Fewer toxic chemicals are being released into the environment by big manufacturers in the United States and Canada according to the latest findings of an annual study released on Wednesday.
"The evidence is clear that industry and government action to limit chemical releases is showing steady progress," said Adrian Vazquez-Galvez, executive director of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
The commission, created in 1994, groups industry in Canada, the United States and Mexico within the framework of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
It documented a 15 percent drop in emissions among large companies in North America, but warned that emissions were rising from some small and mid-size industries.
"It is equally clear that a large number of small and medium-size industrial facilities need to do a better job in reducing their waste and emissions if we are ever going to see even greater progress in North America," he said.
The report compares data from 10 000 facilities across nine industrial sectors and incorporates data covering separate 56 chemicals.
The improvement was attributed in large measure to greater recycling efforts and enhanced pollution prevention strategies.