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E-M:/ TRI Deficiency -Reply



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Enviro-Mich message from "MICHAEL W. MURRAY" <MURRAY@nwf.org>
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A brief reply to Julie and others interested in TRI, environmental
justice, and related issues:
     Yes, pounds does not equal risk, but you need both a mass and a
toxicological/injury factor (as well as other exposure information) to
come up with overall risk to human populations and the environment
from particular releases. So the TRI program is an important and
necessary step in that direction, even with its limitations (high
thresholds, incomplete coverage of source categories, chemicals, etc.)
    There have been a number of efforts at translating TRI-type data
to a more risk-based analysis. A recent paper is:
    Neumann, C.M., Forman, D.L., Rothlein, J.E., 1998, Hazard
Screening of Chemical Releases and Environmental Equity Analysis of
Populations Proximate to Toxic Release Inventory Facilities in Oregon,
Environ. Health Perspect., 106(4):217-226.
    The authors found that although the top five chemicals released
statewide on a mass basis were methanol, nickel, ammonia, acetone, and
toluene, the top five on a chronic (oral) toxicity index basis were
glycol ethers, nickel, trichloroethylene, chloroform, and manganese.
The authors also found that TRI facilities were disproportionately
located in racial and ethnic minority neighborhoods, but did not find
a relationship with overall hazard ranking of the facilities and
socioeconomic characteristics - that is although minorities were
disproportionately living near TRI sites, the percentage minority
population did not increase as the overall hazard index of the sites
increased. (There are references to several other related studies
therein).
    A couple other pertinent papers are:

    Neumann, C.M., 1998, Improving the U.S. EPA Toxic Release
Inventory Database for Environmental Health Research, J. Toxicol.
Environ. Health, Part B, 1:259-270.
    Jia, C.Q., Di Guardo, A., Mackay, D., 1996, Toxics Release
Inventories: Opportunities for Improved Presentation and
Interpretation, Environ. Sci. Technol., 30(2):86A-91A.

    Mike Murray
    NWF

>>> MUCC <mucc@mucc.org> 10/23/98 06:26pm >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from MUCC <mucc@mucc.org>
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Alex and others:

I am writing my master's thesis on the deficiencies of the Toxic
Release
Inventory, specifically the futility of reporting pounds of emissions
instead of risk.  I plan to show that the purpose for enacting EPCRA
and
TRI was to inform citizens of the health risks in their community due
to
industry, and that the TRI fails to meet this requirement because
pounds
emitted does not equal risk.  

I was wondering if you had any literature on this topic.

Thanks,

Julie Metty
131 West South Street
Williamston, MI 48895
517/346-6452

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ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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