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E-M:/ Saginaw News: Residents get notice of dioxin exposure

Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>

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Residents get notice of dioxin exposure

Tuesday, October 19, 2004  JEREMIAH STETTLER


State health officials have given residents along the troubled
Tittabawassee River a first glimpse into how much dioxin is in their
A public report is soon to follow, officials say. 
The state Department of Community Health confirmed that it has completed
a pilot investigation into the dioxin levels of 25 residents along the
Tittabawassee River. The study measures dioxin concentrations in
people's blood. 
The results, released individually to those who participated in the
study, are under review by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry. Officials say they will disclose the results publicly by the
end of the year. 
"We don't issue these reports capriciously," said state spokesman T.J.
Bucholz. "We make sure they are based on sound science." 
Martha Stimpson, a Tittabawassee River resident who is suing Dow
Chemical Co. over dioxin contamination, released her results to
neighbors. Her dioxin level of 33.1 parts per trillion placed her higher
than 95 percent of people her age. 
"To me, it is a public health issue," said Stimpson, 58, of Thomas
Township. "I wanted to make my neighbors aware." 


Dow Chemical officials say the results are consistent with "background"
levels of dioxin found in the general population -- levels linked
largely to diet. Fatty meats are notorious for harboring the toxin, they
While the chemical company has not seen the state's results, officials
say even the highest dioxin levels reported along the Tittabawassee
River are within the normal range. 
"It represents nothing out of the ordinary," said Dow toxicologist Bob


C 2004 Saginaw News. Used with permission
Copyright 2004 Michigan Live. All Rights Reserved.

Rita Jack
Water Sentinels Project Director
Mackinac Chapter Sierra Club
tel:  517-484-2372
"Speak out - even if your voice shakes."

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