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Toxic Chemicals Database Comes Online

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making it easier to find chemical information online. The EPA is releasing a database called ToxRefDB, which allows scientists and the interested public to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals.

ToxRefDB captures 30 years and $2 billion of federal required testing results. This is a handy regulatory and technical tool, and simplifies at least some of the required toxicity investigation research.

ToxRefDB provides detailed chemical toxicity data in an accessible format. It is a part of ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource), an online data warehouse that collects data from about 500 public sources on tens of thousands of environmentally relevant chemicals, including several hundred in ToxRefDB.

Those interested in chemical toxicity can query a specific chemical and find all available public hazard, exposure, and risk assessment data, as well as previously unpublished studies related to cancer, reproductive, and developmental toxicity.

The database:

1. Contains pesticide registration toxicity data that used to be stored as hard-copy and scanned documents.

2. Includes chronic, cancer, sub-chronic, developmental, and reproductive studies on hundreds of chemicals (many are pesticide active ingredients).

3. Provides data that is accessible and computable.

4. Provides reference toxicity data for agency research and retrospective analyses.

Only certain hazard information is going to be found and the database, though useful, does not represent all information needed for a complete risk assessment for pesticides or other chemicals. Please note that not every possible chemical of concern is listed and only those that relate mostly to pesticides type risks.

In this database, one can find alternate names, physical and chemical properties, developmental effects, reproductive and carcinogenic effects, as well as state, federal and Canadian references.

This EPA database does make it easier to research some chemicals of concern.

In Europe the aim of the REACH program is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. This will require a lot of new toxicity testing and sharing such information (as in this search engine) will help to reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of the REACH program.

Note the second Web address below directly connects to the new toxics database.

Article by Andy Soos appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.

photo: kaibara87