Dioxins are a notorious carcinogen that enters the environment by the burning of chlorinated compounds such as plastics and industrial waste. Wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, diesel engines and chlorine bleaching used in paper production are also sources of dioxin emissions. Human ingestion occurs when breathing incinerated airborne particles or when consuming plants or water upon which these particles have settled. Eating dairy products from animals that have fed on dioxin-contaminated plants, or consuming the animal itself will also impart this carcinogen to us. Once ingested, dioxins are stored forever in the fatty tissue of animals, accumulating as they progress up the food chain. Health advocates say trace amounts of these synthesized chemicals are now found in every newborn child worldwide. Scientists and the EPA have long suspected that dangers may be associated with dioxide emissions. In 2012, after a 27-year wait, the EPA finally released a portion of its health review of dioxins, intended to form the basics for dioxin regulation. This portion did not address the complicity that dioxins may have in causing cancer. The completion and release of this study had been fought by the chemical and food industries because it could trigger a slew of stringent environmental policies which would tighten standards on Superfund cleanup sites, waste water treatment, air emissions and food safety. It would also likely lead to significant litigation. In its report, EPA officials said “Today, most Americans have only low-level exposure to dioxins.” It claims industry dioxin emissions have declined more than 90% since 1987 and that most people are now safe. It also said “Findings show that generally, over a personâ€™s lifetime, current exposure to dioxins does not pose a significant health risk.â€ However, critics say the agency’s claim about people in general not being at risk could be misleading because people vary in sensitivity and amount of exposure. The say that traces of dioxins will remain in our food supply years or even decades after they are emitted. Although the EPA has previously acknowledged that dioxins cause cancer, it has yet to release of the other half of its dioxins report, which analyzes the evidence of dioxin carcinogenicity.
Pending Legislation: None
I oppose reforming current dioxin policy
I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to require the EPA to complete and release its dioxin carcinogenicity assessment within a reasonable period of time