January 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 2)
Strong Points: User guide, clear definition of data included in database
Weak Points: Some searches yield too many results to view in browser
It is no great secret that there exist many chemicals that pose a health threat to plants and animals. If you’re wondering just what those chemicals are, or what exactly particular chemicals may do to living organisms, then ECOTOX is the website for you. The ECOTOX (short for ECOTOXICOLOGY) database is a service of the Environmental Protection Agency and combines three previously independent databases: AQUIRE, PHYTOTOX, and TERRETOX. The website offers users two options to search the database: a quick database query and an advanced database query. (With the former, all of the parameters are set within a single page; with the latter, users are stepped through multiple search forms to specify a greater number of parameters.) A quick-start user guide is provided on the website, as is a very informative “limitations” page that details the types of data that are included and excluded from the database.