According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxin Release Inventory (TRI), released yesterday, the amount of toxic chemicals entering the environment in 2004 was 4 percent less than the amount measured in 2003. The report notes significant decreases in some of the most toxic chemicals:

- Dioxin and dioxin compounds decreased by 58 percent.

- Mercury and mercury compounds were cut by 16 percent.

- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) went down 92 percent.

The 2004 TRI report monitors toxins managed in landfills and underground injection wells in addition to those released into water and air and releases or other disposals of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals. PBT chemicals include dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, PCBs, mercury and mercury compounds, lead and lead compounds and several pesticides. The amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment has declined 45 percent since 1998.