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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Study Finds Dioxin Levels Among Lafayette Parish Residents Similar to National Levels


Lafayette County, Lafayette, Louisiana

Thursday, March 16, 2006

ATSDR staff will be available for media interviews at the meeting location from 5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. on March 16. No appointment is needed.

ATLANTA - Lafayette Parish residents have levels of dioxin in their blood similar to those found in people nationally, says a study just released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

ATSDR’s dioxin exposure study in Lafayette Parish is part of a larger study conducted in Calcasieu Parish. Researchers needed to compare results of the Calcasieu dioxin study to another group. Lafayette Parish was selected because of demographic similarities to the Calcasieu population.

Blood dioxin levels in Calcasieu and Lafayette Parishes were similar, and both mirrored national levels.

Full results of the exposure study will be presented March 16 at the Holiday Inn Holidome Conference Center, 2032 N.E. Evangeline Thruway, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Representatives from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality also will be present.

Lafayette Parish dioxin exposure study results include:

  • Lafayette Parish study participants had blood dioxin levels similar to those of Calcasieu Parish participants.
  • The blood dioxin levels found among Lafayette and Calcasieu Parish study participants are similar to those found in people nation-wide.
  • In both Lafayette and Calcasieu Parishes, blood dioxin levels were not elevated among the youngest age group evaluated (ages 15 to 29 years) when compared to other populations. This indicates there currently are no unusual exposures to dioxin in either parish.

Health effects from exposure to dioxin in the environment are not well understood. Research is underway to determine how different levels of dioxin affect the human body.

Most information about dioxin-related illness is from exposure to high levels in the workplace. The level of dioxin to which a worker might be exposed is significantly greater than the amount the public might be exposed to in the environment.

“Dioxin” is the generic name for a group of chemicals including both polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans. Dioxin in very small amounts is found almost everywhere in the environment.

Dioxin is made and released into the environment mostly from burning fuels, wood and waste. For example, small amounts of dioxin are found in truck and car exhaust, and in cigarette smoke. Other common sources are wastes from factories making chlorinated phenols, and the chlorine bleaching process used at pulp and paper mills.

In the environment, dioxin does not easily break down. Dioxin tends to stick tightly to soils and sediment where it can stay for a long time.

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release


Calcasieu Parish
-Review of Data from the 2010 EPA Mossville Site Investigation Mossville, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
Document Date: 7/9/2013 - PHA  [PDF - 5365 KB]

Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
-Assessment of Cancer Incidence from the Louisiana Tumor Registry from 1988 - 2004
Document Date: 9/27/2007 - HC  [PDF - 1201 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Health Consultation
Document Date: 3/11/2006 - HC  [PDF - 835 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Appendix
Document Date: 3/11/2006 - HC  [PDF - 92 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Tables
Document Date: 3/11/2006 - HC  [PDF - 651 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Sediment Sample Evaluation
Document Date: 3/9/2005 - HC  [PDF - 979 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Water Sample Evaluation
Document Date: 3/9/2005 - HC  [PDF - 988 KB]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Ethylene Dichloride (EDC) and Other Contaminants
Document Date: 4/26/2000 - HC  [HTML]

Calcasieu Estuary
-Exposure Investigation
Document Date: 11/19/1999 - HC  [HTML]

Calcasieu Estuary
-(CALCASIEU ESTUARY)
Document Date: 10/16/1998 - HC  [HTML]

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Related News Releases For Lafayette County, Lafayette, Louisiana

 

Preliminary study and investigation results released in Calcasieu and Lafayette, La., Parishes
Release Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2003
At public meetings in Westlake and Lafayette, La., ATSDR is releasing preliminary results of the agency's 2002 Louisiana Dioxin Study of Calcasieu and Lafayette Parishes and its 2001 Follow-Up Investigation. Final results and additional analysis will be presented at public meetings held in the community in summer 2003.

ATSDR Conducting Door To Door Visits In Lafayette
Release Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2002
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, is currently in Lafayette Parish conducting door-to-door visits to homes in selected areas as part of the agency's 2002 Louisiana Dioxin Study.

ATSDR Sponsors Dioxin Study in Calcasieu and Lafayette Parishes of Louisiana
Release Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2002
ATSDR is sponsoring a follow-up exposure investigation in the Calcasieu and Lafayette parishes of Louisiana. An earlier investigation found some area residents had higher-than-expected levels of chemicals called dioxins in their blood. The current investigation will determine the amount of dioxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in residents of the parishes.

ATSDR Hosts Community Meetings About Its 2002 Dioxin Study For The Exposure Investigation In Calcasieu and Lafayette Parishes in Louisiana
Release Date: Friday, January 11, 2002
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, will conduct two community meetings in Calcasieu and Lafayette Parishes in Louisiana.

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