"Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, contains the Calcasieu Estuary, an area with many petrochemical industries that make chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, vinyl chloride monomer, and other petroleum-based chemicals. Several residents of Calcasieu Parish expressed concerns about the impact that these chemicals may have on their health. In 1998, staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VI asked the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to review the blood dioxin results of 11 people and a pooled blood sample from residents of Calcasieu Parish. An ATSDR report concluded that three people and the pooled blood sample had levels of dioxin-like compounds (hereby referred to as dioxins) above a reference range and recommended that the sources of dioxin be identified and measures be implemented to reduce exposure (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 1998a). In December 1998, staff from the ATSDR collected blood from an additional 28 self-selected residents of Mossville, an area in Calcasieu Parish, to measure dioxin. The exposure investigation indicated that the mean blood dioxin concentrations of the 28 participants were above the 95th percentile of a reference population (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 1999). This investigation was conducted to better characterize the nature and extent of exposure to dioxin among residents of Calcasieu Parish. Study participants were selected from a residential area surrounding the petrochemical industries located near the Calcasieu Estuary. People living in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, comprised the comparison group in this investigation."
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/2p-publications.html