Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dioxin: exposing another ecomyth

Here is a good summary of the latest National Academy of Sciences review of dioxin, long touted as the standard for carcinogenic pollutants by environmentalists. Seems the science does not sustain the hysteria.

The effects of pollution on human health are difficult to measure as they are tempered by the dose/response relationship: simply put, how much are we exposed to, in what concentration and for how long. Environmentalists have made concerted efforts to ban and/or control all manner of substances, such as lawn pesticides, and when challenged about the veracity of their science, there has often been a reach for the ace card: "we don't want another dioxin" or "its just as bad as dioxin". Dioxin was the gold standard for environmentalist's claim of cancer causing pollutants. Mistakenly it seems.

Question: how long before the myth dies? Or will it persist and still be embedded in children's textbooks for years to come, despite the scientific evidence to the contrary?