GESTIS Substance Database: Tips & Tricks


Source: kebox/Fotolia


Navigation in the database works via the tabs Home, List A-Z, Search and Data sheet.

  • Home contains general information about the database.
  • List A-Z allows to select a data sheet from the alphabetical list of all substance names.
  • Search allows to select a data sheet by substance name, identification number, molecular formula and full text search. After entering a character in a search field, the search term can be selected from the accompanying index list (autocomplete). Clicking on a term of the index list puts it to the corresponding input field, but does not yet start a search. With the button "exact search" exactly the entered search term is searched for. The button "Search", on the other hand, finds all terms containing the entered search term as a word component. The result of the search is displayed as a hit list. Simultaneous entries in several search fields specify the search by a logical AND.
  • Data sheet appears after selection from the list A-Z or from the hit list after the search. Within the data sheet individual chapters are accessible by links .

Print / PDF

Having selected a material data sheet (see under Navigation), you can print it - or save it as a PDF file on your computer. Press the "Print / PDF" button or the printer symbol on mobile devices and then select the main chapters of a substance you want to print. The default setting is the complete printout or the complete download of the substance data sheet. You can then print the selected chapters of the document or save them as a PDF file on your device.

Language selection

There are two language versions of the navigation programme of the GESTIS substance database: German at and English at Both program versions contain all substance data sheets in both German and English. The German program version opens the German substance data sheets by default and the English program version opens the English substance data sheets by default. With the button "German" or "English" at the top of the data sheet the corresponding data sheet in the other language can be displayed without the need for opening the other program version.

Change status

In the case of information on occupational health and first aid, the date of the last revision is indicated in the data sheet, as it is necessary to specify the state of scientific knowledge referred to. Regulations and resulting measures are updated immediately after publication in the substance database, so there is no need to specify a revision date. For most other data (e.g. formulae, physico-chemical data) it is not necessary to indicate the date of revision.

"Last Update" on the Home tab shows the date of the last internet update of the GESTIS substance database.


The terms of use of the GESTIS substance database prohibit a partial or complete transfer to other information systems. A download is therefore not intended (exception: PDF download of a single substance data sheet). Since our data is constantly updated, you would otherwise have an outdated stock in your information system after a short time.

IP Blocking

A download of larger datasets from the GESTIS substance database is not permitted. Please do not try to achieve an illegal download by programming hacks. The system will detect such activities and block your IP address from accessing the GESTIS databases in this case.

ZVG number

The ZVG number is the unique identification number in the GESTIS substance database (each database works with special identification criteria). The widely used list of hazardous substances of the IFA contains the ZVG number so further information on the respective substance can be found quickly in the GESTIS substance database. The ZVG number is also listed in the chemical lexicon "RÖMPP-Online". The ZVG number is a part of the link syntax when linking to a specific data sheet.