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About HAWC

HAWC is a modular, content management system designed to store, display, and synthesize multiple data sources for the purpose of producing human health assessments of chemicals. This online application documents the overall workflow of developing an assessment, from literature search and systematic review, to data extraction (human epidemiology, animal bioassay, and in vitro assay), dose-response analysis, and finally evidence synthesis and visualization.

HAWC is a collaboration of several individuals and organizations who create, maintain, and enhance the functionalities of this tool. The lead developer of the project is Andy Shapiro, who created the prototype in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Public Health in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under direction of Dr. Ivan Rusyn. Overall guidance on HAWC development is provided by a steering committee with representation from the National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NTP), Texas A&M University, and the National Center for Computational Toxicology of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA/NCCT).

HAWC is open-source software under the permissive MIT license. It is free to create an account to use the software. It is also free to download, edit, and modify the source code. For more details, view the full license.

Want more details? Read our paper:

Shapiro AJ, Antoni S, Guyton KZ, Lunn RM, Loomis D, Rusyn I, Jahnke GD, Schwingl PJ, Mehta SS, Addington J, Guha N. Software Tools to Facilitate Systematic Review Used for Cancer Hazard Identification. Environ Health Perspect. 2018 Oct;126(10):104501. DOI: 10.1289/EHP4224

If you find HAWC useful in your work, a citation is always appreciated. To cite, either use the paper above, or the recommended citation below:

HAWC: Health Assessment Workplace Collaborative [Computer software]. (2013).
URL: https://hawcproject.org. [Month, year of date use].

Documentation for HAWC is available at https://hawc.readthedocs.io. Please note that this also includes detailed notes on the statistical methods used in this application.

Data in HAWC

The HAWC database is changing daily as users add more data to assessments. Below is a list of the current counts for different types of data captured in the database. Note that in most cases, these data are available in assessments which may not be publicly accessible (yet):

  • Registered HAWC users: 1,415
  • Assessments (public and private): 937
  • References imported or found from searches: 542,232
  • Number of tags applied to references: 280,523
  • Tagged references: 221,739 (41%)
  • Studies with data extracted: 5,572
  • Assessments with studies: 263 (28%)
  • Risk of bias scores: 69,772
  • Studies with risk of bias: 3,532 (63%)
  • Animal bioassay endpoints: 16,783
  • Animal bioassay endpoints with data extracted: 15,629 (93%)
  • Epidemiology outcomes: 4,976
  • Epidemiology results with data: 8,068 (100%)
  • In vitro endpoints: 2,310
  • In vitro endpoints with data: 2,007 (87%)
  • Visualizations: 1,400
  • Assessments with visuals: 116 (12%)

Last updated: Feb. 25, 2021, 6:59 a.m.

How to use HAWC

Full length tutorial

Individual component guides

Data pivots

Risk of bias

Animal bioassay crossviews

Posters and presentations

Presentation title Audience Link (and format)
HAWCPROJECT.ORG: A content management system for human health assessments 2018 National Academy of Sciences: Strategies and Tools for Conducting Systematic Reviews of Mechanistic Data to Support Chemical Assessments Poster PDF file-format
HAWC: current capabilities and uses at the US National Toxicology Program (NIH/NIEHS/NTP) 2015 National Toxicology Program (NTP) Board of Scientific Counselors Slides PDF file-format
HAWC: A Modular Web-based Interface to Facilitate Development of Human Health Assessments of Chemicals 2014 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Poster PDF file-format
HAWC presentation overview and tutorial of key functionality including literature search, animal bioassay data extraction, and BMD modeling. 2014 Webinar Slides PDF file-format
Video YouTube hyperlink
HAWC: A Modular Web-based Interface to Facilitate Development of Human Health Assessments of Chemicals 2013 OpenTox USA Poster PDF file-format
Web-based Benchmark Dose Modeling Module as a Prototype Component of an Informatics-based System for Human Health Assessments of Chemicals 2013 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Poster PDF file-format


This project is supported, in part, by funding from the following sources:

  • National Toxicology Program (NIEHS/NTP)
  • Texas A&M University
  • EPA grants STAR RD83574701 and STAR RD83516601
  • NIH grant P42 ES005948
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC)

The contents of HAWC are solely the responsibility of the users and developers, and do not necessarily represent the official views of EPA, NIH, NTP, or WHO. Further, EPA, NIH, NTP, and WHO do not endorse the purchase or use of any commercial or open-source products or services that were used in the development of HAWC.