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Superfund Basic Research Program

"Dioxin" is a term commonly used to refer to the chemical 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin or TCDD. In all, there are 210 isomers of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) - collectively these compounds are often referred to as dioxin-like compounds or "dioxins." The toxicity of dioxins varies with the position and number of chlorine atoms - many dioxins are only slightly toxic and some are nontoxic while others can lead to altered immune function, increased susceptibility to infections, and thyroid and liver function abnormalities. Higher levels of dioxin exposure have been linked to birth defects, child growth retardation, cancer, and reduced levels of male reproductive hormones. Dioxins are ubiquitous in the environment due to their multiple sources, environmental persistence, and ability to travel long distances. Dioxins not easily metabolized or excreted by wildlife and people, accumulate in body fat, and concentrate in the food web.

Use the search tools below to find additional information about SBRP-funded dioxin/furan research projects.

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Last Reviewed: 19 May 2008