US Environmental Protection Agency opens access to chemical information

April 29, 2010, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find chemical information online. 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 testing results.

"Tens of thousands of chemicals are in commerce and current chemical testing is expensive and time consuming. Results from chemical testing are scattered throughout different sources," said Dr. Robert Kavlock, director of EPA's National Center for Computational Toxicology. "ToxRefDB allows the public to search, find and compare available studies about chemical toxicity and potential health effects."

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a specific chemical and find all available public hazard, exposure, and risk-assessment data, as well as previously unpublished studies related to cancer, reproductive, and developmental toxicity.

ToxRefDB connects to an EPA chemical screening tool called ToxCast. ToxCast is a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort that uses advanced science tools to help understand biological processes impacted by chemicals that may lead to adverse health effects. ToxCast currently includes 500 fast, automated chemical screening tests that have assessed over 300 environmental chemicals. ToxRefDB, along with ACToR, allows users to take advantage of this linkage to find and download these results.

ToxRefDB contains toxicity information that forms the basis for pesticide risk assessments when combined with other sources of information, such as those on exposure and metabolism.

Explore further: NIH collaborates with EPA to improve the safety testing of chemicals

More information: More information on the database: actor.epa.gov/toxrefdb

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