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August 01, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 14)

EPA-IRIS Chemical Tracking System

  • Potentially VERY useful
  • Lacks effective Web implementation
Here’s a site that turned out to be something considerably different from what I thought it was when I picked it for inclusion. The title suggests that it provides some sort of tracking of chemicals through the environment (at least to me), but it turns out instead to be a tracking of the reports on various chemicals as they proceed through the EPA system. Yawn. Thus, information that might be of interest to a limited audience is aimed at an even smaller audience than I thought. Why mention it here then? Well, as I looked at it, I realized there is a potential treasure trove of data about chemicals on the pages that is just one simple step away from making the site a great one—hyperlinking. If this EPA site did for its information what the NIH does for genetic information, anyone could pull up almost anything they wanted to know about chemicals in the environment by a click of the mouse. Instead, one is directed to various reports that one must send a letter to the EPA requesting info! HELLO—this is the information age.
  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good