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Last Edited: 1/31/2005

Dioxins

What are they?
 
Dioxins are a group of highly toxic chemicals. While some are more toxic than others, they all have similar effects on the body. They are created when garbage, plastics, metals, wood, and other materials are burned. Dioxins are also created when certain chemicals, such as wood preservatives, are made and during many industrial activities such as copper smelting. Smaller amounts of dioxins are also produced during forest fires and other natural occurrences. Because they are created by many activities and last for many years, they are almost everywhere in the environment.

Why are we concerned about Dioxins?
 
Dioxins stay in the body for many years.  Whether they will harm a personís health depends on many things, including how much dioxin the person was exposed to, at what age the exposure happened, and a personís genes.  Studies have shown that exposure to dioxins can cause cancer in humans.  Other studies have linked dioxins to health problems such as birth defects, liver damage, and skin disease. 
 
This page provides information on dioxins, and the studies conducted at EHIB.

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