Preliminary test results show a previously unknown dioxin hot spot in the Saginaw River contains contamination levels 18 times higher than any location in the Tittabawassee River.

Testing by The Dow Chemical Co. found a sample of river sediment that contained more than 1.6 million parts per trillion of dioxin.

 The company learned of the sample Thursday and began discussions on cleanup options with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on Friday, Dow spokesman John Musser said.

 The hot spot is located about a half mile below the confluence of the Tittabawassee and Shiawassee Rivers, roughly adjacent to Wickes Park in Saginaw.

 The concentration is 50 times higher than the previous highest level found in the Saginaw River, which was 32,000 parts per trillion, according to the EPA. It also is 18 times higher than any dioxin levels found at hot spots in the Tittabawassee River.

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