10/23/07 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 concern.

    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
    Superfund Division
    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.