New data presented in the latest report from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation showed that industrial chemical releases fell by 20 percent in North America between 1998 and 2003, including a reduction in releases to air of 21 percent.
The report, Taking Stock, compiles data from the Canadian National Pollutant Release Inventory and the United States Toxics Release Inventory. The data are then combined to provide an overall assessment of North American industrial chemicals in the environment. The report found that almost three million metric tons of chemicals were released and transferred in 2003, the most recent reporting year of data analyzed by the CEC, by more than 23,000 facilities.
U.S. manufacturing facilities reduced toxic releases by 21 percent, while Canadian manufactures reduced releases by 10 percent.
Facilities from Canada and the United States that reported pollution prevention activities, ranging from equipment modifications to process changes and materials substitution, showed reductions from 2002 to 2003 in releases and transfers.
The report also took a more specific look at the cement manufacturing industry. It found that although the industry is relatively small, cement manufacturing facilities are a significant source of some criteria air contaminants, including nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.
The entire report can be found at: http://www.cec.org/takingstock/.