June 23, 2004
Chlorine Chemistry Division
of the American Chemistry Council Endorses National Academies
of Science Dioxin Review Even as Chlorine Sector Dioxin Releases
C. T. "Kip" Howlett, Jr., Executive Director
of the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry
Council, released the following statement today:
"In the spirit of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA's) Earth Day 2004 theme, Environmental
Progress: Celebrate and Accelerate, the chlorine chemistry
industry reports accelerated progress in managing dioxins
in 2002, reducing already low Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
emissions to air and water by 68 percent over year 2000 emissions.
We are pleased to report that in 2002, the chlorine sector's
dioxin releases fell to just 10.4 grams-TEQ*.
as industrial dioxin releases decline, the Chlorine Chemistry
Division of the American Chemistry Council supports the National
Academies of Science review of the EPA dioxin reassessment.
This review is critical to harmonizing EPA's dioxin risk characterization
with those of respected public health agencies worldwide.
Overly conservative assumptions and selective use of the available
data on dioxin have resulted in an EPA dioxin risk analysis
that is inconsistent with the conclusions of other agencies.
Releases to air and water from the chlorine
sector in 2002 represent less than one percent of the total
2002/2004 EPA-projected dioxin emissions from quantified sources.
The vast majority of dioxin generated as an unwanted byproduct
in 2002 was destroyed either on- or offsite, or disposed of
in special hazardous waste or other types of landfills.
The dioxin environmental success story began
long before the EPA began requiring facilities to report dioxin
releases to the environment as part of the year 2000 TRI.
EPA data show that industrial dioxin emissions have been reduced
by 92 percent since 1987. Given this encouraging trend, it
is not surprising that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported the blood level of dioxin in the average
U.S. resident is below the limits of analytical detection
(Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental
Chemicals, 2003). Clearly, the EPA and industry can celebrate
this impressive victory-achieved through the winning combination
of government regulations and voluntary industry efforts.
While the body of dioxin science grows daily,
our member companies continue to support efforts to further
reduce dioxin emissions and, at the same time, provide the
building blocks of chlorine chemistry that help produce essential
products that make our lives safer, healthier and more convenient."
Chemistry is a Small Source of Dioxin Releases Sector
Represents Less Than 1% of 2002-4 EPA-Estimated Dioxin
|Charts for 1987 and 1995 are based on
data from the "US Environmental Protection Agency Inventory
of Sources of Dioxin-Like Compounds in the United States-1987
and 1995" http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/dioxindb.cfm?ActType=default
. The 2002/4 chart is based on EPA projections assuming
full compliance with regulatory levels by this period
and the closure of a copper smelter (personal communication,
Dwain Winters, US EPA, 9-9-02).
1Some sources included in the US
EPA Inventory of Sources of Dioxin in the US are not included
in the Toxic Release Inventory. These include some large sources
such as municipal incineration and backyard barrel burning.
* "Other" category includes leaded and unleaded
gasoline, land-applied 2,4-D, iron ore sintering, oil-fired
utilities, EDC/vinyl chloride, lightweight aggregate kilns
that combust hazardous waste, petroleum refinery catalyst
regeneration, cigarette smoke, boilers/industrial furnaces,
crematoria, and drum reclamation.
* TEQ (toxic equivalents)
is the internationally accepted standard for measuring dioxin
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