Scientists and regulators wishing to carry out detailed environmental risk assessments and other modelling work, require highly complex data on the substances they’re interested in, if appropriate decisions are to be made, policies developed and scientific advances made.
However, identifying reliable data can be a tedious and time consuming process, as there’s rarely a single, comprehensive and reliable source available. One key area in which such work is being done around the world, relates to the environmental fate of chemicals used in agriculture. Pesticides have come in for considerable attention over recent years, and there is now a growing recognition that the veterinary products used to treat livestock, also have the potential to result in considerable environmental and ecological impacts.
Consequently, the Agricultural & Environment Research Unit (AERU) in the School of Life Sciences has recently launched an online database of physicochemical and toxicological data for veterinary pharmaceuticals that brings together published data from a wide range of sources in a single site. The Veterinary Substances DataBase (VSDB) complements their existing Pesticide Properties DataBase (PPDB) service, and is fast becoming a global leader in the field, having been used people in 31 different countries in the first week of operation.