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Environment

Draft dioxins guidelines

January 8, 2007 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 85, ISSUE 2

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry has published a draft revision of its policy guidelines for dioxins and related compounds in residential soil near or on hazardous waste sites (Fed. Reg. 2006, 71, 78441). The last guidelines were published in 1998. According to ATSDR, the updated guidelines will bring dioxin assessments in line with how other chemicals are evaluated. They do not reflect a changed scientific opinion on dioxin toxicity. The primary change is to delete the 1 ppb soil concentration as the criterion for taking specific public health action. No other chemical has an action level, so this change brings dioxins policy more in line with that for other chemicals. The new guidelines retain the policy stating that dioxins levels of 0.05 ppb (50 ppt) or higher in soil should trigger a health assessment. And they require that all exposure pathways to dioxins and related compounds be considered, in contrast to the 1998 policy, which required only an evaluation of exposure to dioxins in soil.

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