It's Your Right to Know
                   right to
                  know about
                 toxic chemicals
                that are transported,
              treated, stored or released
              into the environment in your
             community. The Environmental
             Protection Agency's Toxics Release
           Inventory (TRI) provides information on
          toxic chemical use and release so citizens,
           businesses, and governments can work
                  to protect
                  the quality
                  of their land,
                 air, and water.
       Information Kit

                    What  is  the  Toxics
                    Release  Inventory?
  In 1984 a deadly cloud of methyl isocyanate killed 2,500 people in
Bhopal, India. Shortly thereafter there was a serious chemical release in
West Virginia. Following these events, public interest and environmental
organizations around the country accelerated demands for information on
toxic chemicals being released "beyond the fence line"  outside of the
facility. Consequently, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-
Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted.

The  Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986
  Hailed as one of the most potent pieces of environmental legislation  in
over 20 years, EPCRA's primary purpose is to inform communities and
citizens of chemical hazards in their areas. The overall goal of EPCRA is
to reduce risk for communities as a whole.
  Through  EPCRA, Congress mandated that information on toxic
chemical releases to the environment be collected into a database.
Hence, EPA established the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) -- a database
which provides citizens with information about potentially hazardous
chemicals and their use.  By using TRI, communities have more power  to
hold companies accountable and make informed decisions about how
toxic chemicals are to be managed.
   Section 313 of EPCRA specifically requires industries and facilites to
report releases of more than 600 designated toxic chemicals and chemi-
cal categories into the environment. The reports are submitted to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state and tribal governments.
EPA compiles this data in an on-line, publicly accessible national comput-
erized Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). This vast source of data is indeed
a powerful force for environmental improvement.
  Facilities are required to report on releases of toxic chemicals into the
air, water, and land. In addition, they need to report on off-site transfers 
a transfer of wastes for treatment, energy recovery, recycling, or disposal
at a separate facility. As of 1991, facilities are also required to report on
pollution prevention activities and chemical recycling. Reports must be
submitted on or before July  1 each year and must cover activities that
occurred at the facility during the previous year.
  In 1996, over 71,000 reports  representing 5.5 billion pounds of
chemical releases and a significant environmental threat  were submit-
ted to  EPA by over 21,000 facilities.
  TRI is unique in that it marks the first time that the public has direct
access to detailed information about releases and management of toxic
chemicals in their communities. With information from TRI, citizens can
increase their knowledge of chemical usage in their area and use this
knowledge to affect community environmental policy and change.
Each year over
70,OOO reports,
   billions off
   pounds of
 releases, are
 submitted to
 EPA by more
  than 21 ,OOO
      Emergency Plan-
ning and Community
To-Know Act (EPCF
1986 is also knr
til of the Supertund
Amendments and  Reau-
thorizatlon Act.
   The Act provides lor
     llection and  public
relea       'ormalion
about the:

chemicals in o
COmn           ;w re-

nmg  and to notify their
communities o<_ the exist-
ence  of. and routine and
accidental releases of.
hazardous chemicals. The
goal is to r,       is, of-
ficials, and community
leaders to be better in-
formed a-:       : and
hazardous materials in
their comm

The TRI database includes information on:
*  What chemicals were released into the local
   environment in preceding years
  How much of each chemical went into the air,
   water,  and land in a particular year
1  How much of the chemicals were transported
   away from the reporting facility for disposal,
   treatment, recycling, or energy recovery
  How chemical wastes were treated, disposed,
   recycled, or burnt for recovery at the reporting
  The efficiency of that treatment
  Pollution prevention and recycling activities
Reporting Requirements
A facility is required to report if it:
*  has ten or more full-time employees (or the
   equivalent of 20,000 work hours per year); and
  manufactures, imports, or processes over
   25,000 pounds of one of the approximately 650
   designated chemicals or the 28 chemical
   categories specified in EPCRA, or uses more
   than 10,000 pounds of any subject chemical or
   category; and
  conducts selected manufacturing operations in
   certain industry groups specified in the US
   Government Standard Industrial Classification
   (SIC) codes - as listed here on the right.
             CODES BY INDUSTRY

      12       Coal Mining (exclun
      21       Tobacco
      22       Textiles
      23       Apparel
      24       Lumber & Wood
      25       Furniture
      26       Paper
      27       Printing & Publishing
      28       Chermcals
      29       Petroleum & Coal
      30       Rubber & Plastics
      31       Leather
      32       Stone. Clay & Glass
      33       Primary Metals
      34       Fabricated Metals
      35       Machinery (excluding elS'
      36       Electrical & Electronic Equipment
      37       Transportation C
      38       Instruments
      39       Miscellaneous Manufacturing
4911,4931,4939  Electric Utilities
     4953       Commercial Hazardous Waste Treatment'
     5169       Chemicals and Allied Products - Wholesale'
     7389       Solvent Recovery Services'
                             * effective July 1,1999
   TRI provides the first comprehensive overview of toxic chemical pollution from manufacturing facilities
in  the United States; however, reporting requirements do not cover aJJ industries that release toxic
chemicals.  Also, the law does not cover toxic chemicals that reach the environment from non-industrial
sources. Reported releases are estimates and there is no way to discern whether a chemical has been
released in a single large burst or routinely throughout the year. Though the TRI database does offer
information on the health effects of a specific chemicai, the user cannot ascertain levels of exposure or
risk without combining TRI information with information from other sources. Although the TRI reporting
base has its limitations, it provides communities with a springboard from which citizens can seek further
vital information about toxic chemicals in their area.

A Public "Report Card"
   TRI is a public "report card" for the industrial community, creating a powerful motivation for waste
reduction. This annual accounting of the nation's management of industrial toxic chemical wastes is a
valuable source of information for concerned individuals and communities. Citizens can use TRI to
evaluate local facilities through comparisons, determine how toxic chemicals are used, and with other
information, identify and evaluate potential health risks for their community. Organizations can use TRI
information as a starting point for constructive dialogue with manufacturing businesses in the area.
  33/50 Program Update
    TRI served as the foundation for the implementation of EPA's 33/50 Program, a voluntary pollution
  prevention initiative that  established national emissions reduction goals for high priority chemical wastes
  -33 percent reduction by 1992 and 50 percent by 1995. Through a collaborative partnership between
  government, industry, and the public, the program met its goals a year early, and went on to  exceed
  expectations by the end of 1995.

                       Who  uses
    The TRI is a rich source of data originally intended for concerned citizens who, on their own or through
 organized groups, use TRI to raise and answer questions about chemical releases in their communities.
 Today, TRI has a broad-based audience that includes manufacturers, environmental consulting firms, trade
 associations, labor groups, health professionals, state and local environmental agencies. Local Emergency
 Planning Committees (LEPCs). and federal agencies Whether the'TRI is used to influence local govern-
 ment action, emergency planning, the education of citizens, or to spur industry-citizen coooeration, it is clear
 that ft plays a vital role in enhancing nationwide efforts to improve our nation's precious environmenl
CIT1ZENS. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) was written on the prin-
ciple that the more citizens know, the more effective they can be in avoiding chemical hazards in their communi-
ties. TRi enables citizens to become more aware of toxic chemicals in their own neighborhoods. It encourages
dialogue between individuals and local companies which can result in a change in current practices and
improve the local environment. For example, a group of Minnesota residents used TRI data to encourage a
local firm to reduce the use of a carcinogen by 90 percent. The state later passed tougher regulations limiting
the amounts of chemical releases allowable under state permits. One neighborhood near Houston, Texas
worked directly with a local plant to develop an emissions reduction plan, using recent TRI data as the basis for
discussions. Citizens often use the TRI data in combination with other information sources to determine health-
related risks in their communities.

BUSINESSES. Businesses can use the TRI data as  a basis for reducing large stocks of toxic chemicals
located in dense population areas or to lower levels of chemical releases. TRI data is also used to  cut
costs and improve operations. "Wastes" represent an expense  an estimated  $100 billion + is spent in
producing the toxic wastes reported in TRI aione, Companies are using TRI to increase awareness of
environmental business opportunities and, as a result, reduce the use of toxic chemicals. TRI is also used
to market a chemical or process that is cleaner, safer, or more cost-effective for the reporting facilities. Law
firms, real estate companies, and banks use TRI to identify potential liability issues associated with a particular
parcel of land. Most important of all, the publicity that has resulted from the availability of TRI data has caused
many companies to voluntarily reduce toxic chemical releases.
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.  Academic researchers rely heavily on TRI data to conduct critical studies of
the environment. Several universities use TRI reports to study how chemicals are used and develop alternative
technologies for the prevention of toxic releases. The Environmental Studies  Program at Dickinson College
in Pennsylvania requires its students to prepare toxic waste audits on communities or facilities, using TRI
as a resource.
PUBLIC INTEREST GROUPS. Public interest groups make effective use  of the TRI data by challenging
facilities to educate citizens and to gain access to revealing company profiies. Most often, theyuse TRI to bring
public sentiment to bear on facilities and public officials. For example, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition used
TRI to identify companies emitting potentially harmful chemicals, and urged them to cut releases. One official
from a well-known company was quoted as saying that the "right to know" was a "significant factor" in the
decision to significantly reduce their chemical releases. National public interest groups often publish reports
based on the TRI data. For example, a study highlighting the nation's toxic polluters and a  report naming
companies releasing known ozone-depleting chemicals were developed as a result of the availability of the TRI
data. The TRI data is also vital for presenting a convincing case to influence legislators. The Massachusetts
Public Interest Research Group figured prominently in the  passage of the nation's first state toxics-use reduc-
tion law, and many other states have followed suit.

LABOR ORGANIZATIONS.  Concern for worker safety was a key factor in the original passage of the national
right-to-know legislation. The right to know about chemical hazards in the workplace has been a consistent goal
of organized labor since the early 1970s. The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union teamed up with
a Minnesota community and used the TRI  data to campaign for a reduction in the  use of methylene chloride, a
known health hazard to the workers, and to search for safer alternatives. Union members and activists pres-
sured the state for tougher regulations that would force the company to cut emissions by 93%. One worker
remarked, "Right-to-Know provided the catalyst. Once the community got involved, there was tremendous
pressure on the business to reduce the risks!" Publication of toxic release data often causes companies to
improve environmental performance. Unions can capitalize on public awareness to help protect their members.

STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES.  TRI data is vital to hospitals, schools,  and state and local governments for
emergency planning and response at the state and local level. Many Emergency Management Agencies, fire
departments, and Emergency Medical Services use TRI to identify chemicals in use and map facility layouts for
more effective, quicker response to emergencies. The TRI data is also used to identify the need for and the
introduction and passage of state and local legislation. In 1989, Louisiana used the TRI data as the basis for
passing a new air toxics law requiring a 50 percent reduction of emissions by 1994. TRI is also used  in combi-
nation with other data to determine whether companies are complying with environmental legislation already in
effect. For example, TRI data on off-site transfers can be used to identify chemicals or wastes being transported from
a facility to verify that the receiving landfill has the proper permits for incoming amount and type of waste.

FEDERAL AGENCIES.  TRI data is used  extensively at the federal level for a variety  of programs. Congress
relies on TRI to prepare environmental legislation, such as the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Through
TRI data, federal lawmakers discovered that the nation's Clean Air Act toxics control program was not ad-
equate. Of the top 25 TRI reported chemicals released to the air, only two were regulated by the Clean Air Act.
In 1990, amendments to the Clean Air Act required manufacturers to develop risk management plans, shifting
the initial emergency planning responsibility from the mostly-volunteer LEPC to industry. The Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry, a federal  public health agency whose job  it is to prevent or minimize adverse
health effects from exposure to hazardous substances, uses TRI data to set  goals for improving the nation's
health, The  Internal Revenue Service uses TRI data to measure the compliance of reporting companies with
tax laws pertaining to the use of toxic substances.

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. TRI is used by EPA as a baseline for measuring improve-
ments in companies across the nation. Company performance records are tracked over time to monitor efforts,
and to monitor emission reductions called  for under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 TRI is also used to
measure company compliance with other laws, to target areas where enforcement of other regulations is
needed, to gauge the need for additional regulatory efforts to clean up water, air, and  solid waste problems, and
to develop strategies for assessing pollution prevention programs.

HEALTH OFFICIALS. TRI data can be used to build an information base on hazardous chemicals used.
manufactured, or transported in a state or community. Health professionals can use this information to prepare
personnel for emergencies. TRI is used to diagnose, treat, or study health effects resulting from chemical
exposure in the community or workplace.

MEDIA. TRI is important to the education of the community about facilities and potential hazards in the local
area. Many large newspapers, such as USA Today, the New York Times,  and the Wall Street Journal have
published stories on the effectiveness of the right-to-know statute, as have scores of trade and-labor union
publications and periodicals.

INTERNATIONAL.  TRI enhances the ability of the world to work collectively  in monitoring the earth's environ-
ment. Several nations use the data to become more environmentally conscious. Environment Canada uses the
TRI data to determine which industries and chemicals need greater regulation in their country and is preparing
a National Pollutant Inventory modelled on TRI. The Russian Federation Embassy used TRI data to evaluate
companies interested in opening facilities in their country. Other users of TRI around the world include Great Britain,
continental Europe, India, and Japan. The international group is one of the fastest growing segments of the TRI-user

                      How  does  TRI
                      affect  me?
A  Matter of Risk

  What are these chemicals and how toxic are they?
  Will these chemicals affect my health?
  What other chemicals are made or stored at this facility?
  What is the government doing about these releases?
  How do I find out what's going on in my community?

These are not easy questions to answer. Many factors must be considered in order to evaluate what risks, if any, you
face from the  presence of toxic chemicals in your local environment,  Risk is the measure of the chance that you will
experience health problems or the environment will be degraded. Risk screening uses available information, such as
TRI, to develop a relative estimate of risk for a given set of conditions. Risks are ranked as high, medium, or low in
order to set priorities for further evaluation.
Risk Screening

TRI data is a first link to discovering which chemi-
cals being manufactured, released, or transferred in
your community pose a threat to human health and
the environment. TRI will tell you the names and
estimated amounts of chemicals released in your
area during the preceding year. You can also find
out about chemicals that were transferred into or
away from your area for treatment  and disposal.
This information alone does not indicate the risks
that these chemicals pose or may pose to human
health and the environment.  Small releases of
highly toxic chemicals may be a greater risk than
very iarge releases of less toxic chemicals. Though
TRI data is useful to evaluate the risk in your
community, other information is required to  form a
complete picture. A determination  of risk depends
on the release conditions, extent of exposure,
environmental conditions, and other factors.

So What Can  I  Do?

Once you become aware of toxic chemical  releases
in your community, you can decide what to  do next.
Here are several ideas...
logical potency of a chemical is a measure of a chemical's
potential to harm human health and the environment. Health
effects include the potential to cause cancer, genetic dam-
age, reproductive damage, or harm to the nervous system.
Environmental effects incorporate potential for damage to
plants, animals, and fish.

of how toxic a chemical is, it cannot do harm unless it has
contact with the environment or a human being. In ranking
exposure, you must first look at the amount of the chemical
that is being released, the duration and intensity of the
releases, and how long the chemical remains in the envi-
ronment. Then it is important to define the route of the
exposure. Is the chemical moving through the air, surface
water, or ground water? Finally, the exposed population
must be defined, as the more people exposed the higher
the likelihood  that health problems will occur.

the potency and the exposure ratings, risk screening identifies
the chemicals, facilities, and routes of exposure that present a
"high," "medium," or "low" priority for a follow-up investigation.
This final step  establishes the probability that a release in a
particular area will harm human health or the environment.
LEARN THE FACTS.  In addition to chemical release information, TRI contains the names and telephone numbers of
public contacts at reporting facilities. Companies are becoming more sensitive to citizens' concerns about health and
the environment, and some have begun community outreach programs. Company officials may provide answers to
your questions that could affect risk screening. They can also steer you toward local agencies, for example, the Local
Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

GO TO YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. Ask your librarian to help you find information about chemicals in your community.
There are several standard reference works that can help you decide whether further investigation is warranted.

IDENTIFY YOUR LOCAL SAFETY AND PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES. These groups can help you evaluate what
you have learned and identify any additional information you may need. Most counties have a public health agency
staffed by one or more doctors, including a county health officer. Some areas have poison control centers with
toxicologists and other staff who may be of some assistance.  If you have difficulty identifying appropriate agencies in
your area, call the local hospital or fire department for a referral.

LOCATE YOUR LOCAL  EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-
to-Know Act (EPCRA} which created TRI also established LEPCs to plan for emergency action in the event of
hazardous chemical spills and similar incidents.  LEPCs are aware of hazardous chemicals used and stored by
facilities in your area. They receive Material Safety  Data Sheets that detail physical properties and health effects of
hazardous chemicais used by local manufacturers and other facilities.  LEPCs, while often associated with existing
county-level emergency planning and civil defense agencies, include representatives of environmental and transpor-
tation agencies, fire fighters, hospitals, the media, community  groups, and others.
federal public health agency concerned with risks resulting from chemical exposure. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, it
was created by the  Superfund legislation in 1980. ATSDR makes information on the health effects of hazardous
substances available to the public, conducts health  assessments, and sponsors research. The ATSDR publication
series titled Toxicological Profiles characterizes toxicological properties and health effects information for specific
chemicals so they can be understood by a lay person. These publications, widely distributed to libraries across the
country, are invaluable if  you are interested in a specific chemical. ATSDR maintains  contacts with state and local
health agencies throughout the U.S. For more information, call ATSDR at (404) 639-0727.

CONTACT  EPA FOR FREE FACT SHEETS. EPA publishes fact sheets that summarize the health and environmen-
tal effects of TRI chemicals.  A typical 4 or 5-page fact sheet describes the symptoms that may result from exposure
as well as accepted methods of treatment. Fact sheets are free on request when you call the EPCRA Hotline at
(800) 535-0202. EPA also administers ten regional  offices across the country for additional assistance.

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY. Leading experts can  often be found in the academic
community, and professors and staff are often willing to share their knowledge with local  residents. Be prepared to
make a few phone calls - several attempts may be  necessary to find the right department or person.

NETWORK WITH NEIGHBORS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS. This is a good  way to exchange information, partici-
pate in meetings with officials, experts, and company representatives, and plan  activities that address your concerns.
The more people who are involved,  the more attention you are likely to receive from industry officials, government
agencies, and the news media.

Hotlines                                     Publications
Risk Communication  - responds to questions on risk communica-
tions issues and literature, provides information on EPA's Risk       Screening. U.S. EPA Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, 1989,
Communication Program, and makes referrals to other related       8 pages. Free by calling (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 in AK & VA.
agency sources of information, (202} 260-5606  Monday - Friday
8:3Qam - 5:00pm EST                                      Hazardous Substances in Our Environment: A Citizen's Guide to
                                                      Understanding Health Risks and Reducing Exposure. U.S. EPA
National Air  Toxics Information Clearinghouse - collects,         Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, 1990.125 pages. Free by
classifies, and disseminates air toxics information and makes  callers   calling (202) 260-5606.  Answers questions about health risks from
aware of published air toxics information from EPA, other federal      hazardous substances.  Contains glossary, lists, and other resources.
agencies, and similar relevant sources. (919) 541-0850  Monday -
Thursday  8:00am - 5:QQpm EST  Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm EST      TRI Risk Screening Guide. Volume 1 - The Process, U.S. EPA
                                                      Office of Toxic Substances, 1989,102 pages. Describes in greater
Air Risk Information Support Center - assists state and local air     detail how to use TRI data to conduct risk screening. Contains
pollution control agencies and EPA regional offices with technical      glossary, lists, and other resources. Charge; $44.50. Order by
matters pertaining to health, exposure, and risk assessment or air       calling the National Technical Information Service at (703) 487-4650
pollutants.  (919)541-0888 Monday - Friday  8:00am - 5:00pm EST    and specify publication #PB90122128.

                                                    TRI  Success  Stories
                                                                              :ne EPA Office of Pollution Prevention andToxics}
     Now in its eleventh year, the TRi program continues to ex-
pand its outreach. As the Right-to-Know concept broadens its pur-
view, more and more people are interested in learning about the
TRI's successes. To meet this growing interest, EPA is creating a
compendium of success stories. The purpose of this compendium
is to collect and share information on the program's uses for ad-
dressing and enhancing public awareness of the potential risks
posed by toxic chemicals released into the environment by indus-
trial facilities.
     Many facilities  realize the environmental and societal ben-
efits of disclosing their information. As a result  of the program's
influence, EPA has expanded the list of chemicals and industries
covered under TRI. There has also been a doubling in the number
of chemicals reported by facilities around the US. Over 31,000
facilities are now submitting reports, representing a 30% increase
over the past year. To date, there are over 600 chemicals listed in
the database.
     The recent TRI/Right-to-Know Conference held in Washing-
ton, DC presented an opportunity for TRI to celebrate its successes.
in the opening and closing plenaries as well as in a course entitled,
"Success Stories of TRI Use," there were several discussions on
how TRI has made a positive impact through communities, indus-
tries, State and local government, advocacy groups and other or-
ganizations. Here are some of the highlights in TRI's achievements
as mentioned in the conference:

     In the steady increase of industry participation, several com-
panies have stepped to the forefront in reducing chemical releases
to the environment. Companies such as  Rhone-Poulenc and
DuPont attribute their successes, wholly or partly, to the TRI pro-
gram. Since Rhone-Poulenc (the 6th largest chemical company
worldwide) joined the program, their toxic emissions have de-
creased by 50% and they are now recycling 90% of the chemicals
they use.  DuPont's chemical releases have declined by over 50%
and it has experienced a 70% decrease in the number of injuries,
illnesses and incidents involving chemical releases.
     TRI has  even  influenced businesses not covered under
the regulation. Lucrative investments in environmentally-
friendly industries are on the rise.  According to Neuberger &
Berman (N&B), because of the growing interest in environmen-
tally conscientious companies, N&B is now using TRI to screen
socially-responsive portfolios.
     Examples of states that have recently instituted TRI-based
initiatives include Tennessee and Louisiana, two states with a
high population of industrial facilities. Tennessee is proud of its
2000 Initiative on air pollution. This program emphasizes indus-
try outreach and the participation of local facilities in pollution
reduction schemes. Louisiana is equally pleased with its Envi-
ronmental Leadership Program. This initiative encourages part-
nerships with the local chemical industry and stresses voluntary
reductions of emissions beyond levels of compliance.

     Administrator Browner recently stated that more than 1,500
community groups use TRI data in their dealings with local gov-
ernment and industry. Grassroots groups and non-profit organi-
zations, well represented at the conference, were eager to voice
their successes in the legislative and legal systems. Inspired by
TRI's momentum, some groups successfully lobbied for state laws
such as the Toxics Use Reduction Act (Massachusetts) and a
Toxics Right-to-Know charter amendment (Oregon). Other orga-
nizations, such as Don't Waste Arizona, Inc., successfully sued
facilities for failure to report under EPCRA  but with a construc-
tive twist: instead of paying hefty fines to EPA, court judgments
were issued tor companies to apply some fines toward facility
improvements to meet compliance.

       Doing well and doing good are
     not mutually exclusive."
                              Neuberger & Berman

     TRI is successful because there is something in it for ev-
eryone. In complying with regulations, industry benefits the envi-
ronment by reducing chemical releases.  In  some  cases, a
company's stock investments increase and  the bottom line
improves as a result of more socially-responsive practices.
As community groups learn about the hazards around them,
they can coalesce to promote safer, healthier communities.
Non-profit organizations serve to increase public awareness
and  efficacy by bridging communications with government.
Finally, while  serving the public at large,  Federal, State and
local governments become stewards of  environmental pro-
tection by operating programs and initiatives that further
awareness ot potential chemical hazards.

                    Where  do   I  find  TRI

                    resources  in  my


TRI has been distributed in one or more formats to over 3,000 public libraries and federal depository libraries across the nation.
Also, libraries can be an invaluable source for other information about chemicals and their health and environmental effects. Ask
your local librarian to assist you in identifying community resources which can provide additional assistance.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
ATSDR is a federal public health agency designated to prevent or mitigate adverse health effects and diminished quality of life
resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. To accomplish its mission, ATSDR conducts public health assessments and
sponsors and conducts research  to increase scientific knowledge in this area. Health-care providers, state and local agencies,
and the public are provided information and education opportunities that address the effects of hazardous substances. Call
ATSDR at (404) 639-0727 or write to: ATSDR, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., (E-28), Atlanta, GA 30333.

Poison Control Centers
Poison Control Centers are located in communities across the country to assist residents and the medical community in the
handling of accidental poisonings. Toxicologists at these centers are knowledgeable about acute and chronic health effects that
result from exposure to hazardous chemicals. They can also identify the chemical hazards that are most prevalent in the com-
munity and can describe preventive and remedial measures required to minimize health problems. Information on your local
poison control center is listed in the yellow pages of your telephone directory.

State Emergency  Response Commissions (SERC)
EPCRA requires each state to designate a SERC, responsible for establish ing Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
and coordinating their activities, along with developing procedures for receiving and processing public requests for information
collected under EPCRA, and for reviewing local emergency plans.

State and Local Agencies
Government agencies serving your area are a vital source of information, TRI reports are filed with the state, as well as with the
Federal Government. Most states provide access to the data collected, and many publish analyses of the data. Many states
have a counterpart to the U.S.  EPA, as well as a state  health department  employing toxicologists, health and safety officers,
environmental specialists, and others who can provide assistance. You  can locate these agencies in the blue pages or govern-
ment section of your telephone directory or you can call your EPA Regional Office listed on the enclosed insert.

Local Emergency  Planning Committees (LEPCs)
EPCRA also required the establishment of LEPCs, designated to develop emergency response plans to prepare for and re-
spond to chemical emergencies. The LEPCs are a focal point in the community for information about hazardous substances..
emergency planning, and health and environment risks. Contact your SERC or call your local emergency management agency
or Red Cross Chapter to obtain information on your LEPC.

Emergency Management Agencies
Every state and most counties have emergency management agencies that are responsible for coordinating emergency pre-
paredness planning and response. At the local level this task is often delegated to the police, fire, or medical service department.
Many of these agencies have access to computerized emergency information bases, including TRI, that are accessible through
CAMEO or other information systems. These agencies are good resources for basic information about known potentially hazardous
chemicals in your community.

Fire Departments
Fire departments are a good source of information
about the hazardous chemicals used by facilities within
their jurisdiction, since fire departments are often the
first to respond to a chemical emergency, they receive
materials safety data sheets (MSDS} or lists of MSDS
chemicals and hazardous chemical inventory forms that
provide information about the properties and effects of
a specific chemical. This information may be accessed
through CAMEO or other information systems.

Each business or facility that reports chemical releases
to the Toxic Release Inventory  is required to designate
an individual to serve as the public contact for inquiries
about TRI. The  name and phone number for the
contact is included  on the actual reporting form (Form
R) submitted by the facility.

Trade  Associations
Health and medical associations, organizations of
chemists and lexicologists, and associations of
chemical manufacturers are good resources for
assistance in interpreting the TRI data and for
identifying people  with expertise in your area of
interest. For a  listing of these organizations consult
the Encyclopedia  of Associations in  the reference
section of your library or check your local yellow

Academic Institutions
The TRI is available in the collections  of all Federal
Deposit Libraries, many of which are located at aca-
jemic institutions across the country. Universities may
also employ physical chemists and biochemists who
;an describe the properties and uses of hazardous
chemicals. Universities with public health curriculum
jsually have faculty who are familiar with risk assess-
ment procedures. Academic institutions, in general, are
pod resources for basic information about chemicals
and toxigenic properties.

Environmental and Public Interest
vlany groups with an environmental or community
lealth focus are knowledgeable about the Toxic
Release Inventory.  These organizations may be able to
jssist you with  your personal concerns about health
ssues, or they may be able to  refer you to a particular
source. Many of the larger organizations have local
chapters and active grassroots organizations.