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Methods, Models, Tools, and Databases for Health Research


  • Virtual Embryo Project
    EPA's Virtual Embryo (v-EmbryoTM) research project is developing predictive techniques to improve the understanding of how environmental influences might impact unborn children. 
  • Virus Methods
    (EPA Manual of Methods for Virology) The manual (EPA 600-4-84-013) describes in detail procedures for detecting viruses in environmental samples. Revised and new chapters include:
    • Chapter 12. Identification of Enteroviruses
    • Chapter 13. Data Analysis and Experimental Design (not yet available in PDF format)
    • Chapter 14. Concentration and Processing of Waterborne Viruses by Positive Charge 1MDS Cartridge Filters and Organic Flocculation
    • Chapter 15. Total Culturable Virus Quantal Assay
    • Chapter 16. Procedures for Detecting Coliphages


  • Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) Model
    CMAQ is an air quality model and software suite designed to model multiple pollutants at multiple scales. CMAQ allows regulatory agencies and state governments to evaluate the impact of air quality management decisions, and gives scientists the ability to probe, simulate, and understand chemical and physical interactions in the atmosphere.
  • Framework for Risk Analysis of Multi-Media Environmental Systems (FRAMES)
    FRAMES is a software-based modeling system that takes collections of models and modeling tools and applies them to real world problems. FRAMES facilitates communication between models, supporting the passage of data that helps simulate complex environmental processes. The tool has been used in EPA assessments in support of the Hazardous Waste Identification Rule, which establishes contaminant concentration levels in industrial waste streams that are considered safe for disposal.
  • Fused Air Quality Surfaces using Downscaling
    Based on statistical modeling research in the development of fused space-time predictive surfaces for air quality, this model provides access to the most recent daily O3 and PM2.5 surfaces. As new and improved statistical models become available, we plan to continually update these surfaces.
  • Fused Discrete Air Quality Surfaces
    This model provides access to discrete, daily O3 and PM2.5 predictive surfaces. Here, a space-time hierachical Bayesian model is used to fuse daily ozone (8-hr maximum) monitoring data from the National Air Monitoring Stations/State and Local Air Monitoring Stations (NAMS/SLAMS) with gridded output from the Models-3/Community Multi-Scale Air Quality Model (CMAQ).
    The HYGEIA model predicts the effects of climate change induced heat stress on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Using census block data the model assesses the vulnerability of various demographic groupings over time and space, and predicts morbidity and mortality under future climate conditions and under conditions that mitigate climate extremes. The model is currently undergoing further development to address the effects of airborne particulate matter on cardio-pulmonary functions and adverse outcomes.
  • Stochastic Human Exposure & Dose Simulation Multimedia Model v 3 (SHEDS-Multimedia v3) 
    SHEDS-Multimedia v 3 is a physically-based, probabilistic exposure model for residential exposure scenarios. The model estimates distributions of exposures in human populations and uncertainties in the estimates through a two-stage Monte Carlo approach. Running the application requires the SAS software; it has an optional graphical user interface (GUI). A simple dose estimating model is included in the model, but the exposure results can also be output and used in other dose estimation models such as ERDEM.

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  • Children's Exposure Factors Handbook - 2011 edition
    The Exposure Factors Handbook summarizes data on drinking water consumption, inhalation rates, and other factors that influence subject exposure to environmental contaminants. Recommended values are for the general population and also for various segments of the population who may have characteristics different from the general population. EPA has tried to include full discussions of the issues that assessors should consider in deciding how to use these data and recommendations.
  • Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool (C-FERST)
    C-FERST is a tool for individual communities to take a more in-depth assessment of exposures to pollutants and potentially related environmental health problems. It is a community mapping, information access and assessment tool designed to help assess risks in a community at a screening level. This tool includes data and guidance to help identify and prioritize the numerous community environmental health issues to help inform decisions relevant to communities, including Environmental Justice (EJ) populations. This tool can complement EJ screening tools designed to identify EJ communities; C-FERST provides a variety of sources of information for a given community to learn more about their issues and potential solutions.
  • Eco-Health Relationship Browser
    This interactive tool, part of the EnviroAtlas, provides information about major ecosystems, the services they provide, and how those services, or their degradation and loss, may affect 30+ specific health outcomes. The tool helps illustrate the linkages between human health and ecosystem services, the benefits supplied by nature. It includes an extensive bibliography.
  • Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program 21 (EDSP21) Dashboard
    The EDSP21 Dashboard is designed to help EPA’s EDSP evaluate chemicals for endocrine-related activity. The EDSP21 Dashboard provides access to new chemical data on over 1,800 chemicals of interest.
  • EnviroAtlas
    EnviroAtlas is a publicly available, interactive web-based tool that states, communities and citizens can use to help inform policy and planning decisions. The tool allows users to view, analyze and download information related to ecosystem goods and services for the mainland United States. “Ecosystem goods and services” refers to the benefits derived by people from nature. They include direct benefits (e.g., catching fish from lakes), as well as indirect benefits (e.g., denitrification of runoff by stream buffer vegetation). Although EnviroAtlas is organized around an ecosystem services framework, many of the maps could be used in decisions faced by communities regularly. Users can explore maps and other visuals of the benefits their communities reap from nature, and learn how these benefits can be conserved and enhanced for a more sustainable future. A key benefit of the ecosystem services framework is the ability to view or “stack” multiple ecosystem services simultaneously, which will allow decision-makers to visualize trade-offs when making decisions.
  • Health Impact Assessment
    A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a decision-making tool that asks how proposed decisions may impact health and well-being in a community. HIAs consider potential consequences of decisions, include input from people impacted by the decision, consider different types of evidence, and provide timely recommendations to decision-makers. A review was conducted of 81 HIAs from the U.S. to obtain a clear picture of how HIAs are being implemented nationally and to identify potential areas for improving the HIA community of practice.
  • Human Well-Being Index (HWBI) (PDF)
    The HWBI is intended to be used as a sustainability indicator for evaluating the provisioning of ecosystem, economic, and social services in a predictive modeling framework, allowing decision makers to use alternate scenarios to assess potential impact on communities. 
  • <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.epa.gov/microbes/mpn.html>Most Probable Number (MPN) Software Program
    MPN calculates the most probable number and confidence limits values. The MPN Calculator integrates into a single file and replaces the old DOS-based MPN.exe and MPNV.exe programs. Use of the latter was required by Section VIII of the ICR Microbial Laboratory Manual.
  • Sequence Alignment to Predict Across-species Susceptibility (SeqAPASS)
    SeqAPASS is a web-based tool that allows the user to begin to understand how broadly High Throughput Screening (HTS) data or Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) constructs may plausibly be extrapolated across species, while describing the relative intrinsic susceptibility of different taxa to chemicals with known modes of action (e.g., pharmaceuticals and pesticides). The tool was designed to automate and streamline the relatively complex and time-consuming process of comparing protein sequences in a consistent, logical, and criteria driven manner intended for predicting across species susceptibility to a chemical perturbation. To define the domain of applicability and enhance the utility of the SeqAPASS tool, multiple case studies have been explored, including the derivation of predictions for across species susceptibility to chemicals that target the human estrogen receptor, bovine androgen receptor, mosquito voltage-gated sodium channel, fungus cytochrome P450 51, and honey bee nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. SeqAPASS is will be released later this year under as open-source program.
  • Supercomputer for Model Uncertainty and Sensitivity Evaluation (SuperMUSE)
    SuperMUSE enhances quality assurance in environmental models and applications. With SuperMUSE, EPA can now better investigate new and existing uncertainty analysis (UA) and sensitivity analysis (SA) methods. EPA can also more easily achieve UA/SA of complex, Windows-based environmental models, allowing scientists to conduct analyses that have, to date, been impractical to consider.
  • Tribal-Focused Environmental Risk and Sustainability Tool (T-FERST)
    T-FERST is a community mapping, information access, and assessment tool designed to assess risk and assist in decision making within tribal communities.

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  • Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) Wiki Exit
    The AOP Wiki is a conceptual framework that shows existing knowledge concerning the linkage between a chemical interacting with a biological process, a direct molecular initiating event, and an adverse human or environmental health risk. The goal of an AOP is to provide the framework that connects the events of the chemical interaction that starts a molecular initiating event and leads to an adverse health outcome. It is important to understand and map AOPs to be able to use high-throughput toxicological data, such as those available from the ToxCast program, for chemical risk assessments and regulatory decisions. Information used to help develop AOPs comes from in vitro data, animal toxicity studies and computational systems. AOPs allow scientists to connect results from the in-vitro tools and rapid screening protocols to actual adverse outcomes.  
  • Consolidated Human Activity Database (CHAD)
    CHAD is intended to be an input file for exposure/intake dose modeling and/or statistical analysis. It contains data obtained from existing human activity studies that were collected at city, state, and national levels. CHAD is a master database providing access to other human activity databases using a consistent format. 
  • ExpoCast Database
    ExpoCast consolidates observational human exposure data and links to ACToR, ToxCast DB, and ToxRef DB to help make high-throughput exposure predictions.
  • Health & Environmental Research Online (HERO)
    HERO provides access to scientific literature used to support EPA’s integrated science assessments.

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