Dioxin Pollution Essay

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Dioxin is one of the most toxic chemicals known.
A report released for public comment in
September 1994 by the US Environmental
Protection Agency clearly describes dioxin as a serious public health threat. The public health impact of dioxin may rival the impact that DDT had on public health in the 1960's. According to the EPA report, not only does there appear to be no "safe" level of exposure to dioxin, but levels of dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals have been found in the general US population that are "at or near levels associated with adverse health effects." The
EPA report confirmed that dioxin is a cancer hazard to people; that exposure to dioxin can also cause severe reproductive and developmental problems (at
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This means that dioxin, when it settles on water bodies, will avoid the water and find a fish to go in to. The same goes for other wildlife. Dioxin will find animals to go in to, working its way to the top of the food chain.

Dioxin has been know to cause cancer in many different cases such as in explosion at a
Hoffman-LaRoche chemical plant in Seveso, Italy, in 1976. People did not have any signs of cancer at first. So everyone said look at Seveso dioxin does not cause cancer. Now a new study in the journal EPIDEMIOLOGY reveals that people exposed to dioxin during the Seveso explosion have begun to exhibit excessive numbers of cancer cases. Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of environmental toxicology for U.S. EPA now says that this case is just another strike against dioxin.
The area around Seveso has been divided into three zones, called A, B and R. The small A zone was most heavily contaminated, but its 724 residents were evacuated. ("Heavy" contamination means that each square yard of land contained 13 to 494 micrograms of dioxin; a microgram is a millionth of a gram and there are 28 grams in an ounce.) The B zone was less heavily contaminated but its 4824 residents were not evacuated; zone B contained 43 micrograms of dioxin per square yard of soil, or less. The R zone was even less contaminated (average contamination being 4.3 micrograms per square yard), so its 31,647 residents were probably exposed to low levels.

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