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Richard Maltby, 12/20/05, letter to the editor, Saginaw News

Midland ignores public health? Tuesday, December 20, 2005 Editor, The News:

This is in response to the city of Midland not allowing the state Department of Environmental Quality to post dioxin soil advisory signs at Midland's Caldwell Boat Launch.

What's wrong with the DEQ posting signs warning the public about the pollution of the Tittabawassee River and riverside properties? Why deny signs at all?

Is that the solution for the abatement of a polluted environment?

I'm afraid the jury is still out on the city's solution. Let's look at what has happened to the city of Midland, the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw river and bay ecosystems.

Don't forget that these ecosystems with their dioxins and other toxic chemicals also include humans, fish and animals.

Don't forget the Environmental Defense's "scorecard" showing Midland County as one of the dirtiest/worst 10 percent of all counties in the United States, including the Dow Chemical Co. as the top polluter in Midland County.

Don't forget Love Canal, Seveso, Times Beach and other environmental disasters.

Lastly, don't forget that dioxin and its associated toxic chemicals and manufacturing processes can cause a host of negative health effects.

These include 23 types of soft tissue cancer, four respiratory cancers, lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, peripheral neuropathy, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate cancer, diabetes mellitus, reproductive problems, abnormalities in fetal development, immune alterations, disruptions of hormones, a nerve disorder, skin diseases, chloracne, and other serious and debilitating conditions.

Since the city of Midland is not a public health agency, but is responsible for maintaining a healthy environment, City Manager Karl Tomion, Mayor Bruce A. Johnson and City Council members should all concentrate on protecting the public health of the people.

It is not the city of Midland's responsibility to hold the state Department of Environmental Quality at bay when it is the state government's responsibility to post signs warning the people of real and potential environmental health threats.

When is Midland going to start cooperating with the DEQ?

Richard A. Maltby
Midland

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