OAKLAND: Officials Hear Concerns About Carcinogenic Dioxins
Continuing their efforts to rid the Bay Area of industrial pollutants, the California Zero Dioxin Exposure Alliance sponsored a three-hour hearing Wednesday night to allow health care providers, environmentalists and area residents to express concerns regarding dioxin, the Contra Costa Times reports. A seven-member panel of federal, state and other agency representatives listened to more than 200 doctors, nurses, cancer survivors and residents speak about the dangers of dioxin, a family of chemicals created by some industrial processes that can cause cancer, immune system disorders, reproductive problems and learning disabilities. While scientists contend that dioxin is "the most dangerous known chemical" as only a tiny amount is necessary to cause health damage, industry officials argue that the fear surrounding dioxin is "overblown." Many of those speaking at the "People's Hearing on Dioxin, Health and Environmental Justice" stressed the need to hold corporations, many of which are located near minority communities, responsible. Henry Clark, executive director of the West County Toxics Coalition, said, "It's time we focus on protecting our public house, not corporate profits" (Masten, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.