Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: June 29, 2007

  Contact: Carol Schriber
(919) 733-9190

Public health study information sessions
to be held in Randolph and Guilford counties

RALEIGH —Free public information sessions will be held on July 9, 10, 12 and 13 in Randolph and Guilford counties to give local residents an opportunity to find out more about a respiratory health study that will begin in High Point , Asheboro , Pleasant Garden and McLeansville in mid-July.

The sessions will be held:

  • Monday, July 9, from 5 to 8 pm at the Guilford/Randolph Fire Department, 10506 S. Main St. , Archdale for residents living near the Flexible Foam (formerly VitaFoam) plant;
  • Tuesday, July 10. from 5 to 8 pm at Cornerstone Baptist Church , 3228 Hines Chapel Rd. , McLeansville for McLeansville residents;
  • Thursday, July 12, from 5 to 8 pm at Ulah Fire Dept., 2067 Pisgah Covered Bridge Rd. , Asheboro for Asheboro residents; and
  • Friday, July 13, from 5 to 8 pm at Pleasant Garden Fire Dept., 4814 Pleasant Garden Rd. , Pleasant Garden for residents living near the Olympic Products (formerly Vitafoam) plant.

The respiratory health study will attempt to find out if the chemical TDI is present in selected North Carolina communities and what effects, if any, TDI may have on the people who live there. TDI—toluene diisocyanate—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 and painting 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 ATSDR, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency. The study is taking place in several North Carolina communities, some that are close to sources of TDI and others—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, 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).

###

Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919)733-9190
FAX (919)733-7447

Debbie Crane
Director