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Fw: E-M:/ NEWS RELEASE-Dioxin in Whitefish



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Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>
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Now we can really be happy that PCB wastes - often contaminated with
dioxins - are being brought into the Great Lakes watershed for disposal near
Detroit....... Thanks John Engler, Spencer Abraham and USEPA for allowing
this to occur.

Also, newly elected US Senator George Voinovich (former polluter-pal
governor from Ohio) recently told US EPA Administrator Carol Browner that he
would be introducing legislation intended to paralyze Clean Air Act
enforcement via the hocus-pocus of "cost-benefit" analysis.  Fine, if
Voinocich and company succeed, then we need to be able to quantify the
economic impacts of contaminated Great Lakes fish, given that many toxins
are finding their way to the lakes via atmospheric deposition.


David John Zaber
dzaber@chorus.net
-----Original Message-----
From: GreenPlanet <riccawu@MNSi.Net>
To: riccawu@MNSi.Net <riccawu@MNSi.Net>
Date: Thursday, March 25, 1999 3:11 PM
Subject: E-M:/ NEWS RELEASE-Dioxin in Whitefish


>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Enviro-Mich message from GreenPlanet <riccawu@MNSi.Net>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Citizens' Environment Alliance of SW Ontario & SE Michigan
>
>NEWS RELEASE
>3/25/99 for immediate release
>
>New Dioxin Advisory Issued for Lake Erie Whitefish
>
>Last week the Ontario Ministry of the Environment released the latest
version
>of the Guide to Sport Fishing in Ontario. Previous Guides have been highly
>criticized by the public as being confusing and incomplete. It appears that
>once again this will be the story.
>
>Recently the Michigan Department of Community Health released the 1999
>Michigan
>Fish Advisory which much like the Ontario Guide provides guidelines on
>species,
>sizes of fish and number of meals of Great Lakes fish that are safe to
>consume.
>One significant change in the Michigan advisory is the new restrictions on
>consumption of whitefish from Lake Erie. Prior to 1999, the general
population
>was permitted "unlimited consumption" of all sizes of whitefish from Lake
>Erie.
>In 1998, sampling determined that dioxin levels in Lake Erie whitefish were
>such that consumption for the general public should be limited to one meal
per
>week in smaller whitefish. In addition a warning of "do not eat these fish"
>was
>issued for whitefish more than 45 cm (22 inches) in length. Women and
>children
>are advised to eat no Lake Erie whitefish.
>
>Unfortunately, the Ontario Guide to Eating Sport Fish only confuses the
matter
>further. The 1997/1998 guide had a 4 meal per monthrestriction on whitefish
>(22
>to 26 inches) from the western basin of Lake Erie.In the 1999/2000 Ontario
>Guide, recommended consumption of whitefish from the western basin of Lake
>Erie
>has been doubled to 8 meals per month (14-26 in length). Women of
>child-bearing age and children are allowed four meals per month of Lake
Erie
>whitefish 14-26 in length. However, the new, relaxed guideline for eating
>whitefish is not due to new data, but merely a lowering of restrictions by
>Health Canada. Ontario Ministry of the Environment has not tested
contaminants
>in whitefish from Lake Erie for at least 5 years, in part due to the severe
>cuts in staff to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the ministry that
collects
>the fish for testing. No guidelines are available for whitefish caught on
>either side of the Detroit River despite the public reporting consumption.
>
>Environmentalists, sport fishers and the general public have complained for
>years about the discrepancies between the Ontario and Michigan guide. The
>most
>glaring inconsistencies occur when different advice is given on whether
Great
>Lakes fish are edible or harmful depending on which side of the invisible
>U.S./Canadian border the fish has been caught.
>
>Not surprisingly, studies on public perception of the Ontario Guide to
Eating
>Sport Fish have found that the public is mistrustful of the information in
the
>Guide. What's more important is the Guide is only used by less than one
third
>of the targeted audience. Fishers in the Great Lakes need easy, reliable
>information when consuming Great Lakes fish. Banning consumption is not the
>answer, the public has a right to consume Great Lakes fish; a nutritious,
>inexpensive source of protein with numerous health benefits.
>
>Sources of dioxin were traced as early as 1978 by the International Joint
>Commission's Water Quality Board. In 1987, a follow up report on dioxin
>contamination in the Detroit River reported that dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD)
>contamination in herring gull eggs and fish "remains elevated and is a
cause
>for concern". The report cited a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study
>linking the increase in dioxin levels to the Detroit Waste Water Treatment
>Plant's Sludge Incinerator (one of the largest sources identified in a U.S.
>National Dioxin Study). Earlier this year the Citizens' Environment
Alliance
>pointed the finger at Detroit's sludge incinerator as a source of
increasing
>levels of mercury on the Detroit River.
>
>Dioxin is the common name for a class of 75 chemicals. Dioxin has no
>commercial
>use. It is a toxic waste formed when chlorinated compounds are burned or
when
>products containing chlorine are manufactured. Dioxin is atmospherically
>transported and can enter the food chain long distances from its point of
>origin. Dietary sources of dioxin, which accounts for 90% of human
exposure,
>are meat, dairy products, eggs, and fish. Dioxin is a proven human
carcinogen.
>Liver, lung, stomach, soft and connective tissue cancers as well as
>Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have all been associated with dioxin. Dioxin also
can
>cause immune system effects, reproductive and developmental effects and
>hormone
>disruption. Environmental organizations have campaigned with the message
that
>there is no safe level for dioxin.
>
>According to the U.S. EPA, key sources of dioxin are: hospital waste
>incinerators, municipal waste incinerators, cement kilns, wood burning,
metals
>industry and *diesel vehicles, coal-fired utilities, and pulp and paper
mills.
>(* based on Norwegian study)
>
>Contact: Windsor: Rick Coronado 519-973-1116
>Detroit: Mary Ginnebaugh 313-961-3345
>
>-0-
>********************************************
>GreenPlanet Social Justice & Ecology Network
>315 Pelissier Street, PO Box 548, Windsor ON  Canada,  N9A 6M6
>Voice:  519-973-1116  Fax 519-973-8360
>E-mail:  riccawu@mnsi.net
>web page: http://www.mnsi.net/~cea
>********************************************
>
>
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