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FDA finds dioxin in milk.

FDA finds dioxin in milk

Trace quantities of the most toxic dioxin and furan popped up in almost half the U.S. milk tested -- 7 of 15 samples -- Food and Drug Administration chemists reported last week. FDA analyzed milk from half-pint plastic-coated cardboard cartons, the type used in federally subsidized school programs.

Produced during the chlorine bleaching of wood pulp, dioxins and furans contaminate a range of consumer paper products (SN: 2/18/89, p.104). Though the Canadian government detected these chemicals in milk last year (SN: 10/29/88, p.279), FDA scientists noted at the time that those data failed to prove the compounds came from the packaging. FDA now says its data confirm these chemicals "migrate from bleached paper cartons" into milk.

"During the short period of time it will take to complete corrective steps, milk is safe to drink," says FDA Commissioner Frank E. Young. His agency has estimated that drinking milk for another three to five years from chlorine-bleached cartons contaminated at levels approaching those FDA detected -- 0.02 to 0.62 parts per trillion -- should pose a lifetime cancer risk to less than one in a million.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 9, 1989
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