TRI data does not show if or to what degree the public is exposed to listed chemicals. Exposure to a chemical depends on many factors that fall outside of the scope of TRI data.
TRI chemicals vary widely in toxicity. While it may seem like a large release of a chemical is more serious than a small one, it depends on the nature of the chemical. For example, dioxins are highly toxic in small amounts.
TRI data can only provide information about toxic chemicals included on the TRI chemical list
for specific industry sectors.
Examples of releases that TRI doesn't include:
- Emissions from vehicles
- Pesticides used in agriculture
- Toxic chemicals found in personal care products
- Household pharmaceuticals that are disposed down the drain or placed in landfills
- Pollution released by service businesses such as dry cleaners or auto service stations