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Environmental Factor, January 2014

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EPA releases chemical screening data and launches challenges

Researchers gained access to more chemical screening data with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release of new information Dec. 17 on 1,800 chemicals found in industrial and consumer products, food additives, and drugs.

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, Tox21, (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/assets/docs_p_z/tox21_transforming_environmental_health_508.pdf)  includes EPA, NTP, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, (http://www.ncats.nih.gov/)  and the U.S. 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 NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch, in the EPA press release. “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.”

The chemical screening data is accessible on EPA’s new interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability or iCSS Dashboard. (http://actor.epa.gov/dashboard/) 

That same day, EPA announced a series of challenges (http://epa.gov/ncct/challenges.html)  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 the lowest dose that shows adverse effects in animals. Challenge winners will receive awards for their innovative research ideas.

“Today’s release (http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0c0affede4f840bc8525781f00436213/38b102d67c6b9ee385257c4400732725!OpenDocument)  marks an important milestone in communicating and improving our understanding of the impact chemicals have on human health and the environment,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development.




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