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E-M:/ Federal study shocker: Dioxin is still toxic!



For Immediate Release

July 10, 2006


Tracey Easthope, The Ecology Center: 734-761-3186 x109

Michelle Hurd-Riddick, Lone Tree Council: 989-799-3313

Terry Miller, Lone Tree Council: 989-686-6386

Dr. Michael Harbut, Environmental Medicine: 248-506-8871




Federal Review: Yes, dioxin is still toxic!

Local experts: Dow’s dioxin must be cleansed from tainted watershed



Dioxin, a chemical released for decades by Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. into the Saginaw Bay watershed is toxic. It threatens the immune system, and can cause thyroid dysfunction, lipid disorders, neurotoxicity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disorders. It can cause cancer. Even small concentrations over time can build up in human beings and threaten health.


All those conclusions, reached years ago by scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency, were reaffirmed in a National Academies review of the proposed EPA Dioxin Reassessment that was released today.


“The review is yet another piece of science strengthening the call for cleanup of the riverbanks and riverbeds downstream from Midland,” said Terry Miller of the Bay City-based Lone Tree Council.


Dioxin pollution in parts of the watershed is dozens of times higher than safe levels, and has prompted public health warnings on human consumption of both fish and terrestrial wildlife from the region.


The new review does nothing to change that: “Dioxin is still dangerous,” said Dr. Michael Harbut, a Royal Oak-based expert in environmental health. “Most informed physicians and scientists believe it causes cancer and a host of other serious health problems in humans, especially in unborn babies who are the most vulnerable.”


Federal regulators should now complete the reassessment: “The review paves the way for the EPA to finish its report, which has taken 15 years already,” said Tracey Easthope of the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center. “Even the National Academies are now urging the EPA to finalize the report.”





Hugh McDiarmid Jr.

Communications Director

Michigan Environmental Council