Economic Find: Toxic 100

You can’t see toxic pollutants, but they can certainly hurt you. Toxins released into our air and water have serious impacts on both human health and ecosystems. But the fact that these pollutants are often invisible makes it difficult for communities to reclaim their right to a healthy and safe environment.

Environmental justice advocates across the country want and need to know what toxic releases are affecting their communities and which corporate facilities are producing them. This information can be a potent tool for empowering citizens to address environmental concerns that directly affect their health and their families.
The Corporate Toxics Information Project—run by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst—provides this key information, particularly the toxic scores of the top 100 corporate air polluters in the US, based on EPA data. (The chart below presents the top 10 corporate polluters from this list.) Furthermore, the project also shows the disproportionate burden from industrial air toxics for minorities and low-income communities. See Economic Find Corporate Toxics: Minorities at Risk.

According to Professor Michael Ash, Co-Director of the Corporate Toxics Information Project (and CPE member), “In making this information available, we are building on the achievements of the right-to-know movement. Our goal is to engender public participation in environmental decision-making, and to help residents translate the right to know into the right to clean air.”


For more information, go to PERI’s Corporate Toxics Information Project page.



Created by Member Economist Sue Holmberg



Boyce, James K.,Michael Ash. “Corporate Toxics Information Project”.