New data and tools added to ECETOC’s Human Exposure Assessment Tools Database


ECETOC’s Human Exposure Assessment Tools Database (heatDB), has been enhanced with new data and tools as part of its annual update.

The latest update covers the period from June 2018, where the previous heatDB update stopped, until the end of 2019. It adds 19 new data sources and six new tools, bringing the database totals to 252 data sources and 52 tools. Future updates will aim to be synchronised with the calendar year.

The new data were mainly sourced using the search engine PubMed, provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Biomonitoring and chemical occurrence data were the most common categories of new data sources, with the most common product categories being food and cosmetics & personal care products.

The new tools vary regarding the type of assessment they provide. One of them, ExpoQual, is used for evaluating data, rather than for performing exposure assessments. Of the others, four provide Tier 2 assessments, while the fifth provides Tier 1.

Before being added to the heatDB, expert teams reviewed each new data source and tool in each of the product categories for content, relevance and overall quality.

heatDB collects all publicly available sources of human exposure data, as well as assessment tools, then structures and categorises them into a harmonised system. Freely available on the ECETOC website, it enables chemical safety assessors to review quickly what data sources and tools are available for any given purpose, then provides guidance on their appropriate use using a tiering system.

The database covers biomonitoring, cosmetics and personal care, foods, generic human exposure factors, household products and other consumer products.

Users can register free of charge, then login and use the heatDB as required. The database includes a highly responsive search engine which provides instant results, as well as a message board where users can leave suggestions for improvements or identify new data sources and tools to include in future versions.

ECETOC Secretary General Olivier de Matos said: “At ECETOC, we work with leading scientists from academia, governments and industry to answer crucial questions about chemical safety and so develop practical applications to solve scientific challenges that benefit the regulatory community and society in general. The heatDB, which we share freely on our website, is a great example of how we do this.”