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On Friday October 31, 1997, the National Toxicology Program Board of
Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences (NIEHS) voted to list 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin as a
known human carcinogen. This decision marks the second time that a major
group of scientific experts have evaluated the human health studies on
dioxin and concluded, based on all available data, that dioxin should be
considered to be a human carcinogen. In February of this year the
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) voted similarly to
classify dioxin as a known human carcinogen.
The meeting was held in Research Triangle Park to review substances for
listing or delisting from the Ninth Report on Carcinogens. The
Subcommittee on Carcinogens of the Board of Scientific Counselors
evaluated 14 substances including dioxin. They evaluated a background
document prepared and presented by Dr. Arnold Schector for the NIEHS. Two
scientific peer reviewers then discussed their critique of the report.
Public comments were then heard. Five presentations were given including
one from Greenpeace and CCHW. Following open discussion, the Subcommittee
voted to list dioxin as a known human carcinogen.
This decision is given as a recommendation to an internal scientific
committee who evaluates all the decisions made by the Subcommittee on
Carcinogens and passes on their input and recommdations to the Director of
NIEHS. The Director makes a final decision regarding the proposed listing
and/or delisting of substances. This decision is submitted to the Office
of the Secretary, DHHS who reviews and approves the final decisions.
For more information about the NTP process of listing and/or delisting
substances for the Biennial Report on Carcinogens, contact Dr. Larry Hart
CCHW Center for Health, Environment and Justice
P.O. Box 6806 Falls Church, VA 22040
(703) 237-2249 (703) 237-8389 (fax)