Big Cut in UK Firms' Carcinogenic Emissions

LONDON, United Kingdom, March 6, 2002 (ENS) - UK industry cut its carcinogenic air emissions by almost 40 percent between 1998 and 2000, according to data released by the environmental group Friends of the Earth UK.


Chemical Works, Seal Sands, Teesside (Photo by Ian Britton courtesy
The organization's "factory watch" pollution register is based on official figures compiled by the Anglo-Welsh Environment Agency, supplemented with information about pollutants' health impacts.

Leading the top 10 carcinogen emitting factories is Ineos Chlor in the northwest of England, a major global producer of acrylics, ethylene oxide, chlor-alkali and chlorine derivatives. Friends of the Earth claims that the owners want taxpayers' money to clean up the factory, although other firms have financed cuts themselves.

The second worst polluter is Associated Octel, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals. It was ranked so poorly despite having slashed its carcinogenic emissions by 67 percent over the three year pollution register period.

A Friends of the Earth campaigner told reporters that the cuts proved that inventories are effective in cutting pollution. Companies are changing the way they operate and installing better pollution cleanup equipment as a result.

The environment agency's pollution inventory will, in future, be supplemented with fact sheets about the health implications of the chemicals released, a move which Friends of the Earth believes it has helped to force.

Under the 1996 integrated pollution prevention and control law, a European Union wide industrial pollution register is being established and should issue a first report next year.


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