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EPA Releases Data on 1,800 Chemicals

chemicals close up from stock.xchngThe EPA announced Tuesday it has released screening data on 1,800 chemicals found in industrial and consumer products, food additives and drugs.

The data, which was gathered through a variety of advanced techniques including robotics and high-throughout screening, is available through the EPA’s new interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability dashboard. The dashboard and the data is part of an ongoing collaboration, known as Tox21, between the EPA, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences/National Toxicology Program, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the Food and Drug Administration to improve chemical screening, the agency says.

The vision is for the dashboard to evolve into an iCSS web application that will become the portal to access all EPA computational toxicology research data and studies including aggregated public sources of chemical toxicity data, animal toxicity studies and high-quality chemical structures and annotations.

Making the data public will help researchers across disciplines better identify hazardous chemicals, according to Raymond Tice, who heads the Biomolecular Screening Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH.

The EPA also announced the ToxCast Data Challenges, an invitation to the science and technology sectors to work with the data and come up with solutions for how the new chemical screening information can be used to predict potential health effects. Challenge winners will received awards for their ideas.

In September, the EPA withdrew two draft regulations intended to enhance chemical oversight. One rule would have implemented TSCA Section 5(b)(4) and created a list of “chemicals of concern.”

The other rule would have diminished the opportunity for chemical manufacturers to claim as confidential business information — and thus prevent public disclosure — the chemical identity of substances identified in certain health and safety studies submitted to the EPA.

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