Curated data can change the world
What does "curated data" mean? Why will it change the world?
When the science changes, the curator has a vested interest in updating the data because it is theirs. It is in their area of expertise. They use it. No-one else has the responsibility or credentials for making adjustments.
When a substance dataset is curated in SharedSDS, and tagged for sharing, other professionals can rely on it - indefinitely.
Those sharing curated substance data for ingredients in their mixtures know any changes made in future by the owner/curator will be instantly reflected in all their mixtures which are affected. That event is automatically signalled in SharedSDS and triggers the expected review processes.
SharedSDS is designed to reward those who share their curated data. The reward is monetary - much like other shared economy models - but if we are truly successful that reward will include knowing we have all contributed to improving workplace health and chemical safety.
Why curated data will change the world
Continuously accurate (curated) data, continuously reflected in safety data sheets and continuously updating workplace health and safety recommendations will improve human health and improve responses to chemical incidents in workplaces.
- Curated data is accurate data, updated by the owner. Reflected in the SDS it is therefore more valuable than copied and orphaned data or paper based data which gets stale.
- Vast amounts of data exist in many databases. In most cases it is unmaintained and therefore is of questionable worth. If it happens to be correct, it is probably a well known physical property or pure luck that it hasn't yet been changed at source. The cost of maintaining third-party databases is so high that it just doesn't happen. Only if it is in a database actually used by the owner will that data be kept current.
- Safety data sheets based on accurate data are likely to contribute to better workplace safety.
- Data curated in SharedSDS can be made available invisibly. That means manufacturers who prefer to retain a sense of mystery can do so. If you trust the owner you don't need to actually see the data. We much prefer an open data approach but recognise it might take a while for that view to become common.
The software classifies mixtures whether shared data is visible to the formulator or not. That data is still curated and therefore the benefits flow through into workplace safety. There is no reason to not share!
- The cost of sharing someone else's curated data via SharedSDS is so low it is no-brainer. Everything is done for you by the owner of the data. You can trust it. You don't have to go researching. You don't have to rely on the ingredient manufacturer's SDS when they won't supply the underlying data.
That no-brainer cost should promote proliferation of curated data and should contribute to ongoing improvements in workplace safety.
- In court or in an inquiry, you should be able to argue there is no better data source than the data upon which you based your product's hazard classification if it was curated by the owner of the data and not from some stale database somewhere. Or worse, from a stale or obfuscated SDS.
- In some countries the chemical industry is saddled with consensus hazard classification databases. When science moves on, such databases are difficult to adjust.
With consensus classifications there is unremitting commercial and marketing pressure for everyone to adopt the same classification. There is no incentive for dissenting science.
The real problem with consensus classifications is they will live forever. Decades, perhaps centuries, after a classification has changed there will be "new" SDSs based on old SDSs based on an old copy of an original but now out-of-date classification.
With curated data, there is no need for regulator-ordained consensus hazard classifications.
Science is and should always be a tyrant. When the science changes - the hazard classification changes. Consensus needs to make way for science.
Science should dictate chemical hazard classifications - and change the world!