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Social Implications

There exists a saying, “What you don’t know, cant hurt you”. During the modern times, this single quote has served as the philosophy for our race. We have this notion that we are the ultimate beings, safe and protected from the outside world within the walls of our house. However this idea is gravely flawed. The truth is, what we don’t know, has already hurt us! Dioxin, like a silent killer has invaded every aspect of our lives. Secretly disrupting the functions of our bodies, and slowly reducing the strength of our society. It’s effects are not very noticeable at first, but over time they become to well apparent. One of the better known problems associated with Dioxin is it’s ability to cause cancer. According to the studies made the EPA, dioxin can potentially increase the risk of cancer up to a thousand times. If this information is correct, it could account for over 3,500 American deaths each year connected to cancer. One of the lesser known problems with Dioxin has to do with the reproductive system. It is believed that the exposure to dioxin in the last 50 years has reduced the sperm count of the male population by at least 50%. Although dioxin is a serious health treat to the adults, it is more so to children. Dioxin can increase the chances of developing birth defects, sometimes even causing death. And the sad thing is, most children get 1/3 of their life’s dioxin levels before they are even born. Turning a blind eye to our problems is pure madness, but that’s exactly what we’ve bean doing all alone. The only time that we realize there is a problem, and start to do something about the problem. Is usually after it has began to take effect. The chart below lists some other health implication attributed to Dioxin. Now take a moment to look it over and ask yourself this “do you want these problems to take effect? ”

List showing Dioxin’s effect of human health
Chart taken from [Toxic Report, April 2002]

TABLE 2: Toxicological Effects of Dioxin-like Compounds
Modulation of hormones, receptors, and growth factors

Steroid hormones and receptors (androgens, estrogens and glucocorticoids)
Thyroid hormones
Insulin Melatonin
Vitamin A
EGF and receptor
TGF-a and TGF-b
TNF-a, IL1b, c-Ras, c-ErbA

Immune system effects

Suppression of cell-mediated and humoral immunity
Increased susceptibility to infectious challenge
Auto-immune response

Developmental impacts

Birth defects
Fetal death
Impaired neurological development and subsequent cognitive deficits
Altered sexual development

Male reproductive toxicity

Reduced sperm count
Testicular atrophy
Abnormal testis structure
Reduced size of genital organs
Feminized hormonal responses
Feminized behavioral responses

Female reproductive toxicity

Decreases fertility
Inability to maintain pregnancy
Ovarian dysfunction

Other effects

Organ toxicity (liver spleen, thymus, skin)
Weight loss
Wasting syndrome
Altered glucose and fat metabolism

Sources: Adapted from U.S. EPA, 1994a and Birnbaum, 1994