crisis had implications for public health on more levels than the direct health effects of dioxin
Of the 210 different dioxin
compounds, only 17 are of toxicological concern, and some of these are classified as known human carcinogens.
As they reiterated in a follow-up letter to Reilly obtained by Greenpeace, their industry was facing "billions of dollars of needless toxic tort litigation" because of "needless public alarm" about dioxin
, the chemical whose involvement in the Agent Orange and Love Canal scandals was giving it a reputation as one of the most toxic chemicals on earth.
Animal studies suggest that low-level exposure over long periods to dioxins
may also result in birth defects and decreased fertility in both males and females.
Following four weeks of study, researchers found that compared with the cellulose-eating rats, the group fed tofu-mixed crops were able to prevent an average of about 80% of the dioxin
from building up in their livers, the researchers said.
More recently, high levels of dioxin
showed up in some foods of animal origin produced in Belgium.
Incinerators, cement kilns and industrial furnaces actually manufacture dioxin
compounds in their outlet stacks, while processing hazardous wastes containing chlorine.
is the name for a family of chlorinated hydrocarbons that are a toxic byproduct of some metal-refining methods, pesticide manufacturing, and the chlorinated bleaching of pulp and paper.
So are PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls [see "All in the Dioxin
The report submitted to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission said researchers headed by Koichi Haraguchi, associate professor at Daiichi University, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Fukuoka, detected dioxins
up to 172 times over the tolerable daily intake (TDI) in marketed whale and dolphin meat.
Fatter people don't release fat-soluble compounds like dioxin
nearly as quickly as thinner people, notes Michael Gough, a biologist who was chairman of a federal advisory panel for the Ranch Hand study from 1990 to 1995.
The issue of whether dioxin
should be classified as a human carcinogen has been a subject of scientific and legal debate for quite some time now (see sidebar on page 28) and EPA's draft can be expected to fuel this debate in the coming months.