Environmental Protection

EPA Gives Public Access to Risk Assessment Database

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database on March 24. HERO provides access to the scientific studies used in making key regulatory decisions, including EPA’s periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six major pollutants.

"The HERO database strengthens our science and our transparency ─ two pillars of our work at EPA. Giving the public easy access to the same information EPA uses will help open the lines of communication, increase knowledge and understanding, and open the doors of EPA," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Americans have a right to know the background of decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. We're taking a big step forward in opening government to the people."

The publicly accessible HERO database provides an easy way to review the scientific literature behind EPA science assessments, which are used to support agency decision-making. The database includes more than 300,000 scientific articles including the authors, titles, dates, and abstracts. In addition, through a simple keyword search, anyone can see information from the articles that were used to develop specific risk assessments.

HERO includes peer-reviewed literature used by EPA to develop its Integrated Science Assessments (ISA) that feed into the NAAQS review. It also includes references and data from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a database that supports critical agency policymaking for chemical regulation.

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