Source: The Toxic Release Inventory, A National Perspective, US Environmental Protection Agency.
The table above is based on Toxic Release Inventory forms that were submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These documents tell whether or not a chemical was used, and if so, how much of it was used.
The most common chemical was sodium hydroxide solution, which was reported almost 1/10 of the time.
Following sodium hydroxide solution was sulfuric acid, then toluene. All of these chemicals have common uses, which accounts for their heavy consumption.
Sometimes, toxic chemicals are not properly disposed of, causing potentially major environmental problems.