Thursday, June 16, 2011

EPA Makes Available Two New Chemical Toxicity Databases

The USEPA has announced that it is making available two new databases to make it easier for people to find chemical data.  One database is the Toxicity Forecaster database (ToxCastDB) containing toxicity information.  The other is a database of chemical exposure studies (ExpoCastDB), which can be used to evaluate how much chemical to which people may be exposed.  Both are searchable.

The Toxicity Forecast database (ToxCastDB) can be used to download toxicity data from more than 500 rapid chemical tests that have been 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."  Another 700 chemicals are currently being screened using ToxCast, with the data expected to be available by next year.

The ExpoCast database "consolidates human exposure data from studies that have collected chemical measurements from homes and child care centers."  According to EPA's press release, "data include the amounts of chemicals found in food, drinking water, air, dust, indoor surfaces and urine."  Additional external and internal chemical exposure data will be added as they become available. 

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 over 500,000 chemicals from over 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. The ability to link and compare these different types of data better informs EPA’s decisions about chemical safety.
More information and links to the databases can be found on the EPA web site.

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