As Vietnam Veterans and family members of Vietnam Veterans, many of us are unfortunately painfully familiar with the health hazards of dioxin. Decades after soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange and dioxin in Vietnam, EPA has still not yet finalized their report on dioxin and cancer.
The EPA’s landmark report-the “Dioxin Reassessment”-still remains a draft, which has stymied the agency’s development of federal dioxin regulations for over 25 years.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson pledged to finalize this assessment by December 2010. Nearly four years later after EPA’s self-imposed deadline, we are still waiting for this assessment to be complete. In August 2011, EPA announced a plan to complete both the cancer and non-cancer assessment. EPA’s non-cancer assessment was completed in February of 2012, thanks in part to pressure from Vietnam Veterans, yet the cancer assessment has still not been completed eighteen months later.
Dioxin has been classified as a known carcinogen by government authorities around the world including the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP). Yet, EPA’s cancer assessment is still not complete. Americans have the right to know about dioxin’s cancer hazards.