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The Options : Right-to-Know
The 1986 federal Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires industries to reveal the amounts they release of more than 600 designated toxic chemicals. The EPA posts industry data in the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The 600 chemicals that must be reported represent only a small fraction of the total used and released. Nevertheless, the TRI has evolved into a powerful tool for citizens and communities in fighting polluters, and has nudged industries into reducing toxic releases. A few years after the law took effect, a Dow Chemical executive told the Atlanta Constitution that "mandatory disclosure has done more than all other legislation put together in getting companies to voluntarily reduce emissions." Even so, the chemical industry continues to mount vigorous campaigns in Congress and the states to roll-back right-to-know provisions.

The links below are intended to serve as a guide to information available under right-to-know laws. They include resources on the health effects of chemicals and related information.

EPA Toxic Release Inventory
Toxic Release Inventory System (TRIS)
The EPA requires manufacturers to report releases of more than 600 designated toxic chemicals to the environment. A searchable database can be accessed by selecting the "TRIS Queries" link on the TRIS home page.

TRI Explorer
Access to pollution release reports by county, state or national totals or by releases from individual facilities. This page is the easiest place to start a search. Click on the general information button for links to information sources in local communities.

TRI and Health Page
Offers suggestions about what to do if you discover toxic chemicals are being released into your community.

Other TRI Links
Environmental Defense Scorecard Pollution Locator
Plots pollution releases on local, state and national maps with concise explanations.

Right-to-Know Net
Easy to use search engine finds information by geographic area, facility, industry, parent company or off-site waste transfers.

The Environmental Systems Research Institute
This site provides a user-friendly way to search for Toxic Release Inventory information – pinpointing contaminant releases on street maps so users can see how close they live to pollution sources.

High Production Volume Chemicals
EPA Report on Chemical Hazard Data
Lists high production volume chemicals with information on whether health effects testing has been done.

Specifics on Chemicals and Testing Status

Health Effects of Toxic Chemicals
ATSDR- Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Fact sheets on toxic chemicals.

National Library of Medicine Fact sheets including the Hazardous Substance Database. A cluster of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related subjects with detailed technical information.

New Jersey Right-to-Know Program
New Jersey and Massachusetts have adopted some of the most far-reaching community right-to-know laws in the country, requiring more extensive disclosures of toxic releases than the federal government demands. This site includes NJ release information, as well as easy to understand fact sheets on toxic chemicals.

EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)
Click on substance file list, search by chemical name or choose from the list.

EPA’s Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic fact sheets
Explains the toxic effects of the priority chemicals considered most hazardous to long-term health.

National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Environmental Health Perspectives
Explains the toxicity of Benzene in simple terms and discusses how people are exposed.

EPA’s Dioxin Reassessment
Highlights

Environmental Defense Scorecard
One of the most comprehensive and user-friendly sites for information on pollution releases and toxic chemicals.
Specific information on health effects of chemicals

Natural Resources Defense Council
A broad range of information on toxic chemicals and health.

Pesticides
United States Geological Service Pesticide Use Map
Click on a pesticide to see areas of greatest use, or search by geographic location.

National Pesticide Telecommunications Network
Operated jointly by Oregon State University and the EPA. Search chemicals by category.

EXTOXNET: The Extension Toxicology Network
A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and the University of California at Davis.

Fruit Salad Roulette, Daily Fare
Information on pesticide residues in food from the Environmental Working Group.

Water
EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water
Allows searches for contaminants in individual water system.

EPA Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water Fact Sheets
Contaminant fact sheets explain potential health problems.

Drinking Water Contaminants
EPA site lists the major water contaminants and potential health effects.

National Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence Database
Database of drinking water contaminants.
Interactive Database Search:

EPA Fish Advisories
Shows which states have issued warnings to limit or avoid consumption of certain types of fish, or fish caught in specific lakes or rivers because of chemical contamination.

Air
EPA’s Index to Airborne Toxic Chemicals
Health effects notebooks of hazardous chemicals. Search by name or select chemicals from a list.

1996 National Air Toxics Assessment
This site generates maps of counties with the highest emissions and includes tables listing air contaminant releases.

National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report, 1998
Smog report analyzes trends by geographic region and assesses whether air quality is improving or deteriorating.

Medical & Science Information
National Institutes of Medicine, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Environmental Diseases from A to Z
Simplified explanations of diseases that may be caused by environmental exposures.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Environmental Health Perspectives
Peer-reviewed journal published by NIEHS. Excellent source of news and discussion of research on chemicals and human health. Browse Environews by topic, or search for specific subjects. Also provides abstracts of scientific articles.

National Toxicology Project, The 9th Report on Carcinogens
Lists chemicals classified as known, probable or suspected human carcinogens, with details on studies that back up the NTP's conclusions.

World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC
International database of cancer causing substances.

National Library of Medicine, PubMed
Searches for peer-reviewed articles from medical journals.

Canadian Medical Journal - Endocrine Disruption and Potential Human Health Implications
Explains the role of endocrine disrupting chemicals in human health.

Cancer Web – Online Medical Dictionary
Quick access to definitions of medical terms.

Toxic Waste
EPA Superfund Site Information
Gateway to information on specific toxic waste sites.

Money & Politics
Center for Responsive Politics
Non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy.

Center for Public Integrity
Investigations and analyses focus on government accountability and ethics.

CPI's Toxic Deception
Includes a table of the top 50 recipients of campaign contributions from the chemical industry.

Corp Watch
Guide to finding information about individual corporations. Provides links to a variety of government, corporate, academic and public interest group sites.

National Institute on Money in State Politics
Tracks campaign contributions and spending at the state level

Public Interest Groups
Environmental Working Group
An extensive selection of well-researched reports, articles, and databases.

Ohio Citizen Action
Provides reports on Ohio releases of chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. Includes a history of right-to-know laws, and a section on "Farming Without Chemicals."

Center for Responsive Politics
Non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy.

Coming Clean
A new collaborative campaign for safer chemicals and healthier communities which began as a joint effort by the Center for Environment Health and Justice, the Environmental Health Fund, the Environmental Working Group and Women's Voices for the Earth.

Greenpeace
An independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Center for Public Integrity
Investigations and analyses focus on government accountability and ethics.

Center for Science in the Public Interest
An excellent source of information on food, nutrition and chemical additives.

CSPI's Chemical Cuisine offers details on the safety of chemical food additives

Health Care Without Harm
Seeks to transform the health care industry so that it is no longer a source of environmental harm by eliminating pollution in health care practices. This site contains details on the use of PVC, phthalates and mercury in medical facilities.

Rachel's Environment and Health News
Weekly newsletter provides excellent coverage of current issues in environmental health.

Texas Center for Policy Studies
Comprehensive report on Pesticides in Schools explains how to find out whether your child’s school system is using dangerous chemicals and gives advice on what to do.

Washington Toxics Coalition
Seattle group provides lists of alternatives to synthetic chemical use.

Natural Resources Defense Council
Reports on alternatives to use of toxic chemicals, including,
toxic pet products and safer alternatives.

Fragranced Products Information Network
In-depth information on potential health effects of perfumes and other fragrances

US Public Interest Research Group
Advocates reductions in the use of toxic chemicals in manufacuring processes.

Trust Us, Don't Track Us
An investigation of the Chemical Industry's Responsible Care Program. A U.S. PIRG investigation.

Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and Clean Water Action

Children's Health Environmental Coalition

Mothers and Others: recommendations for economically sustainable consumer choices.


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