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Still time for residents register for dioxin study

Still time for Paritutu residents to register for dioxin study

Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor issued a reminder today for current and former residents of the New Plymouth suburb of Paritutu to come forward if they want to be included in a study to assess non-occupational exposure to dioxins.

The community's concerns relate to uncertainty over whether they were exposed to dioxin as a result of past emissions from the nearby Ivon Watkins-Dow chemical plant and whether health effects have occurred as a result of that exposure.

Serum dioxin levels of selected residents will be tested to determine whether this population has been more highly exposed than other groups in New Zealand. Those residents will be selected on the basis of a complex modelling process designed to determine where those most likely to have been exposed would have resided at that time.

Mr O'Connor said it was important that all residents who lived in Paritutu between 1960 and 1987, who were willing to be part of this study, came forward to ensure the validity of the work.

"We want this process to be as robust as possible and it is important that all the people who may have been affected are considered for inclusion in this study.

"We had a very positive response to our first request in April, with a large number of people ringing to be included. But we want to give those people who had forgotten or had been putting it off, a last chance to register to take part," Mr O'Connor said.

For those people who want to take part, and who have not already provided their details, can ring toll-free 0508 ESR ESR (0508 377 377).

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