EPA Launches Searchable Database on Chemicals

by | Apr 30, 2010

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its Web-based chemicals database, ToxRefDB, which allows anyone to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals.

This latest announcement is part of the EPA’s policy to increase the transparency of chemical information. In January, the federal agency announced a new policy that gives consumers more access to information on chemicals by rejecting a confidentiality claim by manufacturers on the identity of chemicals.

ToxRefDB provides detailed chemical toxicity data — available public hazard, exposure, risk assessment data and previous unpublished studies related to cancer, reproductive, and developmental toxicity — at your fingertips and in an accessible format. It is a part of the Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR), an online data warehouse that collects data from about 500 public sources on tens of thousands of environmentally-relevant chemicals.

The database connects to an EPA chemical screening tool called ToxCast, which 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.

In the not-for-profit sector, NSF International and the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) have a joint development project underway to create a health-based standard that addresses chemical emissions from products, reports Environmental Design & Construction.

This standard is expected to streamline the current methods used for measuring and limiting chemical emissions from products, and will incorporate the most recent science on human health and toxicology to provide acute and chronic chemical exposure limits.

The GEI-NSF standard will be developed under the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI) Essential Requirements for adoption as an ANSI Standard.

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