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Dioxin Delays

In this series, The Environment Report's Shawn Allee investigates Dow Chemical and dioxin contamination in mid-Michigan. Central Michigan has lived with toxic dioxin pollution in two major rivers and Saginaw Bay for decades. Shawn looks at who's been affected, why it's taken so long to clean up, how the science behind dioxin has played into this, and what the cleanup means for the rest of the country.

UPDATE: The Environment Report has won a 2010 National Edward R. Murrow award for this series. Learn more.

A LONG HISTORY OF DIOXIN DELAYS
1) A LONG HISTORY OF DIOXIN DELAYS

Dioxin pollution has been present in a watershed in central Michigan for more than thirty years. People around the country might think it's just a local issue, but there was a time when this very same pollution problem made national news. In the first part of a series on Dow and dioxin, Shawn Allee met the man who took the issue to Congress and who feels it should make news again.

FOOT DRAGGING PRODUCES DIOXIN DELAYS
2) FOOT DRAGGING PRODUCES DIOXIN DELAYS

The State of Michigan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Dow Chemical are negotiating an agreement to clean up dioxin pollution in towns, two rivers, and Lake Huron. The pollution is largely from a Dow chemical plant in Midland, Michigan. The government worries the pollution poses a risk of cancer and other health problems, and it's been found in fish, on property, and in the blood of some people there. Residents are asking why it's taken so long to get cleaned up. In the second part of a series on Dow and dioxin, Shawn Allee went looking for an answer.

LIVING WITH DIOXIN DELAYS
3) LIVING WITH DIOXIN DELAYS

Several communities in central Michigan are polluted by dioxins from a Dow Chemical plant. People there have known about it for thirty years. But, residents are divided over whether the government should force Dow to pay for a cleanup that could cost tens, or even hundreds, of millions of dollars. In the third part of a series on Dow and dioxin, Shawn Allee traveled to the area and talked with some of them.

HUNTERS WARNED AFTER DIOXIN DELAYS
4) HUNTERS WARNED AFTER DIOXIN DELAYS

It's deer season in Michigan, and hunters are trekking through the woods, trying to bag dinner or something special for the holidays. Hunting's gotten a little complicated in some areas recently. Just because you catch something doesn't mean you should eat it. That's because a stretch of river in Michigan was polluted with dioxin -- decades ago. In the fourth part of a series on Dow Chemical and dioxin, Shawn Allee found the state thinks old dioxin pollution from a Dow chemical plant poses a health risk today.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND DIOXIN DELAYS
5) THE SCIENCE BEHIND DIOXIN DELAYS

Two rivers in central Michigan were polluted with dioxin 30 years ago. The dioxin came from a Dow chemical plant. The toxin's been found in fish, animals, and dirt, but, of all those, contaminated soil might be the touchiest subject. A study done in the area suggests dioxin in soil might not be getting into people living there. In the final part of a series on Dow Chemical and dioxin, Shawn Allee looks at that study and the government's take on it.

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