Dioxin: The Chemical and Our Health

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Dioxin: The Chemical and Our Health Dioxin (polychlorinated dibenzodioxin), commonly known as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD), is a group of aromatic hydrocarbon compounds known to be environmental pollutants. Dioxins are produced as a by-product during the manufacturing and burning of plastics (Clancy, Farrow, Finkle, Francis, Heimbecker, Nixon-Ewing, et al., 2011, p. 338). There are many different dioxin compounds, each having different levels of toxicity. Dioxin is commonly referred to as TCDD because it is the most toxic and well studied form of dioxin. Dioxins are characterized by the presence of two benzene rings that are connected by a pair of oxygen atoms. Each of the eight carbon atoms that are not bonded to oxygen is able to bind with hydrogen atoms or other elements. The more toxic dioxins carry chlorine atoms. 2,3,7,8-TCDD is extremely stable and virtually insoluble in water, but soluble in oils. This allows dioxin in soil to resist dilution with rainwater. If it is absorbed, it is able to enter the fatty tissue in the body. This chemical is created by the burning of chlorine-based chemical compounds of some industrial, non-industrial, and natural processes that involve combustion. They are also generated as by-products from the manufacturing of herbicides, disinfectants, and other agents, and usually form as a by-product in the majority of all combustion processes. Dioxins are very persistent compounds with a strong affinity for
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