TRI National Analysis

Water Releases by Chemical in the 2015 TRI National Analysis

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This pie chart shows which toxic chemicals were released to water bodies in the greatest quantities in 2015.

  • Nitrate compounds accounted for 88% of the total quantities of TRI chemicals released to water in 2015. Nitrate compounds are soluble in water and commonly formed as part of the wastewater treatment process. The food manufacturing sector contributed 36% of total nitrate compound releases to water, due to the treatment required for large quantities of biological materials in wastewaters from meat processing facilities.
  • While nitrate compounds are less toxic to humans than many other TRI chemicals, in nitrogen-limited waters, nitrates have the potential to cause increased algal growth leading to eutrophication in the aquatic environment.
  • Manganese and manganese compounds, ammonia, and methanol are the next most commonly released chemicals, and, in terms of combined mass quantities, account for 7% of releases to water.

This page was published in January 2017 and uses the 2015 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2016.

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