The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced the public release of ToxCast Phase II screening data on 1,800 chemicals currently found in a wide variety of industrial, consumer, food, and drug products.  Along with the data, EPA is presenting a new interactive “Dashboard” that allows easy public access to the data.

The Toxicity Forecaster – or “ToxCast” – screening program was launched by the EPA in 2007 to develop cost-effective, automated in vitro and computational methods for screening chemicals for potential toxicological activity and prioritizing chemicals for further testing.  The screening program uses an extensive battery of more than 800 in vitro assays to generate a comprehensive activity profile for each chemical in the ToxCast library.

In addition, the EPA is announcing a series of ToxCast Chemical Data Challenges that will invite researchers to use ToxCast data in developing or refining methods to predict potential health effects.  Challenge winners will receive monetary awards.  These challenge grants are designed to move beyond chemical prioritization, to replacing the use of animals in predicting toxicological outcomes– the future of ToxCast.