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Dioxin Levels of Humans living in Flood Plain

7/08/05 The ATSDR and MDCH released their ATSDR & MDCH Health Consultation: Exposure Investigation Report: A Pilot Exposure Investigation: Dioxin Exposure in Adults Living in the Tittabawassee River Flood Plain, Saginaw County, Michigan EPA FACILITY ID: MID980994354

bulletThe report was made public on July 13, 2005, the SAME day the Michigan Supreme Court denied floodplain residents the ability to make Dow pay for a trust fund to assist in monitoring their health due to the increased risks of living in Dow dioxin.
bulletOur suspicions are confirmed.  The official report states:
bulletTittabawassee floodplain residents on average have higher blood, home, and property dioxin levels than background levels found in the rest of the country.
bulletNew data in report includes actual blood levels for 2,3,7,8-TCDD.  This is the most toxic of the Dioxin Like Compounds (DLC).  Participant blood levels of this compound are almost double of those found in non-contaminated areas.
bulletThree homes have dioxin levels in their indoor dust that are higher than the states 90 ppt Residential Direct Contact Criteria for soil found OUTSIDE the home
bulletSoil samples collected from 15 properties located at least partially within the flood plain of the Tittabawassee River showed total dioxin TEQ levels greater than the MDEQ residential criterion of 90 ppt for DLCs. These findings further confirm earlier results indicating that elevated DLC levels within the 100-year flood plain downstream of Midland are widespread.
bulletThis report has undergone countless reviews during the 8 months prior to it's release.  Rumor has it Michigan Lt. Governor Cherry had to give final approval to the language of the report before it was released.  Evidently Cherry is now one our top scientist. Seriously, what did the scientist say that was edited out by politicians?
bulletClick here to visit our PEI page for the results of the study.
bulletEPA indicates there is much more in the Tittabawassee River than contaminated fish and dioxin, click here

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bullet10/17/04 The Midland Daily News reported the results of dioxin blood levels from some of the participants of the ATSDR/MDCH Pilot Exposure Investigation.  The majority reported seem to be in the 75th percentile with an alarming number in the 90th or even the 95 percentile.  In addition, some of those with high levels are suffering from diseases associated with dioxin exposure.
bulletClick here for the PEI result page.  We have included details of the PEI protocols and the CDC blood reference ranges for humans living in areas uncontaminated by dioxin in the enviornment. Based on what we are seeing, some pretty obvious conclusions can be drawn.  Until the ATSDR or MDEQ releases a final summary for all the results, these will have to do. 

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How much is enough?

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The above is an excerpt from the EPA's Dr. Linda Birnbaum presentation: Dioxin are we at Risk?

bulletClick here to listen to more of the Dr. Linda Birnbaum (EPA)  presentation: "Dioxin, are we at risk?".   You are hearing a clip from the video when this page is opened.
bullet"At higher risk of exposure to dioxin are children, nursing infants, some workers and farmers, people who eat fish as a main staple of their diet such as some indigenous peoples and fishermen, and people who live near dioxin release sites. These groups of people are likely exposed to at least 10 times as much dioxin as the general population. "

The above statement was made in the American Peoples Dioxin Report published by the  Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, a group which evolved out of the Love Canal incident.  The section of the report titled "Science" has an excellent description of dioxin and and how it is measured (TEQ's).  A supporting document Technical Support Document provides the scientific basis and support for the conclusions and recommendations made in the report.

bulletNote: The Dow Wild Game study did not include any facts or data pertaining to the impact on human health.  It did include a lot of PR, biased statistical maniupulation, half truths, and omissions to give the impression that consuming game is not a human health hazard.  Review all the other species on this site and form your own opinion.

EPA July 2004 memo to MDEQ concerning on Dow/Entrix Wild Game Study: Conclusions

bullet1. Unacceptable, elevated (cancer risks as high as one in a 1,000) to public health exist to the frequent consumer ( pound meal per week or greater) of Tittabawassee River fish. Although U.S. EPA was heavily involved in addressing dioxin problems from the Dow Chemical facility in the 1980s, it is clear that significant risks to public health still remain. More extensive outreach is needed to warn consumers of risks associated with the consumption of fish from the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay.
bullet2. Potential health risks, which need quantification, exist to persons consuming game in the Midland area. Dioxin contamination of game (turkey and deer), indicate contamination of the terrestrial food chain.
bullet3. Unacceptable, serious aquatic ecological risks, associated with dioxin exposure, exist to fish, fish eating birds, and mammals.
bullet4. Given substantial risks to public health and wildlife, strong consideration should be given to remediation (e.g., removal) of dioxin contaminated sediments and flood plain soils most proximal to the rivers. Such actions would be consistent with those underway or planned for the Fox and Kalamazoo rivers.
bullet5. Multi-media risk evaluation of all exposure pathways (residential soils, flood plain soils, fish, and wild game) are needed before final conclusions are drawn regarding risks to human health and ecology. Such approaches are consistent with approaches historically undertaken for the site, recent complex sites such as the Fox River and Hudson River, as well as U.S. EPA guidance for Superfund and RCRA sites. Comparison of sediment or certain flood plain data to either EPA or state dioxin criteria, which are based only on direct contact (e.g., ingestion) with residential soils, cannot be directly applied (as determined by U.S. EPA and CDC) to assess risks and determine cleanup options for aquatic and terrestrial food chain exposures.
bullet6. Based upon current data and estimated risks, priorities for additional data collection, risk evaluation, and remediation should be established. For instance, it appears that risks to fish consumers are substantially higher than persons exposed to dioxin via direct ingestion of soils. Of those exposed to dioxin contamination in soils, those immediately adjacent to the flood plain appear to be a higher risk as compared to other areas in Midland.
bullet7. Data collection, risk assessment, and modeling, as done for the Fox River and underway for the Kalamazoo, should be employed to determine risks and develop appropriate remedial actions, particularly for sediments and flood plain soils.
bullet8. U.S. EPA, working closely with Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Community Health, needs to becomes engaged in the dioxin contamination problem and to re-enforce existing risks to public health and wildlife. There is particular concern regarding distortions of risk information (including findings by U.S. EPA) which are causing inaccurate risk messages to the public.
bulletMDCH proportion of dioxin exposure from various sources based on EPA data for national average adult exposures
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U of M Dioxin Exposure Study

bulletPublic opinion
bulletEnv Org issues
bulletCAP Q&A
bullet ATSDR 031204
bullet ATSDR 040204
bullet UofM 042004
bulletUM CAP 082904
bulletTRW Comments 081606
bullet EPA says UM withholding data 07/11/07


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