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John Taylor 4/23/04

Dioxin threats real

Editor, The News:

This is in response to a "community update" letter sent to residents in the Tittabawassee River flood plain. Sue Carrington, vice president at Dow Chemical Co., makes numerous comments that are a bit misleading.

A wildlife study conducted by Michigan State University, paid for by Dow but not sanctioned by the Department of Environmental Quality, was revealed last fall and was supposed to be completed by February but now won't be available until probably May. Why?

A limnology study? This is supposed to study flow patterns of the river. I have lived in this area all my life and on this river for 18 years. During all that time, regardless of flood or drought, I have always witnessed this river flowing -- downstream.

Dow is retaining Dr. Garabrant from University of Michigan's School of Public Health to do a "regional health comparison study." The only problem with this is the fact that the CDC in Atlanta already has reference data available that tells what the historical levels should be in humans that have not been exposed to high concentrations of dioxin. Why more study when we already know what the normal levels are?

This letter and Carrington also put a great deal of effort into the values of real estate and properties that have been sold.

After viewing the map supplied for reference, it is clear that virtually all of the properties mentioned are either not in the flood plain or in a location that has never been flooded.

At the Chamber of Commerce meeting in March, Carrington said, "Please remember that dioxins and furans have to come off the dirt and get into your body -- actually into your blood stream -- before there's even any potential for a health risk. And based on everything we know, it's unlikely that anyone in this community has absorbed enough dioxin from the soil to have any health effects."

Considering Dow's own chemists refused to work with dioxin because it is so toxic, that is quite a statement. There is a reason dioxin action levels in Michigan are at 90 parts per trillion, which is an incredibly small figure. It is because at levels even less than that it has been shown to cause an array of health issues. Countless people in this area have a wide array of health issues.

Dioxin cannot be acid washed from glass, so imagine some of this contaminated soil on your skin. Alarming? Absolutely!

Should we be asked to live in it? Absolutely not!

What you can't see can hurt you a great deal. Do some research for yourselves and see what is real and what isn't.

John Taylor

Thomas Township

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