Section 4.0 How are we exposed to dioxin?

EJNET.ORG (DIOXIN) [Scientific]

The major sources of dioxin are in our diet. Since dioxin is fat-soluble, it bio-accumulates*def01, climbing up the food chain.
A North American eating a typical North American diet will receive 93% of their dioxin exposure from meat and dairy products (23% is from milk and dairy alone; the other large sources of exposure are beef, fish, pork, poultry and eggs). In fish, these toxins bio-accumulate*def01 up the food chain so that dioxin levels in fish are 100,000 times that of the surrounding environment.
The best way to avoid dioxin exposure is to reduce or eliminate your consumption of meat and dairy products by adopting a vegan diet.*fn01
According to a May 2001 study of dioxin in foods,[*fn02/*pdf01{219kb}] “The category with the lowest [dioxin] level was a simulated vegan diet,*def02 with 0.09 ppt…. Blood dioxin levels in pure vegans have also been found to be very low in comparison with the general population, indicating a lower contribution of these foods to human dioxin body burden.”
In EPA’s dioxin report, they refer to dioxin as hydrophobic (water-fearing) and lipophilic (fat-loving). This means that dioxin, when it settles on water bodies, will rapidly accumulate in fish rather than remain in the water. The same goes for other wildlife. Dioxin works its way to the top of the food chain.
Men have no ways to get rid of dioxin other than letting it break down according to its chemical half-lives. Women, on the other hand, have two ways which it can exit their bodies:
  • It crosses the placenta… into the growing infant;
  • It is present in the fatty breast milk, which is also a route of exposure which doses the infant, making breast-feeding for non-vegan/vegetarian mothers quite hazardous.
fn01: Vegetarian Web Links {}
PDF Files:
pdf01: DHE-PDF-08 {219kb} (1528-7394/01) Intake of Dioxins and Related Compounds from Food in the U.S. Population BY Arnold Schecter {}


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