What Is CETIS?

CETIS(Comprehensive Environmental Toxicology Information System™) is a well-designed, professional level toxicity data analysis/database application developed by Tidepool Scientific, LLC. CETIS is a Microsoft Access™ based application designed to thoroughly analyze, maintain, and organize complex and heterogeneous toxicity data. Due to its comprehensive design and time saving features, CETIS has broad appeal to research and commercial environmental toxicity laboratories performing toxicity tests, as well as other professionals working with toxicity test data such as state and federal agencies administering whole effluent toxicity (WET) programs.

CETIS efficiently stores and processes data derived from freshwater, estuarine, marine and terrestrial toxicity tests performed on various environmental media such as effluents, ambient water, reference toxicants sediment samples or preparations. CETIS is also easily adapted to toxicity tests performed on other environmental media such as soils or aerosols.

Analyses can be substantially automated, with the user creating or adjusting decision tree logic to be consistent with individual regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. EPA or Environment Canada. For instance, both NOEL/LOEL (also known as NOEC/LOEC) calculations can be immediately followed by automated point estimate calculations. This feature facilitates rapid, accurate and consistent data analysis in a very time efficient manner

Meeting the Needs of Today's Toxicology Lab

CETIS was designed from the ground up with productivity, ease of use and power in mind. No other specialized toxicity data analysis software offers the sheer variety of statistical methods and database query/reporting capabilities, all integrated within a user friendly application. Leveraging the power of the Access™ RDS platform, CETIS provides a multitude of productivity tools, ranging from pop-up calendars, calculators and rapid data entry tools, to advanced filtering, searching and querying utilities based Access SQL.

CETIS easily supports multi-jurisdictional testing. Since many federal and state government programs have different decision-making rules guiding the selection of the appropriate statistical methods, CETIS has a system to quickly change the decision rules depending on which jurisdiction governs the testing. CETIS is the most advanced statistical application specifically designed for environmental toxicity testing and is the only software fully supporting the new methodology described in Guidance Document on Statistical Methods for Environmental Toxicity Tests (Environment Canada, 2005).

Efficient Database Design and Structure

CETIS consists of two linked databases existing within a file-server based architecture. The front-end (‘cetis.mde’) serves as the main application, providing the user interface that is viewed and interacted with. The back-end (‘cetis.mdb’) serves as the main data repository, storing most of the data used by the CETIS application.

The inherent relationship between sample and test batch records (a test batch applies to one or more samples tested on the same day under the same conditions) represents the heart of the CETIS database design. Once an individual sample and test batch are entered, samples are added to the test batches as needed. Each sample within a test batch constitutes an individual test. Each test in turn points to one test data set and at least one analysis. By implementing this test-sample batching paradigm, the database is substantially more organized, normalized, efficient and powerful. Specific examples where the support for test-sample batching can be useful include:

  • Tracking the toxicity of a sample to multiple species. The single sample record is associated with separate test batch records for each species tested;
  • Studying effects of a wastewater discharge on the receiving water by associating sample records from samples collected at various river locations upstream and downstream of the discharge to a single test batch record for the species of concern;
  • A concurrent reference toxicant sample associated with the same test batch record as environmental samples, thus providing a logical way of grouping related test data.

As demonstrated by the above examples, support for complex relationships between sample and test batch records allow for an association within the database between toxicity test results that were generated at the same time for a common purpose. This adds a layer of informational richness beyond just storing each toxicity test result separately. It also reduces work for the user because the details of a sample or test batch record are entered once and then associations are made as needed.

"The CETIS software is a critical element of our laboratory data management system since we rely solely on it for statistical analyses, data reporting, and the generation of electronic data deliverables. The software has dramatically improved our efficiency, and the flexible statistical analyses tools support our full scope of services for our clients."

-Stephan Clark, Vice President for Pacific EcoRisk, Inc.