Michael F. Easley

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Dempsey Benton

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: November 8, 2007

  Contact: Carol Schriber

Public health study information meeting to be held in Cornelius

(Mecklenburg County)

RALEIGH— Public health experts are conducting a respiratory health study in selected North Carolina counties to see if the chemical toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is present in communities and what health effects, if any, TDI may have on the people who live there.

The next study area is in Mecklenburg County, in and around Cornelius. In November and December, the study will focus on two neighborhoods: one immediately around the Foamex LP facilty and the other around the Church St./Holbrooks Rd. intersection, which is 3 miles south of Foamex and east of I-77. A free information session has been scheduled for Cornelius residents on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Fire Station #1 at 19729 S. Main St. in Cornelius. At the session, people can view maps to see if they live in the study area, learn more about the study from public health experts, and get answers to their questions.

TDI is a chemical used to make many household products, including foam for furniture cushions, and some plastics and sealants. TDI is released into the environment during some manufacturing activities. The chemical sometimes causes asthma and other health problems in workers who are exposed to it, but little is currently known about possible exposures outside the workplace.

The study is being done by public health experts from the North Carolina Division of Public Health and from ATSDR, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency. The study is taking place in North Carolina communities that are close to sources of TDI and others communities—for comparison—that are further away. The selected communities are in Catawba, Randolph, Guilford and Mecklenburg counties. The study began in Catawba County in May.

Study activities include taking air samples to test for the presence of TDI and asking volunteers questions about their respiratory health to look for indications of TDI exposure. Participants are being compensated for their time.

Additional information about the study, including maps of the study areas, is on the N.C. Division of Public Health web site at www.ncpublichealth.com. Residents may also call the N.C. CARE-LINE Information and Referral Service toll-free at 1-800-662-7030 (TTY for the hearing impaired: 1-877-452-2514).



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Debbie Crane