Toxic Release

Toxic Releases from Facilities

What are toxic releases?

Facilities that make or use toxic chemicals can release these chemicals into the air. Information is available on the amount of chemicals released for over 500 chemicals for large facilities in the United States. People of color and low income Californians are more likely to live in areas with higher toxic chemical releases.


Why is this indicator included in CalEnviroScreen?

  • Chemicals given off by facilities are sometimes detected in the air of nearby communities.
  • People living near facilities may breathe contaminated air regularly or if contaminants are released during an accident.


How are toxic releases from facilities measured in CalEnviroScreen 3.0?

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) provides public information on the amount of chemicals released into the environment from many facilities.
  • The US EPA used information on these chemical releases to estimate where they may be spreading in the air for the years 2011-2013.
  • These estimates take into account weather conditions and the landscape around the facilities. Some chemicals are more toxic than others, which is taken into account in the estimate.
  • Emissions from facilities in Mexico near the US-Mexico border were also accounted for in the indicator.
  • A complete description of the Toxic Releases from Facilities indicator can be found in the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 report.


Where can I find more information about toxic releases from facilities?

CalEnviroScreen 3.0 Toxic Releases Map

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