Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.
THE NATIONAL PESTICIDE RESIDUE DATABASEBackground
The National Academy of Sciences, in their June 1993 report on "Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children," recommended that all monitoring organizations in the U.S. adopt standardized reporting and that the data be maintained in a computerized database. This recommendation was a direct result of the frustrations experienced by the Academy scientists as they tried to use disparate monitoring data bases in their dietary risk assessment case studies. They suggested that a standard electronic reporting format be developed for other types of pesticide residue data, as well.
In response to the National Academy of Sciences' recommendation, an interagency database design group was formed, with members from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Pesticide Data Program and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the California Departments of Pesticide Regulation and Food and Agriculture, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The workgroup developed the National Pesticide Residue Database (NPRD), which will provide a comprehensive electronically accessible database of all quality pesticide residue food monitoring data collected in the United States.
Software development is underway, with a prototype expected to be available for testing in July, 1998, via the Internet. EPA hopes to be able to extend the NPRD format to include other types of pesticide residue data, such as field trial data, processing studies, and residue reduction studies.
What Will Be NPRD's Data Sources?
Federal and state monitoring data sources will include the FDA pesticide residue monitoring program, FDA Total Diet Study, USDA-AMS Pesticide Data Program, USDA-FSIS meat, poultry, and egg monitoring data, U. S. Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service fish monitoring data, and state pesticide enforcement programs; private monitoring data sources will include the National Food Processors Association, as well as data collected by the pesticide chemical and food industries.
How Will Data Be Submitted to NPRD?
Designated data coordinators will review and perform quality control on all data submissions. Federal and state agencies will act as their own data coordinators, collecting data from their laboratories and forwarding them to NPRD. Private food manufacturing organizations and pesticide registrants may act as data coordinators, collecting data from their member organizations or laboratories for forwarding to NPRD. All data will be submitted electronically.
How Will NPRD Data Quality Be Assured?
Ideally, data submitted will be gathered in accordance with EPA Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) requirements. The sample collection, transportation, and storage conditions must be sufficient to ensure the integrity of the sample collected. The analysis must be completed promptly after collection, using a validated analytical method. The analytical method used must be described. The data coordinator must ensure that these quality assurance steps were followed and that the data were correctly transcribed into the system.
Who Will Have Access to the Data, and How Will They Access it?
The public will have access to the data from federal and state monitoring programs. These public sources of data will be searchable on the Internet using standard queries. Only EPA and the submitter will have access to private sources of monitoring data until the data are used to support a pesticide tolerance. Data used to support a tolerance is available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). EPA users will access NPRD using their LAN. Data submitted to NPRD will be attributed to the data coordinator, not to the individual organization or laboratory conducting the study.
What about Other Types of Pesticide Residue Data?
EPA expects to receive a large quantity of pesticide residue and processing data submitted to support reregistration of pesticides. In response to the National Academy of Sciences' suggestion, EPA is working to standardize an electronic reporting format for these other types of data so that they can be submitted electronically and included in an expanded NPRD. The data format for field trial studies and processing studies is available for comment.
How Much Will NPRD Cost?
Startup costs are estimated at $1 million, including private contractor software design and development costs. The NPRD will be maintained by EPA, with contractor assistance for upgrading the software; costs are estimated at $500,000 annually for upgrading, maintaining and providing support services for the database.
How Is the Software Development Work Progressing?
Most of the requirements for NPRD have been finalized. These requirements include the format for electronic data submissions of monitoring data, the conversion of several years of existing pesticide monitoring data to the NPRD format, access requirements, data summary formats, data analysis tools (including statistical analysis), reports generation, report publication and distribution requirements, and interfaces with other EPA databases.
How Will The Public Benefit From the NPRD?
The NPRD will improve the representation of residues in the food supply by providing pesticide risk assessors with more samples, and will provide better data quality due to standardized reporting requirements. In addition, the database will improve our risk assessment capabilities in the areas of minor uses, geographic subpopulations, exposure to multiple chemicals with a common mechanism of toxicity, and probability distributions within a population. The database could also serve as a clearing house for information requests from Congress, environmental groups, schools of health, and other interested members of the public.
For Further Information
If you would like more information about the NPRD, please contact Susan Hummel, 703-305-7689, Health Effects Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
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updated May 17, 1998