Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial
Tittabawassee River Watch EditorialBack to editorial page
David Linhardt 01/03/05
Dr. Reitz's is correct in his assessment that TCDD is not the poision of choice by a professional killer. TCDD's acute (short term) toxicity is highly variable and dependent on the laboratory animal being tested. However, TCDD has been shown to be lethal to all tested animals enough though toxicity levels have been variable.
His statement that "none [of the chemical workers exposed to dioxin concentrations high enough to result in chloracne] died as a result of exposure" does not fully address the potential consequences of dioxin exposure.
A number of morality studies have indicated an elevation of deaths from certain cancers in dioxin exposed workers, with some increases being statistically significant. In fact, one Dow study provided data that indicates that overall cancer mortality in non-chloracne employees was 55% higher than that of chloracne employees for the 1940 to 1982 time period. Dow has informed the DEQ that stomach cancer is statitistically elevated in Midland plant employees exposed to dioxins.
It is well recognized that dioxin-related cancers may not appear until 20 years after initial exposure. It may be premature to conclude that neither Mr. Yushchenko nor the unfortunate Austrian woman will avoid serious long-term medical effects.
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