After six years of delay, the EPA is finally releasing its Dioxin Reassessment on Friday, June 9th, 199(9)? That Al Gore is in Seattle the very same day speaking to the US Conference of Mayors is a golden opportunity to pressure him, mayors across the country and the Locke Administration to take action to stop dioxin where it starts--at incinerators and pulp mills.
The Reassessment is much stronger than the prior version and includes startling conclusions. EPA:
* acknowledges that dioxin causes cancer in humans.
* finds that average Americans have a risk of cancer from dioxin
of up to 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000! This is ten times higher than what EPA
estimated in 1994.
* finds that non-cancer health effects such as birth defects,
immune system problems, reproductive abnormalities, etc. are likely to be
occurring in some Americans at average dioxin exposure levels.
* notes that people who are particularly exposed and vulnerable may
have risks 2 to 3 times higher than average American's risks.
* notes that young children consume more than 3 times the amount of
dioxin as adults on a body weight basis. Nursing infants consume 100 times
more dioxin than adults on this basis.