Back Up NextTittabawassee River Watch   www.trwnews.net
WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

Pilot Exposure Investigation Results

pei.ht2.jpg (39708 bytes)

bullet

Final Report 2005

bullet

TRW Review of preliminary results 2004

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

7/8/05 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

bulletThe report was made public on July 13, 2005, the SAME day the Michigan Supreme 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.
bulletOur suspicions are confirmed, see our preliminary analysis from a year ago.  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.
bulletThis 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?
bulletThe following are excerpts from the report, to view the entire 3MB report (pdf), click here.

Blood Sampling Results

Blood serum samples from 20 adults were analyzed for DLCs. Nineteen of the samples are described in this report. One sample is not included in the report to protect the identity of the participant. Table 4 compares the PEI blood total dioxin TEQ results to the CDC/ATSDR background estimates. Data are provided only for the two age groups with enough participants to protect the identity of the individuals.

Ten PEI participants were between 45 and 59 years old. The mean total dioxin TEQ for this age group is 26.8 ppt. This level is higher than the mean total dioxin TEQ of 16.9 for comparison TEQs for this age group. In addition, the 95% confidence interval of 22.0 to 30.9 ppt for the PEI mean does not overlap the confidence interval of 15.4 to 18.4 ppt for the background mean. On the average, dioxin TEQ levels found in the PEI participants ages 45 to 59 years are higher than TEQ levels included in the background estimates for this age group.

Figure 2 presents a comparison of the estimated background total dioxin TEQ levels and the PEI results for people aged 45-59 years. The total dioxin TEQ levels are broken down into 5 ppt ranges and are shown on the horizontal axis. The vertical axis presents the percentage of blood samples in the PEI (darker bars) compared to the background estimates (lighter bars) for each range of total dioxin TEQ levels.

TRW Note: 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.

The mean of 3.5 ppt for 2,3,7,8-TCDD TEQ levels in the PEI participants ages 45 to 59 years is higher than the mean of 1.9 ppt for the estimated background 2,3,7,8-TCDD TEQ levels for this age group. In addition, the 95% confidence intervals for the means do not overlap. On the average, 2,3,7,8-TCDD levels found in the PEI participants ages 45 to 59 years are higher than levels included in the background estimates for this age group. 

TRW Note:  8/23/05  Further analysis of the CDC background estimates reveals that 4 abnormally high TEQ samples where included in the Patterson CDC study.  "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 levels."   Click here for more information.

Soil Sampling Results

Table 2 presents total dioxin TEQ concentrations (ppt) in surficial soils on the 15 properties chosen for the PEI. The number of samples taken on each property ranged from two to five. Sample results ranged from <5 ppt to 2,530 ppt.
Table 2 presents the sampling results progressing from right to left from the house on the property toward the Tittabawassee River. In general, DLC concentrations tended to be higher in soil samples taken nearest the Tittabawassee River compared to those taken nearest the most frequently used entrance to the home. However, this trend was not apparent at all properties. One possible explanation is that flood plain soil had been moved and used as fill material when these homes were built.

Indoor Dust Sampling Results

TRW Note: Four 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 home!

Two indoor dust samples were taken from each of the 20 participant’s homes for a total of 11 residences sampled. An adequate quantity of dust was obtained for all samples. Indoor dust results ranged from 5 to 268 ppt total dioxin TEQs. Indoor dust sample results are provided in Table 3. The order in which properties are presented does not correspond to that shown in Table 2 to prevent matching of indoor dust results to previously presented soil data.

Conclusions from final report  (Note: DLC = Dioxin Like Compounds)

bulletSoil 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.
bulletIndoor dust samples collected from homes located on properties where outdoor soil contains levels of DLCs greater than 90 ppt confirm the presence of DLCs in the indoor environment of these homes.
bulletThe mean total dioxin TEQ level in 10 adult PEI participants aged 45 to 59 years was higher than the mean estimated background level for this age group. The mean 2,3,7,8-TCDD level in this PEI group was also higher than the estimated mean value in the background data.
bulletTotal dioxin TEQ blood levels in four participants aged 45 to 59 years were greater than the 90th percentile of the estimated background levels for this age group. Two of these were also greater than the 95th percentile. Total dioxin TEQ blood levels in these four participants are elevated.
bulletThe mean total dioxin TEQ level in nine adult PEI participants 60 years of age and older was slightly higher than the mean estimated background level for this age group, but fell within the 95% confidence intervals for the estimated background mean. The mean 2,3,7,8-TCDD TEQ in this PEI group was also higher than the estimated mean value in the background data, but again fell within the 95% confidence intervals for the estimated background mean. Therefore, whether these data reflect a real difference between the PEI participants and the estimated background levels cannot be known for certain.
bulletThe total dioxin TEQ blood level in one participant in the 60 plus age group was greater than the 90th percentile of the estimated background comparison level and is elevated.
bulletAlthough, mean serum TEQ and 2,3,7,8-TCDD levels in the PEI groups were higher than the estimated background levels, all TEQ and 2,3,7,8-TCDD levels observed in the PEI participants fell between the lowest and highest values observed in the estimated background data.
bulletThe interview questionnaire and the soil, dust, and blood sampling methods were adequate to meet the purpose of the PEI. Redundancy in questions concerning occupational history on the interview questionnaire should be eliminated.

Recommendations from final report

bulletThe PEI interview questionnaire should be revised to eliminate redundancy in the
occupational history questions before the questionnaire is widely used.
bulletA comprehensive exposure investigation should be conducted to evaluate the potential for unacceptable human exposures to DLC contamination in flood plain environmental media and biota including:
bulletIdentification of properties where DLC concentrations exceed applicable State of Michigan clean up criteria and/or the ATSDR screening level.
bulletEvaluation of the bioavailability of DLCs in flood plain soils and sediments.
bulletIdentification of DLC levels in fish, wild game, and domestic animals or animal products in the flood plain and eaten by people.
o Identification of people who may be more highly exposed to flood plain DLCs such as fishers, hunters, or people who are highly exposed to soil contamination.
bulletActions should be taken to limit exposures to elevated DLC levels in environmental media and biota.

Public Health Action Plan

bulletMDCH and ATSDR will revise the interview questionnaire before it is used again.
bulletMDCH and ATSDR will remain available to participate in the development or review of work plans to conduct a comprehensive exposure investigation for the Tittabawassee River and flood plain.
bulletMDCH and ATSDR will consider the feasibility in conducting health outcome studies to determine if rates of disease for people living in or near the flood plain differ from persons who live in a comparison location, if a comprehensive exposure investigation identifies environmental dioxin exposure in or near the floodplain is above background levels.
bulletMDCH and ATSDR will continue to provide health education to residents and health care professionals so that they can make informed decisions to limit their exposure to DLCs.
bulletMDCH will maintain and update fish and wild game advisory information for the
Tittabawassee River and flood plain.

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

10/18/04 TRW interpretation of preliminary results

The results coming back are what we suspected they might be based upon the dangerous dioxin levels found in our yards(Note: The official final report is now available and can be viewed above).  Of the values shared with us by flood plain residents participating in the PEI, over 61%  have dioxin levels in their blood exceeding 75% of the national background levels, 38% had levels exceed 90% of the national background levels.   According to the Midland Daily News, a number of the people tested are experiencing health problems such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostrate cancer, endometriosis, breast cancer, and peripheral neuopathy. 

Dow's statements in the Midland Daily News is ludicrous and reminiscent of their comments on it's own Wild Game Study results released earlier this year.   The Dow PR  was later found to be misrepresenting the facts and ultimately resulted in the State issuing a Wild Game Consumption Advisory for only the 2nd time in it's history.  Eventually, the ATSDR or the MDCH will publish a final report.   Until then, these will have to do.   We are sick and tired of the legislators and Dow playing Russian roulette with our lives.  Something needs to be done, NOW!

About the results - read this first

bulletThese are unofficial results, the MDCH or ATSDR have not produced a final report as of yet and did not contribute to any of the statistical summaries presented on this page.   The PEI protocol states they will do so. 
bulletHowever, based on what we have learned so far, the data seems to indicate a high probability that residents living in exposed areas have a much higher concentration of dioxin in their bodies than does the general population.  Some of those with the highest levels have not consumed fish or wild game from the area.
bulletThe results are based on verbal reports from 13 of the estimated 21-25 participants in the PEI study.  We do not know all the people tested, if you are one of them and care to share your results, let us know.
bulletWe have not verified the values given and have not seen the participants actual reports.
bulletThe individuals providing their levels wish to remain anonymous at this time and will not provide individual levels to the media, etc..  They volunteered their levels to TRW on the condition that the data be presented in an aggregate form which preserves their privacy.
bulletWe realize that this is NOT a statistically sound sampling, the values from the remaining 8-12 individuals may alter the the results presented here in either direction (good or bad). 
bulletIf additional information becomes available, we will change the summaries below accordingly.

About the Pilot Exposure Investigation

bullet

Protocol Summary

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) will conduct soil, indoor dust, and blood sampling for polychlorinated dioxins, furans, and coplanar PCBs. Based on the results of preliminary soil sampling in residential yards, 25 adults will be asked to participate in the Pilot Exposure

Investigation. Participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their occupations and about behaviors such as consumption of sport-caught fish that could contribute to dioxin body burdens. Blood samples will be drawn from participants and indoor dust samples will be taken from participants’ homes.

One purpose of the Pilot Exposure Investigation is to provide information on the levels of dioxins in soil, indoor dust, and blood samples for 25 residents of the flood plain. If the investigation results suggest the need, residents can use this information to modify their behavior to limit exposure to impacted media.

Another purpose of this Pilot Exposure Investigation is to test the sampling criteria, questionnaire, and blood and indoor dust sampling methods prior to the implementation of a larger investigation that will include residents from the city of Midland, the flood plain of the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw County, Michigan and a control community with no known exposure to polychlorinated dioxins, furans, and coplanar PCBs beyond background. The Pilot Exposure Investigation may provide preliminary information about the relationship, if any, between dioxin blood levels and dioxin TEQ levels in soil, and indoor dust. This information will be used to refine the design of the larger investigation to be conducted in the future.

bulletPEI: Slide show overview
bulletPEI: Scope of work (pdf)
bulletMDEQ CAP members PEI Q&A
bulletQuick facts about the PEI study
bulletUp to 25 residents to be tested based on the following criteria:
bulletHome property soil contains greater than 90 ppt TEQ dioxin at the surface.
bulletParticipants must have lived on property a minimum of 5 years.
bulletParticipant must be at least 18 years of age
bulletExclude anyone who is pregnant or breast feeding, has a bleeding disorder, received chemotherapy in the last 6 weeks, lost more than 15 pounds in the last year,  or weigh less than 95 pounds.

CDC Reference ranges used for comparison

The CDC has established reference ranges for dioxin blood levels of people who do not live in areas of dioxin contamination.  Dioxin accumulates in the body over time from your diet and other environmental factors. Therefore the older you are, the higher the levels that are found in the general population.  The reference ranges are based on studies done in four different areas of the U.S..  These are NOT "normal" ranges. Dioxin is a toxic contaminant, theoretically you should not have ANY in your body.  Unfortunately, most people have some dioxin in their blood, the table below lists the levels found in people living in areas without known dioxin contamination.

Click here to view the CDC study that produced the reference ranges below.

TRW Note:  8/23/05  Further analysis of the CDC background estimates reveals that 4 abnormally high TEQ samples where included in the Patterson CDC study.  "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 levels."   Click here for more information.

CDC Dioxin Total TEQ reference range by age group based on studies from LA, MO, NC, & NY

Age Group

N

Mean Std Median P75 P90 P95 Min Max
15-29 116 6.4   6.0 5.4 7.8 11.7 14.0 0.0 53.9
30-44 199 11.8   6.9 9.8 16.6 21.1 23.2 0.2 50.4
45-59 160 16.9   9.6 14.9 22.3 29.5 32.8 0.8 55.4
60+ 113 36.1   24.9 32.3 45.6 69.2 85.4 3.4 146.4
All 588 16.8    16.4 12.1 20.8 33.7 48.0 0.0 146.4

The CDC reference ranges above are presented using the "percentiles" P75, P90, P95.  A percentile is calculated by ranking all of the individual values from lowest to highest and then identifying a point where a certain percentage of all other values are lower.   The CDC chose to use the P75 (75%), P90 (90%), and P95 (95%).  Example:  If your result was greater than or equal to the P75 level it means that 74.9% of the population had a value less than you. If you had a result in the 95th percentile, it means that 95% of the population had a value less than you.  The results presented here are reported in percentiles based upon the persons age at the time of sampling.  Two people could have very different results, but because of their ages could be in the same percentile.  Example (not actual results): A 35 year old has a value of 25 and a 65 year old has a value of 100.  Both values are in the P95 range and our results below would produce a count of two for the P95 group.

The unofficial preliminary blood results

pei.ht2.jpg (39708 bytes)

To make the data easier to understand, the numbers below have been normalized base on 100 people, assuming that the same percentages found in the 13 samples would be reproduced in 100 samples.

bullet61 out of 100 (61.5%) may have blood dioxin levels higher than 75% of the general population.
bullet38 out of 100 (38.5%) may have levels higher than 90% of the general population.
bullet15 out of 100 (15.4%) may have levels higher than 95% of the general population.
bullet38 out of 100 (38.5%) may have levels less than 75% of the general population
bulletUsing  CDC dioxin reference ranges for background blood levels in the general population, the expected results would be:
bullet25 out of 100 (25%) greater or equal to the 75th percentile.
bullet10 out of 100 (10%) greater or equal to the 90th percentile
bullet5  out of  100 (5%)  greater or equal to the 95th percentile.
bullet74 out of 100 (74%) less than the 75 percentile. 
Percentile adjusted for age Actual per 100  people Actual % in percentile or higher Expected per 100 people Expected % in percentile or higher Actual Vs Expected ratio
Less than P75 38 38.5% 75 74.9% 0.5
P75 or greater 62 61.5% 25 25.0% 2.5
P90 or greater 38 38.5% 10 10.0% 3.8
P95 or greater 15 15.4% 5 5.0% 3.1

Preliminary House Dust Sample results

All the homes of PEI participants had two dust samples collected, one from the main entry way and the other from the main living space.  We have learned of a few results, most are in the 7- 60 ppt TEQ range.  Two homes, which happens to coinside with some the highest blood levels detected had over 110 ppt TEQ.  That's higher than the states 90 ppt Residential Direct Contact Criteria for soil found OUTSIDE the home!  (Note: final report released 7/13/05 indicates 4 of homes had levels greater than  90 ppt , the highest house dust level was actually 268 ppt TEQ in their LIVING AREA)

 

hit counter for myspace

Locations of visitors to this page

WB01727_.gif (697 bytes)

Back Up Next  Back to the top   Site Map  www.trwnews.net