Dow Provides Grant to University of Michigan for Regional Control Study
Midland, MI - January 30, 2004dioxin for
residents in Midland and Saginaw Counties.
The Dow Chemical Company has provided an $180,000 grant to health researchers at the
University of Michigan (UM) to design a study to determine the typical blood level of
The study will help develop an understanding of whether residents who live along the
Tittabawassee River and in Midland have higher dioxin levels in their blood compared with
a similar group of residents living outside of those areas.
Dr. David Garabrant, professor of Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology in the
Department of Environmental Health Science at the UM School of Public Health, will lead a
team of UM health scientists in identifying approximately 350 volunteers to be included in
the regional control study.
"The only way to determine if people have elevated blood serum dioxin levels because
of where they live is to test their blood levels and compare it to a similar
population," said Dr. Garabrant. "Everyone has some level of dioxin in their
blood, so we want to understand what is typical in the local community, which then can be
used to compare with the results of residents who live along the Tittabawassee River or
near Dow's Midland plant."
Under the initial scoping grant, Dr Garabrant and his team will be working to identify
volunteers who live in the region and who compare in age, gender, and other lifestyle
factors to the residents who live along the Tittabawassee River or in Midland near Dow's
Once the study is designed, Dow intends to provide another, larger grant to the University
to conduct this study, which will analyze blood samples from the regional volunteers. The
research team hopes to begin sampling in July, with initial results expected in September
"In the actual control study, participants would complete a lifestyle questionnaire
and provide soil, household dust, and blood samples for dioxin analysis." Dr.
Susan Carrington, vice president and director of Dow's Michigan Dioxin Initiative.
"Dr. Garabrant's study will complement a pilot exposure investigation of
Tittabawassee River residents announced by the Michigan Department of Community Health
(MDCH), and be important in interpreting that study as well as any additional human
exposure studies that may be conducted in the future," added
The University of Michigan has a nationally recognized school of public health. Dr.
Garabrant is a board certified physician in internal medicine, preventive medicine and
occupational medicine. He earned degrees in chemical engineering (BS) and medicine (MD)
from Tufts University and master's degrees in physiology (MS) and public health (MPH) from
the Harvard University School of Public Health. Dr. Garabrant is an internationally
recognized expert in public health, and has conducted numerous similar studies during his
For Editorial Information:
The Dow Chemical Company
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