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Richard Maltby, Letter to the Editor Midland Daily News 01/17/05

Be vocal
To the editor:

In regard to the MDN editorial "Granholm should rein in DEQ, wait for results of U-M study" (Dec. 30, 2005), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported that special attention should be given to the health risks of exposure to dioxin, particularly 2,3,7,8tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD).

The EPA's health assessment document for TCDD and related compounds shows that, in TCDD-exposed men, subtle changes in biochemistry and physiology, such as enzyme induction, altered levels of circulating reproductive hormones, or reduced glucose tolerance, have been detected.

Epidemiological studies support that TCDD also increases cancer mortality of several types.

With regard to carcinogenicity, a weight-of-the-evidence evaluation suggests that dioxin and related compounds are likely to present a cancer hazard to humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has confirmed this.

Based on all the data reviewed by EPA, a picture emerges of TCDD and related compounds as potent toxicants with the potential to produce a spectrum of health effects.

Therefore, it is all the more important to recognize that the Saginaw Valley (Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties) has the highest levels of dioxin in the state, and take appropriate action.

Citizens of the Saginaw Valley should be outright vocal on protecting their family's health by cleaning up the dioxin contamination in their communities.

RICHARD A. MALTBY
Midland


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