NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – The controversy over health concerns surrounding a medical waste incinerating company in North Salt Lake is a taking a new twist Tuesday. A new study shows the health risks the company, Stericycle, is putting people in, but even the inspectors are claiming the results are not conclusive.
If you're concerned about toxic chemicals coming from medical waste incinerating company Stericycle in North Salt Lake, a new report suggests you might not need to be.
"Based on sampling done quite awhile ago, about 10 years ago, it doesn't look like there's a reason for people to be concerned about their health," said Dr. Robert Rolfs, Utah Dept. of Health.
The Utah Department of Health recently examined soil samples near Stericycle from 2003 and found the level of toxins was well below the health level of concern. So far the study isn't convincing some of Stericycle's critics. Alicia Connell owns a home near the area and she thinks the results are irrelevant.
"We're breathing the air, I don't see how a soil sample is going to tell us everything it needs to tells us," said Alicia Connell, Stericycle critic.
"We don't have any confidence whatsoever that that is reflective of the health risk to the community," said Dr. Brian Moench, LDS Hospital.
Dr. Brian Moench feels the same way. He believes inspectors are looking in the wrong places.
"We should be looking at human breast milk, that's more indicative of whether or not these particular compounds dioxins and furans are actually high enough to represent a health threat, because the most vulnerable subset of the population are fetus’ and small children," said Moench.
A health department spokesperson said they realize more studies need to be done. They said that's what they plan to do.
"We understand why people are concerned that's really why we're doing this study," said Rolfs.
The health department tells ABC 4 Utah it will next look at more soil samples this time that are taken from the last few months. It also plans to look at medical records of people in the area to see if they have higher cancer or birth defect rates. On Thursday it’s expected critics will announce what they would like the Utah Dept. of Health to do.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @brianacarlsontv