WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday released its list of the 402 most toxic chemicals, to help communities cope with accidental toxic emissions.
Toxicity was the only criterion for inclusion on the list, and the agency warned that communities should also consult other lists, such as the one maintained by the Transportation Department for regulating transportation of flammable, corrosive and explosive substances.
The EPA released for each substance a sheet of data such as firefighting information, lethal and harmful dose levels, guides to safe handling and other advice.
The agency says the list names those chemicals that pose an immediate, short-term danger to those exposed to them.
Benzene, for example, has been shown to cause leukemia in workers exposed to it over many years. It is one of the 20 chemicals EPA regulates as a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act, but it is not one of 402 toxic substances.