Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Common Chemistry

“Common Chemistry” new CAS website

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS; http://www.cas.org/) , a division of the American Chemical Society (ACS; http://www.acs.org/) has launched a new, free, web-based resource called Common Chemistry (http://www.commonchemistry.org/). This resource is designed to help connect a chemical name to its CAS Registry Number. The CAS Registry Number is considered to be the most commonly used and unique identifier of a chemical substance.

Helpful to non-chemists this site contains approximately 7,800 chemicals of widespread and general interest as well as information about 118 elements from the periodic table. The results page provides the compound’s Registry Number, molecular formula, and chemical name (chemical name synonyms) and a Wikipedia link if available.

While not intended to be a comprehensive CAS Registry number look-up service, it does provide a good starting point for common chemicals. In testing the site my only concern is that it does not provide look-up service by entering a common drug name such as “Prozac.” If this site was truly designed for the non-chemist I would think that it would provide look-up service to those “common” household chemical names.

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