Computational Toxicology Research
Screening Chemicals to Predict Toxicity Faster and Better
- Phase I, "Proof of Concept", was completed in 2009 and it profiled roughly 300 well studied chemicals (primarily pesticides).
- Phase I chemicals have over 30 years worth of existing toxicity data since they have been tested already using traditional toxicology methods (primarily animal studies). Data from animal studies can be searched and queried using EPA's Toxicity Reference Database (ToxRefDB) that stores nearly $2 billion worth of studies.
- Phase II is currently screening 1,080 chemicals from a broad range of sources including industrial and consumer products, food additives, touted "green" products, nanomaterials and drugs that never made it to the market.
EPA launched ToxCast™ in 2007 to develop ways to predict potential toxicity of chemicals and to develop a cost-effective approach for prioritizing the thousands of chemicals that need toxicity testing. ToxCast™ uses advanced science tools to help understand how human body processes are impacted by exposures to chemicals and helps determine which exposures are most likely to lead to adverse health effects.
Using ToxCast to Prioritize Chemicals
Helping to prioritize chemicals for:
- EPA's Endocrine Disruption Screening Program by prioritizing chemicals for the Tier 1 screening battery que. 880 chemicals are being evaluated in approximately 50 endocrine related HTS assays. Long term goal is for ToxCast to eventually replace part or all of the current EDSP Tier 1 Screening Battery.
- Chemicals EPA regulates under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) by working towards using ToxCast to inform requests for further testing data on High Production Volume industrial chemicals.
- EPA's future drinking water contaminant lists, (Candidate Contaminant List or CCL) by helping prioritize which chemicals on existing contaminant lists should be tested first, will recommend what types of toxicity testing should be done on these chemicals and eventually use ToxCast to prioritize candidate chemicals on future drinking water contaminants list.
- Reduces animal use in testing by identifying targeted tests that reduces the overall animals used and the cost of testing.
- Provides public access to all chemical data generated through online, searchable databases.
- Partners with pharmaceutical companies, the cosmetics company LOREAL, and other companies to research ways ToxCast can help reduce animal testing and decrease the cost of testing chemicals for potential toxicity
- Already screened roughly 300 chemicals in more than 600 different rapid, automated tests, it took 30 years and $2 billion to screen the same number of chemicals using traditional animal toxicity tests.
- Identify and prioritize potentially toxic chemicals using rapid, automated tests called high-throughput screening (HTS) assays that can be used for prioritization of chemicals for further screening.
- Designed to increase the capacity to prioritize, screen, and evaluate chemicals by enhancing EPA’s ability to predict chemical toxicity and exposure.
- Currently evaluating over 2,000 chemicals in more than 650 assays
- Screen many different categories of chemicals including pesticides, nanomaterials, failed drugs, cosmetics, “green” chemicals, environmental and more.
- Develops toxicity signatures that demonstrate how well ToxCast™ can predict outcomes from mammalian toxicity tests and identify toxicity pathways relevant to human health effects.
- Provides the Tox21 collaboration access to ToxCast's high-throughput screening data and chemical library to increase the data available on the nearly 10,000 chemicals being studied.