No strong evidence PCP damages genes

* No surprise this article was released the day after this event see {here}
     “Wood mill workers claim victory” dated 23rd June 2010

Thursday June 24, 2010 NZPA

Health officials say researchers may look at developing a way to assess the inter-generational impacts of pentachlorophenol (PCP) on the children and grandchildren of timber workers exposed to the preservative.
But the Health Ministry’s environmental health protection manager Sally Gilbert has already said there is not sufficient justification for funding serum dioxin tests or other tests to determine damage to DNA.*1
She said yesterday blood tests for dioxin only showed a person had been exposed, and there was “no strong evidence” to suggest that PCP caused genetic damage.*2 
A consultant who has worked closely with the ministry and a timber workers’ lobby, Matt Allen of Allen and Clarke, said that issues such as whether geneticists will work with epidemiologists and toxicologists on a study of effect on workers’ children and grandchildren will have to be decided by scientists who designed the study – if there was one.*3
He expected the consideration of such a study and who took part would be a parallel process alongside the set up of a health support service to provide workers exposed to the chemical with free annual health checks. Plans for the checks, information, and advice were announced to 200 workers at Whakatane yesterday.
Sawmill workers who were exposed to the chemical during the 30 years it was commonly used to stop fungal sapstain in timber have complained that family members suffered a high rate of birth defects such as cleft palates, extra toes, cognitive problems, club feet and, in one case, a baby born with its internal organs outside its body.
The ministry said yesterday that if a “robust” research methodology could be found for impacts of PCP on descendants of sawmill workers “a proposal for funding could then be advanced via the usual research funding processes”.
In 2001 the government gave nuclear test veterans $100,000 which they used to fund an intensive chromosomal study at Massey University, where Professor Al Rowland used gene analysis techniques to show that New Zealand sailors suffered genetic damage from their exposure to radiation during nuclear tests 50 years earlier in the Pacific.
Rowland then used a similar approach to show increased rates of genetic damage in Vietnam War veterans exposed to dioxins and their breakdown products, by investigating damage to their chromosomes.
Green Party spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty said the health care package must provide funding for a investigation of inter-generational effects.

The sawmill workers had been exposed to high levels of dioxin, the same as “Agent Orange” victims among Vietnam veterans, and “they should at least get the same level of support”.*4

About 200 workers are known to have developed chronic illnesses after inhaling dioxins from PCP used between the 1950s and late 1980s.
One study showed some workers had high rates of cancer, diabetes, kidney, liver and heart failure. There was a 40% increase in the risk of cancer in sawmill workers exposed to PCP compared with those who were not, and they also had a 200% to 300% increase in deaths from chronic non-cancerous respiratory disease.
The ministry said PCP was associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and soft tissue sarcoma but dioxins appeared to act more as a cancer promoter than to actually trigger cancer.*1/2

Original Source


Dr Linda Birnbaum on April 19, 2004. At the time she was Director of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Environment Toxicology Division. In 2010 she became Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Blog opinion: 

*1 The NZ Government truly do not want to know the truth that’s why they defer to advise from IOM instead of the organisations the really do know and say exactly what effects these dioxins have on humans. 

*2 Generational effects is also documented well with these qualified reference points unlike IOM, only the blind and fool would say otherwise. 

*3 Government Spin Doctors

*4 The Green Party have always said a lot yet to this day delivered no substantial result to sufferes of dioxin exspo


** ‘This is all about’ ** 
‘affordability of the TRUTH’


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