Dioxins are a family of chemicals comprising 75 different types of dioxin compounds and 135 related compounds called furans. They are unintended by-products of certain industrial processes and also occur due to activities such as backyard burning of household trash, and natural events such as forest fires.
Dioxin contamination in the City of Midland is the result of airborne emissions from past waste management practices at Dow. Emissions released into the air from incinerators used in the early days of Dow's manufacturing operations contained dioxins, which ended up in the soil downwind of the plant.
Dioxin emissions from Michigan Operations decreased dramatically over the years as processes were modernized. In 1995, Dow committed to reducing dioxin emissions by 90%, which had already been greatly reduced from past operations that contributed dioxin to Midland soil.Dow's rotary kiln incinerator now enables 99.999% efficiency in eliminating chemical emissions.