• toxic chemical release;
  • EPA;
  • TRI;
  • industrial;
  • mining;
  • metals;
  • increase

Nearly 4 billion pounds of tracked toxic chemicals were released into the environment throughout the United States during 2010, according to an analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), the agency announced on 5 January. This is a 16% increase above 2009. The agency said the increase is mainly due to changes in the metal-mining sector, where differences in the chemical composition of ore being mined can result in significant changes in the amount of toxic chemicals. The chemical and primary metals industries were other sectors with increases in toxic releases in 2010, the latest year for which data collection is complete. EPA also noted that although releases in 2010 were higher than during the previous 2 years, they were lower than in 2007 and in prior years.