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Richard Maltby 04/21/05

To the editor, Midland Daily News:

    I am writing in response to Dr. Richard H. Reitz’s Forum article "Use caution on Dow/DEQ framework" (Midland Daily News, April 3). Dr. Reitz, a retired Dow Chemical Co. toxicologist, commented on the recently signed Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s framework agreement with Dow.

    Dr. Reitz’s concerns with MDEQ’s requirement of a sampling and analysis plan of properties are really no different than a physician’s concerns with his or her health endangered patients. These patients are also subject to examinations, medical procedures and prescriptions and therefore independent analysis and evaluation.

    Dr. Reitz otherwise is relying on the University of Michigan to complete a biomonitoring exposure study. He is hoping that the U-M exposure study "will show no difference between populations living in our area and matched populations living elsewhere."

    However, it is a fact that the Saginaw Valley has the highest concentration of dioxin in the state. It also is believed by many that dioxin can cause cancer and numerous and severe health effects, such as severe reproductive and development problems, congenital defects, learning and developmental delays, increased heart disease and increased diabetes, liver damage, immune system damage, disruption of the endocrine system and interfering with regulatory hormones. So why the need for a population comparison analysis?

    Would a physician use the results of a comparative study to advise his or her patients of a medical remedy? Certainly not, and neither should the MDEQ.

    Richard A. Maltby

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