Are toxins lurking in your neighborhood? Are you wondering what specific toxic chemicals are being released in your community or if you live nearby a facility that uses toxic chemicals? There’s an easy way to find out about industrial releases in your neighborhood. The EPA maintains a database of toxic releases called the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). Any facility that meets a threshhold requirement for around 650 toxic chemicals must by law report the release to the EPA.
You can create a report based on your state, your county or your zip code, based on a particular chemical or all of those in the database of the EPA. You can also find out the facility that is releasing the toxic chemical(s) from a variety of industries, including: metal and coal mining, hazardous waste treatment, manufacturing, power plants and more.
Check out this website: http://www.epa.gov/tri
Please keep in mind that this data does have some limitations; for example, releases reported include chemicals that have been disposed of, and only those that meet or exceed the threshold have to report. So, for example, individual car and truck exhaust figure will not be on this list, even though they can be a significant contributor to toxic releases in your area. Neither will chemicals that arrive by air from another state or country be included, or chemicals released in a wildfire. But this data will still give you a good idea if where you live or a place you are comtemplating moving to is very toxic or not!