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E-M:/ ATSDR eliminates dioxin action level

This is  good news.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ( a branch of CDC) announced today the elimination of the use of 1,000 ppt " action level" for dioxin. In a letter which can be found on their web site ATSDR delineates how this number has been misused and misconstrued. I would suggest that perhaps no one has misused the " action level" more than mid-Michigan legislators in their attempts  to do  Dow Chemical's bidding. Under the guise of property rights, these legislators attempted on several occasions to legislate the use of 1,000 ppt instead of the state's more stringent standard of 90 ppt.
In addition ATSDR retained their 50 ppt "screening level" and called for evaluation of exposure pathways other than the ingestion of soils.  ATSDR comments can be found at the following link:
Citing in part the rationale from ATSDR:

To advance how health assessors evaluate dioxin exposure, ATSDR updated its Policy Guideline for Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds in Residential Soil.

Among the revisions is deletion of the “action level” criterion. No other chemical has an action level, so this change makes evaluating dioxin levels consistent with scientifically assessing other chemicals.

The updated guidelines also broaden and increase emphasis on exposure pathway analysis. The revision calls for vigorous assessment of both direct and indirect exposure pathways, including dioxin exposure from dietary sources.

The update does not indicate a change in scientific opinion on dioxin toxicity. Also unchanged are ATSDR’s 1998 dioxin toxicological profile and dioxin minimum risk level. Further, the new guidelines do not alter past decisions about site clean-up.

Updating ATSDR’s Policy Guideline for Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds in Residential Soil gives ATSDR and state-partner health assessors the ability to evaluate dioxin contamination at residential sites more comprehensively and with greater consistency.

Michelle Hurd Riddick

Lone Tree Council

Saginaw, MI