The guide – Factory Watch – uses official pollution data from the UK Government’s Environment Agency (EA) to provide information about the pollution and health risks from 440 chemicals, emitted to air, water and ground by over 1,500 factories.

Associated Octel comes top of FoE’s polluters list, producing over 30 percent of the total emissions of carcinogens for England and Wales. ICI occupies three of the next five places.

Factory Watch uses information from the EA publicly-available national chemicals release inventory. The website enables Internet users to identify polluters emitting confirmed or suspected carcinogens in their areas.

The data can be retrieved by location, company or pollutant using home postal codes in a format that FoE claims is easier to understand than from government sources.

“We can now give he public free and simple information about pollution threats in their area and across the country,” said FOE Executive Director Charles Secrett. “This database should be provided by Government, but we are proud to fill the gap that they have left. Citizens have the right to this essential information. And it gives every ordinary person in the country the power to confront the industrial polluters head on”.

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