The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
28 May 2004
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today released a series of major reports showing levels of dioxins in Australia are amongst the lowest in the world.
"This series of scientific reports produced by the National Dioxins Program represents the largest survey of dioxin levels ever undertaken in Australia," Dr Kemp said.
"This is a nationwide examination of the background levels of dioxins in Australia to show the average risk to the average Australian.
"Conducted in 2001-2004, the studies show the levels of dioxins in our food, our bodies and the environment are low compared with international standards. They also show the risks to human health and the environment are low."
Dioxins are primarily produced as unintended by-products of combustion and remain in the environment for a long time. They have been linked to cancer and adverse health impacts on the nervous and reproductive system and are in decline globally.
Some of the key findings include:
"The Australian Government in conjunction with State and Territory governments will now be able to formulate a range of actions involving industry and the community to keep dioxin levels low and to reduce the risks further. This work is a significant scientific development and will help Australia meet its international obligations under the Stockholm Convention ratified on 20 May," Dr Kemp said.
The community summary and technical reports are at www.deh.gov.au/industry/chemicals/dioxins