Guide to International Environmental Web Sites
• How to Research Science on the Internet
• Guide to Chemical, Pesticide and Toxicology Web sites
• Guide to International Environmental Websites
This page provides links to non-EPA web sites that provide additonal information. You will leave the EPA.gov domain and enter another page with more information. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of information on that non-EPA page. Providing links to a non-EPA Web site is not an endorsement of the other site or the information it contains by EPA or any of its employees. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the EPA.gov domain (see Privacy and Security Notice) may not be available at the external link.
Here's a collection of some of the best Internet science sites with a focus on the topics of chemicals, pesticides, and toxicology. Bookmarking these Web sites can give you a headstart in your research. Note: For a guide to Internet search strategies, see a second pathfinder, "How to Research Science on the Internet."
- EPA International Web sites
- International Standards Sites
- Portals to International Chemistry Data Sources
- Multi-Country Web Sites (European Union, International Conventions, Other Multi-Country Sites, OECD, UNEP, WHO, World Bank)
- Individual Country Sites
EPA International Web sites
- EPA's Office of International Affairs provides an overview of EPA's international programs and links to full-text and citation search resources in business, government, law, news, science and other categories.
- OPP International Pesticides Issues The use and regulation of pesticides has a significant international component. The goals and benefits of of EPA's international pesticide activities range from protecting the U.S. food supply to assisting developing countries to establish appropriate pesticide regulatory programs.
- OPPT International Activities The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) is an active partner with many offices in EPA, the Department of State, and with international activities of other U.S. agencies. These activities range from participation in conferences and meetings to development of agreements and negotiations promoting community right-to-know objectives, the manufacture, use, management and disposal of chemicals and heavy metals, and chemical testing.
- Harmonized test guidelines from OPPTS and OPP were developed through a process that blended EPA and OECD test guidances and requirements for chemicals.
International Standards Organizations
- ASTM, the American Society for Testing and Materials develops technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services that are used globally. EPA now subscribes to the electronic collection of ASTM standards.
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer of standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 146 countries, coordinated by a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
- IUPAC, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry is a scientific, international, non-governmental organization recognized as the world authority on chemical nomenclature, terminology, standardized methods for measurement, atomic weights and many other critically evaluated data.
- Nordic agency for development of ecotoxicological test methods (Nord-UTTE) aims at integrating the scientific and regulatory work on chemical testing in the Nordic countries.
- NSSN: A National Resource for Global Standards A database of standards-related information from a wide range of developers, including organizations accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), other U.S. private sector standards bodies, government agencies and international organizations. Administered by ANSI. Can be searched by keyword or standard number. Contains over 300,000 records.
- OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemistry are a collection of the most relevant internationally agreed testing methods used by government, industry and independent laboratories to characterize potential hazards of new and existing chemical substances and chemical preparations/mixtures.
- CEN, the European Committee for Standardization has produced over 13,000 European Standards (EN or EURONORMs) and drafts (prEN) and other standards publications. Its website provides links to its search engines for its On-line Catalogue of European Standards and an Extended search for standards and/or projects as well as a list of its latest publications.
Portals to International Chemistry Data Sources
- eChemPortal offers a free public search engine for chemical properties data submitted to multiple government chemical review programs at national, regional, and international levels.
- Portal to environmental links from Australia's Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
- ECOLEX, the gateway to environmental law combines the environmental law information holdings of FAO, IUCN and UNEP and seeks to make this information available world-wide. The ECOLEX database includes information on treaties, international soft-law and other non-binding policy and technical guidance documents, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature.
- Multi-country links to sources of chemical information from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- WHO's international portal provides links to organizations whose members have attended meetings of WHO's Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety.
Multi-country Web sites
- ECETOC (European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals) is a scientific, non-profit association, financed by 50 of Europe's leading chemical-related companies. Established to provide a scientific forum to research, review, assess and publish studies on chemical ecotoxicology and toxicology, ECETOC produces a range of reports varying in scope from JACC reports on specific chemicals, to monographs dealing with fundamental toxicological principles. Only report descriptions are available online; publications must be purchased.
- European Union's Consumer Products Safety & Quality (CPS&Q) Unit develops technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services that are used globally. Formerly known as the European Chemicals Bureau (ECB).
- European Chemical Substances Information System is a searchable set of databases from the ECB which includes EINECS (European Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances), IUCLID (International Uniform Chemical Information Database), Chemical Data Sheets, and 8 other chemical information resources.
- European Commission's Directorate General for 'Health and Consumers' follows an integrated approach to assure a high level of food safety, animal health, animal welfare and plant health within the European Union through coherent farm-to-table measures, adequate monitoring, and a focus on the effective functioning of the internal EU market.
- EC Plant Health main page contains evaluations of new and existing active ingredients used in plant protection products within the European Union. In a review process based on scientific assessments, substances are required to be tested for safety regarding human health, the environment, ecotoxicology and residues in the food chain. The review process for all active ingredients used in plant protection products within the European Union is projected to be completed by 2008.
- Existing Chemicals Data includes a link to decisions and review reports for existing active substances.
- New Active Substances provides links to reviews of new chemicals.
- EC Plant Protection Products Guidances provides guidance documents on test methods and requirements.
- Regulatory Overview for 2007 (PDF) (55 pp, 512.5K, About PDF) is a report that describes the current status of the EC Plant Protection committee's work.
- Maximum Residue Levels for Pesticides for the European Commission (PDF) (758 pp, 1.46M, About PDF) is a 758 page document, updated on November 3, 2004, with data taken from the EC's Official Journal, which is considered the authoritative source for these values.
- Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a program sponsored by the 56 member nations of the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to develop an internationally-harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemicals. The second revised edition of the GHS was published in January 2008.
International Conventions on Chemicals
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty (entered into force on May 17, 2004) to protect human health and the environment from POPs. Participating governments will take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. This website links to conference proceedings and other related reports.
- Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade entered into force on February 24, 2004. Governments started to address the global spread of toxic chemicals in the 1980s by establishing a voluntary Prior Informed Consent procedure. PIC required exporters trading in a list of hazardous substances to obtain the prior informed consent of importers before proceeding with the trade. The Rotterdam Convention strengthens the procedure by making PIC legally binding.
Other Multi-Country Agencies
- International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) is an international partnership of government and non-government enforcement and compliance practitioners from more than 150 countries aimed at promoting effective environmental compliance and enforcement of domestic environmental laws and international environmental agreements.
- International Maximum Residue Limit Database, was developed with funds from the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service by CropLife America and AgriChem Data Service to help U.S. growers and exporters identify MRL tolerances for specialty crops they wish to export. Includes a list of MRL tolerances by active ingredient from 70 countries, the European Union and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). Searchable by crop, pesticide active ingredient and pesticide type. Covers over 300 commodities, 272 EPA-approved pesticides, and 426 pesticide and veterinary drug residue tolerances. Note that U.S. MRL values are currently being reviewed and updated by EPA's Office of Pesticide Products and U.S. values in this database may not be accurate.
- PAN Pesticides Database, developed by PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America), is a one-stop location for current toxicity and regulatory information for pesticides. Its International Pesticide Registration database can be searched by chemical or country.
- IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. It helps develop conservation science, manages field projects all over the world, and brings together players from different domains and sectors to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.
- IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has as its mission the coordination and implementation of research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and scientific strategies for cancer control.
- INCHEM, the international chemical safety information database, is a joint project of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). It provides rapid access to internationally peer reviewed information on chemicals commonly used throughout the world, which may also occur as contaminants in the environment and food; and consolidates information from a number of intergovernmental organizations whose goal it is to assist in the sound management of chemicals.
- International Occupational Safety & Health Information Centre (CIS) , a program of the International Labor Organization (ILO), aims to ensure that workers and everyone concerned with their protection have access to the facts they need to prevent occupational injuries and diseases. Its CISDOC/CISILO bibliographic database contains about 65,000 citations of documents that deal with occupational accidents and diseases as well as ways of preventing them. Its ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety contains over 1,000 articles on all aspects of the multidisciplinary field of occupational safety and health.
- International Chemical Safety Cards , an International Labor Organization product, presents occupational safety and health information in sixteen languages.
OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
- Environment Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development provides governments with the analytical basis to develop policies that are effective and economically efficient, through country performance reviews, data collection, policy analysis, projections and modelling, and the development of common approaches.
- OECD Workshop on the Economics of Pesticide Risk Reduction in Agriculture (PDF) (44 pp, 125K, About PDF) is a report of a 2001 workshop held in Copenhagen. The purpose of the workshop was to create an opportunity for government policy makers, economists, farmers, and other agricultural experts to exchange information about methods to analyse the costs and benefits of pest management and pesticide use in agriculture, and ways to use such assessments to support pesticide risk reduction.
- OECD Database on Pesticide/Biocide Reviews can be searched by country, pesticide, or CAS number.
- OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice and Compliance Monitoring consists of 15 documents that set forth how tests of the safety of chemicals and preparations are to be done and how compliance with these approved lab practices is to be monitored.
- OECD Global Approach to the Regulation of Chemical Pesticides: A Vison for the Future (PDF) (5 pp, 58.5K, About PDF) is a short document outlining OECD's ideas for future pesticide management.
- Obsolete Pesticides , is a report of a September 2000 OECD-FAO-UNEP Workshop, organised jointly with FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Working Party on the Environment. The workshop report describes the problem of obsolete pesticide stocks in developing countries and economies in transition, and recommends ways to eliminate these stocks and avoid the accumulation of new ones.
UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme
- Infoterra is UNEP's global environmental information exchange network. It provides links to Infoterra affiliates around the world and to publications, databases and other environmental information resources.
- UNEP's Chemical Programme is the center for all chemicals-related activities of the United Nations Environment Programme with the goal of making the world a safer place from toxic chemicals.
- UNEP Global Mercury Assessment Report is a 2003 global assessment of mercury and mercury compounds, in cooperation with other members of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC). Based on the key findings of this report, UNEP's Governing Council concluded that there was sufficient evidence of significant global adverse impacts from mercury and its compounds to warrant further international action to reduce the risks to human health and the environment.
- UNEP's homepage is a global portal to authoritative environmental information based on themes and regions.
- SIDS (Screening Information DataSet) for High Volume Production (HVP) Chemicals is a UNEP publication that contains a dataset of reports (sometimes called SIDS Dossiers), searchable by CAS number and chemical name, on high production volume chemicals that have been evaluated for health and environmental risks by the OECD HPV Chemicals Programme. OECD posts a listing of final, pre-publication drafts of new SIDS dossiers that have not yet been added to the UNEP SIDS dataset.
WHO, World Health Organization
- Inter-organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC),administered by WHO, was established in 1995 to strengthen cooperation and increase coordination in the field of chemical safety.
- IPCS (International Programme on Chemical Safety) a joint program of three Cooperating Organizations - WHO, ILO and UNEP - that is administered by WHO, seeks to establish the scientific basis for safe use of chemicals, and to strengthen national capabilities and capacities for chemical safety. This homepage links to reports on chemical assessment, chemical incidents and emergencies, and principles for the safety and toxicological assessments of food additives and contaminants in food.
- Endocrine Disruptors provides links to these related reports: "Endocrine Disruptors: Research Needs and Future Directions" and "Global assessment of the state-of-the-science of endocrine disruptors."
Joint Programs: WHO, FAO & Other Organizations
- CODEX , the Codex Alimentarius Commission, was created in 1963 by FAO (the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization) and WHO (the World Health Organization) to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. Individual countries may use these standards as guidelines or develop stricter national standards. The "OFFICIAL STANDARDS" pull down menu at the top of the page contains links to a list of and search engine for all current standards; search engines for Maximum Residue Limits for pesticides and veterinary drugs in various foods; and the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) Online Database.
- Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) is an alliance of all stakeholders concerned with the sound management of chemicals operating on the basis of full and open participation of all partners.
- International Portal on Food Safety, Animal & Plant Health developed by FAO in association with Codex Alimentarius, the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) Secretariat and OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), provides official information on food safety, animal and plant health relevant to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement. It contains 50 relevant data sets, consisting of approximately 35,000 records (and expanding), linked to international and national laws, regulations, standards, guidelines and recommended codes of practice; trade notifications; maximum residue limits; risk analyses; contact points for international organizations and agreements; and supporting documentation like evaluations, reports and standard specifications.
- IPCS Chemical Assessment , provides consensus scientific descriptions of the risks of chemical exposures through assessment reports and other documents. These include Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICADs), documents that provide summaries of the relevant scientific information concerning the potential effects of chemicals upon human health and/or the environment; Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) documents that review specific chemicals (or groups of related chemicals) and risk assessment methodologies; and links to other related documents on the ILO, WHO and INCHEM websites.
- JEFCA , the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Committee on Food Additives, provides toxicological evaluations of food additives and contaminants and of residues of veterinary drugs in food. These evaluations are used by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and national governments to set international food standards and safe levels for protection of the consumer.
- JMPR , the WHO/FAO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues, composed of the FAO Panel of Experts on Pesticide Residues in Food and the Environment and the WHO Core Assessment Group, provides reviews of residues and analytical aspects of the pesticides under consideration, including data such as acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) of pesticides, and JMPR Monographs of toxicological evaluations
World Bank Reports
- Eliminating obsolete pesticides in Africa describes various initiatives to clean up or safely dispose of several thousand tons of obsolete pesticides which have accumulated throughout Africa. This page also links to Web sites of advocacy organizations, such as the Africa Stockpiles Programme.
- Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook was approved in 1998 for use in World Bank Group operations. As of April 30, 2007, new versions of the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines replace those documents previously published in Part III of the Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook.
- Phasing Out Lead from Gasoline (PDF), (57 pp, 2.1M, About PDF) Worldwide Experience and Policy Implications, is a World Bank Technical Paper from the Pollution Management Series.
- Overcoming Agricultural Water Pollution in the European Union outlines issues of agricultural water pollution caused by the intensification of agricultural practices, such as the growing use of fertilizers and pesticides, and the specialization and concentration of crop and livestock production.
Individual Country Web sites
- Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts develops and implements national policy, programs and legislation to protect and conserve Australia's natural environment and cultural heritage and to promote Australian arts and culture.
- Australian regional environmental agencies can be accessed from this portal.
- South Australia Department for Environment and Heritage works for the conservation, protection and enhancement of South Australia's environmental resources and natural and built heritage.
- South Australia Environmental Protection Authority is the state's primary environmental regulator, responsible for the protection of air and water quality, and the control of pollution, waste, noise and radiation. Its Publications List page includes links to its Guidelines for Responsible Pesticide Use (PDF) (34 pp, 1.63M, About PDF) and other pesticide-related documents.
- Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation has the lead responsibility for protecting and conserving the State's environment. The Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia is an independent authority that formulates policies and environmental impact assessments -- including its State of the Environment Report: Western Australia 2007 - as part of its advisory role to the State's Minister for the Environment.
- New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change regulates environmental, climate change, natural resource and cultural heritage issues for NSW.
- National Chemical Information Gateway is a comprehensive portal designed to help users quickly find relevant information about chemicals and Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies that have a responsibility or an interest in chemical management.
- NICNAS, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme, the Australian Government's regulator of industrial chemicals, publishes extremely useful chemical assessments online.
- Environment Canada has a mandate to preserve and enhance the quality of the natural environment, including water, air and soil quality; conserve Canada's renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna; conserve and protect Canada's water resources; carry out meteorology; enforce the rules made by the Canada-United States International Joint Commission relating to boundary waters; and coordinate environmental policies and programs for the federal government.
- Existing Substances Evaluation Branch of Environment Canada, assesses ecological risk assessment for existing substances, determining the list of priority substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999) and implements other CEPA 1999 initiatives including categorizing and screening substances listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL); cooperating and developing information exchange procedures with Canadian provinces and territories and with Member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and enforcing the Toxic Substances Management Policy (TSMP)
- Environment Canada's New Substances Program is responsible for administering the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) [NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers)] and the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) [NSNR (Organisms)] of CEPA 1999. Its website is designed to help individuals and companies to comply with CEPA's new substance notification requirements. Its Substances Lists page provides links to lists and search engines that help users to determine whether a substance they intend to import or manufacture is new for the purposes of CEPA 1999.
- Health Canada is the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. Its Environmental and Workplace Health page provides links to information and advice on some of the most common environmental factors that affect human health: air, noise, soil and water pollution, climate change, environmental contaminants, occupational health and safety, pest control and radiation.
- Priority Substances Assessment Program, a shared responsibility of Environment Canada and Health Canada, identifies substances to be assessed on a priority basis to determine whether they pose a significant risk to the health of Canadians or to the environment. Its website provides links to assessment reports for chemicals on the First Priority Substances List (PSL1) and the Second Priority Substances List (PSL2).
- Pest Management Regulation Agency (PMRA), a division of Health Canada, is the federal agency responsible for the regulation of pest control products in Canada.
- The Advisory Committee on Existing Chemicals of Environmental Relevance (BUA) was established as a committee of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) to assess existing production chemicals for their risk to health and the environment and to publish their investigation results as BUA reports. Cover sheets, tables of contents, and summaries for BUA Reports numbered: 53 through 99, and 139 and up are available for free.
- Japan Existing Chemical Data Base(JECDB) provides a compilation of Toxicity Testing Reports of Environmental Chemicals that were prepared by Chemical Investigation Promoting Council in collaboration with scientists from National Institute of Heath Sciences and other institutes. The Chemical Substances Tested page has existing chemicals with high production volumes. Abstracts of the test results are in English; the toxicity test reports themselves are in Japanese.
- Environmental Protection Authority determines what new organisms and hazardous substances can be introduced into New Zealand, including genetically modified organisms.
- Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is a central environmental authority under the Swedish Government whose main tasks are to coordinate and promote environmental work on both a national and international level.
- KEMI, the Swedish National Chemicals Inspectorate, a supervisory authority under the Ministry of the Environment that works to attain a non-toxic environment, promotes legislation and rules that contribute to achieving environmental quality, approves pesticides, assesses chemicals, keeps a products register, and checks company compliance with applicable regulations. The KEMI website provides guidance for English-speaking users of its Swedish-language Databases and links to other Swedish environmental agencies.
- Substances in Preparations in Nordic Countries (SPIN) provides data on the use of chemicals substances in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and is financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers, with data supplied by each nation's Product Registries.
- Persistence pays: lower risks from pesticides in Sweden , written by KEMI staff and posted by the Pesticides Action Network/UK, reports on the strategies and results of Sweden's efforts to use government policies to reduce pesticide use and to lessen risks to health and the environment.
- Managing POPs in Sweden is a paper delivered at the July 2004 UNEP Sub-regional Workshop in Bangkok (PDF) (99 pp, 9.5M, About PDF) , held to develop "Action Plans for PCBs and Dioxins/Furans under the Stockholm Convention on POPs."
- The Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, provides expert advice on the science behind hazardous chemicals from scientists in the fields of medicine, chemistry, ecotoxicology and other fields of science that provide a valuable contribution to the successful risk management of chemicals.
- British Food Standards Agency (FSA) is an independent food safety watchdog set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food. The FSA conducts Food surveys to protect consumer safety and to inform consumers about the authenticity and nutritional quality of foods available in the UK.