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Environmental Assessment

Dioxin

The Issue
"Dioxins" refers to a group of toxic chemical compounds that share certain chemical structures and biological characteristics.  Dioxins can be released into the environment through forest fires, backyard burning of trash, certain industrial activities, and residue from past commercial burning of waste.  Dioxins break down very slowly and past releases of dioxins from both man-made and natural sources still exist in the environment.

Almost every living creature has been exposed to dioxins.  Studies have shown that exposure to dioxins at high enough levels may cause a number of adverse health effects, including cancer. The health effects associated with dioxins depend on a variety of factors including: the level of exposure, when someone was exposed, and for how long and how often someone is exposed.

Over the past several years, EPA, state governments and industry have worked together to dramatically reduce known and measurable industrial dioxin emissions.  These efforts have reduced air emissions of dioxins by 90 percent so that today, most Americans have only low-level exposure to dioxins.

EPA Action
On February 17, 2012, EPA finalized its final Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments, Volume 1.  This document provides hazard identification and dose-response information on 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and the most up-to-date analysis of non-cancer health effects from TCDD exposure. The report also include an oral reference dose (RfD) and a detailed and transparent description of the underlying data and analyses.

Dioxin and Related Compounds

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzofuran
    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzofuran

    3,3',4,4',5,5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl
    3,3',4,4',5,5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl
History Related Links

Best Resources

U.S. EPA. National Dioxin Air Monitoring Network (NDAMN) Report of the Results of Atmospheric Measurements of PCDDs, PCDFs, and Dioxin-Like PCBs in Rural and Remote Areas of the U.S. from June 1998 Through November 2004. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-12/060F, 2013.

U.S. EPA. Update to An Inventory of Sources and Environmental Releases of Dioxin-Like Compounds in the United States for the Years 1987, 1995, and 2000 (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-11/005A, 2013.

U.S. EPA. An Exploratory Study: Assessment of Modeled Dioxin Exposure in Ceramic Art Studios (2008 Final). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/044F, 2008.

U.S. EPA. Pilot Survey of Levels of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins (PCDDs), Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans (PCDFs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) and Mercury in Rural Soils of the U.S. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-05/043F, 2007.

U.S. EPA. Health Effects Assessment for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-Dioxin (1984). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/540/1-86/044 (NTIS PB86134558), 1984.

U.S. EPA. Health Assessment Document for Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins (1985). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/8-84/014F (NTIS PB86122546), 1985.

MUKERJEE, D., C. RIS, AND J. SCHAUM. Health Risk Assessment Approach for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-Dioxin (1985). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/8-85/013 (NTIS PB86-122546/AS), 1985.

U.S. EPA. EPA Regulations Related to Dioxin. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 2003.


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