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Do More Than Wager Kids' Health In Cleanup

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Letter to the Editor
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Do more than wager kids'health in cleanup

Thank you for informing me of the public forum on the Pall/Gellman 1,4 dioxane pollutants, held at Slauson Middle School. The meeting was well attended, with representatives from the city of Ann Arbor Department of Environmental Quality, an official from the city of Ann Arbor’s water treatment plant and the leader of Scio Residents for Safe Water.

As a homeowner and father of three, I listened attentively to the attempts being made to find the elusive edges of the plume of pollution diffusing through the city and township, of the attempts to eradicate the hot spots of 1,4 dioxane, a “probable carcinogen.”

A crucial distinction was made between the action level for treatment, which is 85 parts per billion, and what might be considered a safe drinking water level. According to the official from our water treatment plant, there is no known level of safety for this chemical in drinking water.

Despite the fact that there are no accepted safe levels for dioxane in drinking water, and despite the exposure risks being judged only for adult males, we are allowing Pall/Gellman to dump dioxane contaminated water at a rapid flow rate into the source on Ann Arbor’s drinking water with unknown consequences. An additional flow of discharge runs directly to our downtown neighbor, Ypsilanti, and into Ford Lake.

Granted, it is difficult to detect the scope of the problem, but how effective is the clean-up effort? Surely, we should do more than wager the health of our children and our neighbors’ children with a shrug.

John CW Krienke, Ann Arbor