleanup Information
modem: 301-589-8366 voice: 301-589-8368 parameters: up to 2400 baud, 8-N-1
Sponsored by the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (Technology Innovation Office), this BBS is designed for hazardous waste professionals. It issues publications on the environmental technology initiative, technological trends, RCRA RCRA Resource Conservation & Recovery Act of 1976
RCRA Resort and Commercial Recreation Association , Superfund, and Community Right-to-Know. It also includes relevant notices in the Federal Register and Commerce Business Daily. It reports on meetings and site demonstrations, offers relevant software, and provides information on other BBS sites.
WTIE-BBS - Wastewater Treatment Information Exchange BBS
modem: 800-544-1936 voice: 800-624-8301 (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT EDT
Eastern Daylight Time
EDT Eastern Daylight Time
EDT n abbr (US) (= Eastern Daylight Time) → hora de verano de Nueva York
EDT ) parameters: 9600 baud, 8-N-1
Sponsored by the National Small Flows Clearinghouse, this BBS provides databases on treatment technologies, financing, training projects for small communities, regulations, and other issues related to small wastewater treatment systems. There are also directories for troubleshooting and frequently asked questions. A special directory contains software related to waste-water treatment.
The value of these systems depends, of course, on the needs of each professional. After a few sessions on a particular BBS, the procedures should become fairly routine. Perhaps the most frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: problem is when there is no response when first logging on; this is usually because the system is temporarily down. The best tactic is to try again at another time, and to be patient! The busiest times tend to be between 7 a.m. - 10 a.m and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Priority is generally given to regulatory users during these time frames. Other users have better chances by calling during the mid-day and evening hours.
The other obvious problem is the cost of assessing these systems. However, with the use of Internet, many of these systems can be accessed without a long distance telephone call (5). A future article will discuss Internet and its relationship to these systems. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , EPA has an outstanding reference to information accessible through computers as well as through the more traditional means (6).
1. Hatfield, T. (1994), "Computers and Environmental Health," J Environ Health, 57(3):33-34.
2. Walter, R. (1993), The Secret Guide to Computers, Somerville, MA 02144.
3. Blotzer, M. (1994), "Telecommunications Revisited," Applied Occup and Environ Hygiene, 9(2):109-112.
4. Tencer, G. (1994), "Electronic Communications for Hygienists: Bulletin Board Systems," Amer Indust Hygiene Assoc J, (55): 257-260.
5. Levine, J.R., and C. Baroudi (1993), The Internet for Dummies, IDG IDG International Data Group
IDG Integrated Drive Generator
IDG Installation Design Guide
IDG Internet Discussion Group
IDG Inset Dielectric Guide
IDG International Dangerous Goods (mail, shipping) Books Worldwide, Inc., San Mateo San Mateo (săn mətā`ō), city (1990 pop. 85,486), San Mateo co., W Calif., on San Francisco Bay; inc. 1894. It is a commercial and retail center with some high-technology manufacturing. San Mateo, Spanish for St. , Calif.
6. U.S. EPA (1992), Access EPA, Information Access Branch, Information Management and Services Div., Office of Information Resources (1) The data and information assets of an organization, department or unit. See data administration.
(2) Another name for the Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) department. See IT. Management, U.S. Gov't Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C.