American Press: Past, Present Mossville Residents Urged to Participate in Health Survey June 27

| News

MOSSVILLE -- Health histories of past and present residents here will be 
taken Tuesday.

The questionnaire is similar to one a doctor might ask a new patient to 
complete, according to Bob Johannessen of the state Department of Health and Hospitals.

The state asks that present residents and those who have moved since 1997 
participate. The 50-question survey can be answered anytime between 10 a.m. -8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, at the Rigmaiden Community Center, 3825 Old Spanish Trail.

The investigation began when 28 Mossville residents were tested for dioxin 
levels and 17 of them had levels that are higher than the national average. 
The questionnaire is the next phase of the inquiry.

Questions range from where the resident goes to the doctor to if the family 
grew its own food. Exact questions cannot be released because it would 
jeopardize the integrity of the study, Johannessen said.

Dioxin is a suspected carcinogen and causes elevated liver enzymes and 
chloracne. It stays in the body. DHH officials hope to determine the source 
of dioxin in the community and stop it if it is on-going.

Letters about the questionnaires were sent to residents earlier this week. 
Mossville Environmental Action Now promised to help locate past residents, 
Johannessen said.

The DHH recently announced the next stages of its investigation. It will 
look at ways to improve health care in Mossville, perform a cancer 
statistics review of Calcasieu Parish and provide environmental health 
education to residents and health care providers.

MEAN and Mossville residents have asked DHH for a health clinic in the area. To get one, the agency is working with the Bureau of Primary Health Care and Calcasieu residents to apply for a federal Human Resources Services Administration grant.

© 2000 American Press 

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