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How do companies use toxics?
The TURA reports are one source of information about toxics used in Massachusetts communities. However, it is important to understand that like any source of information, the TURA reports are not perfect and will not tell you everything you may want to know. This section is intended to help you understand what you can conclude, and what you can't conclude based on the TURA information.

TURA information will
tell you about:


TURA information will not
tell you about:


Industries and commercial operations which use more than 10,000 pounds or 25,000 pounds (depending on how it is used) of one of the chemicals on the list.

Industries and commercial operations which use small amounts of chemicals on the list. This means that smaller manufacturing facilities and most commercial operations (such as dry cleaners) will not be included in the report.

Industries and commercial operations that do not consider it necessary to claim quantity information as trade secret information.

Industries and commercial operations that claim quantity information as trade secret information.

Companies which employ at least 10 employees.

Companies which employ fewer than 10 employees.

Manufacturing facilities, wholesalers and distributors, utilities, transportation industries, and personal, business, and repair services.

Hospitals, municipal or state facilities, educational institutions, or construction operations.

How much of these chemicals are used, and whether they are manufactured (either intentionally or incidentally), processed or otherwise used.

Exactly what happens to the chemicals in the production process and how they are changed or transformed in the manufacturing process. (For more detail on this point, see Why Don't the Inputs Equal the Outputs?)

How much is generated as byproduct (anything coming out of the process that is not part of the product); how much is shipped out of the facility in or as product; and how much is released directly to the environment (air, water or land) by the facility.

How much is consumed in the process or transformed into another chemical. This can often be calculated as the difference between inputs and outputs, but not always. (For more detail on this point, see Why Don't the Inputs Equal the Outputs?)

Emissions and production ratio information reported under TRI.

Other information reported under TRI, including transfers off-site to a wastewater treatment plant, amount recycled on and off-site, etc. For this information, go to Scorecard or Envirofacts.

Basic information about how the chemical is used, including the facility's own description of the production unit (process), the product, and the industry classification codes (SIC codes).

The descriptions may not tell you exactly how the chemicals are used or what the products are; some companies provide very vague descriptions, or include all operations at the facility in one general, overall production unit; in addition, companies don't report a production unit or product if the chemical is used in the process of waste treatment (for example, an acid used to neutralize a caustic waste stream).
 


 
 
 
« Why don't the inputs equal the outputs?
 


 




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