U.S. dioxin emissions from man-made sources have declined more than 92% since 1987 due to a number of industry and government initiatives. Studies indicate that the largest sources of these chemicals in the U.S. are backyard trash burning and forest fires. The dramatic reduction in dioxin emissions and exposure in the past 20 years is a major success story of government and industry environmental stewardship. Dioxin is a byproduct commonly found in the environment as a result of natural and industrial processes, usually involving combustion. In the United States, industrial sources of dioxins released into the environment have decreased significantly over the past 20-30 years.
While there have been concerns over the years about the potential health impacts of dioxins found in the environment and in the food supply, consensus science reports indicate that there are no known established health effects in people resulting from typical dioxin exposure through diet and environment. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that exposure to dioxin from the environment, the food supply, and levels in human blood are exceedingly low and continue to decline. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health."
Resources on Dioxin:
IFIC Foundation: Assessing Dioxin Risks: An Update
IFIC Foundation: Fact Sheet: Dioxins, Diet and Health
IFIC Foundation: Questions and Answers about Dioxins
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Questions and Answers about Dioxins
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Environmental Assessment: Dioxin