Monday, January 6, 2014

EPA improves access to chemical data

Agency releases information on 1,800 chemicals and announces ToxCast Data Challenges

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released chemical screening data accessible through the new interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability or iCSS Dashboard.

Only a fraction of the chemicals used today have been
tested for adverse health effects, experts say.
The iCSS Dashboard provides access to data from innovative screening technologies for chemicals that are found in industrial and consumer products, food additives and drugs.

“EPA’s use of cost effective advanced chemical screening techniques has transformed this country’s knowledge of the safety of almost 2,000 chemicals currently in use,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

As part of this data release, EPA is announcing the ToxCast Data Challenges, a series of challenges inviting the science and technology community to work with the data and provide solutions for how the new chemical screening data can be used to predict potential health effects. Challenge winners will receive awards for their innovative research ideas.

The data were gathered through advanced techniques, including robotics and high-throughput screening, as part of an ongoing federal collaboration to improve chemical screening.

The collaboration, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century (Tox21), is comprised of EPA, the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences/National Toxicology Program, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the Food and Drug Administration.

“Making these data publicly available will help researchers across disciplines to better identify hazardous chemicals, “ said Raymond Tice, Ph.D., who heads the Biomolecular Screening Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH.

“We are pleased to be a partner in these collaborative efforts and look forward to further enhancing the amount of Tox21 data available to the public.”

Only a fraction of chemicals in use in the United States have been adequately assessed for potential risk. This information is useful for prioritizing chemicals for potential risk as well as predicting if chemical exposures could lead to adverse health effects.

More information is available on the EPA website.
Source: EPA

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