January 17, 2012
The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Ariel Rios Building
Washington, DC 20460
Dear EPA Administrator Jackson:
Thank you for your attention to dioxin. The Dioxin Reassessment document is extremely important to the health of the American people and we applaud your efforts to bring this long delayed process to closure.
We are writing to strongly urge you to finalize the non-cancer dioxin IRIS assessment by the end of January, and expeditiously release the cancer dioxin IRIS assessment as you have pledged to do.
We are concerned about widespread human exposure to dioxin in the food system, in spite of compelling scientific evidence of harm to human health. As we give parents advice on how to reduce their exposure to food contaminants, we caution them to eat smaller fish and avoid dioxin in fatty foods. However, dietary advice goes only so far. We also need active policies to reduce dioxin in the environment, so that nursing mothers don’t have to worry about dioxin in
their breast-milk. EPA’s Dioxin Reassessment is an important step in addressing the critical public health issue of widespread human exposure to dioxin.
Since 1985, efforts by EPA to assess the risks of dioxin have been delayed time and time again. Scientists at EPA have long concluded dioxin and dioxin-like compounds are highly toxic, yet people in communities across the country are continuing to be exposed to this highly toxic chemical. We believe the American public has a right to know about the health consequences of exposure to dioxin, and EPA needs to take steps to protect American families from this unnecessary harmful class of chemicals.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
We urge you to meet your schedule of finalizing the non-cancer portion of the dioxin reanalysis by the end of this January and to finalize the cancer portion as quickly as possible thereafter as you have pledged.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and for your commitment to protecting America’s health and environment.
Kathleen Schuler, MPH
David Wallinga, MD, MPA