The ChemTRAC program has released Phase 2 Data on the use and release of 25 priority toxic substances across Toronto.
In addition to Phase 1 businesses we now have chemical data for Phase 2 businesses such as dry cleaners, laboratories, autobody shops, funeral services, waste management and chemical wholesalers.
The data is available online at toronto.ca/chemtrac.
According to Toronto Public Health’s second annual ChemTRAC report, released on June 11th, Phase 2 chemical data has identified key focus areas for 2013 including cancer prevention, toxics reduction, air quality studies, and prioritizing communities facing a double health burden (environmental justice).
Key findings from ChemTRAC Report and Phase 2 Data
The 2013 ChemTRAC report has identified that 8 out of 25 priority substances require a public health focus now that Phase 2 data has been analyzed.
These include 3 smog-forming contaminants, VOCs, NOx and PM2.5, which were released in large quantities as well as 5 substances released in smaller quantities which pose health risks due to their toxicity. These toxic substances include carcinogens like Polycyclic Aromatic
Hydrocarbons (PAHs), cadmium, and tetrachloroethylene and two harmful heavy metals, lead and mercury. Here are a few additional findings:
312 Phase 1 businesses reported chemical data this year (compared to 274 in2010). An additional 227 companies were either exempt or below the reporting threshold.
228 Phase 2 businesses reported chemical data in their first year of reporting. An additional 379 companies were either exempt or below the reporting threshold.
492 Phase 3 businesses voluntarily reported ahead of schedule.
85% of the businesses that reported to ChemTRAC in 2011 were not required to report to other levels of government.
Thanks to ChemTRAC, we can now identify 77% more carcinogenic air releases that were never publicly reported under the national pollution program (NPRI).
Phase 1 & 2 facilities reported the manufacture, processing or use of approx.70,000 tonnes of priority substances to ChemTRAC in 2011 (compared to 66,000 tonnes reported by Phase 1 only in 2010).
Approximately 5,000 tonnes of priority substances were released into Toronto's environment, primarily into our air, in 2011. This represents 8% of what was manufactured, processed or otherwise used by facilities.