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|Saginaw River Dioxin Worst Ever|
|Written by Associated Press|
|Monday, 26 November 2007 06:45|
A find of toxic dioxin in one spot of the Saginaw River could be the most concentrated ever found, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist involved in cleanup efforts downstream from Dow Chemical Co. facilities in Midland.
"There may be more surprises out there," said Milton Clark, a health and science expert at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chicago office. "I'd be surprised if there's not more surprises out there."Dioxins are toxic byproducts from making chlorine-based products.
A crew testing the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers discovered the sample. It measured 1.6 million parts of dioxin per trillion, The Saginaw News and The Detroit News reported last week. The level is about 20 times higher than any other find recorded in the EPA archives.
"We're still saying we can't find numbers anywhere close to this particular value," Clark said. "We're looking at historical databases and I've sent out messages (to other scientists), but nobody is saying (they've heard of a higher level)."
Dow has spent months planning to remove, and removing, three dioxin concentrations along a six-mile stretch of the Tittabawassee River downstream of its plant.
Dow spokesman John C. Musser said the company plans to remove the latest find from the Saginaw River. The contaminated zone is under 12 feet of water, and its dimensions are not yet known.
Last month, Dow said it would accept the EPA's invitation to begin negotiations for a plan to clean up decades of dioxin contamination down river from its Midland chemical complex.
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