Risk Assessment Of Possible Carcinogens Decades In Making
Vietnam veterans, environmental advocates and women's groups were among the more than 2,000 individuals and organizations signing a letter Thursday urging EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to publish the dioxin risk assessment.
Dioxin exposure has been linked to learning disabilities, birth defects, endometriosis and diabetes. The developing fetus and newborns, exposed through breast milk, are considered particularly vulnerable to dioxin exposure.
Most dioxins are byproducts of such industrial processes as waste incineration, the chlorine bleaching of paper pulp and the manufacture of some herbicides and pesticides. Dioxin was an impurity in Agent Orange, a defoliant used extensively in Vietnam.
"If you follow through on the USDA guidelines, you will have a fair amount of population exceeding what EPA says is an acceptable level of dioxin," Jensen said.