CHEMICAL STANDARDS DATABASE HELP MANUAL

 

H. Wilkinson

Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Howbery Park, Wallingford, OXON OX10 8BJ

Tel: +44 (1491) 828541

Email: helen.wilkinson@environment-agency.gov.uk

 

Summary

The Chemical Standards Database has been created as a free, single point of access to chemical standards and the information relating to the driving forces behind them. It is intended as a tool to support Environment Agency staff and as a reference source for external users.

This manual provides information on how to navigate around the database and use the search and user profile functions. It also indicates the capabilities of the database.

 

Contents

Access

Basic Navigation

Viewing the Database Content

Searching the Database

User Profile

Updates

More Help? Tips and Feedback

Exiting the Database

 

Access (go back to Contents)

The Chemical Standards Database (hereafter referred to as ‘the database’) is online and available via

http://evidence.environment-agency.gov.uk/chemicalstandards/

It can be accessed by both Environment Agency staff and external users via this hyperlink. Staff using an Environment Agency computer can access the database directly without entering any log in information. External users are required to log in first. Log in requires a username and password that are chosen by the user when registering. Enter these on the log in screen (shown below) and then click on the Log in button to enter the database.

 

 

If you need to register, click on the register new user hyperlink on the log in screen (see above). The form below should appear where you can enter your details.

Note: You are able to choose your own username and password.

 

 

Once the form has been completed, click the Submit button at the bottom of the form. Successful registration should take you back to the log in screen.

Registration is also required to set up a user profile. Registered users will be sent newsletters when major updates are made to the database outlining any changes to the content or improvements to the interface.

 

Basic Navigation (go back to Contents)

When navigating around the database, the menu that appears on the left-hand side of the page will always be visible.

 

On entering the database, the first page shown is the Introduction page:

 

 

The Introduction gives an overview of what standards are and why they are derived. The terms Driver and Sub-driver, used within the database, are also defined here. The page has explanatory notes and hyperlinks to the lists of chemicals, Drivers, and Sub-drivers that are included.

This page will also indicate which major version of the database is being viewed and the date that it was uploaded (highlighted in red below):

 

 

The other hyperlinks on the left-hand side allow the user to view the content of the database, search the database, check any recent changes that have been made (see Updates), view their user profile, or access the help manual.

 

Viewing the Database Content (go back to Contents)

The content of the database can be accessed using the hyperlinks on the left-hand side of the page. These allow access to the following:

 

Chemical Standards listed by name

Chemical Standards listed by CAS

Drivers listed by title

Sub-drivers listed by title

Chemical Standards listed by medium

 

These hyperlinks can be used to drill down to individual Driver reports, Sub-driver reports, and Chemical Standards reports.

 

Note: For the purposes of this database only, the terms ‘Driver’ and ‘Sub-driver’ are used to denote the various legislative instruments and priority lists behind groups of standards. Every standard will have a corresponding Driver. A Sub-driver is a further legislative instrument or initiative that is as a result of a Driver.

For example, the Freshwater Fish Directive created at an EU level is referred to as a Driver as it is the driving force behind a number of standards intended to protect fish life. The UK implemented this Directive with the Surface Waters (Fishlife) (Classification) Regulations 1997, which are referred to as a sub-driver as they were developed in response to the Directive.

 

Clicking on the Chemical Standards listed by name hyperlink takes the user to the following page:

 

 

The chemicals generally appear in alphabetical order. Where a chemical’s name begins with the combination of a locant (numerical prefix) and opening parenthesis and/or another locant, the chemical will appear at the top of the list in a numerical order.

The list supports simple and common synonyms, so the user can find their chemical of interest using their preferred nomenclature.

Clicking on a chemical name will take the user to the complete list of that chemical’s standards (see Chemical Standards reports).

 

Clicking on the Chemical Standards listed by CAS hyperlink takes the user to a similar page to that shown above, but where the CAS numbers appear in numerical order, independent of any hyphenation.

Clicking on the corresponding chemical name will take the user to the complete list of that chemical’s standards (see Chemical Standards reports).

 

Clicking on the Drivers listed by title hyperlink takes the user to the following page:

 

 

The Drivers appear in alphabetical order based on their full title. Shorter titles are given after the full title in brackets. If the Driver is a piece of legislation, the relevant number will appear on the right-hand side. Clicking on a particular Driver takes the user to the corresponding summary of that Driver, a list of the chemicals it covers, and any related Sub-drivers (see Driver Reports).

 

Clicking on the Sub-drivers listed by title hyperlink takes the user to a similar page to that shown above where the Sub-drivers appear in alphabetical order based on their full title. Relevant legislation numbers will appear on the right-hand side, along with those of any amendments. Clicking on a particular Sub-driver takes the user to the corresponding summary of the Sub-driver, a list of the chemicals it covers, and its related Driver (see Sub-driver reports).

 

Clicking on the Chemical Standards listed by medium hyperlink takes the user to the following page:

 

 

The box on this page with the drop-down menu allows the user to select a medium to see which chemicals are covered under that medium. When the medium of interest has been selected using the mouse cursor, a list such as the following appears:

 

 

This shows the chemicals, in alphabetical order, that have standards relating to that medium. Clicking on the corresponding chemical name will take the user to the complete list of that chemical’s standards (see Chemical Standards Reports).

Note: Media have been assigned based on the Driver to which their corresponding standards relate. Some standards for a particular media may also be covered under a broader or slightly different definition. For example, chemicals with freshwater standards may be found selecting ‘freshwater’; however, there may also be freshwater standards included under the media type ‘surface water’.

 

Chemical Standards Reports

Clicking on a hyperlinked chemical name will take the user to the list of that chemical’s standards. Hyperlinked chemical names can be found under:

 

Chemical Standards listed by name

Chemical Standards listed by CAS

Driver reports (via Drivers listed by title)

Sub-driver reports (via Sub-drivers listed by title)

Chemical Standards listed by medium

 

After clicking on a chemical name via the Chemical Standards listed by name, by CAS, or by medium pages, a page showing the chemical name, CAS number, and a list of that chemical’s standards will appear. The information included for each standard, boxed in hashed lines, is as follows:

 

Type of standard: Whether it is a UK or EU standard, a guideline value, etc.

Protection goal: What the standard is designed to protect, e.g. human health.

Environmental medium in which the standard applies: In which environmental compartment the value is valid, e.g. air.

Legal status of the standard: Whether it is a statutory or non-statutory value.

Standard values: The actual standard(s), including information as to whether they are long-term or short-term values. Any further relevant information will be footnoted here.

Notes: This includes the details of any footnotes, or other general notes relating to the standard(s).

Driver: The main driving force for this standard.

Sub-driver: The legislation/documentation under which the standard came into being, if not the Driver.

 

An example of the beginning of a Chemical Standards report is shown below:

 

 

Note: The name that appears at the top of the page is the same at that used in the original Drivers or Sub-drivers where possible. Where this is not the case, e.g. a synonym has been used or the standard may relate to a group of compounds, this deviation will be indicated in the corresponding Notes for that standard.

For this reason, clicking on a synonym to access a page of standards for a chemical may mean the name at the top will not match that just clicked on. However, the information will still relate to the same chemical.

The user can view the list of standards for a chemical by scrolling. For tips on viewing this information more readily, see More help? Tips and feedback.

 

On clicking on a chemical name via the Driver report or Sub-driver report pages, only the standards directly relating to that Driver and its Sub-driver(s) or Sub-driver, respectively, will be shown:

 

 

The page can be expanded to view all other standards relating to that chemical by clicking on the double chevron icon next to Other standards for this chemical shown at the bottom of the Chemical Standards report. Similarly, the expanded page can be then be contracted by clicking on this icon again.

 

Driver Reports

Clicking on a hyperlinked Driver title takes the user to the corresponding summary of that Driver, a list of the chemicals it covers, and a list of any related Sub-drivers. Hyperlinked Drivers can be found under:

 

Drivers listed by title

Sub-driver reports

Chemical Standards reports

 

Under each Driver report, the following information is listed:

 

The full title of the Driver followed by its short title, if available, in brackets

The corresponding number of the Driver, if available

Organisation Responsible: The body responsible for creating the legislation/documentation.

Summary: An overview of the Driver including relevant dates and definitions, its purpose, the number of chemicals covered and whether they are grouped in any way, how the standards are applied in practice, the Driver’s relationship to other legislation, and any known forthcoming changes.

Chemicals Covered by this Driver: This lists the chemicals covered by this Driver and these are hyperlinked to their corresponding Chemical Standards reports.

Sub-drivers: This lists the Sub-drivers relating to this Driver and these are hyperlinked to their corresponding Sub-driver reports.

 

An example of how the information for a Driver is displayed is shown below:

 

 

 


 

Sub-driver Reports

Clicking on a hyperlinked Sub-driver title takes the user to the corresponding summary of that Sub-driver, a list of the chemicals it covers, and its corresponding Driver. Hyperlinked Sub-drivers can be found under:

 

Sub-drivers listed by title

Driver reports

Chemical Standards reports

 

Under each Sub-driver report, the following information is listed:

 

The full title of the Sub-driver

The corresponding number of the Sub-driver, if available: This will also include any numbers relating to amendments.

Organisation Responsible: The body responsible for creating the legislation/documentation.

Summary: An overview of the Sub-driver including relevant dates and definitions, its purpose, the number of chemicals covered and whether they are grouped in any way, how the standards are applied in practice, the Sub-driver’s relationship to other legislation, and any known forthcoming changes.

Chemicals Covered by this Driver: This lists the chemicals covered by this Sub-driver and these are hyperlinked to their corresponding Chemical Standards reports.

Drivers: This lists the Driver relating to this Sub-driver and this is hyperlinked to its corresponding Driver report.

 

An example of how the information for a Sub-driver is displayed is shown below:

 

 

Searching the Database (go back to Contents)

The content of the database can be searched via the Search database hyperlink on the left-hand side of the page, as shown below (highlighted in red):

 

 

Clicking on the Search database hyperlink takes the user to the following page:

 

 

A search will look for chemicals that have standards fulfilling the criteria selected by the user.

The drop-down menu of the search criteria box on the left-hand side of the search page enables the user to select a particular field for their search:

 

 

There are eight possible fields to perform a search on:

 

Search on Chemicals

This allows the user to type in the chemical name or part of the chemical name of interest.

As the user types, a drop-down list of chemicals that begin with the letters typed will appear. An example of this is shown below. These are prompts only, i.e. just possible suggestions of what the user may be looking for.

 

 

The user should be aware that they do not have to wait for these prompts to appear to perform their search. In addition, since the user may be typing part of a chemical name, the drop-down list may not show all the possible chemicals that fit their search.

 

Search on Environmental Media

This allows the user to select the environmental media of interest from a drop-down menu, as shown below:

 

 

Note: Media have been assigned based on the Driver to which their corresponding standards relate. Some standards for a particular media may also be covered under a broader definition. For example, chemicals with freshwater standards may be found selecting ‘freshwater’; however, there may also be freshwater standards included under the media type ‘surface water’.

 

Search on Driver/Sub-driver

This allows the user to type in the Driver/Sub-driver name or part of the Driver/Sub-driver name of interest.

As the user types, a drop-down list of Drivers that begin with the letters typed will appear. These are prompts only. The user should be aware that they do not have to wait for these prompts to appear to perform their search.

 

Search on Type of Standard

This allows the user to select the type of standard of interest from a drop-down menu, as shown below:

 

 

Search on CAS Number

This allows the user to type in the CAS number or part of the CAS number of interest.

As the user types, a drop-down list of CAS numbers that contain the numbers typed will appear. These are prompts only. The user should be aware that they do not have to wait for these prompts to appear to perform their search.

 

Search on Protection Goal

This allows the user to select the protection goal of interest from a drop-down menu, as shown below:

 

 

Search on Statutory/Non-statutory

This allows the user to search for chemicals that have standards that are either statutory or non-statutory by selecting one of these two options from a drop-down menu.

 

After entering the search criteria by typing or selecting the desired search term, as appropriate, the user activates the search by clicking on the Search button.

The results of the search will appear in a table listing the hits as chemical names and CAS numbers, as shown below. Each hit will correspond to a chemical that will have at least one standard that fulfils the search criteria.

 

 

Clicking on one of the hyperlinked hits will take the user to the corresponding Chemical Standards report, i.e. a complete list of that chemical’s standards.

 

If no hits result from the search, the following message will appear:

 

Note: Sometimes when a search term is selected, the page refreshes itself to load up the new information. The search itself is not performed until the Search button is clicked on. Hitting the RETURN key will not activate a search unless the Search button has been activated first using the TAB key (see More Help? Tips and Feedback).

 

Boolean operators can be used to expand or refine searches. These can be selected from the drop-down menu shown below in red:

 

Following the selection of one of these operators, a second search field box will appear that allows the user to combine two searches. These operators function as follows:

And: By selecting this, the search will produce hits that fulfil both the first and the second search criteria.

Or: By selecting this, the search will combine the hits from both the first and the second search criteria.

 

User Profile (go back to Contents)

Users can set up their own profiles to save pages that are of particular interest to them. Chemical Standards reports, Driver reports, and Sub-driver reports can be saved to a user profile.

 

To set up a user profile, the user first needs to register (see Access). Their user profiles can then be accessed using the User Profile hyperlink on the left-hand side of the page as shown below (highlighted in red):

 

 

Clicking on this hyperlink brings up the log in screen (see Access). Following successful log in, the user is taken to a table containing hyperlinks to their saved pages. For example:

 

 

To save pages to a user profile, click on the Add to profile icon shown at the top of a report, such as that highlighted in red in the example below:

 

 

 

Note: If you are not already logged in, the database will prompt you to log in, following which you can click on the Add to profile icon.

 

Updates (go back to Contents)

Major updates are currently made at least once a year.

A major update may be necessary because of the incorporation of large changes to the content of the database, e.g. the addition of a new Directive and its corresponding standards or a change in the status of a group of standards, or because of web development resulting in improved features for the user.

When a major update occurs, registered users or those on the current internal user list will be informed of the update via a newsletter sent by e-mail. The version of the latest major update and the date that it was uploaded will be noted in the Introduction page of the database (see Basic Navigation)

 

If minor changes are made between major updates, e.g. typographical corrections or the inclusion of information in a standard in a Chemical Standards report, the affected page will be listed under the What’s new? Section. This section can be accessed by clicking the corresponding hyperlink (highlighted in red below) on the left-hand side of any page in the database:

 

 

More help? Tips and feedback (go back to Contents)

The user can move around and select hyperlinked options and active buttons on a page using the TAB and RETURN keys, respectively.

 

For quickly searching any page to find information of interest, the user can use CTRL+F to bring up a search window that enables text searching within a page.

 

 

Feedback is always welcome and will be noted for future developments of the database. Feedback or reporting of errors can be made by clicking on the feedback hyperlink available at the bottom of every page of the database.

 

If you require more information about chemicals in the environment, you can contact the Environmental Toxicological Advisory Service (ETAS) run by the Chemicals Science team. For more information visit http://ams.ea.gov/ams_root/2007/101_150/120_07.pdf

 

Exiting the Database (go back to Contents)

The user should exit/log out of the database by closing their internet browser.