EPA Database Illuminates Ecological Effects of Toxics

December 4, 2013

Environmental journalists who want to explore the impacts of toxic substances on wildlife, fish, and plants can get help from a little-known EPA database.

ECOTOX, online and searchable, has gotten better over the years, making it useful for reporters as well as scientists. It indexes a wealth of scientific studies on ecological effects of toxic chemicals — as opposed to human health effects.

For example, if you want to learn about any possible reproductive impact of atrazine (a widely used agricultural herbicide which is often found in surface water and believed to be an endocrine disruptor) on toads and frogs — then ECOTOX will hook you up with scores of studies. Those could be one starting point for further reporting.

The general portal for ECOTOX is here and you can start a quick query here.

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