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Urban Environmental Program in New England

What is Dioxin?

Dioxins are a group of chemicals that form as unwanted byproducts from incomplete burning of household and industrial waste. They can also be produced during bleaching of paper pulp and the manufacture of certain chlorinated chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated phenols, chlorinated benzene and certain pesticides. Exhaust from vehicles, forest fires, and burning wood also releases dioxins into the air. Very small amounts of dioxins, that are not considered harmful, are present in bleached paper products including facial or toilet tissue, paper towels, and disposable diapers.

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