The results of these meetings has been a resounding
rejection of the DOW DEQ Community Advisory Council model
Hand picked community panels are a staple of the Dow
public relations strategy because it allows Dow to co-op community
leaders and frame their issue
There is nothing more democratic than a town hall
forum and we should all rejoice in the resounding public support for
future meetings using this forum.
The final report, the Tittabawassee River Fish
Consumption Health Consultation, was released last month by ATSDR and
headlines stated walleye are "safe to eat".............but only if
you're a man
You cannot, however, safely eat walleye if you're a
woman of child bearing age or if you're a child
If you have to count the length of the fish and the
number of permitted meals a year THE FISH ARE NOT SAFE.
Zilwaukee Twp- Dioxin and the pending DMDF (Saginaw River
Zilwaukee Twp legal arguments (13 of them)
Lone Tree Council and National Wildlife Federations
Legal Arguments (4)
The bottom line is this project has not been done
correctly from day one and it is not acceptable.
It is the presence of Dow Chemical's dioxin in the
Saginaw River which make this site in a floodplain of Zilwaukee Twp so
Putting contaminated sediments in a pit in a
floodplain defies all science and logic.
This is a watershed issue because it will impact the
entire ecosystem down river. This ill designed site will be a slurry pit
of rotting, smelling organics to rival the odor nuisance of the sugar
Saginaw County taxpayers will own this site after 20
years; a site that has all the potential to be a huge liability and
burden requiring cleanup by future generations
The Zilwaukee site is the model for Dow. In the
Framework Agreement signed by the state and Dow ( after 8 months of
closed door meetings). Dow was assured they could use a site
comparable to the one in Zilwaukee (see next 9/15/05 Current Update
If this project is not done correctly, in accordance
with the law, then Dow Chemical doesn't have to do it correctly when
they began cleanup along the rivers ( if ever)
If this project doesn't get off the ground the blame
rests entirely with Saginaw County, the Corp of Engineers and the State
of Michigan. No one is above the law. Not Dow Chemical and not the Army
Corp of Engineers.
The courts provide us the opportunity to break
through the bureaucracy and layers of politics and regulators who cannot
think out of their regulatory boxes.
Frankenlust township files lawsuit to
stop dredge spoils site
Click here for details.
Tittabawassee River residents should sit up and take notice of this one.
Evidently the Dow/MDEQ
"Framework" agreement allows Dow to use the same "technology"
to store river dredge spoils if they should ever be forced to clean up the
Tittabawassee. Can you
imagine large, open, stinking, leaking, cesspools of dioxin contaminated river
muck spread up and down
the Tittabawassee? It gets worse: if they need your
property to build the slurry pit and you refuse,
they may take it anyway by condemning it,
click here for details of what
almost happened to the Saginaw
River property owners earlier this year..
is a right way to do this, a number of cleanup technologies are available
not all of them require onsite cesspools. IF built, the Saginaw River
dredging spoils site
must meet all requirements for a hazardous waste facility. Better yet,
ship it all back to
Dow in Midland.
Below is an excerpt from the
Disposal of Dredged Materials
The parties understand and agree that Dow may propose dredged material
disposal options other than disposal in a Type II landfill, such as an
engineered disposal facility similar to confined disposal facilities used by
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to contain dredged materials. Any
disposal facility used by Dow must be operated and maintained in
accordance with applicable law.
Dow Dioxin Class Action Certification Day
September 15, 3995. Class Action Certification Hearing
and Defendant began presenting oral arguments at 9 AM.
Plaintiff's Attorney Teresa Woody presentation lasted about 1.5
hours. She focused on why the case meets all the requirements of
Rule 3.501: numerosity, commonality, typicality, adequacy, and
She elected to not go into the merits of the case as they are not
pertinent nor appropriate at this stage of the process.
Defendant Attorney Doug Kurtenbach, followed up with an animated
presentation, sometimes shouting at the Judge as he became more
agitated. The performance lasted for about 3 hours.
Kurtenbach immediately jumped into the merits of the case as if the
trial had already started.
Plaintiff attorney had just begun to make a rebuttal and was cut
short because of the Defendant's attorney need to catch a flight to
attend to a personal matter.
The hearing will resume on Friday at 10:30 to allow the Plaintiff
attorney to continue with her rebuttal.
The judge stated he will rule on the certification by October 11,
He also stated he expected an appeal immediately thereafter from
For all the details of the case, visit our Court Activity page,
Dow Dioxin Class Action Certification hearing tomorrow 9/15/05
The Dow Chemical Co. and those wanting to sue the company for the value of
homes are expected to appear in Saginaw Circuit Court Thursday. Judge
is expected at 9 a.m. to begin hearing arguments on potential class
certification for the
dioxin-related suit. Click
here for a summary from the Midland Daily News.
For all the details of the case, visit our Court Activity page, click here.
ATSDR releases T.River Fish Consumption Health Consultation report
On July 27, 2005, the Federal
Government Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released
it's "Tittabawassee River Fish Consumption Health Consultation" final report for
the TITTABAWASSEE RIVER MIDLAND, MIDLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN , EPA FACILITY ID:
Below are the Conclusions and
Recommendation from the report,
click here to view
the report in it's entirety.
Past DLC exposures from consumption of Tittabawassee
River fish were similar to or greater than current dioxin exposures from
consumption of Tittabawassee River fish. Current estimates of DLC exposure
suggest elevated cancer and noncancer risk levels. Therefore,
past and current DLC exposures from consumption of certain diets of
Tittabawassee River fish were and are a public health hazard. MDCH has
issued a fish consumption advisory on Tittabawassee River fish since the 1970s.
Fish consumption advisories are necessary for people who eat fish from the
Tittabawassee River to minimize DLC exposures and associated risks.
Future DLC tissue concentration cannot be predicted from the current fish tissue
data. Therefore, future DLC exposures from consumption of Tittabawassee River
fish are an indeterminate public health hazard. Recommendations
1.People who eat fish from the Tittabawassee River should follow the
Michigan Family Fish Consumption
2.Efforts should be undertaken to make the Michigan fish consumption guidance
more available to women of childbearing age, young children, and frequent
consumers of Tittabawassee River fish within the Saginaw Bay Watershed.
3.Fillets from species of fish such as bullhead, northern pike, panfish, and
suckers should be tested for DLCs. Public Health Actions
1.MDCH will continue to issue its Michigan Family Fish Consumption Guide.
2.MDCH will undertake an outreach and education effort to fish consumers and the
3.MDEQ will continue monitoring fish from the Tittabawassee River, and MDCH will
request that the MDEQ analyze less frequently tested fish species for DLCs.
If any citizen has additional information or health concerns regarding this
health consultation, please contact MDCH’s Environmental and Occupational
Epidemiology Division, at 1-800-648-6942.
Dow worker study on dioxin exposure flawed?
David Linhardt, a Chemical Engineer formerly
employed by Dow, has just released an
analysis of the data and methods
used by the Dow to measure exposure of it's workers to dioxin. Visit his web site for more information:
www.dioxinspin.com , the new report "
Serum Dioxin Levels in Former [Dow] Chlorophenol Workers" can
be found on the Flawed
Science page, volume 5.
has value and significance to many Dow employees and residents in the
Saginaw area that have been exposed to dioxins emitted by the company. A
criticism that the study was handled more as a “PR event” rather than a high
scientific study remains valid."
The study does provide some sorely
needed information on dioxin levels in the blood
serum levels of some of The Dow Chemical Company’s most highly exposed
workers. However, there is information that suggests that the study
of employees with low dioxin exposures. If this observation is correct, the
intent of the
company in producing such a limited study is not clear.
The study confirms that Comparison
Employees that worked in the Midland plant at
jobs not associated with production plants producing dioxins and furans have
blood serum levels significantly greater than the same age group in the US
Dioxin serum levels in the sampled chlorophenol employees were found to be
significantly higher than the background levels found in the US population.
Dioxin blood serum levels found in
the tested employees consist primarily (>96%) of
H/OCDD dioxins and furans. Even an employee with the highest level of TCDD
ppt) had an extremely high level of H/OCDD dioxins/furans (47,877.9 ppt) to
that H/OCDD dioxins represented 99.5% of the total dioxins and furans found
subject’s blood serum.
TCDD serum levels found in the study
cohort are in the range in which other studies
cited by Collins, 2005 reported a significant increase in All Cancers.
Collins, 2005 did
not provide any updated mortality information on its approximately 2,200
exposed to high levels of dioxins and furans.
The study was based on 62
chlorophenol workers and tradesmen. To achieve a 95
± 5% confidence level that dioxin serum levels in the still living members
(1,378) of the
original cohort are accurately known, a sample size of 301 employees would
required. The study did not provide any guidance on the confidence level and
associated with the smaller sampling.
The study failed to adjust
background age group dioxin serum levels found in the US
population in 1996, 1997 and 2001 to the year of the chlorophenol employee
2003. When this adjustment is made (plus exclusion of four abnormally high
levels), both Comparison and Chlorophenol employees were found to have
higher levels of dioxin in the blood serum than US population background age
The TCDD bio-accumulation rate (ppt
increase per 10 years) found in the
chlorophenol workers was approximately 50% of the rate found in persons
close proximity to a Dow 245-TCP/245-T manufacturing facility in New
Zealand. Based on the much higher degree of TCDD exposure to the
workers, the employees lower bio-accumulation rate is unusual.
"I discussed the four abnormal serum levels
with Dr. Patterson. He indicated that he was not aware of any reason to exclude
them from the study. He offered two possible reasons why the four levels were so
1. The four subjects eliminate dioxins from their systems at rate much slower
than the average US population.
2. Prior exposure to high levels of dioxins had occurred but the four subjects
were not aware of the exposure.
After some thought, I believe that there might be a third possibility. All the
test subjects were questioned about dioxin exposure and only those that
indicated no prior high level exposure were included in the study. Study members
were told that they would be informed as to their own dioxin levels. A less than
honest subject -- interested in knowing his/her own serum level -- might
indicate no exposure if only to obtain info on personal serum levels without
A resampling of the four subjects five years later should be able to verify if
biological half-lives are normal or abnormal.
The issue still remains that four abnormal serum levels have had a profound
effect on the background ranges being reported by the CDC. In addition, as we
have already seen, subsequent researchers are using the CDC background levels
per se without any comment that some maximum age group ranges were based on a
I'm somewhat surprised that the CDC issued the study without a discussion of the
impact of the four serums -- one might think that someone in CDC management felt
that very wide ranges in background levels might have a calming effect on dioxin
exposed citizens. "
TRW: see 8/23/05 post
below for additional information.
Class action hearing date set
August 23, 2005 1:30 PM. Plaintiff and Defendant attorneys meet
with Judge Borrello for a status conference in preparation for a hearing on
class certification. The news media showed up with reporters and
cameras which evidently prompted the Judge to move the proceedings to his
private chambers. After about an hour and a half, the lawyers emerged
running to catch their planes. Plaintiffs lawyers stated the Judge set September
15, 2005 for the Henry vs. Dow Class Certification hearing. The matter of
the competing case for the
will be addressed sometime after the Henry case hearing.
For all the details of the case, visit our Court Activity page, click here.
08/23/05 Dioxin "Background" ranges for
humans not exposed to dioxin in question
David Linhardt, a Chemical Engineer formerly
employed by Dow, has just released an analysis of the data and methods
used by the CDC, Dow, and the MDEQ to calculate the so called "background blood
serum levels" of dioxin in non-exposed populations. Could the data
be flawed? Visit his web site for more information:
www.dioxinspin.com , the new report can
be found on the Flawed
Science page, volume 4.
Chemical and Michigan Department of Community Heath studies
of dioxin blood serum levels in Midland area residents and
Dow employees reference a ATSDR-CDC study, Patterson, et
al, 2004, that provides an estimate of background blood
serum levels in 588 U.S. citizens supposedly not exposed to
dioxins other than in their diet or in an environment
distant from known sources of dioxins.
However, Patterson, failed to exclude four unusually
high serum levels and, as a result, the reported ranges of
dioxin levels by age group are much greater than if only the
584 more normal levels were used. As a result, some of the
dioxin serum studies being carried out in Michigan
erroneously report that ranges of serum levels being found
are "lower than" or "are consistent" with US background
addition, the Dow and MDCH studies determined dioxin serum
levels in the test subjects in 2004 and 2005. However,
Patterson was based on serum levels measured in 1996,
1997 and 2001. The Dow and MDCH studies failed to adjust
the Patterson serum levels to 2004/2005 levels which
would be reduced through biological degradation.
A conclusion from
Adjustment of the
Patterson findings to 2005 and exclusion of the four abnormally high
dioxin serum levels indicates that Tittabwassee River residents have
dioxin blood serum
levels that are higher than the estimated U.S. background serum levels.
maximum serum levels found in the PEI are not appreciably different than
levels found in the U.S. population, the minimum levels found are
The increase in the lower range of serum levels indicates a greater
exposure to dioxins
of an extended period of time.
Lone Tree/TRW Dioxin Update
from this issue:
Pensacola agrees to reduce cleanup level at `Mount Dioxin'
...Florida has a residential cleanup number of 7 ppt
for dioxin but settled for the lower commercial cleanup number of 30 ppt.
Here in Dow Chemical's back yard we have the chemical giant and a number
of legislators calling for residential cleanup numbers greater than
1,000ppt even though the MDEQ says the number most protective of human
populations is 90 ppt...
Click here to
view a summary of dioxin cleanup levels used in other States, most are
MUCH lower than Michigan's.
The Great Lakes: An endangered legacy
...One of the biggest toxic threats to Lake Huron is
Dow's dioxin. Every delay, every year that goes by without a cleanup
plan endangers this water resource...
Legislators, DEQ spat over brochure
...Would appear DEQ bashing is always in fashion for
some legislators.................... in particular when their arguments
are lame. That this mailing "never had department approval" is
ridiculous at best and a shameless attempt to malign the agency. ...
Town Hall Meetings Planned to Discuss Dioxin Response Efforts
Wednesday, August 24, Holiday Inn 1500 W. Wackerly Street Midland MI
Thursday, August 25, Horizons Conference Center 6200 State Street
August 23. Plaintiff and Defendant attorneys to meet with Judge
Borrello for a status conference in preparation for a hearing on class
Class action hearing date delayed
August 8, 2005 Plaintiff and Defendant lawyers met briefly with Judge
Borrello to discuss future court dates to resume the class action certification
trial. A date was tentatively set for August 23, 2005. The
news media reported the
information they had at press time, however later in the day the Judge
discovered a conflict and said the 23rd would not work for him. As of
August 9th, the trial date has not been determined. Judge Borrello
indicated he will re-schedule it ASAP. For all the details of the case,
visit our Court Activity page, click here.
The American Journal of
Public Health July 2005
PUBLIC HEALTH MATTERS
Manufacturing Uncertainty: Contested Science and the Protection of the Public’s
Health and Environment
David Michaels, PhD, MPH and Celeste
David Michaels and Celeste Monfortonis are with the Department of Environmental
and Occupational Health, George Washington University School of Public Health
and Health Services, Washington, DC.
Opponents of public health and environmental regulations often try to
"manufacture uncertainty" by questioning the validity of scientific evidence on
which the regulations are based. Though most identified with the tobacco
industry, this strategy has also been used by producers of other hazardous
products. Its proponents use the label "junk science" to ridicule research that
threatens powerful interests.
This strategy of manufacturing uncertainty is antithetical to the public health
principle that decisions be made using the best evidence available. The public
health system must ensure that scientific evidence is evaluated in a manner that
assures the public’s health and environment will be adequately protected.
Lone Tree Council Comments:
The manufacturing of uncertainty and
leveling the accusation of junk science continues to reach new heights in the
Dow Chemical dioxin contamination of the Saginaw Bay Watershed. Why? Because it
works. Dow continues to use their hired academics, researchers and consultants
to muddy the waters and obscure the issues and the facts: dioxin is toxic dioxin
is pervasive the entire 22 miles of the Tittabawassee river sediment and soil
levels are in violation of state law (Part 201) game and fish advisories are in
place dioxin is found in every living think along the flood plain children,
pregnant women are most at risk there is a RCRA license in force that says it
Dow responsible for cleanup Using incomplete studies to draw conclusions that
are gobbled and spread like wildfire through the media are a mainstay of Dow's
PR campaign. Dow's ultimate goal is to use their corporate funded studies to
create enough uncertainty, that in the end, Dow bought science will dictate the
cleanup (or not) of their dioxin. The cleanup of PCB's in the Saginaw River was
no easy task and some of the settlement issues questionable -----but at the end
of the day GM took responsibility, put up the money and dredged the river. GM
didn't launch a PR campaign, demand studies, call in hired consultants, or
lavish the community with money. GM didn't a launch a campaign denying the
toxicity of PCB's. So why is it different with Dow Chemical ? Because it is
tolerated across the political spectrum as the expedient thing to do.
What corporations choose to do, how they choose to be responsible ( or Not) has
a direct impact on the quality of the Great Lakes and tributaries. Dioxin
concentration in the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River have reached excesses of
19,000ppt and 16,000ppt respectively. These numbers are real and the
concentrations are going to make their way to Lake Huron. The state cannot set
back and tolerate Dow's incessant "manufacturing of uncertainty" and the
subsequent paralysis by analysis. Dow's dioxin is toxic and so is their PR and
Michelle Hurd Riddick Lone Tree Council 8/05/05
Research indicates next step:
Clean up the river
Gailbraith's presentation to the public on August 3rd revealed some new insight
into the dioxin contamination of the Tittabawassee River: His
recommendation: "How do we clean this up and what level do we
clean it up to?"
He stated the Aquatic Risk Analysis
conducted in 2003 provides sufficient evidence that some species of birds
feeding on dioxin laden fish from the T.River are at over 200 times the risk of
those from non-contaminated areas to develop problems with their egg embryo's,
He also explained the concept of a "population
sink" where healthy animals continue to move into the contaminated area,
supplementing the population decline of the contaminated animals and therefore
give the illusion that nothing is wrong.
Click here for a power point of the Risk Assessment presented to the now
defunct CAP back in 2003 which also contains a link the 58 page final report.
Click here for a Midland Daily
News article summarizing the meeting.
During the "peer" review session following
his presentation, a number of Dow employees and the staff of their hired
consultants from Entrix and MSU asked some good questions for which Dr.
Gailbraith provided answers supporting his conclusions. However, the
line of questioning seem to indicate that Dow funded $5 million dollar MSU study
may have already arrived at their conclusion, their remaining efforts will focus
on Dow's goals to confuse the public and discredit any legitimate science.
This observation was enforced after the conclusion of the meeting as we observed
Dow and Entrix employees rolling their eyes at each other and almost skipping
down the parking lot hand in hand singing "la la la".
One might also question why one of the MSU
scientists made comments to the press about the Dow/MSU study data when everyone
in the room seem to agree that such a study will take 5 years before any
credible observations can be made. Could it be Dow's influence and money
that prompted the headline "Researcher
finds no dioxin impact on animal population"
in the local newspapers on the same day Dr. Gailbraith's presentation? Could
this be Corporate Science at it's best?
ludicrous was that nights local TV coverage of the event. Had their reporter
actually stayed for the presentation instead of just filming a few sound bites
at the beginning, they would have known that their broadcast contained grossly
inaccurate information. To add insult to injury, the only comments
they included from the attendees where those from a pseudo celebrity in the area
by the name of Mike Avery who stated something to the effect that everything is
wonderful in the area and basically encouraged folks to consume wild game and
fish from the Tittabawassee River. Mr. Avery was obviously asleep during the
meeting and did not wake up until he joined Garrett Greer (Dow spokesperson) in
the parking lot to light up a cigar and joke about the situation. We
wonder who prompted him to make his statements on TV?
Dow Press Release says workers safe,
EPA and other disagree
Evidently Dow decided they are not getting enough press
and decided to hold a Press Release yesterday to discuss some old news about a
Corporate Science project they had designed to confuse the public about about
dioxin and it's effects on a few workers. This is a perfect example
of Dow's interpretation of "Sound Science",
manipulate the data to get the desired outcome.
After it's PR bit, the EPA and others had this to say (as
published in the Saginaw News):
State and federal health officials, however, say they doubt the validity of the
"There are countless studies showing that dioxin has negative health effects at
even lower levels," said Robert McCann, spokesman for the state Department of
Environmental Quality. "It is a jump (for Dow) to make some of those
Linda S. Birnbaum, a renowned dioxin expert and director of the Experimental
Toxicology Division for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also is
skeptical of the company's findings.
Birnbaum believes the study is flawed. She said the company misclassified some
workers, potentially putting employees with high dioxin levels in its control
Her concern lies with tradesmen -- mechanics, plumbers and pipefitters -- who
worked periodically in the chlorophenol plant. Those employees could have
elevated dioxin levels, but are in the control group as an unexposed population.
The project found dioxin concentrations as high as 17,847 parts per trillion in
exposed workers. Normal levels are between 6 and 36 parts per trillion,
depending on age.
Below are comments made back in October 2004 when these results where
10/30/04 David Linhardt, a former Dow Chemical Engineer,
questions a recent quote by
Dr. Robert Budzinsky, a Dow toxicologist with expertise in dioxin
exposure: "There is
no scientific evidence that background levels like this pose any
"I would like to ask Dr. Budzinsky to provide some information on
the basis for his
assurances. I have examined the large number of mortality and health
Dow has posted on its Dioxin Data website and I have found no
correlates dioxin body burden levels with human health effects. To
the best of my
knowledge, Dow has never determined dioxin body burden levels in the 2,200
Midland plant employees who were potentially exposed to industrial
Mr. Linhardt made the comments
in an editorial to the Midland Daily News 10/30/04.
Click here to read the entire article. Visit the authors
for additional details of how Dow manipulates the data from their "Sound
Science" to intentionally twist and distort the truth.
TRW Comments 11/10/04
"For one thing, the report notes that "exposed" Dow workers
experienced "slight excesses" of prostate,
stomach, lymphatic, blood and other types of cancers when compared
to "unexposed" workers. Furthermore,
the more workers were exposed, the more likely they were to die from
stomach and prostate cancers.
The report also noted that, when
Midland's two ZIP codes were analyzed separately,
numbers of all cancers combined" were found in the ZIP code where
Dow's chemical plant is located when
compared to the entire state of Michigan for the years 1994 through
The above is NOT yesterday's
Dow Chemical Press
Statement about it's internal,
sound science worker study. It's actually an excerpt from a
newspaper article summarizing State and Federal health officials
review of a similar
declaration by Dow that all is well in Midland back in 2001. Please
read this article,
Shadow of Dow" 1st, then read the Dow press releases on our
Note that the press releases where timed late in the day so as to
not allow reporters a
chance print a "fair and balanced" story before their deadlines.
What you will read is pure Dow spin.
Tittabawassee River Watershed
Ecological Risk Assessment
Dr. Hector Galbraith
present the findings of two ecological risk assessments specific to dioxin
and furan compounds found in the TittabawasseeRiver. In addition he will
incorporate data in his lecture from several other studies in the
region and articulate what these studies may suggest regarding ecological risks
present in the Tittabawassee and SaginawRiver
as well as the SaginawBay.
August 3 @ 7pm. Inform park
personnel you are attending this event to have the entrance fee
Partnership for the
SaginawBay Watershed & the Lone Tree Council
Kristi Laundra -
Michelle Hurd Riddick- 989-799-3313
Galbraith's work for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality can be
..."A subtle change to Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality policy more clearly defines the term and applies it only to those
properties -- 103 in Midland and about 400 in the Tittabawassee River floodplain
-- that have been deemed "Priority 1" areas and are undergoing interim
remediation activities." ..."Those
that already are identified as contaminated and are a part of cleanup plans are
included. For others, testing must have confirmed contamination or enough data
must exist to make a reasonable inference about the extent of contamination"..."The
DEQ argued at House hearings on Moolenaar's bill that the proposal could slow
the pace and increase the cost of cleanup statewide, and could limit
possibilities of state and local financial incentives for redevelopment of
brownfield sites. It also could release polluters from cleanup duties and
expense, shifting the responsibility to property owners -- qualification as a
facility is a prerequisite for landowners to receive relief"..."The DEQ
plans to introduce the clarification to communities at upcoming town hall-style
meetings tentatively scheduled for Aug. 17, 24 and 27. Locations have not been
confirmed." Click here
for the actual language of the new Part 201 rules.
TRW note: the MDN article infers that a property owner must be classified as
a 'facility' before they must disclose suspected dioxin contamination.
This is not true, Michigan Real-Estate Seller disclosure requires a seller to
disclose even if they only suspect the property may be contaminated.
Click here for the Michigan Seller
Disclosure form and check out item 10: "Environmental Problems: Are you aware of any substances,
materials, or products that may be an
environmental hazard such as, but not limited to, asbestos, radon gas,
formaldehyde, lead-based paint, fuel or chemical storage tanks and
contaminated soil on the property?"
Dow workers test high for dioxin
Excerpts of study results published in the Journal of Exposure Analysis and
Environmental Epidemiology, July 13, 2005:
"While workers previously diagnosed with chloracne had high serum dioxin
levels, some workers without diagnosed chloracne also had high levels. Among
tradesworkers with plant-wide responsibilities, we observed serum dioxins and
PCB levels higher than background indicating workplace exposures"...
State & Federal agencies confirm bodies, homes, & properties contaminated
7/08/05 The ATSDR and MDCH released their ATSDR & MDCH Health
Consultation: Exposure Investigation Report: A Pilot Exposure Investigation:
Dioxin Exposure in Adults Living in the Tittabawassee River Flood Plain, Saginaw
County, Michigan EPA FACILITY ID: MID980994354
The report was made public on July 13, 2005, the SAME day the
Court denied floodplain residents the ability to make Dow pay for a
trust fund to assist in monitoring their health due to the increased risks
of living in Dow dioxin.
Our suspicions are confirmed. The official report states:
Tittabawassee floodplain residents on average have higher blood,
home, and property dioxin levels than background levels found in the
rest of the country.
New data in report includes actual blood levels for 2,3,7,8-TCDD.
This is the most toxic of the Dioxin Like Compounds (DLC).
Participant blood levels of this compound are almost double of those
found in non-contaminated areas.
Three homes have dioxin levels in their indoor dust that are higher than
the states 90 ppt Residential Direct Contact Criteria for soil found OUTSIDE the
Soil samples collected from 15 properties located at least partially
within the flood plain of the Tittabawassee River showed total dioxin
TEQ levels greater than the MDEQ residential criterion of 90 ppt for
DLCs. These findings further confirm earlier results indicating that
elevated DLC levels within the 100-year flood plain downstream of
Midland are widespread.
This report has undergone countless reviews during the 8 months prior to
it's release. Rumor has it Michigan Lt. Governor Cherry had to give
final approval to the language of the report before it was released.
Evidently Cherry is now one our top scientist. Seriously, what did the
scientist say that was edited out by politicians?
Click here to visit our PEI page for the results
of the study.
Michigan Supreme Court denies Medical
Monitoring aspect of Dow Law Suit
The Michigan Supreme Court
rendered an opinion on the Medical Monitoring portion of the Henry Vs Dow case:
The bad news: The Court denied the Medical Monitoring portion of the
case by a vote of 5 to 2. Dow win's, the citizens of Michigan and the rest
of the country lose.
The good news: The property damages portion of the case is now freed up
and will go back to the Saginaw Circuit Court for Class Certification in the
Coincidence or not, today the ATSDR and Michigan Department of Community
Health released the Pilot Exposure Investigation final
report of 21 individuals who live in the contaminated T.River flood plain.
Guess what? They confirm our speculations from last summer: The dioxin
blood levels of those tested are elevated well beyond those of similar ages
found in other parts of the country. The State and ATSDR took almost a
year to "review" the data and therefore was not available to the Court when
they made today's opinion on Medical Monitoring. The plaintiffs
lawyers informed the Court of the preliminary results in October 2004,
evidently the Court decided preliminary reports of Dow dioxin assimilation
by humans in the flood plain was inconsequential. What would they say
It is unfortunate that the 5 "Justices" have decided that a corporations cost-benefit ratio is more important than the lives of our States citizens. We feel empathy for the 100's, if not thousands of individuals who feel their health
may have been compromised by the gross Dow dioxin contamination of our bodies
and properties. We have been abandoned by the State of Michigan and have no
further recourse other than in the voting booth. The justices voting against the Citizens of Michigan: Clifford Taylor, Elizabeth Weaver, Maura Corrigan, Robert Young, and Stephen Markman.
The two justices voting in favor of the plaintiffs rights are Michael
Cavenaugh and Marilyn Kelly. They wrote an excellent "Dissenting Opinion"
on the "Majority Opinion" of the other five. It's a startling read and
expresses TRW's feelings to the hilt. While we lost this battle, it's good
to see that at least a few in our government remember who they really represent.
Below is a one paragraph "sound bite" of excerpts from the two Justices Kelly
and Cavenaugh's 27 page "Dissenter Opinion" to the other 5's decision on
"plaintiffs’ physical health is inexcusably deemed secondary to
defendant’s economic health...Plaintiffs have suffered actual harm and
damages...defendant’s Midland plant was identified as the “‘principal source of
dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River sediments and the Tittabawassee
River flood plain soils...the fact remains that they are at a much greater risk
because of defendant’s acts...Experts continuously urge vigilant detection as
the most realistic means of improving prognosis...This is fabrication at its
most unforgivable–refusing to acknowledge that providing these plaintiffs with
the opportunity to merely seek an equitable remedy is well within the bounds of
judicial discretion...it seems clear that it is reasonable that defendant pay
the costs...the majority’s result protects a wrong-doing corporation at the
expense of the health of the people wronged...If defendant cannot produce its
product without behaving responsibly, then it has no business operating within
our state. …The lives of the people in the affected area are worth more
than defendant’s financial well being,...The
prolonged exposure of plaintiffs to such high levels of dioxin puts them at a
vastly increased risk...the majority’s approach shifts the costs resulting from
defendant’s actions to Michigan taxpayers...it behooves corporations like
defendant to continue with business practices that harm our residents because
the courts will shield them from liability...Sadly, this Court has resorted
to a cost-benefit analysis to determine and, consequently, degrade the value of
human life...Today, our Court has shirked its duty to protect plaintiffs and the
people of our state, thereby leaving defendant’s practices and interests
Click here to view the
entire Dissenting Opinion by Cavenaugh and Kelly. If you feel the need to
read the opinions of the other 5, read a Dow Newsletter, it's the same stuff.
Click herefor additional details of the
lawsuit on our Court
In June, 2005, the
United Conservations Clubsunanimously
a resolution for the Tittabawassee River and
Flood Plain Ecological Restoration.
MUCC is the largest
statewide conservation organization in the nation, with nearly 100,000 members
and more than 500 affiliated clubs.
Resolution No. 28
Tittabawassee river and flood plain ecological restoration
WHEREAS, the DOW Chemical Company (DOW) and the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ) have adopted a "Framework
for an Agreement" for progress toward a "…comprehensive, final solution to
the mid-Michigan dioxin/furan situation", and
WHEREAS, the Tittabawassee River and flood plain have been identifies as
significant reservoirs of toxicants which is a major ecological issue, deserving
of the full attention of MUCC in accordance with MUCC policy, and
WHEREAS, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) recognizes the
critical importance of these resources and those of the Saginaw River and
Saginaw Bay, and
WHEREAS, the "Framework" contemplates the essential participation of a
wide range of stakeholders in an iterative development of a final solution to
these ecological concerns, shaping the final resolution of this matter, now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the long term goal of the final solution
must be the restoration and subsequent protection of the public trust in the
river and floodplain as a major, inseparable natural resource, and
that this public trust includes full public access to the river and to public
lands in the floodplain, and
that this public trust includes restoration and protection of aquatic and
upland wildlife resources and habitat at all trophic levels, and
that this public trust requires that where it is not feasible to restore the
full value of the natural resources, that a full restitution of this damage be
made through the establishment of a trust fund of appropriate value to be used
to benefit the citizens and resources of the area, and
that this pubic trust requires the assessment of human health risk, at all
stages of human life, associated with fish and game consumption, as well as all
other routes of human exposure, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MUCC, including representatives of MUCC
member clubs, be participants in the stakeholder process, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MUCC critique and evaluate the adequacy of
the proposed final solutions developed under this process, formally submit MUCC
comments to the DEQ, and advocate for their full consideration in the final
settlement of this matter.
District 10 – Region IV – Dr. Fred Brown
Lone Tree/TRW Dioxin Update
from this issue below, click
here for all the details
Michigan United Conservation Club (MUCC) unanimously pass resolution
on the Tittabawassee River at their state wide convention
Recent Secret Studies by Dow
MDEQ presentations scheduled for this week
July 12, 2005: Dr. Linda Birnbaum
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Presentation on health effects of dioxin by
Dr. Linda Birnbaum, the U.S. EPA's Director of Experimental Toxicology Division,
is scheduled for July 12, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Grace A. Dow Memorial
Library, Midland Michigan.
July 14, 2005: EPA SITE program
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm The U.S. EPA Superfund Innovative
Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program staff will speak on “Testing of
Monitoring and Measurement Technologies for Dioxin and Dioxin-like Compounds
in Soil and Sediment”, Saginaw Township Fire Hall Classroom, 155 N. Center
Road, Saginaw. A technical discussion will be held on the morning of
7/14/05 from 10 am - 12 noon in Lansing at the Michigan Library and
Historical Center Forum 702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI 48915,
click here for
the morning session flyer.
House Bill 4617 passes the Michigan House
Dow Clean Up Your Dioxin Now signs
MDEQ presentations scheduled
for next week
July 12, 2005: Dr. Linda Birnbaum Click here for
the DEQ press release announcing a public meeting being held on Tuesday, July 12
by the DEQ, Department of Community Health, and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in Midland where U.S. EPA dioxin expert, Dr. Linda
Birnbaum, will be speaking on dioxins and their health effects.
In addition to the post-meeting availability described in the press release,
agency staff will have maps and graphics on the local contamination and will be
available for informal one-on-one discussion from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. before Dr.
July 14, 2005: EPA SITE program
The U.S. EPA Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program staff
will speak on “Testing of Monitoring and Measurement Technologies for Dioxin and
Dioxin-like Compounds in Soil and Sediment” on Thursday, July 14 at the Saginaw
Township Fire Hall Classroom, 155 N. Center Road, Saginaw, from 7:00 to 8:00
p.m. This talk will discuss the results of work sponsored by the U.S. EPA to
evaluate methodologies to complement high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to
determine the dioxin-like toxicity of soil and sediment samples. The SITE
program looked at a number of methodologies that are more affordable and faster
than the highly accurate, but costly and time consuming, HRMS. The high cost of
dioxin analysis is an important issue in the characterization of dioxin levels
in the Saginaw Bay watershed. Many of the samples that were used in this study
are from Midland soils and from sediments and floodplain soils from the
Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers. Click here for a
flyer that describes the more technical seminar to be given on this topic the
morning of July 14 in Lansing.
See newspaper articles for information dating back to January 2002. Click here