EPA Releases ACToR Chemical Database

A new online database, the Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR), provides information on more than 500,000 man-made chemicals from over 200 public sources and can now be accessed at http://actor.epa.gov/actor.

According to a March 12 press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the database allows access to hundreds of data sources in one place, providing a new level of transparency and easy access for environmental researchers, scientific journalists, and the public. Sources of information include EPA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies; state databases, Health and Environment Canada, the European Union, the World Health Organization and other international groups; and non-governmental organizations, private companies, and universities.

ACToR was developed to support the ToxCast program of the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. ToxCast develops faster methods to evaluate the potential toxicity for thousands of chemicals using computer modeling and advanced molecular biology techniques. ACToR was used to analyze toxicity information on almost 10,000 chemicals regulated by EPA and to identify data gaps to be addressed by ToxCast, which will greatly help the agency prioritize future testing of chemicals. Key findings are that while acute toxicity data is available for 59 percent of the surveyed chemicals, detailed testing information is much more limited. Twenty-six percent of the 10,000 chemicals have carcinogenicity testing data, 29 percent have developmental toxicity testing data, and 11 percent have complete reproductive toxicity test results.

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