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Latest Pollution Stats

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The latest toxic pollution statistics may have some Canadians holding their noses. Domestic industrial air emissions rose seven per cent from 1998 to 2000, while US emissions dropped eight per cent

The latest toxic pollution statistics may have some Canadians holding their noses. Domestic industrial air emissions rose seven per cent from 1998 to 2000, while US emissions dropped eight per cent.

According to NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation in its annual "Taking Stock" report, a total of 3.2 million tonnes of 26 chemicals were released or slotted for disposal in 2000, including many known toxins linked to cancer and birth defects. Overall, the figure dropped four per cent since 1998 (3.43 million tonnes).

Ontario was the third-worst polluting area in both countries. The province's coal-fired, electric power plant in Nanticoke caused half of Canada's increase.

"Small polluters," with emissions from 10 to 100 tonnes, accounted for a large rise in emissions-66 per cent in Canada versus only 29 per cent in the US. Although the more publicized industry giants pollute the most, smaller companies-local food processors, lumber mills, metal factories and the like-should nevertheless be equally monitored, according to the report's authors. cec.org

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