how these toxic chemicals are
affecting your everyday health
What Are Dioxins?
Dioxins are highly toxic chemicals that are usually present in byproducts of
These products can be produced by numerous ways of man-made incineration
processes, such as improper city waste incineration and burning of trash.
These products can also be produced naturally and released into the air
during a volcano eruption or a forest fire.
This means that every living creature has been exposed to dioxins and this is
why you should be concerned about your health when it comes to these toxins.
Today, more than 90% of human exposure to dioxins is mainly by eating
food, especially animal products that are contaminated by these chemicals.
How Does Dioxins Effect Your Health?
Dioxins are a known cancer-causing agent. Dioxins have also been linked
to other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease,
and an acne-like skin disease called chloracne, which is a distinctive feature
of dioxin exposure.
Dioxins are also known to cause developmental issues in children, which can
lead to reproductive and infertility problems in their adulthood, problems with
miscarriages, damage to the immune system, and obstruct hormone production.
Dioxins have widespread effects in almost every stage of development
in the vertebrae species, including the womb.
Dioxins' Impact on Public Health
In the 1970s and early 1980s, when newspapers and television broadcasts
contained stories about veterans being exposed to dioxins through Agent Orange,
which is a herbicide and defoliant chemical used in the Vietnam War for 'tactical
use." Concerns about these dioxins continue today.
Dioxins were again brought up in 1982, when Times Beach, Missouri, was
declared off-limits due to dioxin contamination. This incident sparked
the passage of legislation that created Superfund, which is an environmental
program established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.
Today, the hazards of dioxin have faded from the public view. The extent of
the hazard has decreased in the United States because of environmental
controls remarkably reduce new dioxins from industrial origin.
How to Prevent Potential Exposure to Dioxin
- Remove skin from fish and chicken.
- Select cuts of meat that are naturally lean or trim fat that is visible.
- When catching your own fish, make sure to check local fishing
advisories because there may be a consumption limit for certain types
of fish, especially in bodies of water where local contamination occurs.
- Use fat-free or low-fat milk and avoid using butter in excessive amounts
Created by: Kailey Gupton
Dioxins. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2021, from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/dioxins/index.cfm