Data Sources for Chemicals of ConcernThis is a featured page

Guidance on appropriate sources of data - Tracey J. Woodruff, Patrice Sutton and The Navigation Guide Work Group, An Evidence-Based Medicine Methodology To Bridge The Gap Between Clinical And Environmental Health Sciences, Health Affairs, 30, no.5 (2011):931-937, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.1219. Available at:


United States: Federal

  • EPA PBT Program - EPA identified 12 high priority PBTs which require immediate action. EPA established a chemical profile fact sheet and action plan for each of these PBTs.
  • EPA TRI Program - EPA is charge with implement the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) legislation which requires businesses and other organizations to report chemical release to the environment. As part of this regulation, EPA maintains the Toxics Release Inventory, a database which summarizes releases reported to EPA under this regulation. On October 29, 1999, EPA announced in the Federal Register that it was establishing TRI reporting requirements for a list of Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals.
  • NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction - CERHR publishes monographs that assess evidence that environmental chemicals, physical substances, or mixtures (collectively referred to as “substances”) cause adverse effects on reproduction and development and provide opinion on whether these substances are hazardous for humans.Through this process, the CEHR has identified 40 chemicals of concern.
  • NTP Report on Carcinogens - The NTP also publishes a list of agents, substances, mixtures, or exposure circumstances that may pose a hazard to human health by virtue of their carcinogenicity. The RoC includes two categories of carcinogenic compounds: 1. Chemicals ‘known to be human carcinogens’. 2. Chemicals ‘reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens’ The 12th Report on Carcinogens identifies 56 Category A and 185 Category B carcinogens.
  • The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) provides a database of chemicals with the potential to affect the endocrine system.
  • The web-based search system provided by the National Library of Medicine has created the Superlist (, which is a list of regulatory and related lists

United States: State

  • Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act - More and Less Hazardous Chemicals List
  • California’s Proposition 65 Program - Proposition 65 (Prop 65), the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a Californian ballot initiative in November 1986. Prop 65 was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemical chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.[15] Each year, the Office of Environment Health Hazard Assessment section of the California EPA publishes an updated list of chemicals of concern. The list currently contains 721 unique chemicals which have been placed on the list due to their carcinogenic and/or reproductive toxicity.[16]
  • WA State PBT Program - In 2006, the WA Dept. of Ecology as directed by the Governor adopted regulations specific to PBTs (WAC 173-333). 27 PBTs are identified including 25 organic chemicals/chemical groups and two ‘metals of concern.’ The legislation also requires Ecology and the Dept of Occupational Health (DOH) to issue one Chemical Action Plan each year until all of the PBTs are assessed. Ecology and DOH are also required to prioritize the PBTs and to address first those that pose the greatest threat to human health and the environment. [17] As part of this process, Ecology and DOH issued a Multiyear CAP Schedule in 2007[18]. Ecology and DOH evaluated all of specific chemical compounds included in the 27 PBTs and established a list of 75 chemicals with specific CAS numbers for evaluation.
  • Maine’s law on Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products directed the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in concurrence with the Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish a list of Chemicals of High Concern by January 1, 2010.1739 chemicals are included in Maine's list of chemicals of high concern. A chemical may be included on the list if it has been identified by an authoritative governmental entity on the basis of credible scientific evidence as being known as:
    A. A carcinogen, a reproductive or developmental toxicant or an endocrine disruptor; B. Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic; or C. Very persistent and very bioaccumulative


  • International Agency for Research of Cancer - The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization. IARC's mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control. The Agency is involved in both epidemiological and laboratory research and disseminates scientific information through publications, meetings, courses, and fellowships.[19] In addition, IARC publishes monographs which identify carcinogenic chemicals and separates them into four main groups:[20]
    • Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans. (47 chemicals/chemical groups out of 105)
    • Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans. (51 chemicals/chemical groups out of 66)
    • Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans. (221 chemicals/chemical groups out of 248)
    • Group 3: Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. (515 chemicals)
    • Group 4: Probably not carcinogenic to humans. (1 chemical) For the purposes of this evaluation, Ecology did remove some entries from consideration

International: Europe

  • European Union (EU) Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) Program[21] - ECHA has only begun the process of identifying SVHCs and currently sources 16 on its website. These 16 were included in the HPC list.
  • Danish EPA Advisory List for Self-Classification of Dangerous Substances - includes over 20,500 substances that have been identified by Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) models.
  • Endocrine Disruptor Program- On 20 December 1999, the European Commission (EC) adopted a Communication on a Community Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters – a range of substances suspected of interfering with the hormone systems of humans and wild life. The strategy focuses on man-made substances, including chemicals and synthetic hormones, which may harm health and cause cancer, behavioral changes and reproductive abnormalities.[23] Endocrine disruptors have been grouped into four major categories which are:
    • Category 1: Evidence of endocrine disruption activity (194 chemicals)
    • Category 2: Some evidence of biological activity related to endocrine disruption (125 chemicals)
    • Category 3: No scientific evidence of endocrine disrupting activity
      • 3A: No data available on wildlife relevant and/or mammal relevant endocrine effects (23 chemicals)
      • 3B: Some data available but evidence is insufficient for identification (85 chemicals)
      • 3C: Data available indicating no scientific basis for inclusion in list (0 chemicals-details not provided)
The EC also provides an Access database which contains all of the chemicals reviewed and enables one to separate out the chemicals into the categories identified above[24]. The number of chemicals identified in parenthesis after the category is from this source.

  • Oslo-Paris Convention (OSPAR) - The OSPAR Commission, originally formed in 1972 to control dumping into the North Sea, is a consortium of 15 European Countries and the European Community whose mission is to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. OSPAR has expanded over the years to include land based and production sources of potential pollution to the North-East Atlantic. The 1992 OSPAR Convention is the current instrument guiding international cooperation to meet these objectives.[27] OSPAR had conducted considerable work to identify chemicals of concern to the North-East Atlantic. The first of these is a list of 310 chemicals or chemical groups of possible concern which consists mainly of PBT chemicals with a few endocrine disruptors included.[28] OSPAR further identified a shorter list of 50 chemicals or chemical groups which require priority action.[29]

International: Canada

  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act - The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) is Canada's federal environmental legislation aimed at preventing pollution and protecting the environment and human health.[30] As part of this effort, the Canadian government evaluated all compounds imported or produced in Canada and prioritized them for various criteria. The results of these efforts are available on the web.[31]

Non-Governmental Organizations


  • Grandjean & Landrigan Identification of Neurotoxins[32] - The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) prepares Annex XV dossiers for the identification of substances of very high concern which are carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxins (CMRs), PBTs or cause serious effects to human health or the environment of an equivalent level of concern as those above (e.g. endocrine disrupters). Two well known toxicological researchers conducted detail evaluation of potential neurotoxins particularly on the young. Their work, which identified 201 potential neurotoxins, was published in The Lancet, one of the leading medical journals in the world.[33] Their identification of industrial chemicals that have caused neurotoxic effects in man was based upon data from the Hazardous Substances Database of the US National Library of Medicine, supplemented by fact sheets by the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) of the US EPA

Primary sources of modeled data include:
  • ACToR is one of many EPA tools available for those interested in chemical toxicity to find data about potential chemical risks to human health and the environment.
  • ToxCAST – EPA's Toxicity Forecaster database, launched in 2007 to develop ways to predict potential toxicity and streamline the prioritization of chemicals that need toxicity testing.
  • EPA's database of chemical exposure studies (ExpoCast) used to estimate real-life risks to health and to identify the most effective ways to reduce these risks.
  • EPI Suite™ estimates physical / chemical properties (melting point, water solubility, etc.) and environmental fate properties (breakdown in water or air, etc.) which can indicate where a chemical will go in the environment and how long it will stay there.
  • ECOSAR predicts toxicity of chemicals released into water to aquatic life (fish, algae and invertebrates).
  • PBT Profiler screens chemicals for potential to persist, bioaccumulate, and be toxic (model is an online tool and cannot be downloaded)
  • OncoLogic™, Version 7.0, is a computer software program designed to predict the potential cancer-causing effects of a chemical by applying the rules of structure activity relationship (SAR) analysis and incorporating knowledge of how chemicals cause cancer in animals and humans.
  • Analog Identification Methodology (AIM), available on EPA's web site, identifies close structural analogs that have measured data and points to sources where those data can be found. AIM (method is an online tool and cannot be downloaded)
  • NonCancer Screening Protocol is a stepwise process (not a computerized method) useful for screening untested chemicals for non-cancer health effects and is described in the P2 Framework Manual June 2005.
  • E-FAST estimates chemical releases and dose rates to humans from these releases.
  • ChemSTEER estimates environmental releases and worker exposures resulting from chemical manufacture, processing, and/or use in industrial and commercial workplaces.
  • The USEtox model is an environmental model for characterization of human and ecotoxic impacts in Life Cycle Impact Assessment and for comparative assessment and ranking of chemicals according to their inherent hazard characteristics.
Scientific Literature
  • ChemIDplus Advanced, is a web-based search system provided by the National Library of Medicine. In addition to ToxNet, and HSDB, ChemIDplus links to numerous other databases, including PubMed and the Superlist (, which is a list of regulatory and related lists. It also allows allow users to identify and evaluate structurally similar chemicals.
  • Toxnet - maintained by the National Library of Medicine
  • Integrated Risk Information System - IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) is a compilation of electronic reports on specific substances found in the environment and their potential to cause human health effects. The information in IRIS is intended for those without extensive training in toxicology, but with some knowledge of health sciences. IRIS currently contains information on 548 chemicals or groups of chemicals and IRIS can be searched to determine chemicals of concern due to specific toxicity criteria.

  • National Toxicology Program - The NTP is an interagency program managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) whose mission is to evaluate agents of public health concern by developing and applying tools of modern toxicology and molecular biology.


  • OECD eChemPortal - The global portal to information on chemical substances developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2008


Information on VCCEP can be found at:, accessed 11/17/2008.
VCCEP chemicals are identified at:, accessed 11/17/2008
More information on EPA’s PBT program can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on EPA’s Priority PBTs can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
[5] More information on EPA’s EPCRA Program and TRI can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
Federal Register notice at:, accessed 11/17/2008
More information on EPA’s IRIS can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
The search criteria and chemicals can be found on the IRIS site at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on EPA’s Waste Minimization Program can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on these chemicals can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on the NTP and its work can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
NTP CERHR found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
Information on the CEHR list can be found at:, access 11/18/2008
NTP RoC found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
More information on Prop 65 can be found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
The Prop 65 List can be found at:, access 11/18/2008
[17] Ecology’s PBT program found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
The Multiyear CAP Schedule can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
[19] More information on IARC can be found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
IARC Monographs found at: , accessed 11/17/2008
More information on SVHCs can be found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
Governing Statement of the European Commission at:, accessed 11/20.2008
More information on the EU Endocrine disruptors program can be found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
The database containing these endocrine disruptors can be found at:, accessed 11/18,2008
More information on EC PBTs can be found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
More information on ORATS can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on OSPAR can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on the OSPAR Chemicals of Possible Concern can be found at:, accessed 11/18/2008
More information on OSPAR Chemicals for Priority Action can be found at:, accessed 11/18.2008
For more information on CEPA see:, accessed 11/18/2008
CEPA found at:, accessed 11/17/2008
Grandjean, P & PJ Landrigan, Developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals, The Lancet, 2006, available at:, accessed 11/20/2008
The Lancet at:, accessed 11/20/2008

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