/images/product_buttons/MissingImage_button.gif/images/southwire_100x70.jpgCDC Study Shows Decline in Blood Levels of Dioxin-Like CompoundsCDCStudyShowsDeclineinBloodLevels.htm
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CDC Study Shows Decline in Blood Levels of Dioxin-Like Compounds

(Carrollton, GA – July 21, 2008) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released data collected in its 2003-2004 survey of the levels of dioxin-like compounds found in the general U. S. population.

Conducted by the CDC, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a comprehensive study measuring the levels of many different chemicals, including dioxin-like compounds, in the blood of the general U.S. population.

The latest survey includes more recent data than was available last year when Southwire published findings from a study it commissioned to measure employee exposure to dioxin. That study compared levels of dioxin in the blood of employees who worked at Copper Division Southwire with data from the 2001-2002 NHANES survey.

Southwire’s study focused on employees who were thought to have had the greatest potential for exposure to dioxin while working at the company’s secondary copper smelter, which closed eight years ago. At the time, data gathered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed to a nationwide decline in dioxin emissions over the previous 20 years.

The EPA predicted a continued decrease of dioxin levels in the blood of the general population.

“A preliminary look at the 2003-2004 NHANES data appears to show a decline in the levels of dioxin-like compounds in the general U.S. population,” said Southwire environmental consultant Win Hill. “As a result, more participants in Southwire’s study may fall above the 95th percentile of the range, when compared to these newer, and lower, benchmarks.”

“Southwire is releasing information about this recent survey to help keep the community informed about new information relating to dioxin,” Hill added.

Hill also indicated that, while all participants in the Southwire study were within the range of the 2001-2002 NHANES survey, some might be outside the range of the more recent 2003-2004 NHANES results.

ChemRisk, Inc., which conducted Southwire’s study, is finalizing a comparison of the 2007 Southwire study to the 2003-2004 NHANES survey data. Southwire plans to ask the Scientific Advisory Board – an independent body providing scientific peer review of the Southwire dioxin exposure study – to review the new comparison.

Following that review, Southwire will share the updated comparisons with participants of the 2007 dioxin exposure study before making information available to the public through its web site.

Southwire officials point out that the gap between dioxin-blood-levels of the participants in Southwire’s 2007 dioxin exposure study and the general U.S. population may now be somewhat bigger than when compared to the original survey.  The gap could be bigger still when compared to future studies.

“It is important to remember the dioxin levels found in the blood of Southwire test participants were below exposure levels known to cause chloracne – the only health effect on which there is a scientific consensus of a link to exposure to dioxins,” Hill said. “Because some scientists believe that dioxins may cause a number of adverse effects including cancer, alteration of growth and development of cells, suppression of the immune system, and liver damage, we think it is important to carefully monitor scientific advances in the understanding of dioxin.”

Southwire will post the ChemRisk comparison at www.foradditionalinfo.com.  Information on dioxin and how to reduce exposure is available at that web site or at the Southwire Community Environmental Office at 201 Newnan Street. You can reach the office by phone at (770) 832-4635.

About Southwire Company
A technology leader, Southwire Company is one of North America largest wire and cable manufacturers. Its products include building wire and cable, metal-clad (MC) cable, cord products, utility cable products, industrial power cable, copper and aluminum rod and continuous casting technology. Please visit Southwire’s website at www.southwire.com.