EPA Improves Access to Information on Hundreds of Chemicals
Searchable databases on chemical toxicity and exposure data now available
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find data about chemicals. The agency is releasing two databases—the Toxicity Forecaster database (ToxCastDB) and a database of chemical exposure studies (ExpoCastDB)—that scientists and the public can use to access chemical toxicity and exposure data.
“Chemical safety is a major priority of EPA and its research,” said Dr. Paul Anastas, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “These databases provide the public access to chemical information, data and results that we can use to make better-informed and timelier decisions about chemicals to better protect people’s health.”
ToxCastDB users can search and download data from more than 500 rapid chemical tests conducted on more than 300 environmental chemicals. ToxCast uses advanced scientific tools to predict the potential toxicity of chemicals and to provide a cost-effective approach to prioritizing which chemicals of the thousands in use require further testing. ToxCast is currently screening 700 additional chemicals, and the data will be available in 2012.
ExpoCastDB consolidates human exposure data from studies that have collected chemical measurements from homes and childcare centers. Data include the amounts of chemicals found in food, drinking water, air, dust, indoor surfaces and urine. ExpoCastDB users can obtain summary statistics of exposure data and download datasets. EPA will continue to add internal and external chemical exposure data and advanced user interface features to ExpoCastDB.
The new databases link together two important pieces of chemical research—exposure and toxicity data—both of which are required when considering potential risks posed by chemicals. The databases are connected through EPA’s Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR), an online data warehouse that collects data on more than 500,000 chemicals from more than 500 public sources.
Users can now access 30 years worth of animal chemical toxicity studies that were previously only found in paper documents, data from rapid chemical testing and various chemical exposure measurements through one online resource.