Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage

Chemical Safety Resources: Searching CAMEO Chemicals

Key resources in chemical safety and industrial hygiene recommended by EHRS and the Penn Chemistry Library.

Images on this page are reproduced with permission from CAMEO Chemicals version 2.6 (, released 2016 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.

About CAMEO Chemicals

CAMEO Chemicals is a database of chemicals and their hazards produced by the NOAA.  It includes "thousands of datasheets containing response-related information and recommendations for hazardous materials that are commonly transported, used, or stored in the United States (  CAMEO Chemicals can be searched on the Web using a standard or mobile Web site, or it can be downloaded to a computer to be used with other CAMEO products.  A mobile app is planned for fall 2016.


  • CAMEO Chemicals is one of the few resources that you can use to predict potential reactive hazards between substances.
  • Hazards sheets are available for classes of substance, and substance classes can also be added to reactivity predictions.
  • Datasheets can be exported in report form, as can the results of reactivity prediction.


  • The datasheets are intended to supplement, not replace, SDS information.
  • The reactivity predictor is just that: a predictor.  It is not a guarantee that interactions will or will not occur.
  • The database can be a little clunky; in order to use the reactivity predictor, you need to first save records to MyChemicals.
  • You cannot save records to the server for future use; you must save them to your own computer and then reopen them in CAMEO Chemicals next time you want to use them.


CAMEO Chemicals Home Page

A screenshot image of the homepage for CAMEO Chemicals.

You need to begin your work in CAMEO Chemicals by performing a search (Search) or by adding reactive groups to your MyChemicals page by selecting them from a list (MyChemicals).  Until you have done one of these things, you will not be able to do anything on the Reactivity page. 

Searching CAMEO Chemicals

Search options in CAMEO Chemicals include chemical or group name, CAS Registry Number, or United Nations-North America (UN/NA) number, and searches use an automatic Boolean AND operator in order to find all terms entered within the record for the substance or group. 

A screenshot image of the search page for CAMEO Chemicals.

CAMEO Chemicals also offers an advanced search interface.  This allows you to profile substances and groups by entering multiple, reasonably specific search criteria.

A screenshot image of the drop-down menu for "Search Text Fields". A screenshot image of the drop-down menu for "Search Numeric Fields".


Substance Records

A screenshot image of the chemical datasheet information for Sodium Hydride.

Records for substances include the following information:

  • Chemical identifiers: Names; CAS Registry numbers; UN/NA numbers; and Chemical Hazards Response Information System (CHRIS) codes, which have links to the Coast Guard cautionary response information sheets)
  • Hazards: Reactivity alerts; air and water reactions; fire hazards; health hazards; reactivity profiles; reactive groups to which the chemical is assigned; and potentially incompatible absorbents
  • Response recommendations: Isolation and evacuation safe distances; firefighting and non-fire responses; protective clothing and gear to be worn while using the chemical; Dupont Tychem® suit fabrics for the chemical; and first aid measures.
  • Physical properties
  • Regulatory information
  • Synonyms


Search Results

Search results are chemicals or groups, whose records include information on specific hazards.  To see the detailed information about a specific chemical or group, click on the View Datasheet button from the brief view of the record.

A screenshot image of the Search Results page on CAMEO.


Reactive Group Records

A screenshot image of the Reactive Group Datasheet information found on CAMEO.

Records for Reactive Groups include a description with the following information:

  • Flammability
  • Reactivity
  • Toxicity
  • Other characteristics
  • Examples of group members

They also offer the option of predicting reactivity when combined with another reactive group.


MyChemicals is an area to store a collection of chemicals' records.  You may want to determine their predicted reactivity, or you may want to export the list for later use.  In order to move a retrieved chemical to the MyChemicals section, simply click on the Add to MyChemicals box from either the short record or the full record.

A screenshot image of the MyChemicals page.

You can use MyChemicals to generate a nice report, including the predicted reactive hazards between each of the chemicals, as well as the detailed data sheet for each chemical.  Exporting the collection creates a file on your computer that you can import into CAMEO Chemicals next time you want to view it.  This allows you to create a library of chemical collections.

Reactivity Prediction

Once you have added chemicals to MyChemicals, you can begin predicting their reactivity.  Simply click on the Predict Reactivity link in the right sidebar of any screen to enter the reactivity predictor.  This will give you a table showing the compatibility of all substances in your MyChemicals list, followed by a detailed report on the predicted reactivity of each pair.

A screenshot image of the Compatibility Chart found on CAMEO.

Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555