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Name: David Linhardt

Date: May, 30 2004

Response to Midland Daily News Editorial 5/30/04: Our view: Midland awaits word from Gov. Granholm

It would be a mistake to take a great deal of comfort from the cancer study carried out by the Midland County Health Department--at least in determining the effects of dioxin exposure on cancer mortality. The study has significant limitations:

1. The population of Midland County is approximately 80,000 persons, while the number of residents living within 2 miles of Dow's Midland Plant and exposed to potentially high levels of dioxins, has been estimated to be approximately 20,000 persons. If these estimates are correct, approximately 75% of the residents included in the study were not exposed to high levels of dioxins. The large number of non-exposed residents in the study may very well have masked higher rates of cancers in the exposed residents living closer to Dow's waste incinerators.

2. The county's health study only included the cancer deaths of those persons that died in Midland County. Based on information provided by Dow, approximately 65% of deceased Dow retirees that worked in the Midland location died outside of Midland County. The county health exluded these prior residents and their cause of death from the study.

While it is certainly good news to know that the "overall cancer death rate" in Midland County is low, the county cancer study does not provide any information about the cancer death rate of residents living in close proximity to Dow's waste incinerators.

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