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Dioxin is a name for either one of two organic chemical compounds which are isomers and whose chemical structures are shown at right. These isomers are called 1,2-dioxin (or o-dioxin) and 1,4-dioxin (or p-dioxin). Both dioxins are heterocyclic compounds which have the chemical formula C4H4O2.
The ortho isomer 1,2-dioxin is very unstable due to its peroxide-like characteristics.
The known properties of 1,4-dioxin are listed in the infobox to the right.
Other meanings of dioxin
The word dioxin can also in a general way refer to compounds whose molecules have a dioxin core skeletal structure with substituent molecular groups attached to it. For example, dibenzo-p-dioxin is a compound whose structure consists of two benzo- groups fused onto a p-dioxin ring as shown below (see also Dibenzodioxin).
Because of their extreme importance as environmental pollutants, current scientific literature uses the name dioxins commonly for simplification to denote the chlorinated derivatives of dibenzo-p-dioxin, more precisely the polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs). The polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, which can also be classified in the family of halogenated organic compounds, have been shown to bioaccumulate in humans and wildlife due to their lipophilic properties, and are known teratogens, mutagens, and carcinogens.
Additionally, sometimes with dioxins a similar, but unrelated compound type the polychlorinated dibenzofurans of like importance are also implied.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dioxin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|