a government advisory panel has suggested that the Japanese government should drop the maximum tolerable daily intake of dioxin to four picograms per kilogram of body weight. For the first time, polychlorinated biphenyl's ( pcb s), toxic substances similar to dioxin, will also fall under the new standard. The recommendations of the joint panel, which comprises advisory panels to the health and welfare ministry and the environment agency, are to be presented to the Cabinet for approval. Japan emits the most dioxin into the air among the 15 industrialised countries that have compiled national inventories of such emissions, according to a recently released study by the United Nations Environment Program.
According to the study, Japan was emitting nearly 4 kg of dioxin per year into the air as of 1995 -- mostly from municipal waste incinerators -- out of a total of 10 kg per year from all 15 countries. Japan's dioxin emissions were four times that of France, the biggest emitter of dioxin in Europe. The us , which came second in dioxin emissions, emitted 2.8 kg a year.