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National Environmental Health Association

  >"Dioxin, Health Care Facilities, and the Use of PVC -- a
  >Chlorine-based Product
  >The National Environmental Health Association,
  >	Acknowledging, as did the U.S. Environmental
  >Protection Agency, that medical waste incinerators
  >(MWIs) emit significantly less dioxin than previously
  >estimated, (from an initial assessment of 5100 grams per
  >year to 150 grams per year). In addition, a 99%
  >reduction in dioxin emissions from both new and existing
  >MWIs is anticipated from the implementation of EPA's
  >proposed MWI rule,[1] and
  >	Acknowledging, as did the American Society of
  >Mechanical Engineers, that "there is no correlation
  >between the amount or type of chlorine in the waste
  >constituents of combustion facilities and dioxin
  >concentrations measured at the stack ..." [2] and
  >	Recognizing, as did the American College of
  >Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American
  >College of Preventive Medicine, the important role that
  >chorine chemistry plays in our society, particularly in
  >the prevention of disease through disinfection of public
  >drinking water, the formulation of disinfectants, and
  >refrigerants used in food preservation, [4]  and
  >	Noting that PVC, in particular, has been recognized
  >and accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  >and international ministries of health as a component of
  >medical devices and their packages. In fact, about one
  >quarter of medical devices are composed of PVC, which is
  >widely used in manufacturing blood bags, intravenous
  >fluid bags, oxygen tents, catheters, and component parts
  >of many diagnostic instruments, [5] and
  >	Noting the significant role that chlorine chemistry
  >plays in the formulation of a wide variety of
  >pharmaceuticals including vitamins and medicines to
  >treat diseases, and
  >	Noting the public health and environmental concerns
  >that have been raised regarding exposure to toxic
  >substances, including some chlorinated organic
  >chemicals, and
  >	Recognizing the important role that PVC plays in
  >medical settings, and
  >	Noting that prevention is one of the basic tenets
  >of public health,
  >Be it resolved that the National Environmental Health
  >(1) Supports the continued responsible use of PVC
  >(2) Supports a scientifically based risk assessment
  >process to evaluate the potential risks associated with
  >the use or disposal of PVC products
  >Submitted by:
  >Chris J. Wiant, Ph.D.
  >Tri-County Health Department
  >Englewood, Colorado
  >[1] US Environmental Protection Agency. Proposed Rule:
  >Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources and
  >Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources: Medical Waste
  >Incinerators. 40 CFR Part 60 31736. Vol. 61, No. 120,
  >Thursday, June 20, 1996.
  >[2] Rigo, G; Chandler, A; Lanier W. An ASME Research
  >Report: The Relationship Between Chlorine in Waste
  >Streams and Dioxins from Waste Combustor Stacks. The
  >American Society of Mechanical Engineers. CRTD-
  >[3] Karol. M. Commentary: Toxicologic Principles Do Not
  >Support the Banning of Chlorine. Fundamental and Applied
  >Toxicology. No. 24 p.1-2. 1995.
  >[4] American College of Occupational and Environmental
  >Medicine. Position Paper. Adopted by Board of Directors
  >on January 20, 1994.
  >[5] Cascadia Consulting Group. "Hospital Plastic
  >Characterization and Recycling Feasibility Study."
  >Report Prepared for the American Plastics Council. 1994. "