Dioxins are a family of highly toxic chemicals that are in our environment—in
our air, water, soil, and food supply, as well as in our bodies. Dioxins are not
intentionally produced, but rather are by-products of combustion and industrial
processes, including the manufacture of chlorinated chemicals, the bleaching of
paper products, and the incineration of waste (municipal, hazardous, and
hospital waste). Dioxins are one of a grouping of toxic pollutants that are
persistent in our environment, as well as in the human body. Once they get into
the environment and into our bodies, they do not quickly biodegrade into
something less toxic, and they have extremely slow natural paths for removal or
excretion. They are believed to have a halflife of seven to twelve years in the
human body (Wolfe et al., 1995).
From 'Environmental Health in the Healthcare Setting,'
by Barbara Sattler, DrPH, RN
On the Web
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry