Report Finds Amount of Toxic Emissions in Calif. Grew by 10% in 2011
In California, the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment by manufacturing plants and facilities increased in 2011Â after steady annual declines in previous years, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The EPA's annual Toxic Release Inventory report examined 682 chemicals and categories of chemicals that the agency considers to be harmful to human health or the environment.
Nationwide, the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment increased in 2011 for the second year in a row, according to the report.
It found that the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment in the U.S. increased by 8% from 2010.
In 2011, the amount of toxic chemicals released into California's environment increased by 10% from 2010, according to the report.
From 2010 to 2011 in California, the report found a 24% increase in the release of toxic substances that persist in the environment and in body tissue.
The reportÂ also found a:
- 13% decrease in California's air pollution;
- 10% increase in the state's water pollution; and
- 9% increase in the state's land pollution.
Reaction to Findings
Anthony Wexler -- director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC-Davis -- said the report is limited because of a lack of specificity. He said, "When you're talking about anyÂ increases or decreases -- that's too crude a measure."He added, "Some toxic compounds may be emitted in large quantities but have very low toxicity, whereas other compounds may be emitted in small quantities but be very toxic. It's the combination of these two factors that govern how 'bad' a release is" (Ortiz, Sacramento Bee, 2/10). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.