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ECOTOX Databases

ECOTOX | Aquatic Data | Terrestrial Data |

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ECOTOX is a comprehensive database, which provides information on adverse effects of single chemical stressors to ecologically relevant aquatic and terrestrial species. ECOTOX includes more than 400,000 test records covering 5,900 aquatic and terrestrial species and 8,400 chemicals. The primary source of ECOTOX data is the peer-reviewed literature, with test results identified through comprehensive searches of the open literature. All pertinent information on the species, chemical, test methods, and results presented by the authors are abstracted into the ECOTOX database. ECOTOX also includes third-party data collections from the EPA, U.S. Geological Survey, Russia, and OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) member nations summarizing research that is either published in non-English journals or not available in the open literature.

ECOTOX is available on EPA's public web page at http://cfpub.epa.gov/ecotox/. The web site includes links to all user support documents, frequently asked questions, and other ecotoxicology tools available on the web. The database is updated with new data on a quarterly basis.

The ECOTOX database has minimum data and browser requirements. Users should become familiar with these limitations prior to using the database.

For more information on the ECOTOX database, contact ECOTOX Support at T: (218)529-5225 or E-mail: ecotox.support@epa.gov.

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Aquatic Data

The aquatic data were originally presented in a separate EPA database called AQUIRE (AQUatic Information REtrieval). AQUIRE was established in 1981 by the EPA and was maintained by the Mid-Continent Ecology Division of the National Health and Environmental Research Laboratory. In 1995, the AQUIRE database became a component of the ECOTOX database. The aquatic data include freshwater, marine and estuarine exposures to animal and plant species. Chemical exposure must be through water, diet, injection or skin; sediment studies are not included unless a pore (or overlying) water concentration is provided. The database includes studies dating back to 1915, but the majority of the data encompass test results reported from 1970 to the present. The aquatic data were used historically for deriving structure-activity relationship to estimate the toxicity of chemicals lacking toxicity data and for the derivation of water quality criteria values. To this end, the database has focused on encoding standard calculated test endpoints, such as the LC50, that can be used to compare toxic effects across species, chemicals, and endpoints. The aquatic component does not include dose response information. If a calculated endpoint or statistically analyzed data were not presented, then the data are ranged into a single effect record.

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Terrestrial Data

The terrestrial data were originally presented in two separate EPA databases: TERRETOX (TERREstrial TOXicity) and PHYTOTOX (PHYTO TOXicity). Both TERRETOX and PHYTOTOX were developed in the mid-1980s at the National Health and Environmental Effect Research Laboratory's Western Ecology Division. In 1995, the databases became part of the ECOTOX database. The terrestrial data within ECOTOX cover plant, air-breathing mammal, bird, and invertebrate species exposed through soil, diet, injection, and skin. Air exposures are not included in the ECOTOX database. The database includes studies dating back to 1925, but the majority of the data encompass test results reported from 1970 to the present. Prior to 1995, the terrestrial data collection centered around exposures of agricultural species to herbicides and birds and laboratory rodents to pesticides and inorganic compounds. Since 1997, data used in deriving benchmarks such as ecological soil screening levels and toxicity reference values have been prioritized for inclusion in the database. In addition, an effort has been made to locate and code data for wild species rather than laboratory strains. The terrestrial component of ECOTOX includes all dose response (and calculated endpoint) information presented by the authors.

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