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E-M:/ Dems Position on Dioxin

From the Michigan Democratic Party Web site
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council
2004 Platform and Resolutions Committee Report



WHEREAS, the term “dioxin” refers to an exhaustively studied group of chemicals; and


WHEREAS, dioxin is a chemical that even at very low doses alters or disrupts a wide variety of enzymes, growth factors and hormones. Almost every hormone system examined has been shown to be altered by dioxin in some cell-type, tissue or developmental stage and dioxin has been scientifically linked to endometriosis, immune system impairment, diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects, deceased fertility, testicular atrophy and reproductive dysfunction; and


WHEREAS, dioxin also causes cancer in every species of animal tested and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the life time risk of getting cancer from current levels of dioxin exposure is above generally accepted thresholds; and


WHEREAS, children, infants and fetuses are especially vulnerable to the health effects of dioxin; and


WHEREAS, dioxin persists in the environment for many years and builds up in the food chain, concentrating in fish and wild game; and


WHEREAS, Michigan has numerous fish advisories recommending restricted fish consumption due to existing dioxin contamination; and


WHEREAS, every American, including residents of Michigan, carries a body burden of dioxin and can pass that dioxin on to their developing children; and


WHEREAS, some areas of Michigan have elevated levels of dioxin that threaten the health of people and animals living there, as well as the ecosystems that support life, tourism and commerce; and


WHEREAS, widely respected expert associations and agencies including the American Public Health Association, California Medical Association, Chicago Medical Society and the International Joint Commission comprised of the governments of Canada and the U.S. have agreed upon the need to reduce or eliminate dioxin; and


WHEREAS, 91 countries, including the United States, signed the International Persistent Organic Pollutants treaty in May 2001 calling for the global elimination of dioxin and eleven other of the worst global contaminates were feasible; and


WHEREAS, cleanup and elimination of dioxin sources is the most prudent path to protect public health and the resources on which the economy and all life depend; and


WHEREAS, state dioxin standards are promulgated to protect public health and the environment;


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports requiring the cleanup of areas contaminated with dioxin at levels that exceed health-protective safety standards, such cleanup to be paid for by the federal government and the polluters; and


BE IT FORTHER RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges the federal and state governments to maintain dioxin standards that protect public health and the environment and work to reduce further dioxin sources.