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EPA sets safe level of exposure to Dioxins


The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that is has established a safe level of exposure to the most toxic form of dioxin.  The daily dose is set at 0.7 picograms of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) per kilogram of body weight.  TCDD is the most toxic congener of the dioxins, which are unintentional by-products of manufacturing processes involving chlorine and the burning of waste or biomass.

Currently in the U.S. backyard waste burning is the highest source of dioxins.  People are exposed to dioxins mostly by eating poultry, dairy, fish or eggs. EPA claims that "most Americans have only low-level exposure to dioxins" and that this "does not pose a significant health risk."

Information for this post was taken from the February 27, 2012 issue of Chemical and Engineering News, edited by William G. Schulz and Sophia L. Cai.


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