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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOP CORPORATE AIR POLLUTERS NAMED
AMHERST, MA, May 11, 2006 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts today released the Toxic 100, an updated list of the top corporate air polluters.
"The Toxic 100 informs consumers and shareholders which large corporations release the most toxic pollutants into our air," says James K. Boyce, director of PERI's environment program. "We measure not just how many pounds of pollutants are released, but which are the most toxic and how many people are at risk. People have a right to know about toxic hazards to which they are exposed. Legislators need to understand the effects of pollution on their constituents."
The Toxic 100 index is based on air releases of hundreds of chemicals from industrial facilities across the United States. The rankings take into account not only the quantity of releases, but the relative toxicity of chemicals, nearby populations, and factors such as prevailing winds and height of smokestacks.
The Toxic 100 index identifies the top air polluters among corporations that appear in the "Fortune 500," "Forbes 500," and "Standard & Poor's 500" lists of the country's largest firms. The Toxic 100's top five companies are E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., US Steel, ConocoPhillips, GE, and Eastman Kodak.
A new feature of the web-based list is that readers can see the details behind each company, such as individual facilities owned by the corporation, specific chemicals they emit, their toxicities, and their contributions to the company's overall Toxic Score.
The data on chemical releases come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI is widely cited in press accounts that identify the top polluters in various localities. But reports based on these data alone have three limitations:
"In making this information available, we are building on the achievements of the right-to-know movement," Boyce explains. "Our goal is to engender public participation in environmental decision-making, and to help residents translate the right to know into the right to clean air."
For further information, contact Professor Michael Ash at +1 (413) 545-6329 or visit PERI's Corporate Toxics Information Project.
The Political Economy Research Institute addresses basic issues of human and ecological well-being through research written for the general public, policy makers, and academic audiences.
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