Over the past two decades EPA has worked to reduce emissions from all of the major industrial sources of dioxins. As a result of efforts by EPA, state governments and industry, known and measurable air emissions of dioxins in the United States have been reduced by 90 percent from 1987 levels. The largest remaining source of dioxin emissions is backyard burning of household trash. EPA indicated that most Americans have low-level exposure to dioxins. Non-cancer effects of exposure to large amounts of dioxin include chloracne, developmental and reproductive effects, damage to the immune system, interference with hormones, skin rashes, skin discoloration, excessive body hair, and possibly mild liver damage.
EPA said it has identified many known sources of dioxins. Working with other Federal partners, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, EPA has taken steps to address dioxin. This includes supporting research on dioxin exposure and effects; assessing dioxin human health risks; measuring dioxin levels in the environment, our diet and in our bodies; and reducing exposure to dioxin.
The non-cancer health assessment for dioxin released today could be considered in a range of agency activities, from establishing cleanup levels at Superfund sites, to reviewing the dioxin drinking water standard as part of EPA's regularly scheduled review process, to evaluating whether additional Clean Air Act limits on dioxin emissions are warranted. EPA findings are contained in the Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments, Volume 1. The 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.
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