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How to Understand the TURA Reports
Understanding the TURA reports requires a little bit of special knowledge. You don't have to have a PhD or a chemical engineering degree, but you do need to know some basic concepts and terms. The purpose of this section is to help you gain this basic knowledge:

  • How do companies use toxics?
    TURA reports describe how toxics are used by companies. In order to understand the reports, you need to be familiar with a few basic terms that are used to describe the role that toxics play in manufacturing and non-manufacturing processes.
     
  • What are companies required to report?
    The rules that govern TURA reporting are very specific. Companies are only required to report certain facts about toxics use. All companies report toxics use in the same terms: manufactured, processed, otherwise used, total use, generated byproduct, shipped in product, and releases. If you know what these terms mean and how they relate to each other, you can understand the TURA reports.
     
  • Understanding trends in toxics use
    (or why can't I just add up the reported quantities?).

    One of the most frequently asked questions about the TURA reports is "Why can't I find trends by just adding up all the quantities for all companies and all chemicals for all years since TURA reports were first filed in 1990?" It would be great if you could, but there are a number of reasons why this method will not give you accurate results. Find out why in this section.
     
  • Examples of how to correctly calculate trends in TURA information.
    If you can't just add up all the quantities for all companies and all chemicals for all years, then what techniques can you use to calculate trends? Here is a set of examples that explains how to account for all the variables in TURA reporting.
     
  • Why don't the inputs equal the outputs?
    If a certain amount of toxic materials go into a manufacturing process, shouldn't the same amount come out at the the completion of that process? It seems logical, but it's not always the case. In fact, if you look at the TURA reports, it's frequently the case that inputs do not equal outputs. Find out why.
     
  • What TURA reports do and don't tell us
    What do TURA reports really tell us about toxics use in Massachusetts? Find out what we can conclude, and what we can't conclude based on this information.
If you have read the material in this section and have some ideas that will help us explain these concepts more clearly, please contact us.
 


 
 
 
How do companies use toxics? »
 


 




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