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Cabinet members attending the first ministerial-level conference on dioxin policy agreed Wednesday that a quick review is needed of the tolerable daily intake of the carcinogen in order to form the basis for future policy.

During the day’s conference, headed by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and attended by 13 Cabinet ministers, the participants agreed to formulate a basic policy for tackling the dioxin issue by the end of March.

However, setting standards and regulations for dioxin levels in food will not be addressed for the time being, according to government officials.

The revised tolerable daily intake — or TDI — will form the foundation for subsequent environmental standards dictating tolerable dioxin levels in water, air and soil.

The TDI review, originally slated to conclude by summer, is being expedited.

The group also agreed that the nation’s dioxin survey system needs to be bolstered as does measurement and analysis efforts. Participants also said steps must be taken to provide correct information to the public.

Recycling is important because nearly 90 percent of the dioxin produced in Japan is believed to come from waste incinerators and the burning of chlorine-based chemicals. Japan burns almost three quarters of its waste and has nearly 10 times as many waste incinerators as the United States.

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