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Trends in Toxic Chemical Releases: A Case Study on the Drug Industry in Connecticut and New Jersey

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To analyse trends in toxic chemical releases, an empirical study was conducted on Connecticut's and New Jersey's drug industry. It was the purpose of this study to investigatethese trends based on the following three questions: first, what is the trend of toxic chemical releases in the drug industry?; second, does the drug industry show patterns of qualitative growth?;and third, does the drug industry show substantial release reductionsof chemicalsknown to be highly toxic to public health and ecosystems? This analysis used the Toxics Release Inventory TRI data from 1988 to 1993. Given the trends, plausible driving forces for the observed changes in toxic chemical releases in the drug industry over the past five years are discussed. The study contends that the following four driving forces are most important in the illustrated development:the TRI, a publicly available database, can be used to reveal severe polluters; the TRI increased corporations' awareness of effective toxic chemical releases and may be used to reflect corporations' communicated commitment to sustainable development; federal and state environmental protection agencies enhance pollution prevention activities in a co-operative manner; and finally, since the late 1980s, the awareness of the business benefits of pollution prevention continuously increases.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1996

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