Public health study area changes;
public information session scheduled in Asheboro
RALEIGH— A change has been made in the public health respiratory
health study that is under way in Randolph and Guilford counties. The
purpose of the study, conducted by public health experts, is to see
if the chemical toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is present in selected North
Carolina communities and what effects, if any, TDI may have on the
people who live there.
One of the previously announced study sites, the area surrounding
Flexible Foam in High Point, was eliminated from the study in late
July due to the presence of other nearby diisocyanate-emitting sources.
Instead, the researchers will study neighborhoods within ¼ mile
of Prestige Fabricators in Asheboro. Other previously announced study
areas are unchanged.
A free information session has been scheduled for residents living
around the Prestige Fabricators facility in Asheboro on Tuesday, Aug.
14, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Fire Station #1, 401 S. Church St., Asheboro.
Residents and other interested people can learn about the ongoing study
and the new study site at the session.
Communities in Catawba and Mecklenburg counties are also being studied.
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 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 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—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 and moved to Randolph
and Guilford counties in July.
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: