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E-M:/ Dow dioxin news - second message

Enviro-Mich message from pirgim1@juno.com (Brian M Imus)


June 9, 1998			CONTACT:  Diane Hebert
					Terry Miller
				(517) 686-6386


	A coalition of Midland and Bay City residents today launched “Dow
Dioxin Watch,” a new project aimed at monitoring Dow’s release of highly
toxic dioxins into the area’s air, water and soil.
	“Dioxin is rated by the U.S. EPA as being the most potent
toxicant on earth, and Dow has exposed us to far too much of it,” said
Diane Hebert, spokesperson for the project and chairperson of the
Midland-based Environmental Health Watch.  “Our bodies already contain
dangerously high levels of dioxin.  So do the Tittabawassee and Saginaw
Rivers; the state has issued public health advisories warning us not to
eat fish from those rivers.  And Dow is responsible.”
	“The U.S. EPA has identified Dow as being the primary source of
dioxin in the region,” said Bay City resident Terry Miller, a sponsor of
Dow Dioxin Watch and the chair of the LoneTree Council. “It is time we
made a systematic and sustained effort to monitor Dow’s dioxin releases,
and to notify the affected public when they occur.”
	Dow exposes people and the environment to dioxin by:

· discharging dioxin-contaminated wastewater into the Tittabawassee
· emitting dioxin from its incinerators into the region’s air,
neighboring soils, and Lake Huron waters;
· leaching dioxin from its hundred-acre tertiary treatment ponds
(T-ponds) and soils into the groundwater; and
· releasing wind-blown dioxin from ash-haul routes and historical soil
contamination at the site.

	“The state Department of Environmental Quality is supposed to set
limits to stop the unsafe releases of dioxins,” said Hebert, “but it has
failed dismally.  The DEQ actually issues permits which make Dow’s dioxin
pollution legal.  So it’s up to us--those who live and work here--to
uncover the dangers of Dow’s activities and make them known.”
	Dow Dioxin Watch will monitor Dow’s dioxin releases by combing
through reports Dow submits to the DEQ and the EPA, Hebert said, and then
making that information public.  The project expects to complete its
first data analysis and report the results in the next few weeks.
	According to the U.S. EPA, dioxin compounds bioaccumulate in
human and animal tissue, and cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive
harm and developmental injuries at extremely low quantities.  Their
impacts are felt throughout the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River
watersheds:  on microorganisms, fish, and the people who eat them. 
Because of excessive dioxin levels found in fish, for many years the
state of Michigan has warned people not to eat certain types of fish from
the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers downstream from Midland.
	Other sponsors of the Dow Dioxin Watch project include the
LoneTree Council, PIRGIM (the Public Interest Research Group In Michigan,
a statewide environmental and consumer organization), and the Ecology
Center’s Environmental Health Project.
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