Dioxins Research Paper

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Dioxin is a large group of chemical compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs), which essentially comprise carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and chlorine atoms with similar structure. The toxicity of different dioxins is determined by amount of chlorine atoms and their positions in the dioxin molecule. To that, the most toxic dioxin has four chlorine atoms in positions 2, 3, 7 and 8, namely 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, which is also usually known as TCDD or generically “dioxin”. The name "dioxins" is often used for the family of structurally and chemically related polychlorinated dibenzo para dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Certain dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with similar toxic…show more content…
They belong to the so-called “dirty dozen” - a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Dioxins are of concern because of their highly toxic potential. Experiments have shown they affect a number of organs and systems. Once dioxins enter the body, they last 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 7 to 11 years. In the environment, dioxins tend to accumulate in the food chain. The higher an animal is in the food chain, the higher the concentration of dioxins. The developing fetus is most sensitive to dioxin exposure. Newborn, with rapidly developing organ systems, may also be more vulnerable to certain effects. Some people or groups of people may be exposed to higher levels of dioxins because of their diet (e.g., high consumers of fish in certain parts of the world) or their occupation (e.g., workers in the pulp and paper industry, in incineration plants and at hazardous waste sites). Dioxin contamination…show more content…
It can also destroy PCB-based waste oils. The incineration process requires high temperatures, over 850°C. For the destruction of large amounts of contaminated material, even higher temperatures - 1000°C or more - are required. 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. This is the responsibility of national governments. The Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted a Code of Practice for Source Directed Measures to Reduce Contamination of Foods with Chemicals (CAC/RCP 49-2001) in 2001. Later in 2006 a Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Dioxin and Dioxin-like PCB Contamination in Food and Feeds (CAC/RCP 62-2006) was adopted. More than 90% of human exposure to dioxins is through the food supply, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Therefore, protecting the food supply is critical. One approach includes source-directed measures to reduce dioxin emissions. Secondary contamination of the food supply needs to be avoided throughout the food-chain. Good controls and practices during primary production, processing, distribution and sale are all essential in the production of safe

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