PRETTYMOLECULES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PRETTYMOLECULES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dioxin. Computer artwork of a dioxin molecule enlcosed in a blue bubble. Atoms are represented by spheres (carbon: grey, chlorine: red, hydrogen: blue, oxygen: green) with the bonds between them as bars. Dioxins are a family of toxic by-products of a number of industrial processes, including burning waste, heating metals and bleaching paper and textiles. They have no industrial use themselves. They are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and build up over time in living tissue (bioaccumulation). Long-term high-level exposure can cause birth defects, cancer and a higher risk of diabetes.
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