Pollutant chemical releases and their toxicological profiles have been investigated by many researchers in the past; however, little work of this kind has been conducted in the Upstate New York area. The objectives of this study were to compare the pollutant releases from Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities in Upstate New York, both by quantity and toxicity. Using hierarchal clustering, seven unique residential clusters were created from nine population demographics representing neighborhood-based socioeconomic status. TRI facilities were geocoded into the residential clusters, and the quantity and toxicity of chemicals released from these facilities were obtained. The facilities in the Minority Working Class and Working Class clusters released the greatest quantity of chemicals. However, when looking at the toxicity of the chemicals released, reporting only the quantity of polluting chemicals had the potential to underestimate the potential toxicological risk faced by the communities surrounding these facilities; this was true for both the overall quantity of chemicals released and when looking at carcinogens released, in particular. Lastly, it was seen that not including toxicity in reported results might hide many toxic chemicals that are released in low quantities. The use of chemical weighing systems in studies such as this is imperative to fully inform individuals of the toxic chemicals being released within their communities.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
All analyses were done using RStudio version 3.5.3. All code used in creating images is available from the corresponding author upon request.
Abel TD (2008) Skewed riskscapes and environmental injustice: a case study of metropolitan St. Louis Environ Manage 42:232–248. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-008-9126-2
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2000) Toxicological profile for methylene chloride. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp14.pdf. Accessed 2 Jun 2021
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1999) Toxicological profile for formaldehyde. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp111.pdf. Accessed 2 Jun 2021
Bouwes NW, Hassur SM, Shapiro MD (2001) Empowerment through risk-related information: EPA’s risk screening environmental indicators project. Amherst, MA
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) Cancer . https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/cancer.htm. Accessed 14 Dec 2021
Chakraborty J, Collins TW, Grineski SE et al (2014) Comparing disproportionate exposure to acute and chronic pollution risks: a case study in Houston, Texas. Risk Anal 34:2005–2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/risa.12224
Charette AT, Collins MB, Mirowsky JE (2021) Assessing residential socioeconomic factors associated with pollutant releases using EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. J Environ Stud Sci 11:247–257. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-021-00664-7
Collins M, Pulver S, Hill D, Manski B (2020) Characterizing disproportionality in facility-level toxic releases in US manufacturing, 1998–2012. Environ Res Lett 15. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab7393
Collins MB, Munoz I, Jaja J (2016) Linking “toxic outliers” to environmental justice communities. Environ Res Lett 11. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/015004
Cooper GS, Scott CS, Bale AS (2011) Insights from epidemiology into dichloromethane and cancer risk. Int J Environ Res Public Health 8:3380–3398. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8083380
Dekant W, Jean P, Arts J (2021) Evaluation of the carcinogenicity of dichloromethane in rats, mice, hamsters and humans. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 120. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.YRTPH.2020.104858
Dunn AM (2009) A relative risk ranking of selected substances on Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 15:579–603. https://doi.org/10.1080/10807030902892562
Flores AB, Castor A, Grineski SE et al (2020) Petrochemical releases disproportionately affected socially vulnerable populations along the Texas Gulf Coast after Hurricane Harvey. Popul Environ 42:279–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-020-00362-6
Freudenburg WR (2005) Privileged access, privileged accounts: toward a socially structured theory of resources and discourses. Soc Forces 84:89–114. https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.2005.0096
Friedman HP, Rubin J (1967) On some invariant criteria for grouping data. J Am Stat Assoc 62:1159–1178. https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1967.10500923
Galli Robertson AM, Collins MB (2019) Super emitters in the United States coal-fired electric utility industry: comparing disproportionate emissions across facilities and parent companies. Environ Sociol 5:70–81. https://doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2018.1495045
Ge J, Yang H, Lu X et al (2020) Combined exposure to formaldehyde and PM25: hematopoietic toxicity and molecular mechanism in mice. Environ Int 144:106050. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106050
Grant D, Jorgenson A, Longhofer W (2013) Targeting electricity’s extreme polluters to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions. J Environ Stud Sci 3:376–380. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-013-0142-z
Hill DT, Collins MB, Vidon ES (2018) The environment and environmental justice: linking the biophysical and the social using watershed boundaries. Appl Geogr 95:54–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2018.04.007
Horvath A, Hendrickson CT, Lave LB et al (1995) Toxic emissions indices for Green Design and Inventory. Environ Sci Technol 29:86A-90A. https://doi.org/10.1021/es00002a003
Li L, Hua L, He Y, Bao Y (2017) Differential effects of formaldehyde exposure on airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. PLoS ONE 12:e0179231. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179231
Lim S-R, Lam CW, Schoenung JM (2010) Quantity-based and toxicity-based evaluation of the U.S. Toxics Release Inventory J Hazard Mater 178:49–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.01.041
Luo Y, Li Y (2021) Control quantity or toxicity of textile chemicals? A case study of denim jeans in the warp-dyeing phase. Text Res J. https://doi.org/10.1177/0040517521993488
Messer LC, Laraia BA, Kaufman JS et al (2006) The development of a standardized neighborhood deprivation index. J Urban Heal 83:1041–1062. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-006-9094-x
Mirowsky JE, Devlin RB, Diaz-Sanchez D et al (2017) A novel approach for measuring residential socioeconomic factors associated with cardiovascular and metabolic health. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 27:281–289. https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2016.53
Mohai P, Pellow D, Roberts JT (2009) Environmental Justice Annu Rev Environ Resour 34:405–430. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-082508-094348
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (2021a) Potential Environmental Justice Area (PEJA) Communities. https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?url=https://services6.arcgis.com/DZHaqZm9cxOD4CWM/ArcGIS/rest/services/Potential_Environmental_Justice_Area__PEJA__Communities/FeatureServer&source=sd. Accessed 15 Dec 2021a
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (2021b) Maps & geospatial information system (GIS) tools for environmental justice. https://www.dec.ny.gov/public/911.html. Accessed 15 Dec 2021b
Oginawati K, Susetyo SH, Rosalyn FA et al (2021) Risk analysis of inhaled hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) exposure on blacksmiths from industrial area. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28:14000–14008. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11590-6
Park AS, Ritz B, Ling C et al (2017) Exposure to ambient dichloromethane in pregnancy and infancy from industrial sources and childhood cancers in California. Int J Hyg Environ Health 220:1133–1140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.06.006
Pastor M Jr, Morello-Frosch R, Sadd JL (2005) The air is always cleaner on the other side: race, space, and ambient air toxics exposures in California. J Urban Aff 27:127–148. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0735-2166.2005.00228.x
R Core Team (2020) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna
Rosofsky A, Levy JI, Zanobetti A et al (2018) Temporal trends in air pollution exposure inequality in Massachusetts. Environ Res 161:76–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2017.10.028
Sciannameo V, Ricceri F, Soldati S et al (2019) Cancer mortality and exposure to nickel and chromium compounds in a cohort of Italian electroplaters. Am J Ind Med 62:99–110. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22941
Seals RM, Kioumourtzoglou M-A, Gredal O et al (2017) Occupational formaldehyde and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Eur J Epidemiol 32:893–899. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-017-0249-8
Setton EM, Veerman B, Erickson A et al (2015) Identifying potential exposure reduction priorities using regional rankings based on emissions of known and suspected carcinogens to outdoor air in Canada. Environ Heal 14:1–16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-015-0055-2
Sicotte D (2010) Some more polluted than others: unequal cumulative industrial hazard burdens in the Philadelphia MSA, USA. Local Environ 15:761–774. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2010.509384
Taylor S, Edwards SJ, Walker TR (2020) A toxicity-based analysis of Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI): a case study in Nova Scotia. Environ Sci Pollut Res 27:2238–2247. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-06933-x
United Church of Christ. Commission for Racial Justice (1987) Toxic wastes and race in the United States: a national report on the racial and socio-economic characteristics of communities with hazardous waste sites. https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1310/ML13109A339.pdf. Accessed 28 May 2019
United States Census Bureau (2019) American FactFinder. In: United States Census Bur. https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml. Accessed 10 Jun 2019
United States Census Bureau (2020) U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Syracuse city, New York. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/buffalocitynewyork,rochestercitynewyork,albanycitynewyork,syracusecitynewyork/IPE120219. Accessed 27 Jan 2021
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2020a) Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2020a-10/documents/epcra_quick_reference_fact_sheet.pdf. Accessed 14 Dec 2021
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2020b) What is the toxics release inventory? https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/what-toxics-release-inventory. Accessed 30 Mar 2020b
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2021a) Tool for Reduction and Assessment of Chemicals and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) . https://www.epa.gov/chemical-research/tool-reduction-and-assessment-chemicals-and-other-environmental-impacts-traci. Accessed 8 Nov 2021a
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2021b) Release chemical report. https://enviro.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_release.chemical. Accessed 2 Jun 2021b
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2021c) RSEI toxicity weights. https://www.epa.gov/rsei/rsei-toxicity-weights. Accessed 27 Mar 2020
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2020c) Column name: TOTAL_RELEASE. https://enviro.epa.gov/enviro/ef_metadata_html.tri_page?p_column_name=total_on_site_release. Accessed 4 May 2020b
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2019) EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) Methodology. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-02/documents/rsei_methodology_v2.3.8.pdf. Accessed 30 Mar 2020
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2020d) RSEI data dictionary: chemical data. https://www.epa.gov/rsei/rsei-data-dictionary-chemical-data. Accessed 4 May 2020c
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2018) Table II. EPCRA Section 313 Chemical List For Reporting Year 2017 (including Toxic Chemical Categories). https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-04/documents/ry_2017_tri_chemical_list_4_24_2018.pdf. Accessed 5 Apr 2020
United States Environmental Protection Agency (2021d) Reporting for TRI facilities. https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/reporting-tri-facilities#q1. Accessed 2 Jun 2021d
Ward JH Jr (1963) Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function. J Am Stat Assoc 58:236–244. https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1963.10500845
Weaver AM, McGuinn L, Neas L, et al (2019) Neighborhood sociodemographic effects on the associations between long-term PM2.5 exposure and cardiovascular outcomes and diabetes mellitus. Environ Epidemiol 3. https://doi.org/10.1097/ee9.0000000000000038
Wilson SM, Fraser-Rahim H, Williams E et al (2012) Assessment of the distribution of toxic release inventory facilities in metropolitan Charleston: an environmental justice case study. Am J Public Health 102:1974–1980. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300700
Wise SS, Holmes AL, Qin Q et al (2010) Comparative genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of four hexavalent chromium compounds in human bronchial cells. Chem Res Toxicol 23:365–372. https://doi.org/10.1021/tx900363j
This work was supported by the Center for Environmental Medicine and Informatics (CEMI) and the Chemistry Department at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Charette, A.T., Hill, D.T., Collins, M.B. et al. Assessing the quantity and toxicity of chemical releases from TRI facilities in Upstate New York. J Environ Stud Sci 12, 417–429 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-022-00759-9
- Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Facilities
- Chemical release quantity
- Chemical toxicity
- Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) Model