Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial          Back to editorial page  

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Kathy Henry 3/2/03

Dear Mr. Niederhauser & Dr. Kahn:

I would like to know what, if anything the county commissioners are doing or
planning to do about the serious dioxin contamination on the Tittabawassee
River as well as the Saginaw River.
It has been well over a year since the contamination was brought to light,
yet I have heard nothing about this from the county or Saginaw's department
of health.

I am very concerned about EPA's studies and findings on dioxin, and the
extremely high levels found in our area.
Locally, papers have suggested folks need to eat dirt to be exposed to the
toxin, but this is not true. Personally, I have mowed 2 acres of floodplain
for the last 18 years, and it is a very dirty experience. I'm sure I have
inhaled much more dirt than a person would ingest unintentionally.

Who mows the lawns at the public parks? Are there other people there when
the dust kicks up? Do they all wear masks and shower right away after
exposure? This is what was suggested for residents who live on the river.
Why would park visitors be excluded from these precautions?

I think the signs that have been placed in the park are a disservice to the
public. Glancing at them gives the feeling you shouldn't wander off the
trails because of poison ivy or stinging nettles, rather than toxic soil.
The print is so small about dioxin, I doubt many people even bother to read
it.
Can you tell me how you removed the contamination from the trails? I would
like to do the same to my yard. Freeland does not even have a sign in their
park anymore.

Believe me, this problem is not going to go away, and the sooner local
officials acknowledge the problem exists, the less likely they will have egg
on their faces like the former DEQ administration brought upon themselves.
I would appreciate a response.

Sincerely,

Kathy Henry

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