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Re: E-M:/ NPR program airs part 2 on Dow/dioxin in Midland



I heard this show and noticed that the producers failed to interview any environmentalists from Michigan.  hmmmmmm........
 
They did have slippery DEQ mouthpiece Ken Silven on distorting some issue or another.  Actually, I believe it was an exposure assessment that DEQ was misleading the public about in the story.
 
The Dow spokesperson was also tremendously satisfying in that he didn' t miss an opportunity to downplay risks to the public while manipulating the situation to favor less environmental monitoring for dioxin.  It was a wonderful example of just what a company is paying for when they hire a PR person.  The idea that testing yards for dioxin was not useful and would unduly scare the homeowners was ludicrous on its face.  Unfortunately, the Living on Earth reporter failed to ask any probing follow up questions (e.g. "Please explain how having More data on dioxin contamination is worse than having less." etc.), thereby leaving the Dow PR rep to make his totally bogus arguments against more environmental testing.
 
Linda Birnbaum of EPA was also interviewed on the show and voiced strong concern over Dow's bioavailability studies of dioxin and sediments.  Here's what she wrote in 1994:

"Recent findings have raised the level of concern that chemicals in the environment can interfere with the endocrine systems of both people and wildlife. It has been reported that in men, sperm counts have decreased over the last 50 years (1). There appears to be an increase in cryptorchidism (undescended testicles), testicular cancer, and hypospadias (abnormal urethral opening) (2). Young girls are reaching puberty earlier, the incidence of endometriosis is increasing (3), and the age of onset of endometriosis may be decreasing. Breast cancer incidence has increased approximately 1% per year over the past 50 years (4). Many of these conditions could be associated with elevated exposure to estrogens, either prenatally or during early postnatal life (5,6).

Dioxin, the most toxic man-made chemical, is not an estrogen (24,25). However, it can block the action of estrogens under certain conditions (26). Dioxin can also lower the levels of androgens and affect the amount of thyroid hormones in the body. Dioxin can decrease insulin levels and change the amount of glucocorticoids. It has also been reported to have effects on digestive hormones and on melatonin, the hormone that controls the daily rhythms of the body. Clearly, dioxin affects many endocrine systems as well as the immune system, making the recent report of an association between dioxin and endometriosis most interesting (27). Exposure of pregnant animals to extremely low levels of dioxin (doses that do not adversely affect the mother) leads to alterations in the reproductive system of the pups. Many of the effects are not detectable until the offspring reach puberty. Sperm count is decreased in male offspring, and their mating behavior is subtly altered (28,29). There are structural abnormalities in the external genitalia of the female offspring, (30), and delayed puberty in the male. In the more severely affected pups, fertility is reduced. These effects have been observed in both rats and hamsters (29). A recent report from the Netherlands suggests that babies born to women with higher levels of dioxin in their breast milk have elevated levels of thyroxine in their blood (31). Whether or not this will be associated with subtle and delayed effects remains to be seen."
 
From:         Endocrine Effects of Prenatal Exposure to PCBs, Dioxins, and Other Xenobiotics: Implications for Policy and Future Research,
                 Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 102, Number 8, August 1994.
 
 
Regards
 
Dave Zaber
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tracey Easthope" <tracey@ecocenter.org>
To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2002 12:47 PM
Subject: E-M:/ NPR program airs part 2 on Dow/dioxin in Midland

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <
tracey@ecocenter.org>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> This weekend, National Public Radio's environmental program, Living
> on Earth is featuring the second in a series on dioxin contamination
> near Dow's headquarters in Midland.   This program covers that
> state's plan to change the dioxin cleanup
> standard in Michigan.
>
> The program is airing in Michigan on the following stations/times below:
>
> Also, each week's show can be downloaded from their website in
> audio or transcript form (
http://www.loe.org)
>
> Alpena: WCML 91.7FM - Fridays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
>
> Bay City: WUCX 90.1FM - Fridays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
>
> Detroit: WDET 101.9FM - Sundays from 5:00 am to 6:00 am
>
> East Lansing: WKAR 870AM - Sundays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
>
> Grand Rapids: WGVU 1480AM - Fridays from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm
>
> Harbor Springs: WCMW 103.9FM - Fridays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
>
> Interlochen: WIAA 88.7FM - Sundays from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm
>
> Jordan: WIZY 100.9FM - Sundays from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm
>
> Marquette: WNMU 90.1FM - Saturdays from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
>
> Mt. Pleasant: WCMU 89.5FM - Fridays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
>
> Sault Ste. Marie: WCMZ 98.3FM - Fridays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
>
>
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> and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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