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ChemTRAC - Toronto's Community Right-to-Know program

UPDATE: Phase 2 toxics data is now online at toronto.ca/chemtrac
TEA will be attending the Toronto Board of Health meeting on Friday June
14th 2013 to show support for this groundbreaking program. We will also be promoting the Toronto Toxic Reduction Tool Kit at this public meeting. Read more about the new data on where toxics are released in Toronto below.

Toronto Public Health's ChemTRAC program provides data for the public about where toxic substances are used, in what quantities and who reported using them. Until now, this information was not collected by the government, and not available to the public. 

Find out how you can use ChemTRAC data to prevent pollution!

Phase 2 Summary - June 2013 

The ChemTRAC program has released Phase 2 data on the use and release of 25 priority toxic substances across Toronto. The data is available online at toronto.ca/chemtrac.   

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.


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). 



Cancer prevention
Many of the Toxic 25 chemicals prioritized by Toronto Public Health for ChemTRAC reporting can cause cancer. ChemTRAC has created a map which pinpoints where carcinogenic
substances are released into Toronto's air. View the map on Page 30 of the ChemTRAC Annual Report. This is an important step to preventing cancer caused by chemical exposure.





Toxics reduction
Now that Toronto businesses must measure & report chemicals, they can identify opportunities for toxics reduction. In the U.S., a similar reporting program has reduced toxic chemical use by 32% and releases by 93%!^ ChemTRAC is assisting with pollution prevention planning through on-site visits, training sessions, guides and more. Communities can turn polluters into good neighbours.



Local air quality studies
The ChemTRAC chemical data is helping the Toronto Environment Office with local air quality studies of Toronto neighbourhoods. These studies combine chemical releases from local businesses with other sources such as traffic emissions and migrating pollution from nearby cities. Learn more about these air quality studies and health risks here.



Environmental justice
By mapping ChemTRAC data and income levels, environmental justice issues are identified in Toronto's Phase 2 Report
(Page 31). Some communities run the risk of a double health burden if they face higher chemical exposures and socio-economic disparity. ChemTRAC data can help Toronto Public Health prioritize pollution prevention in high risk areas.


Read a detailed summary of key findings for Phase 2 of ChemTRAC here.


Key links:


More information:

About ChemTRAC and the Community Right-to-Know 

The ChemTRAC program is a result of Toronto's 'Community Right-to-Know' by-law, first of it's kind in Canada. Officially called the Environmental Reporting & Disclosure by-law, it requires public reporting from Institutional, Commercial and Industrial users and manufacturers of 25 priority toxic substances. It is an important tool for politicians and communities to protect human health and the environment.

The public can now search for toxic chemical information by location, by
company name, or by substance. ChemTRAC also provides support for
businesses to improve reporting, to create pollution prevention plans
and toxic reduction strategies, to reduce risks for the community. 

  • Until now, nearly 40,000 businesses and institutions in Toronto didn't have to disclose what chemicals, and in what quantities they used and released.
  • Armed with information you and your politicians can make real choices about how to reduce your community's risk from toxic chemicals.
  • When industries come under public scrutiny they work harder to clean up their act. They find ways to stop using toxic chemicals reduce releases and prevent accidents.