04/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's EPA Ready To Address Michigan Toxins Where Bush's Didn't

Dioxin, a by-product of the chemical manufacturing process, has long been known as a carcinogen and is regulated by state and federal agencies. EPA studies of the chemical since 1991 have indicated that the substance is far more toxic that previously thought (pdf) -- capable of damaging the endocrine and immune systems and changing fetal development at common background levels -- but political pressures have delayed the official release of these findings.

Last year the Government Accountability Office recommended that the EPA adopt a streamlined process for completing the dioxin study but noted that the Bush administration EPA chose not to adopt its proposal.

In a January report to Congress the Government Accountability Office said that EPA's delays in releasing the dioxin reassessment pose a high risk for public health.