Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial          Back to editorial page  

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Neil Varner, 06/10/07, Letter to the editor, Saginaw News

Good news on dioxin Sunday, June 10, 2007 Editor, The News:

Several leading experts on the PCB/dioxin science attended Tuesday's community meeting where University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study investigators discussed the findings of their expanded analyses of data involving dust and soil contributions to blood-dioxin levels, and the re-calculation of toxicity equivalents based on new World Health Organization guidelines.

What might come as a relief to many of the citizens present still leaves unanswered the question of clinical significance which dioxins, at any level, in the blood of humans pose.

What does appear clear from this extensive and exhaustive study of exposure pathways along the Tittabawassee River is that the increased risk to residents is slight to non-existent. That is good news.

Two of the actions that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry recommends in such areas of environmental concern is to do site-specific studies and to provide public education, both of which have been achieved with this Dow Chemical Co.-funded study.

Further analyses of data are ongoing and questions regarding clinical significance are softened but not eliminated by these findings.

Neill D. Varner

medical director,

Saginaw County Department of Public Health


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