Unveiling EDF’s Chemical Exposure Action Map

U.S. map showing chemical facilities across the nationWhat’s New

Today, we are excited to introduce the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) latest initiative—the Chemical Exposure Action Map. This tool is designed to spur the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to transform the assessment of risks posed by toxic chemicals in our communities.

Our map focuses on multiple high-priority chemicals—making visible the urgent and long-overdue need to assess the risks of chemicals together as they exist in the real-world. Unlike many current methods that look at risks one chemical at a time, our map offers a comprehensive view, highlighting the potential for cumulative risks from multiple high-priority chemicals.

Why It Matters

In a world where industrial facilities expose communities to multiple harmful chemicals daily, many have long called for a cumulative approach to assessing the risks from these chemicals. It is crucial that we wait no longer to reassess how we evaluate the health risks they pose.

Pregnant Latine woman gazing lovingly at young daughter who is hugging her belly.

When conducting risk assessments under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA typically considers the exposures and risks of only one chemical at a time. But we are often exposed to multiple chemicals at a time—including some that cause similar harms. The Chemical Exposure Action Map emphasizes the need for a more holistic evaluation that mirrors the real-world scenarios of communities facing exposures from multiple chemicals and various sources.

This matters because everyone deserves clean air and water, and a life free from toxic pollution. The map focuses on three major health categories—cancer, harm to pregnant women and infants (developmental harm), and asthma—revealing how communities are cumulatively exposed to chemicals that contribute to these health risks. Understanding these patterns empowers individuals and communities to advocate for stricter regulations and cleaner environments.

Our Take

At EDF, we believe knowledge is power. The Chemical Exposure Action Map is not just an informational tool; it’s a call to action. By visualizing how communities face cumulative exposure to toxic chemicals, the map encourages users to identify chemical releases in their communities and demand the change that has long been needed. It’s a platform individuals can use to urge EPA to improve risk assessments and implement regulations that match the real, cumulative risks that communities face.

We invite you to explore the map. Together, let’s use this resource to make a lasting impact by encouraging EPA to take a more holistic view of chemical risks and improve the tools it uses to protect the health and well-being of every community member.

Go Deeper

Learn about EDF’s Cumulative Risk Assessment Framework.

Read our blogs on cumulative risk.

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