Toxic Chemical Pollution Up by 16%, According to New EPA Report
According to a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of chemicals released in to the environment in the U.S. increased by 16% in 2010. Due mostly to changes in metal mining, this increase is significant and troubling, as rates had been previously falling since 2006.
Reversing a downward trend, the amount of toxic chemicals released into the nation’s environment in 2010 was 16% higher than the year before, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports.
Tied largely to changes in metal mining, 3.93 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment in 2010, according to the EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory. Such amounts had previously been falling since 2006.
“In this sector, even a small change in the chemical composition of the ore being mined — which EPA understands is one of the reasons for the increase in total reported releases — may lead to big changes in the amount of toxic chemicals reported nationally,” the EPA said in a statement Thursday accompanying the data release. The agency said the chemical and primary metals industries also reported increases in toxic releases.