Archive for the ‘Persistent Organic Pollutants’ Category

POPs, Dioxins, Furans and Related Pollutants – Intro

Friday, November 19th, 2010

This page contains compiled whole (and quotes from) articles on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), Aldrin, Dieldrin, Endrin, Chlordane, DDT, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex, Toxaphene, PCBs, Dioxins, Furans and Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls to get you up to speed on what these compounds are, where they come from, how they end in your body and their effects.

This is a very long page, full of quoted articles, with definitions from official sources and scientific studies (abstracts) and other related articles.

Start learning about POPs here:

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Fact sheet N°225
May 2010

Dioxins and their effects on human health

Key Facts

  • Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants.
  • Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals.
  • More than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Many national authorities have programmes in place to monitor the food supply.
  • Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
  • Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health. However, due to the highly toxic potential of this class of compounds, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.
  • Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce formation of dioxins as much as possible.

Background

Dioxins are environmental pollutants. They have the dubious distinction of belonging to the “dirty dozen” – a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. Dioxins are of concern because of their highly toxic potential. Experiments have shown they affect a number of organs and systems. Once dioxins have entered the body, they endure a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body. Their half-life in the body is estimated to be seven to eleven years. In the environment, dioxins tend to accumulate in the food chain. The higher in the animal food chain one goes, the higher the concentration of dioxins. (more…)



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