What Are Dioxins?
Dioxins are a chlorine-based type of persistent organic pollutant (POP). As implied in the name, persistent organic pollutants are pollutants that don't decompose very well; therefore, once they are released, they remain in the environment for a very long time. It can take hundreds of years for materials that contain POPs to decompose. There are certain materials that contain large amounts of POPs and dioxins, such as plastics, cardboard, paper, and even lawn clippings.
How are Dioxins Formed?
Dioxins are usually formed by the incineration of certain materials in an uncontrolled incinerator, such as backyard burn barrels. Dioxins can also be produced by the burning of fuels such as coal, wood, or oil. Dioxins can also be produced by chlorine-bleaching paper, smoking cigarettes, and burning plastics, rubber, and paints. They can also be formed by natural causes such as volcanoes.