You'd be surprised.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Dioxin Homepage: "How are we exposed to dioxin?"

"The major sources of dioxin are in our diet. Since dioxin is fat-soluble, it bioaccumulates -- climbing up the food chain and it is mainly (97.5%) found in meat and dairy products (beef, dairy products, milk, chicken, pork, fish and eggs in that order... see chart below). In fish alone, these toxins bioaccumulate up the food chain so that dioxin levels in fish are 100,000 times that of the surrounding environment. The best way to avoid dioxin exposure is to reduce or eliminate your consumption of meat and dairy products by adopting a vegan diet. According to a May 2001 study of dioxin in foods, "The category with the lowest [dioxin] level was a simulated vegan diet, with 0.09 ppt.... Blood dioxin levels in pure vegans have also been found to be very low in comparison with the general population, indicating a lower contribution of these foods to human dioxin body burden."

Does dioxin cause cancer?
Yes. The EPA report confirmed that dioxin is a cancer hazard to people. In 1997, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) -- part of the World Health Organization -- published their research into dioxins and furans and announced on February 14, 1997, that the most potent dioxin, 2,3,7,8-TCDD, is a now considered a Class 1 carcinogen, meaning a "known human carcinogen" (source: IARC Monographs, Volume 69).

Also, in January 2001, the U.S. National Toxicology Program upgraded 2,3,7,8-TCDD from "Reasonably Anticipated to be a Human Carcinogen" to "Known to be a Human Carcinogen." See their reports on dioxins and furans from their most recent 10th Report on Carcinogens. Finally, a 2003 re-analysis of the cancer risk from dioxin reaffirmed that there is no known "safe dose" or "threshold" below which dioxin will not cause cancer.

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