The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find data about chemicals. The EPA 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.
ToxCastDB users can search and download data from over 500 rapid chemical tests conducted on more than 300 environmental chemicals. The EPA says 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 child care 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. The EPA says it will continue to add internal and external chemical exposure data and advanced user interface features to ExpoCastDB.
The new databases link together two 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 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 the EPA’s decisions about chemical safety.
For more information about ToxCastDB, visit http://actor.epa.gov/actor/faces/ToxCastDB/Home.jsp
For more information about ExpoCastDB, visit http://actor.epa.gov/actor/faces/ExpoCastDB/Home.jsp
For more information about ExpoCastDB, visit ACToR, http://actor.epa.gov