WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of chemical screening data accessible through the new interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability or iCSS Dashboard. The iCSS Dashboard provides access to data from screening technologies for chemicals that are found in industrial and consumer products, food additives, and drugs.
“EPA’s use of cost-effective advanced chemical screening techniques has transformed this country’s knowledge of the safety of almost 2,000 chemicals currently in use,” said Lek Kadeli, acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Today’s release marks an important milestone in communicating and improving our understanding of the impact chemicals have on human health and the environment.”
As part of this data release, EPA is announcing the ToxCast Data Challenges, a series of challenges 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 potential health effects. Challenge winners will receive awards for their research ideas.
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, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century (Tox21), is comprised of EPA, the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences/National Toxicology Program, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the 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 Biomolecular Screening Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of NIH. “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.”
“Our robotics screening system is an integral part of the Tox21 effort as it provides unparalleled speed, reliability and high-quality reproducible data,” said Anton Simeonov, Ph.D., who is the Tox21 lead at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. “The public release of Tox21 data is sure to accelerate chemical assessment.”
Only a fraction of chemicals in use in the United States have been adequately assessed for potential risk. This information is useful for prioritizing chemicals for potential risk as well as predicting if chemical exposures could lead to adverse health effects.