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EPA Releases Dioxin Health Assessment

EPA released a non-cancer health assessment of dioxin, the latest effort in a successful, coordinated strategy by the federal government that has reduced known and measurable industrial dioxin emission levels by about 90% since 1987.

Factory with smokestacks

On February 17th, EPA released the non-cancerous health assessment for dioxin. Dioxin is a chemical compound released by coal-fired plants, backyard burning waste, residue from past commercial burning of waste, and other industrial processes. The American public is exposed to dioxin by eating dairy products, fish, and other animal fats where dioxin accumulates after falling to the ground.

EPA's health assessment set the first benchmark for how much dioxin a person can be exposed to over a lifetime without potentially experiencing health effects other than cancer, including damage to the immune and reproductive systems, skin rashes, mild liver damage, and interference with hormones.

Since the last review, EPA has worked with state governments and industry to reduce dioxin emissions, which has resulted in a reduction of 90 percent of known and measureable air emissions in the US.

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