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Another day, another free source of non-patent data from the US Government! Folks seem to like hearing about these (especially because they’re free, methinks) so today we’ll take a look at the Chemical Data Access Tool from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA made the Chemical Data Access Tool available on December 22, 2010, but the impetus for the launch of this tool has roots dating back a year earlier:
In September 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson committed to strengthen EPA’s current chemical management program. Part of that commitment was to increase access to and transparency in TSCA-related chemical information held by EPA and companies.
Read on as we give you the scoop on the databases this tool queries and the surprising functionality contained within (hint: CAS Numbers!).
Based on the principle of transparency, the EPA has made available the contents of the following three databases at launch:
- eDoc – The eDoc database includes a broad range of health and safety information reported by industry under TSCA Sections 4,5, 8(d), and 8(e).
- TSCATS – The TSCA Test Submissions (TSCATS) database is an online index to unpublished, nonconfidential studies covering chemical testing results and adverse effects of chemicals on health and ecological systems.
- HPVIS – The High Production Volume Information System (HPVIS) is a database that provides access to health and environmental effects information obtained through the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge.
These databases, in some cases, make data publicly available for the first time through the use of the Chemical Data Access Tool. Plans are in place to keep the data up-to-date as well as increasing the backfile. Early users (and our testing) show that data is a little hit or miss, and the EPA has acknowledged that this tool is a work in progress. That being said, the fact that every search result has the corresponding document linked for free full-text view is a nice benefit to the transparency efforts. Should you use this tool and find a relevant result, there’s no need to then spend additional time and effort to track down the full record.
While searching, there’s a respectable set of search criteria that users can query: Keyword, CAS Number, Chemical/Generic Name, and/or Submitter Name. CAS Numbers are helpful in particular, since they are an industry standard for labeling and tracking chemicals.
Have you checked out the EPA’s Chemical Data Access Tool? What do you think? Is there anything you’d like to see them add? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.