In this section, we take a closer look at some of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals of interest to the public, the EPA, lawmakers, and industry. These profiles include persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals that are classified by TRI as chemicals of special concern. Other profiles focus on carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, persistent chemicals that were recently added to TRI).
PBTs are toxic, break down very slowly in the environment, and tend to build up in organisms throughout the food web. These organisms are food sources for other organisms, including humans, which are sensitive to the toxic effects of PBT chemicals. Reporting thresholds for the PBTs on the TRI chemical list are either 10 pounds or 100 pounds, lower than for most TRI chemicals. For dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, the reporting threshold is even lower, at 0.1 gram. The PBTs covered here are lead and lead compounds, mercury and mercury compounds, and dioxin and dioxin-like compounds.
You can generate a fact sheet for any chemical using TRI Explorer.
This page was published in March 2023 and uses the 2021 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2022.