Dioxin Exposure Initiative Publications

Following is a listing of published articles that have come out of EPA's Dioxin Exposure Initiative


  1. Combustion Sources: This line of research investigates formation and emissions of dioxin-like compounds from industrial combustion sources such as incinerators.

  2. Diesel Emissions: This study measured the emissions of dioxins from a diesel truck while the truck was driven in normal road conditions.

  3. Release of Dioxins from PCP-Treated Utility Poles: This field study investigated the potential for dioxins to be released into the environment from pentachlorophenol-treated utility poles.

  4. Nocturnal-Diurnal Releases from Soil: This field study investigated the possibility that soils may be a reservoir source of release into the atmosphere by measuring the difference between daytime and nighttime air concentrations of dioxins.

  5. Emissions from Uncontrolled Burning of Domestic Waste: Under experimental conditions, this study measured dioxin emissions from simulated backyard burning conditions.

  6. Emissions from Forest Fire Simulations: Under experimental conditions, this study measured dioxin emissions from simulated forest fires.

  7. Ball Clay: This minor component of poultry feed was found to be highly contaminated, to cause elevation in poultry consuming the feed. Ball clay was later found to be a contaminant in catfish feed as well.


  1. Evaluation of the Impacts of Incinerator Emissions: Two incinerator sites have been extensively studied for their near-field impacts from dioxin emissions. These are the Columbus Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator (MSWI) in Ohio and the Shinkampo Incinerator in Atsugi, Japan.

  2. Site-Specific Assessments: These studies investigate potential exposures to dioxins associated with a specific source other than incinerators.

    • The Industrialized Corridor in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana: This study looked at dioxins, fuans, and coplanar PCBs in air in a heavily industrialized urban corridor, consisting of mixed land uses including residential, agricultural, and industrial.

    • World Trade Center: This study evaluates ambient air measurements of dioxin and evaluates them with regard to exposure and potential health risk to Ground Zero workers, nearby office workers, and nearby residents.
  3. Food Chain Modeling For Dioxins: Dioxins enter the terrestrial food chain primarily in an air-to-leaf/soil-to-animal route. These studies evaluate how that process can be modeled.

  4. Mass Balance Study of Dioxin-Like Compounds In Lactating Cows: By measuring the dioxin in feed ingested by lactating cows and the excretion of dioxins in milk and feces, this study attempts to verify that feed is the source of dioxins to the cows.

    • Mass Balance Study: These two articles describe the study design and results from the mass balance study, conducted in 1997 and reported on in 2000.

    • Evidence of Feed Contamination From the Mass Balance Study: The feed data was examined more closely and it was found that elevations in the feed during one of the sampling periods may have been due to the handling procedures at the agricultural research facility.

  5. Food Monitoring Studies: The most direct measures of human exposures to dioxin-like compounds are measurements in food products.

    • Study of Dioxin-Like Compounds in Beef: Conducted in 1994 and reported on in 1996 and 1997, these two articles describe the first of three food studies conducted jointly by EPA and USDA.

    • Study of Dioxin-Like Compounds in Pork: This second study was conducted in 1995 and reported on in 1997.

    • Study of Dioxin-Like Compounds in Poultry: This third and final food study conducted with USDA occurred in 1996 and was reported on in 1997. It was during this study that a minor component of animal feeds, ball clay, was found to be highly contaminated with dioxins.

    • In these animal food studies, adipose reservoirs were sampled. But are adipose reservoirs the best indicator of the fat concentrations in the edible portions of the animal? These two studies compare the concentrations of dioxins in adipose reservoirs and other animal reservoirs, including the edible tissues.

    • Study of Dioxin-Like Compounds in Milk: This study utilized a radiation sampling network of EPA to evaluate milk quality nationally. Samples were collected in 1996 and 1997, and the study was reported on in 1998.

    • Data Refinements to Milk Study: This follow-up study refined the milk data earlier reported on by developing lipid-based milk concentrations, and also by doing follow-up investigations of milk initially found to be very high in dioxin-like compounds.

    • Study of Dioxin-Like Compounds in Vegetable Oil: Thirty grocery store samples of vegetable oil were analyzed for dioxin-like compounds in 1996.

  6. Animal Feed Studies: The mass balance studies confirmed that the primary route of dairy cattle exposures is through their feed. These articles describe efforts by EPA to measure the dioxin-like compounds in major and minor animal feed components.

  7. National Dioxin Air Monitoring Network (NDAMN): This network of monitors nationwide provide data on the concentrations of dioxin-like compounds in air in background areas of the United States.

  8. Urban Air Transect Study: This study measured dioxin-like compounds upwind and downwind of a major urban city in the United States to investigate the hypothesis that urban areas represent sources of dioxin-like compounds.

  9. Analytical Chemistry: These articles describe the procedures and complexities associated with measuring dioxin-like compounds in food and other matrices.

  10. Policy Issues in Evaluating Dioxin Exposures: Procedures for conducting cancer and non-cancer risk assessments for dioxin-like compounds are not always straightforward. These two articles discuss some of the issues associated with dioxin risk assessment.

  11. An Evaluation of Infant Exposures to Dioxin-Like Compounds: This study uses a simple pharmacokinetic model to describe the impact of breast-feeding on the body burden of dioxin-like compounds in infants.

  12. Pilot Survey of Levels of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins, Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Mercury in Rural Soils of the United States (Final): This study is a compilation of the measurements of levels of dioxins, PCBs and mercury in soil samples from numerous rural locations across the country.


  1. Sediment Core Study: This study measures dioxin-like compounds in several layers of cores taken from 11 lakes in the United States. By carbon-dating the core layers, observations about the prevalence of dioxin deposition over centuries can be made.

  2. Survey of Dioxins in Historical Meat Samples: This study measures dioxin-like compounds in 14 preserved samples of meat taken from different decades of the 20th century.

  3. Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Body Burdens in the 20th Century: These studies use simple pharmacokinetic models, along with available data on body burdens in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, to describe the trends in body burden during the 20th century.