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Re: the attached posting from Enviro-Mich (below).........While I think that everyone involved in the dioxin problem would agree that having the final risk assessment released is long overdue, this press release makes the campaign look pretty silly.
In particular I would call attention to the statement "...We already know dioxin is used to kill bugs as a pesticide." <sic> attributed to Representative Bonior.  Dioxins and dibenzofurans were never used as insecticides.  Dioxins and Dibenzofurans are known to be trace contaminants in some herbicides (specifically the Cholorphenoxy compounds like 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D) and are trace contaminants in chlorophenol production.  But having a quote like the one above attributed to Mr. Bonior makes it look like there is a serious lack of scientific expertise in his camp.  Is it too late for the Sierra Club to withdraw their endorsement?  :-)    ...................TOM

>>> "Allison, Bob" <Bob.Allison@mail.house.gov> 06/17/02 04:03PM >>>


Congressman says delay in health risk assessment threatens families

June 17, 2002                                                Contact: Bob Allison, (586) 469-3232

        U.S. Rep. David Bonior said it is time for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finish and release a long-delayed report on the health effects of dioxin and begin developing policies that will protect the public's health.

        In a letter this month to EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, Bonior and other lawmakers expressed concern about the more than 10 year lag in releasing the report.

        "The public release of the dioxin assessment is long overdue," Bonior said. "It is time to finish it and let it see the light of day.  We already know dioxin is used to kill bugs as a pesticide.  It doesn't take a decade to figure out that we need tough, aggressive measures to crack down on it."

        Dioxin is a group of highly toxic chemicals that are formed primarily as an industrial waste byproduct.  Dioxin is known to cause numerous non-cancer health problems, including reproductive, immunological and developmental effects. 

        Dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee floodplain in the Midland and Saginaw area has raised serious health risk concerns.   TCDD, the compound found in Agent Orange and at Love Canal, New York, is one of the toxic members of the dioxin family.

        The EPA has been studying the sources and health effects of dioxin for nearly 20 years, completing its first health assessment of dioxin and related chemical compounds in 1985.  However, facing pressure to review its findings, which showed considerable risks to human health, EPA announced it would conduct a reassessment of the health effects of dioxin. 

        The dioxin reassessment has been underway since 1991.  A full year ago, the EPA's Science Advisory Board recommended the agency complete and release the report by the end of the summer of 2001.  Yet at this time, it still has not been finished and released.