When one thinks about dangerous toxic chemicals, the highly publicized compound known as dioxin clearly comes to mind. But according to a new report by the National Academy of Sciences, much of the EPA’s data that indicts dioxin is deeply contaminated. To begin with, the NAS expressed concern with how EPA used animal studies to establish dioxin’s risk. They said that rodents, which are exposed to much higher doses of the chemical than human populations, are not necessarily good indicators of toxicity in people. And when the NAS also noted that EPA relied upon linear modeling, a method known to exaggerate the risk of cancer, it appears the fears surrounding dioxin are fast becoming less persistent, at least in the policy environment.

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