Toxic chemicals released by industries this year, tons

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Sources and methods:

  • Each and every second 310 Kg of toxic chemicals are released into our air, land, and water by industrial facilities around the world.
  • This amounts to approximately 10 million tons (over 21 billion pounds) of toxic chemicals released into our environment by industries each year.
  • Of these, over 2 million tons (over 4.5 billion pounds) per year are recognized carcinogens. This amounts to about 65 Kg each second.


  • toxic chemicals: substances that can cause severe illness, poisoning, birth defects, disease, or death when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed by living organisms.
  • recognized carcinogens: as defined by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (view OSHA Carcinogens list)
  • release: any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment (as defined by EPCRA, U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, section, 329-8)
  • environment: includes water, air and land and the interrelationship which exists among and between water, air, and land and all living things.


For worldwide statistics, we refer primarily to the data provided by the United Nations Environment Program and correlated United Nations agencies.

For the United States, the data is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The main providers of data and statistics about the environment and sustainable development for the European Union are:

References and useful links: