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EPA's Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments (Volume 1) (Interagency Science Discussion Draft)

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Contact
Norman Birchfield
by phone at:   703-347-0174
by fax at:   703-347-8699
by email at:  birchfield.norman@epa.gov
EPA is releasing the draft report, EPA's Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments (Volume 1), that was distributed to Federal agencies and White House Offices for comment during the Science Discussion step of the IRIS Assessment Development Process. Comments received from other Federal agencies and White House Offices are provided below with external peer review panel comments.

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Background
Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (DLCs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and polychlorinated biphenyls are structurally and toxicologically related halogenated dicyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Dioxins and DLCs are released into the environment from several industrial sources such as chemical manufacturing, combustion, and metal processing; from individual activities including the burning of household waste; and from natural processes such as forest fires. Dioxins and DLCs are widely distributed throughout the environment and typically occur as chemical mixtures. They do not readily degrade; therefore, levels persist in the environment, build up in the food chain, and accumulate in the tissues of animals. Human exposure to these compounds occurs primarily through the ingestion of contaminated foods. The health effects from exposures to dioxins and DLCs have been documented extensively in epidemiologic and toxicological studies. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is one of the most toxic members of this class of compounds and has a robust toxicological database. Characterization of TCDD toxicity is critical to the risk assessment of mixtures of dioxins and DLCs because it has been selected repeatedly as the “index chemical” for the dioxin toxicity equivalence factors (TEF) approach. In this approach, the toxicity of individual components of dioxin and DLC mixtures is scaled to that of TCDD. Then, the dose-response information for TCDD is used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations to evaluate risks from exposure to mixtures of DLCs.

History/Chronology

Feb 2010EPA initiated an interagency science consultation on the review of the draft Response to "Health Risks from Dioxin and Related Compounds: Evaluation of the EPA Reassessment" published by the NRC/NAS .
May 2010EPA released the EPA's Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments (External Review Draft) for public comment. [Federal Register May 21, 2010]
Jun 2010EPA extended the public comment period until September 20, 2010. [Federal Register Notice Jun 23, 2010]
Oct 2011EPA initiated an interagency science discussion on the review of the draft final "Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments, Volume 1".
Feb 2012EPA released the final dioxin reanalysis report and IRIS Summary for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-Dioxin (TCDD), along with the interagency science discussion draft, interagency comments, and EPA's response to major interagency comments.

Next Steps

The IRIS Summary and this supporting document have been loaded into the IRIS Web site and Database.

Citation

U.S. EPA. EPA's Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments (Volume 1) (Interagency Science Discussion Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/038D, 2012.

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