Dioxin study update coming Thursday
 Tuesday, October 04, 2005

 University of Michigan scientists are one year away from releasing the results of a massive dioxin exposure study that is seeking connections between toxins in the soil and toxins in the blood.

Lead researcher David Garabrant will give a status report on the study at 6 p.m. Thursday at Freeland Elementary School, 710 Powley.

As with previous reports, Garabrant said he will not draw any conclusions about the data collected thus far. He said researchers cannot possibly put the information into context without completing their sampling.

"Only then can we draw scientifically valid conclusions as to whether any increased levels of dioxins in people are directly due to increased levels in the environment," he said.

U-M researchers began work in September 2004, hoping to answer the elusive question of whether dioxin contamination in the soil leads to higher concentrations in the body.

Since then, scientists have sampled the dust, blood and soil of residents in Midland and Saginaw counties and in the presumably uncontaminated Jackson and Calhoun counties in south-central Michigan. They say they have invited more than 1,300 people to participate.

The $15 million study, funded by Dow Chemical Co. but researched independently, is expected to yield results in late 2006. Information is available online at www.umdioxin.org. v

Jeremiah Stettler is a staff writer. You may reach him at 776-9685.

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