Saturday, October 08, 2005

U of M Dioxin Study Update...

Today we have a guest writer - Eldon Graham. Thank you, Dr. Graham!

I attended the meeting at Freeland Elementary School Thursday, October 6, 2005. The meeting had a very small audience, but Dr.Garabrant did his usual excellent presentation.

All of the field work is completed, both in this area and in Jackson/Callhoun counties. The interviews, house dust samples, soil samples, and blood samples, are completed. There were 1323 interviews. 589 of persons in theTittabawassee River floodplain area, 375 persons elsewhere in the Saginaw Midland area, 352 in the Jackson/ Calhoun County area. These persons were chosen by random. There were 731 persons who have all four data elements – 352 in the floodplain area, 196 elsewhere in the Saginaw Midland area, and 185 in the Jackson/ Calhoun area.

During the public comment period, one person said that the whole study is flawed; that the wrong people were interviewed. They should have interviewed the persons living along the river who are now dead. Also, he lives along the river, has cancer, and was not interviewed.

Dr Garabrant explained the random selection process (so as to not bias the group, one way or the other), and that the study is not a health study, but rather to determine if persons living in the floodplain have a higher amount of dioxin in their blood than persons living elsewhere. He said that the Michigan Department of Public Health has data on the rate of various types of cancer by geographic area, but that data is not a part of the U of M study.

Lab analysis is now being done. A progress report will be given to the national Scientific Advisory Board on October 20. He expects that the results of the study will be sent to the SAB in the spring and summer of 2006. Following its review, it is expected that the results will be presented at public meetings in the fall of 2006, and posted on the U of M website.

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