EPA releases dioxins report

Study concludes most people not in danger of exposure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report defining how harmful dioxins are for humans.

Dioxins—a group of about 30 toxic compounds that includes Agent Orange—are byproducts of waste incinerators, chemical-manufacturing plants, paper and pulp mills and other industries, according to Environmental Health News. They are found in trace amounts in most people’s bodies, typically through the consumption of animal products. The EPA reported that dioxin levels have declined so much in the last two decades that most people are not at risk, although they did note that even very low levels could lead to serious health effects. Critics of the report argue the authors did not take groups more sensitive to dioxins into account, such as fetuses and nursing infants.

Dioxins have been linked to cancer, disrupted hormones, immune-system changes and skin disorders.