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Midland, Saginaw, and Bay Counties, MI

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Disease: Breast Cancer

Cluster status: confirmed

Researchers found a cluster of breast cancer in Midland, Saginaw, and Bay counties between 1985 and 2002. High levels of dioxins and other contaminants in soil and higher-than average body burdens of dioxins in local residents, particularly those who lived in the region prior to 1980, have also been found in the city of Midland and the Tittabawassee and Saginaw River flood plains in Michigan. A 2008 study found increased breast cancer incidence was spatially associated with dioxin contamination. Researchers believed that the source of dioxins in the river came from industrial processes at the Dow Chemical Company Midland plant.


  • Dai, Dajun, and T.J. Oyana, “Spatial Variations in the Incidence of Breast Cancer and Potential Risks Associated With Soil Dioxin Contamination in Midland, Saginaw, and Bay Counties, Michigan, USA” Environmental Health 2008, 7:49, online.
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