Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CLAXTON - Dioxin Cleanup - Midland, Michigan

from GEORGE CLAXTON, past National Chair,
Vietnam Veterans of America Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee

Recently, DOW Chemical received an extension on enforcement of dioxin clean up in the area around Midland, Michigan.

The dioxin polluted area around Midland may be in more serious trouble than prople may realize. In December, 2009 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) deceided that 2,3,4,7,8 Pentachloro -dibenzo-furan and PCB 126 were "human carcinogens" just like dioxin was in 1997. This was published in the journal LANCET ONCOLOGY.

There are, at least, three pollutants in the Midland, Michigan area which are now human carcinogens. Simply imagine what kind of injury they can have when combined together. ALL OF THE CLEAN UP SHOULD BE DONE IMMEADIATELY.

George Claxton

Dioxin Contamination Issues in Midland
Questions and Concerns of the Midland Community
Prior to the May 26, 2004, Community Meeting on Dioxin, Midland citizens were invited to submit their questions and concerns to the City of Midland regarding the dioxin issue in our community. Many of the hundreds of questions and concerns received were provided to the panelists who attended the meeting. These questions and concerns were used by the panelists to develop presentations for the first half of the Community Meeting. In addition, questions and answers from the community and audience members were addressed in a follow-up Q&A session during the second half of the meeting.
Following the Community Meeting, City staff compiled and categorized the questions and concerns received from Midland citizens. Because so many of the questions and concerns were similar, 15 main questions were developed from the hundreds that the City received. These 15 questions summarize and address the primary concerns of Midland citizens.
The answers provided below stem from information provided by the MDEQ, Dow, the Midland County Health Department, the Michigan Department of Community Health, City of Midland officials and the City's toxicology and legal consultants.

There was a study on the Midland area. The title was "Spatial variations in the incidence of breast cancer and potential risks associated with soil dioxin contamination in Midland, Saginaw, and Bay counties, Michigan, USA". The authors were Dajun Dai and Tonny J Oyana. The study was published in the journal "Environmental Health 2008, 7:49"

The conclusion of the study stated "These findings suggest that increased breast cancer incidences are spatially associated with soil dioxin contamination".


  1. There is a study. "Spatial variations in the incidence of breast cancer and potential risks associated with soil contamination in Midland, Saginaw, and Bay counties, Michigan, USA". It was published in "Environmental Health" 2008, 7:49. Authors were Dajun Dai and Tonny J Oyana.

    The conclusion was "these findings suggest that increased breast cancer incidences are spatially associated with soil dioxin contamination",

    George Claxton

  2. Midland Community have ever right to be concerned about their health and not to trust the DOW Chemical Company and their legal consultants.
    In New Plymouth New Zealand - Environment Minister Nick Smith is promising another look into where toxic chemicals might have been dumped around New Plymouth.
    The spectre of chemical contamination from the former Ivon Watkins-Dow chemical factory has again been raised when at least nine drums containing chemicals were found at Marfell Park, near a children's playground, last month, the site of the city's former dump.
    The find has angered local residents, who say they were not informed about the chemicals' removal and want more testing to ensure the park is safe.
    I think the community is right to ask that there needs to be post clean-up tests to ensure that the park is quite safe."
    However, he didn't think the people of Marfell needed to be tested for health problems as they were not full drums but just contained residue.
    Dow Agro Sciences, formerly Ivon Watkins-Dow, said it did not know how chemicals got there.
    Operations leader Andrew Syme said the company would have used municipal landfills along with many other companies in the past.
    He did not have any specific information about how the broken drum remains came to be in the Marfell landfill area, the Taranaki Daily News reported.
    The company's long-standing practice was that chemical drums were not disposed in public waste facilities and Dow AgroSciences had not handled tetrachlorobenzene and trichlorophenol for more than 20 years, he said..
    Former Ivon Watkins-Dow manager Bob Moffat told the paper that in 1955, when he began work at the company, there were no restrictions on what could be taken to municipal dumps.
    It wasn't everyday practice to take waste to the local tip but it did happen.
    "That was part of the normal state of things in those days," he said.
    Marfell resident Mark Smith was angry that children were playing in the playground above the dug up area.
    He had watched men in white suits take the drums out over two nights, but that despite that, nobody told neighbours what was going on, he told Radio New Zealand.
    Council director of environment quality Gary Bedford said the chemicals found in the drums -- tetrachlorobenzene and trichlorophenol, both used in the manufacture of herbicides -- were not a public health risk.
    The council had been monitoring the site for 15 years and discharge testing would pick up surface contamination.
    It could look at sample testing but it was difficult to effectively test the entire site, and could miss hotspots.
    Thirty-one alleged and five known agrichemical dump sites throughout New Plymouth were investigated and the council found there were no environmental risks at any of them.
    There are 40 former landfill sites in the New Plymouth District of which 10 are used as parks or reserve land.