Dangerous Dioxins: NYC Green Groups Call for Stronger Enforcement

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A little more than a month after the Environmental Protection Agency released its long-awaited report on the non-cancer dangers of dioxins, consumer groups have called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration to officially stop buying products which contain these chemicals.

New York's Center for Health, Environment & Justice -- which had previously decried Mike for flouting anti-dioxin regulation -- says that Bloomberg's administration has greatly improved enforcement, but now needs to target PVC plastic. (A 2005 rule requires that NYC cut back on dioxin-containing purchases.)

The organization worries that the mayor who succeeds Bloomberg might not be as willing to enforce the guidelines -- unless there is a clear, written mandate on PVC.

So the cohort will publicly call on Bloomberg to do this tomorrow, when the group will submit oral and written testimony to city officials at a hearing.

"We're dissapointed with the regulations as written," said Daniel Gradess, who's with the Center. "The provisions contain zero provisions addressing this plastic."

Runnin' Scared reached out to the Mayor's office.

A spokesperson told us that the administration's current policy is sufficient, pointing to earlier official comments on the issue.

A Bloomberg spokesperson had previously told Runnin' Scared that the administration is actively working with its primary vendor, Staples, to buy low-dioxin products.

"We've been working very hard and very diligently to meet these standards."

Dioxins can be found in nature, but their high concentration in industrially produced materials poses a greater risk to human health.

In New York, The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association recently demanded cancer stats for 9-11 first responders, after analyses showed that they had been exposed to high dioxin levels. Also, a ProPublica report discovered that the federal government tried to remain hush-hush about dioxin-related risks at Ground Zero and downplay the dangers.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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