Study: Dioxin causes increase in breast cancer rates in Great Lakes Bay Region
Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 9:30 AM Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 1:22 PM
By Lindsay Knake | The Saginaw News

 Breast cancer rates have been high in the Great Lakes Bay Region, and researchers believe dioxins may be the cause.

A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Disease Clusters Alliance found a cluster of the disease in Midland, Saginaw and Bay Counties between 1985 and 2002.

A 2008 study spatially associated breast cancer incidence with dioxin contamination, according to the disease cluster study.

Dow Chemical Co. leaked dioxins and furans into the Tittabawassee River from the 1930s to the 1970s. The chemical byproducts are linked to cancer, reproductive problems and weakened immune systems in laboratory animals.

“High levels of dioxins and other contaminants in soil and higher-than average body burdens of dioxins in local residents, particularly those who lived in the region prior to 1980, have also been found in the city of Midland and the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River floodplains in Michigan,” the study stated.

The National Disease Clusters Alliance is a group of public health professionals and community activists who call for better identification and response to disease clusters.

The study identified 42 disease clusters in 13 states.

Click here to read more about dioxin in the region, and here for searchable database of cancer rates by county.

For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site 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.