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In response to the editor's note on Christmas tree waste burning: the real issue is "waste burning of chemical compounds creating toxic dioxin" causing health damages.
The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed in the 1970s that dioxin is a cancer hazard and serious health threat. Its science advisory board published a nine-volume report. In 1986 it proposed controls on dioxin emissions. EPA Chief William Reily reported increases in cancers to people exposed to dioxin, 82 percent above the norm.
EPA scientist Linda Birnbaum says studies convinced her that dioxin causes cancer (printed in Science News). Scottish researchers proved a 50 percent reduction in sperm count (reported in New England Journal of Medicine).
Five peer-reviewed studies showed cancer in humans exposed to dioxin. Behavioral and learning disorders were reported by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health; diabetes was reported by the U.S. Air Force; immune system toxicity, endometriosis, birth defects, lung problems, hormonal interference, also were reported.
The International Agency for Research on cancer calls dioxin a human carcinogen. The U.S. National Toxicology Program reaffirmed no known safe level, being one of the most toxic chemicals known to science. Greenpeace chemist Pat Costner and Sierra Club both published health issues.
Dioxin is formed by waste burning of chemical compounds spread as “fugitive dust” escaping beyond property lines. Chemicals used in tree farms create dioxin when burnt.
Hundreds of families had to abandon their homes in Love Canal, N.Y., due to contamination. There were evacuations at Times Beach, Mo., and Midland, Mich., and hospitalizations of workers in West Virginia, exposed veterans from Agent Orange.
Twenty states, Quebec and the Great Lakes region have laws regarding pesticides, herbicides relating to air issues. Federal laws protect environmental quality.
EPA data list regulations enacted in 1986. Merchant Law Group is pursuing legislation since 2005 for thousands of civilians and veterans with health damages. The Supreme Court of Newfoundland in 2007 has class actions happening.
The message from senior EPA scientists is that the public is not being protected. Callous disregard for the impact of burning toxic waste is happening here in Grayson County.