In 2004, the OECD initiated the development of eChemPortal, a global portal to information on chemical substances, in response to the request by the World Summit on Sustainable Development to improve the availability of hazard data on chemicals. eChemPortal is also a contribution to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and especially its recommendation to "Facilitate public access to appropriate information and knowledge of chemicals throughout their life cycle...".
The Vision is for eChemPortal to be the preferred worldwide source of information about chemicals from authorities and international organisations. See the Vision Statement.
The OECD Secretariat is working with several member countries (the United States, Japan, Canada), the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency, the International Council of Chemical Industry Associations, the Buisness and Industry Advisory Committee, the World Health Organization's International Programme on Chemical Safety, UNEP Chemicals and Environmental NGO's to develop this project.
A first version of eChemPortal with limited functions was available from mid-2007 to the end of 2010. This first version gave users free public access to existing assessments and datasets for as many chemicals as possible through a search by chemical identification.
A second version, released in December 2010, provided new searches based on certain properties or effects, such as physical chemical properties, environmental fate and behaviour, ecotoxicity and toxicity in the participating data sources that can offer direct searching of endpoint data.
The current version of eChemPortal was made available in 12 June 2015. A new search by GHS classification in eChemPortal allows users, for an individual chemical, to view GHS classifications which have undergone a review by a regulatory body or intergovernmental organisation and offers direct links to the full information in the participating data sources.
Data Sources participating in eChemPortal in the search by chemical identification: List of data sources
Not all participating data sources can offer direct searching of endpoint data or GHS classifications.
A brochure provides further details on the eChemPortal project.
There will be incremental build-up of functionality of eChemPortal. Other databases will be continuously added. The current web site will be updated periodically to reflect the advancements of the development of eChemPortal.
The eChemPortal evolved from the database EXICHEM, a pointer system on existing chemicals activities (e.g. information gathering, testing, evaluation) in OECD member countries and other relevant programmes. EXICHEM was last updated in 2005 and is no longer revised.