Using AICS

Last update 7 April 2017

Type in a chemical name or CAS number in the search bar above to search the public AICS.

Chemicals on AICS are listed by their CAS Registered number and CAS name.

AICS does not list by:

Learn more about CAS Registry Numbers

1. Search AICS

Search by a chemical's CAS number

It is best to search AICS using a unique CAS number. The reason for this is a chemical may be known by many different names but it only has 1 unique CAS number.

You must use the correct CAS format with hyphens and discard any zero (0) that might be at the start of the first block. For example, if searching for formaldehyde:

Correct search:     50-00-0
Incorrect search: 050-00-0

Example AICS search results using this CAS number

Where to find a CAS number
  • Request a CAS RN search from the Chemical Abstracts Service (fee applies) - you will need to provide them with information such as a reliable chemical structure, a name (sometimes a trade name can be used). CAS also has a free search database for about 7,900 commonly used chemicals.
  • Internet search - sometimes an internet search will provide you with a CAS number.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (M)SDS often have a CAS number listed. You will need to contact the manufacturer or supplier.
  • Search online catalogues of chemical suppliers.

CAS preferred chemical name

If you do not have the CAS number your next best option is to search using the CAS name for the chemical.

Common names

Some common names for chemicals are on AICS but are restricted to the most commonly used chemicals. If you only have the common name of the chemical, your results will most likely be a very broad list of candidate chemicals.

Molecular formula

You can search by molecular formula e.g. C12H12N2O3, but you may get a very large number of results.

Once you have the details you need, search for the chemical by entering its details in the search bar. As explained above, its best to be as specific as possible in your search to get the most meaningful results.

2. Search results

Chemical found

If the chemical is found the search results are set up to give you a link to its AICS listing first and then any related assessment reports and key information. There is a refine search area that allows you to narrow down information you are seeking about a chemical (for example if you find its AICS listing but wish to find out more about related assessment reports).

Go to What AICS will tell you

Chemical not found

If details have been correctly entered but you have no results on your search you will need to determine the following:

Is the substance a natural substance or an alloy or a hydrate?

Natural chemicals (extracted from natural sources in such a way that their chemistry won't have changed during the extraction process) do not need to be listed on the AICS, instead they are deemed to be on the AICS and can be imported/manufactured without notification.

Learn more about the definition of a natural chemical

Mixtures, including alloys or hydrates, are not eligible for listing. They can be imported and/or manufactured without notification provided their component chemicals are on AICS.

Is the chemical on the confidential AICS?

If there are no results in the public AICS, you can apply to us to search the confidential AICS. We will search the confidential AICS if we are satisfied you are genuinely intending to manufacture and/or import a chemical.

Is the substance a new chemical?

An industrial chemical that is not on AICS is a new chemical unless it is exempt from notification. New industrial chemicals must be notified and assessed before being manufactured or imported into Australia.

Additional chemical information

NICNAS information

You can explore our Chemical information section to read IMAP chemical assessments, new chemical assessments, priority existing chemical assessments, other assessments and chemical fact sheets.

International chemical databases

These international databases may provide useful chemical information.

European Chemicals Agency (information about chemicals in Europe)

United States Environment Protection Agency Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource
ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology resource) is EPA's online warehouse of all publicly available chemical toxicity data and can be used to find all publicly available data about potential chemical risks to human health and the environment.

CosIng Database search page
This European Commission searchable database has information on cosmetic ingredients. It contains CAS RNs and International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) names and numbers.

National Library of Medicine
This United States' site lists chemicals and available toxicity information. It is useful for listing chemicals that are not on major inventories.

SDS-Search
This Safety Data Sheet (SDS) site provides safety data and CAS RNs.

National Institute of Standards and Technology Chemistry (NIST) WebBook
This website of the U.S. Department of Commerce provides access to data compiled and distributed by NIST under the Standard Reference Data Program.