HTML _ 95-1059 - Dioxin: Reassessing the Risk
11-Sep-1998; Linda-Jo Schierow; 6 p.

Abstract: For more than 25 years scientists have studied dioxin, a potent animal carcinogen, but opinions remain divided with regard to its human health risk. Based on new data and scientific knowledge, EPA has been updating its assessment of dioxin risk since 1991. In December 1994, EPA submitted for review a draft report to the Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group of independent experts who advise EPA. Several months later, the news media reported comments by some SAB members highly critical of the draft, raising concerns among those who want to ensure that EPA's decisions are based on sound science. The SAB completed its review September 21, 1995 and approved most of the EPA chapters, but withheld approval of two key chapters pending extensive revisions. EPA will revise its report in accord with SAB recommendations, but the views of scientists are likely to remain divergent. Several recently issued EPA rules are likely to reduce dioxin emissions below EPA emission estimates for particular sources. In late 1995, the House Committee on Science held hearings on the dioxin reassessment, while the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations directed EPA to incorporate SAB recommendations into the reassessment document The final EPA report on dioxin risk may be released in 1999. This short CRS report, which will be updated as events warrant, describes the state of scientific knowledge about dioxin, the EPA reassessment project, the SAB review, scientific issues that remain unresolved, recent EPA regulations limiting dioxin emissions, and related congressional actions. [read report]

Topics: Pesticides

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