European Union's executive has opened an online tracker that has pollution data on around 24,000 industrial plants across the EU. Since the EU citizens have been given direct access to the information, they would now be able to check how bad industrial plants near their homes are for their health.
The register "will give citizens direct access to information on (pollution) emissions from facilities across Europe and will help them to engage actively in decisions affecting the environment", EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said in a statement.
The register, that covers everything from incinerators to factories, lists the types and amount of pollutant the facility pumped into the air, water and ground, and how much it shipped elsewhere.
For example, the main incinerator in Brussels pumped out 493,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 801 tonnes of nitrogen oxides, 44 kg of arsenic and 33 kg of mercury in 2007.
The Corus UK steelworks in northeastern England emitted a cocktail of harmful gases and liquids including carbon monoxide (88,700 tonnes) and hydrogen cyanide (two tonnes) in the same year.
Visitors to the website can search for a specific place name or facility, or browse according to location, type of business or pollutant.
The tracker is available online at: http://prtr.ec.europa.eu