Infants Ingest Nearly 80 Times Safe Level of Dioxin

formula, breast milk, breast feeding, dioxins, environmental health, toxins, epa, environmental working group, tccd

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding public hearings today to review a proposed safe exposure limit for dioxin, a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor produced as a common industrial byproduct. It’s all but impossible to avoid exposure to dioxin. Women exposed to it pass it on to fetuses in the womb, and both breast milk and formula have been shown to contain the stuff. Research done by the Environmental Working Group has shown that a nursing infant ingests an amount 77 times higher than what the EPA has proposed as safe exposure. Adults are exposed to 1,200 times more dioxin than the EPA suggests is safe, mostly through eating meat, dairy and shellfish (a good reason to go vegan).

formula, breast milk, breast feeding, dioxins, environmental health, toxins, epa, environmental working group, tccd

Because dioxin is such a common pollutant — it’s a waste product of incineration, smelting, chlorine bleaching and pesticides manufacturing — its health effects are well documented. Fifties-era research linked high-level exposure to cancer and disease outbreaks. Newer studies have shown that ongoing low-level exposure can result in heart disease, diabetes, cancer, endometriosis, early menopause and reduced testosterone and thyroid hormones.

Indeed, as a testament to the toothlessness of our regulatory system, the EPA first flagged dioxin for review nearly 30 years ago. And even the threshold now finally being proposed — the one infants exceed almost 80-fold — is higher than environmental health advocates would like. But surely it’s better than nothing.

+ Environmental Working Group

+ Environmental Protection Agency

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6 Responses to “Infants Ingest Nearly 80 Times Safe Level of Dioxin”

  1. awesomebrandi says:

    This sure makes me glad to be a long time vegetarian.. I am also trying to make the move to more of a vegan lifestyle.. So many chemicals out there to be aware of, it makes your head spin.

  2. A good argument for veganism – just sayin!

  3. IPityTheFool says:

    Paranoia at it’s best… go vegan? Right, because there’s no chemicals or pollution in our veggies. Oh, organic you say? Right… have you checked that you get what you are paying for?

    I wish my children could grow up in a society where people aren’t over-protective and paranoid about issues and use fear to forward their agendas. Common sense is no longer…

    Think of something you can eat that _won’t_ kill you. Now google it and you’ll find a case somewhere where it _has_ killed or sickened someone.

    Veganism is a lifestyle choice, which is fine. It is not, however, the solution to this problem. Don’t treat the symptoms, fight the disease.

  4. YouAreTheFool says:

    Maybe in theory your last sentence is right, but how long do you think it would take to fight the disease (i.e., all sources of pollutants in our country)? I’d say you’d win that war (assuming it’s winnable) after your death and after your kids death, and probably long after that. That’s too long, in the meantime you continue consuming poison. So, maybe the “go vegan” implication in the original post is heavy handed and goes too far, your comment is equally ridiculous. Similarly, with organic foods — just because some of it isn’t any better than non-organic, that doesn’t mean all of it is. You actually can check what you are paying for and favor sources that sell real organic products.

  5. PumpkinGirl says:

    My thought is that whatever we need to do to study this and make choices to keep our babies safe, let’s do it. I don’t know if it means going vegan, or not using bleach, or standing on our heads for 20 minutes a day while singing the national anthem. But just ignoring scientific research seems like a total cop-out. I look forward to hearing more about this from our scientific community.

  6. earthmamamaven says:

    is this still a concern with organic pasture raised animals/ meat since the use of chem.s pesticides have been reduced or are non-existant?

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