[Note: This article reposted August 24, 2015]
On May 23rd the US Environmental Protection Agency released the Toxic Release Inventory information for 2000. For the first time, information is included on releases of “dioxin and dioxin-like compounds.”
MEDIA RELEASE FROM GREEN DELAWARE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 23, 2002
For more information contact Alan Muller, 302.834.3466, Stephen Lester, 703.237.2249
DUPONT DOSES DELAWARE WITH DIOXIN, MOST TOXIC KNOWN CHEMICAL
EDGE MOOR PLANT RESPONSIBLE FOR ABOUT 39 PERCENT OF ALL REPORTED DIOXIN RELEASES IN UNITED STATES
On May 23rd the US Environmental Protection Agency released the Toxic Release Inventory information for 2000. For the first time, information is included on releases of “dioxin and dioxin-like compounds.” Of the 210 variations of dioxin and related chemicals known as furans, only the 20 most toxic are included in the TRI. (Some large sources of dioxin, such as medical waste and garbage incineration, are not included.)
Delaware facilities reported releasing 38,682 grams, over 85 pounds. This is 386 thousand times the minimum reportable quantity of one-tenth of a gram. The total reported for the entire United States was 99,814 grams (about 220 pounds).
Dioxin is the most toxic chemical ever studied in detail. It is a “known human carcinogen.” In addition to cancer, dioxin causes diabetes, attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, weakened immune systems, infertility, birth defects, and other health problems.
One gram of the most toxic form of dioxin is enough to exceed the acceptable daily intake (World Health Organization) for between 10 and 40 million people for one year.
Most of Delaware’s dioxin comes from the Edge Moor plant of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. This plant makes the white pigment titanium dioxide by the “chloride process,” which by its inherent nature produces dioxin as a byproduct. For decades, millions of pounds of dioxin-contaminated waste was handled and stored in and around Edge-Moor with no special precautions.
“We already have too much dioxin in our bodies,” says Stephen Lester, Science Director for the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. “Health effects have already been found at existing body burden levels and additional exposures make it more likely that our health will suffer.”
“It seems very likely that dioxin from DuPont at Edge-Moor have caused serious health problems in Delaware. Hundreds of people near a similar DuPont plant in Mississippi are planning to sue DuPont,” said Alan Muller of Green Delaware.