Chemical Monitoring Database

The Chemical Monitoring Database provides a snapshot of chemical monitoring activities in Australia. The primary focus is on activities monitoring the ambient environment. Several types of monitoring activities have been excluded from the database, including contaminated sites, point sources and industry monitoring.

 

Why have a Chemical Monitoring Database?

Environment agencies recognised the need for a centralised resource containing information about chemical monitoring studies undertaken in Australia. To address this need, the Chemical Monitoring Database was developed.

The database enables improved access to chemical monitoring data for the community, industry and government. It does not contain actual monitoring results - instead, it is a list of monitoring activities across Australia which users can then follow up with the relevant organisation. Online links are included where available.

What does the database contain?

The database provides details of the monitoring activities (such as chemicals monitored, media/environments etc) and where the actual results/reports can be obtained.

A review of web-based monitoring reports and a survey of monitoring organisations were conducted in 2007. The review and survey focused on monitoring that occurred in the 10-year period from January 1998 to June 2007. Occupational exposure monitoring and contaminated site assessments were excluded, as were activities that only monitored basic water or air quality parameters such as nutrients, dust and/or particulates. The database includes information as to which media (e.g. soil, air, water etc) were studied.

The database primarily focuses on the monitoring of chemicals in the ambient environment, rather than point sources from industry or sewage treatment works. The database does not cover information included in the National Pollutant Industry database which focuses on emissions of a specific set of pollutants. The monitoring data sets are restricted to publicly available data, as it is desirable that users are able to access the results. To maintain consistent presentation across the database, monitoring activities are listed by the organisation that produced the report.

Plans for the database

There are no plans to update the Chemical Monitoring Database at this time.

We value your suggestions about where to find additional relevant chemical monitoring data that is in the public domain. Please contact us at chemicals@environment.gov.au.

How can the database be searched?

The database can be searched using different methods:

  1. By chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Number (CAS) using pull-down menus.
  2. By organisation. Using a pull-down menu, you can select organisations that produced monitoring reports. All organisations are listed on the menu under their current name. However, if an organisation has been known under a previous name, all reports produced by it or any of its predecessors will be listed in the search results.
  3. By location. This is a free text field. The search returns only exact matches unless a "%" symbol is used to request any results containing the search term.
  4. By state/region. Using a pull-down menu, you can select state, territory or Natural Resource Management region. Monitoring samples taken from the marine environment were grouped as occurring in the Great Barrier Reef, state/territory marine waters or offshore in Commonwealth marine waters. These are listed in the menu.
  5. By river basin using a pull-down menu.
  6. By media using a pull-down menu.

Any combination of these search items can be used. All the search items can also be restricted to selected years and months.

All search fields are cleared by using the reset button.