EPA Adds Thousands of Chemicals, Facilities to Public Database

by | May 18, 2010

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts.

As part of the agency’s policy to increase public access to information on chemicals, the Envirofacts database offers a single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may impact air, water and land in the U.S. It also provides tools for analyzing the data.

The database also provides detailed information about chemical facilities including  facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility, such as the agency’s inspection and compliance reports that are available through the Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. EPA is also adding historic facility information for another 2,500 facilities.

In April, the EPA proposed to add 16 more chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals based on studies that show these chemicals could cause cancer in people.

In addition, several pharmaceutical companies — Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, and Merck — have provided the EPA with more than 100 drugs that will help the agency further validate its ToxCast screening tool.

These drugs never entered the marketplace because they demonstrated different types and levels of toxicity when the pharmaceutical companies conducted the early stage clinical trials required by the Food and Drug Administration, says the EPA.

EPA researchers will screen the drugs and then compare those results with the clinical trial results. Assessment of the similarities and differences in the results will improve the agency’s ability to screen chemicals for toxicity.

Currently, ToxCast includes 500 automated chemical screening tests that have assessed more than 300 environmental chemicals.

In April, the EPA launched its searchable Web-based chemicals database, ToxRefDB, which connects to the ToxCast screening tool.

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