Thursday, June 16, 2011

Information is power, use it wisely.

This appears to be a big week for the EPA. On Tuesday, Lisa Jackson, EPA's Administrator, testified about its rule setting a national standard on pollutant emissions from power planets. No doubt there will be lawsuits filed challenging the EPA on the rule or its power to set such a standard. I will post if I hear anything on the legal front.

On that same date, June 15th, EPA also announced its 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. 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. EPA will continue to add internal and external chemical exposure data and advanced user interface features to ExpoCastDB.
EPA News Release on Tuesday, June 15th, 2011. "EPA Improves Access to Information on Hundreds of Chemicals"

The two databases are connected through EPA’s Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR). You can access this online data warehouse for information on over 500,000 chemicals from over 500 public sources.

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