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EPA Releases Improved Modeling Tool to Estimate Health Effects from Chemicals

For Release: January 8, 2021

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated and improved version of  OncoLogic™, a system used to evaluate a chemical’s potential to cause cancer. EPA, in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), developed a more user-friendly version of the most widely used piece of this system, greatly expanding its usability across the agency and the scientific community.

The updated module of this tool (version 9.0) is used to analyze organic chemicals, the largest group of chemicals contained in this tool, features:

  • A streamlined interface that does not require expert knowledge to navigate;
  • A standardized reporting format that allows users to quickly view and export results; and
  • Increased transparency in the science behind the predictions provided by the model. 

OncoLogic™ is one of many publicly available assessment methods, databases, and predictive tools developed by EPA to estimate hazard to humans and the environment, particularly in the absence of test data. These tools and models support EPA analyses in implementing programs and regulations like the Toxic Substances Control Act, and help external users assess and manage chemical risks. Version 8.0 will remain available to the public, which continues to include modules for fibers, metals and polymers.

To download the OncoLogic™ model, visit: https://www.epa.gov/tsca-screening-tools/oncologictm-computer-system-evaluate-carcinogenic-potential-chemicals

Background

OncoLogic™ is a peer-reviewed predictive system that analyzes chemical structures to determine the likelihood that they might cause cancer. The model can evaluate more than 52 classes of organic chemicals as well as fibers, metals, and polymers.

The OncoLogic™ model works by analyzing chemical and use information submitted by a user and then follows a set of knowledge rules based on decades of research on how chemicals cause cancer in animals and humans including the known carcinogenicity of chemicals with similar chemical structures, information on mechanisms of action, short-term predictive tests, epidemiological studies, and expert judgment.  It then constructs an estimation of the carcinogenicity potential of the chemical, assigning a baseline concern level for a chemical ranging from low to high.