EPA Provides Searchable Databases on Chemical Toxicity

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released two databases — the Toxicity Forecaster database (ToxCastDB) and a database of chemical exposure studies (ExpoCastDB) — making chemical toxicity and exposure data more available to scientists, industry and the public.  This is yet another step in the inevitable march towards greater material disclosure.

ToxCastDB uses advanced scientific tools to predict the potential toxicity of chemicals. The database also:

  1. helps determine which chemicals need further testing
  2. lets users download data from over 500 rapid chemical tests conducted on more than 300 environmental chemicals (data on an additional 700 chemicals will be available in 2012)

ExpoCastDB uses chemical measurements from homes and child care centers to consolidate human exposure data, including chemical amounts in:

  1. food
  2. drinking water
  3. air
  4. dust
  5. indoor surfaces
  6. urine

A data warehouse connects ToxCastDB and ExpoCastDB, providing one online resource of animal chemical toxicity studies from the past 30 years. The data warehouse, called Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR), collects data on more than 500,000 chemicals from over 500 public sources. ACToR links both exposure and toxicity data, which are required when considering potential risks posed by chemicals.

The ability to link and compare these different types of data better informs EPA’s decisions about chemical safety.  Arguably, it will help industry make better decisions in manufacturing.

“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.”

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About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.