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Assessing the quantity and toxicity of chemical releases from TRI facilities in Upstate New York


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.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

Code availability

All analyses were done using RStudio version 3.5.3. All code used in creating images is available from the corresponding author upon request.


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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.

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Authors and Affiliations



Amanda Charette: methodology, Formal analysis and investigation, writing—original draft preparation, writing—review and editing.

Dustin Hill: formal analysis and investigation, writing—review and editing

Mary Collins: writing—review and editing

Jaime Mirowsky: conceptualization, methodology, writing—review and editing, funding acquisition, supervision

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Correspondence to Jaime E. Mirowsky.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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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).

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  • Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Facilities
  • Chemical release quantity
  • Chemical toxicity
  • Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) Model