The Victorian Government established an inquiry into the use of chemicals by government employees – specifically 245T and 24D – between 1965 and 1995, in Western Victoria. Working very closely with the inquiry’s Chair Greg Tweedly, APM was commissioned to plain English edit and proof read this 100k word report while also ensuring all 900 references adhered to a consistent Harvard style. This involved simplifying complex scientific information without losing any meaning or intent as well as consulting on a range of content and style issues to ensure the final document flowed clearly and concisely.
This Inquiry comes at a time of heightened concern in the Ballarat community around the impact of exposure to the chemicals 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) on the Department’s employees. The Inquiry has investigated the likely exposures of Department employees in the Ballarat region to these chemicals from 1965 to 1995 and any potential health risks. Many people will be looking for this Report to find out if there is a definite link between 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T to cancers and other illnesses of family, friends and work colleagues. The Inquiry was not tasked to assess this but to ascertain the likely exposure of employees to 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T and therefore better understand any potential health risks. Our key finding is that, prior to 1981, it is plausible that exposure to 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD,a contaminant in 2,4,5-T) may cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma or soft tissue sarcoma. With so many possible causes of cancer, however, it’s impossible to be absolutely certain that this exposure is one of those causes.