Thursday, January 27, 2022

Reminder: Midland and Tittabawassee River area still under dioxin advisory for livestock


Area residents are being reminded to not eat eggs or meat from animals raised downstream from Midland along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers due to possible dioxin contamination.

Representatives from Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) gave an online presentation Tuesday night regarding dioxin contamination along the Tittabawassee River by Midland and the hazards that come from it. These groups advise against the raising of chickens and other livestock due to possible health risks from humans consuming too much dioxin.

The dioxin contamination is due to past Dow waste handling practices, said environmental engineer specialist at EGLE, Dan Dailey. This stemmed from burning dioxins or discharging them into the river, he said.

Dioxin chemicals can then spread from the river onto the land during flooding events when the water picks up sediments with dioxin and deposits them on land. Even though Dow no longer discharges dioxins, the chemical lingers for a long time, Dailey said. High amounts of dioxin have been measured in parts of Midland and along the Tittabawassee River.

When asked about the destructive 2020 flood in Midland, Arthur Ostaszewski, environmental quality analyst for EGLE, said EGLE did not see a spike in dioxin in the area after the flood.


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