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Summary: conference on dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans, National Institute of Environmental Health Services, April 2-3, 1973.

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
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  • Research Article
  • Biology
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Summary: Conference on Dibenzodioxins and Dibenzofurans, National Institute of Environmental Health Services, April 2-3, 1973 by Edward i. Burger, Jr.* To attempt to summarize the proceedings of a meeting such as this one in any rigor- ous sense is clearly an unreasonably ambiti- ous task. It is made more challenging be- cause of the tentative character of much of the work commented upon here. This meeting, one of a series (and I hope a growing series) for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, repre- sents an extraordinarily useful concept. It is designed to bring together a variety of scientific bedfellows who have contemplated (and indeed investigated) a subject for its academic interest and for its very timely topical interest. These same scientists would have learned about each other eventually but, in the best tradition of science, it would have taken a long time. By design, we are witnessing the cutting edge of scientific research for this area. This meeting has, as its avowed and very virtuous purpose, the calling out of the walls a good deal of unmatured and not totally interpreted or confirmed research. It is im- portant to keep this tentative and uncon- firmed character in mind. One is struck, too, by the character of the research which has been reported at this meeting. There are still many gaps in our knowledge about dibenzofurans and dioxins. *Office of Science and Technology, Executive Office of the President, Washington D.C. 20506. Yet, the thought that has gone into the design of the research reported here re- presents a striking degree of sophistication in many cases for which the participants should be very proud. As late as 1970 or 1971, there existed only the crudest hint of a ranking of biological activity of members of the family of chlorinated dioxins. (1, 2) The reports at this conference contained descriptions of dose-response information, some beginning insight into mechanisms, and the first probings toward structure- activity relationship

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