EPA right in urging Dow to speed up work
To the editor (Midland Daily News:
Your editorial of Sept. 17th entitled "Our
View: EPA should finish its work"
suggests that because the
agency's dioxin reassessment is not yet completed, dioxin toxicity remains
open to serious scientific debate. This is simply not true.
EPA has extensive scientific knowledge on the toxicity of dioxin.
Thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies have been published. No matter
how you look at dioxin, one fact remains indisputable: dioxin is a highly
toxic compound. In fact, EPA's reassessment of the most recent science
indicated that dioxin is a more potent toxic chemical than previously
believed. A recent University of Michigan study funded by Dow Chemical
revealed that people consuming fish from the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw
River and Saginaw Bay have higher than average levels of dioxin in their
blood. Any increase in the dioxin levels of fish consumers is a health
For more than 25 years, the State of Michigan has found it necessary to
issue consumption advisories on fish from the Tittabawassee River, the
Saginaw River and the Saginaw Bay because dioxin contamination extends over
50 miles. EPA believes that the current science on dioxin is sufficient to
develop cleanup criteria for the watershed. Even without a final dioxin
reassessment, EPA has moved forward with dioxin cleanups across the nation
to protect public health.
The Midland Daily News is right to urge EPA to continue its work on a
final dioxin reassessment and take into consideration comments provided by
the National Academy of Science. And EPA is right to urge Dow Chemical to
continue and accelerate its work to restore the Saginaw Bay watershed so
that fish consumers will no longer need to be concerned about dioxin in the
fish they eat.
Richard Karl, Director
U.S. EPA Region 5
For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site www.trwnews.net for complete coverage of the Tittabawassee River Dow Chemical dioxin contamination saga. . The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The source organization's web site link is listed to the right of the article, visit often for other news in our area. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.