Pharos Adds Hazard Data For 26,000 Previously Uncharacterized Chemicals

Michel Dedeo | July 2018 | Newsletter

The Pharos Chemical and Material Library, our flagship database, extends its reach as the unmatched tool for researching chemical hazards with the addition of hazard data for 26,000 previously uncharacterized chemicals. The bulk of this data (almost 50,000 distinct hazards for 25,000 chemicals) are modeled hazard associations using QSAR (Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship) from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. This type of computer modeled data is used extensively by the pharmaceutical industry to predict beneficial and non-beneficial impacts of chemicals. The hazard data for an additional 1,000 previously uncharacterized chemicals were submitted by manufacturers to the European Chemicals Agency under the EU law known as REACH (European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).

In “The advisory list for self classification of dangerous substances,” the DK-EPA identified almost 33,000 substances in commerce with little or no hazard data, and performed QSAR (Quantitative structure–activity relationship) computer modeling to predict what, if any, hazards are associated with these chemicals. Their goal: to help manufacturers meet their obligations to self classify the chemicals they import or produce under European CLP regulations.  

About 25,000 of the substances modeled were new to Pharos, bringing our total substances covered to over 85,000. We also added roughly 50,000 new modeled hazard associations from this list.

These classifications cover the following endpoints:

  • Mutagenicity
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Reproductive toxicity (possible harm to the unborn child)
  • Danger to the aquatic environment
  • Acute oral toxicity
  • Skin sensitisation
  • Skin irritation

This information helps fill gaps in Pharos data, making it a more robust tool. For example, 1-(Bromomethyl)-3-Phenioxybenzenen (CASRN 51632-16-7) was previously unassessed. It was on no hazard lists and had no GreenScreen list translator list warnings or score. The Swedish QSAR modeling indicates it is suspected of causing cancer, genetic defects, skin irritation, and allergic reactions, and is very toxic to aquatic life-with long lasting effects.

These advisory classifications are based on computer-model predictions of dangerous chemical properties--the so-called (Q)SARs--which have a built-in uncertainty. Statistical methods estimate that the proposals are correct in approximately 80% of the cases.

HBN is not at this time ascribing hazard levels to these new associations, only listing them as a "potential concern" for the relevant endpoints. If we discover that more reliable data exists for the endpoint for a chemical, the more reliable data will be displayed. Note that these are not currently part of the GreenScreen List Translator, so they will not appear in GreenScreen views, or affect GreenScreen scores.

The second source of hazard data we’ve added  is the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHAs) Manufacturer REACH submissions. The source of these data are the chemical registration dossiers companies are required to provide before they can manufacture or import chemicals in the EU. ECHA maintains these data in the Classification and Labelling Inventory (C&L Inventory) but does not review or verify the accuracy of the information. Because these data haven’t been reviewed or “harmonized,” we have listed them in the Data Commons and Pharos with a hazard level of “Potential Concern,” rather than “High” or “Medium,” to account for this uncertainty.

These unverified classifications use the same format as the EU H-statements (the European Union’s implementation of the GHS), such as “H341 - Suspected of causing genetic defects.” We distinguish by keeping them in a separate list, as well as by adding "(unverified)" at the end of each hazard name.

We’ve started with only a small subset of the available data in the C&L inventory. From the registered substances, we’ve incorporated hazards from submissions including at least six notifiers.* This arbitrary cutoff is intended to filter out less vetted hazard associations. Based on our research and your feedback, we may adjust this cutoff in the future. This data provides new hazard information on over 6,300 chemicals, about 1,000 of which have no other hazard listings in our system.

We are currently exploring data on additional chemicals in the C&L inventory, and look forward to your feedback on the usefulness of the list to your work.

* Notifiers are manufacturers/importers contributing to a REACH registration submission

New to Pharos? Here’s what you’ll find:

Complete Hazard Profile: Pharos provides a detailed profile of over 85,000 substances, including:

  • Hazard data across two dozen human and environmental health endpoints from 46 governmental and other scientific sources around the globe
  • GreenScreen list translator scores to identify chemicals of high concern and full assessments to identify preferable alternatives
  • Restricted substance listings (RSLs) from key government agencies and voluntary programs
  • Functional use data showing where the chemical is used
  • Compound grouping to identify substances with similar hazards
  • Process chemistry used to produce 1,257 substances

Powerful Search: A catalog of over 180,000 chemical names, trade names, CAS registry numbers, and other synonyms combines with a smart search tool that can work with spelling variations to help you find the substance you seek.

Hazard List Descriptions: Each of the 83 hazard and restricted substance lists included in Pharos is described in detail, with links to the source(s) and update data.

Common Products (CPs): These profiles list the substances most commonly present in a building product type (vinyl composition tile, for example) as delivered to building sites in North America. Every substance in a product is included because it performs some function--for example, it thickens paint, or helps carpet resist stains. The CPs include a list of the most common substances serving each function in a given product, the hazards these substances carry into a building project, and a general description of the product. CPs are based upon a wide range of publicly available information, from product declarations to patents to chemical suppliers' brochures that detail the functional uses of various additives. The CPs represent actual functional products, listing the commonly found content for each product type at the time of our research.

Certification Library: These profiles describe almost 350 certifications and standards relevant to building materials.

We welcome your comments about Pharos, the data it contains, and how we can continue to improve this important data tool. Give Pharos a free trial today.