General Information on the Portal
eChemPortal provides free public access to information on chemical properties and direct links to collections of information prepared for government chemical review programmes at national, regional, and international levels. Access to information on existing chemicals, new industrial chemicals, pesticides and biocides is provided. eChemPortal also makes available national/regional classification results according to national / regional hazard classification schemes or according to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). In addition, eChemPortal provides also exposure and use information on chemicals.
The Vision is for eChemPortal to be the preferred worldwide source of information about chemicals from authorities and international organisations. See the Vision Statement.
A brochure providing further details on the eChemPortal project can be downloaded and disseminated.
The eChemPortal is an effort of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in collaboration with the European Commission (EC), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the United States, Canada, Japan, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC), the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and environmental non-governmental organisations.
eChemPortal is a significant step towards achieving long-standing international commitments to identify and make information on chemical properties publicly available.
In June 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil addressed the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals [Chapter 19], covering the "information exchange on toxic chemicals and chemical risks…" [Paragraph 4c].
In September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development encouraged the "development of coherent and integrated information on chemicals…" [Paragraph 23f].
The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) at Forum IV in Bangkok in November 2003 adopted a priority for action on improving the availability of hazard data on chemicals and invited the OECD, among others, to undertake certain tasks in this regard. The OECD initiated an activity to develop a globally accessible data repository for hazard data, assessments and other information to assist countries and others with hazard identification and national priority setting on existing chemicals: eChemPortal.
eChemPortal is also a contribution to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and especially its recommendation to "Facilitate public access to appropriate information and knowledge of chemicals throughout their life cycle...".
The main objectives of eChemPortal are:
1) To make this information on existing chemicals publicly available and free of charge.
2) To enable quick and efficient use of this information.
3) To enable efficient exchange of this information.
Though the eChemPortal web site exists in English, eChemPortal recognises chemical names or synonyms in several languages.
Developed in Phases
eChemPortal was first launched in 2007. This first phase allowed users to search on substances by substance ID (name or identification number). Originally focusing on hazard information of existing chemicals, the scope was expanded to include new industrial chemicals, pesticides and biocides, risk assessments and classifications according to GHS.
eChemPortal also offered links to a greater number of data sources as data sources became new participants in the eChemPortal project.
eChemPortal was then re-developed in 2010 to allow searches not only by substance name and identification number but also by chemical property. Users can select specific search criteria for chemical endpoint properties. As with the search by substance, search results offer links to the complete data set in the participating data sources’ local systems. In order to provide this search, data sources submit and eChemPortal stores property data in the OECD Harmonised Template format.
A search by GHS classification was added to eChemPortal in 12 June 2015. This search allows users, for an individual chemical, to view GHS classifications which have undergone a review by a regulatory body or intergovernmental organisation and offers direct links to the full information in the participating data sources.
OECD Harmonised Templates for Reporting Chemical Test Summaries
As a first step to create a consistent way of reporting information of study reports across regulatory programmes, OECD agreed Harmonised Templates for reporting a summary of the results of a test on a chemical to determine its properties or effects on human health and the environment (e.g., hydrolysis, skin irritation, repeat dose toxicity, etc.). The template’s corresponding XML schema enables electronic exchange between IT systems implemented with the template. This electronic exchange is the basis for the data structure of eChemPortal.