Meet the Toxic 100 Corporate Air Polluters

* By Michael Ash and James K. Boyce t r u t h o u t *

Photo: otodo; Edited: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t

Amherst, MA – Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst today released the Toxic 100 Air Polluters, an updated list of the top corporate air polluters in the United States.

“The Toxic 100 Air Polluters informs consumers and shareholders which large corporations release the most toxic pollutants into our air,” said Professor James Boyce, co-director of PERI’s Corporate Toxics Information Project. “We assess not just how many pounds of pollutants are released, but which are the most toxic and how many people are at risk. People have a right to know about toxic hazards to which they are exposed. Legislators need to understand the effects of pollution on their constituents.”

The Toxic 100 Air Polluters index is based on air releases of hundreds of chemicals from industrial facilities across the United States. The rankings take into account not only the quantity of releases, but also the toxicity of chemicals, transport factors such as prevailing winds and height of smokestacks, and the number of people exposed.

The top five air polluters among large corporations are the Bayer Group, ExxonMobil, Sunoco, DuPont, and Arcelor Mittal. The Toxic 100 Air Polluters rankings have been expanded to include large privately held firms, such as number 10 Koch Industries, as well as the world’s largest publicly traded corporations.

For the first time, the Toxic 100 Air Polluters includes information on the disproportionate risk burden from industrial air toxics for minorities and low-income communities. This makes it possible to compare corporations and facilities in terms of their environmental justice performance as well as overall pollution. For example, the data reveal that minorities bear 65% of the air toxics risk from facilities owned by ExxonMobil, while minorities make up 38% of the U.S. population.

Read more with the full list and links at t r u t h o u t

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