The US Environmental Protection Agency was to release new recommendations for the regulation of dioxins on the 31st of January, Science reports.
The reassessment comes on the back the agency’s involvement with assessing and advising US consumers and the public policy makers since 1985.
Dioxin is a catchall term for the 30 or so chemicals, including the notorious Agent Orange herbicide, that disrupt hormonal pathways, creating embryological disorders and potentially leading to cancer.
Dioxin emissions, despite having been driven back since the 1980s, continue to contaminate meat and dairy products, being principally emitted from waste incinerators, paper pulp producers, and copper smelters.
At issue in the reassessments, is the lower limits of dioxin exposure, and what constitutes a toxic does.
The WHO places the threshold at 2.3 picograms per kilogram body weight daily; EPA’s 2010 assessment calls for 0.7 picograms. A pictogram is 10-15 kilogram.
The EPA has yet to announce a new deadline for publishing its new assessment.