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Don't Change Facts to Fit Dioxane Posture

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Letter to the Editor
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Don't change facts to fit dioxane posture

We all have a right to our own opinions, but not our own facts. Unfortunately, those who have been criticizing my drinking of harmless 1,4-dioxane-tainted water must not remember that old saying.

Many studies have been done to date that show 1,4-dioxane poses almost no danger in the trace levels we will be pumping into our sewers. Those who claim that there is no significant research on the toxicity of 1,4-dioxane should be honest and add, “which support our claims to its toxicity.”

1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of many manufacturing processes. It is found in many household products, including some baby shampoos, in concentrations several thousand times greater than in the water that will be dumped down our sewers. Those concentrations are approved by the government as safe.

My drinking water with 100 parts per billion of 1,4-dioxane in it was not meant to trivialize the diligent efforts of the many people who worked for the most thorough clean-up possible, nor was it meant to criticize the clean-up plan they brought to fruition. It was only meant to address the issue of toxicity.

I could have brought in thousands of pages of studies or tried to explain the concept of “parts per billion,” but that would have had minimal effect on people’s understanding of the toxicity. After researching the issue, I concluded that there was no danger in exposure to small amounts of water tainted with 100 ppb 1,4-dioxane. In a rare move for the political realm, I did more than just talk; I backed up my opinions with action. I drank the water.

Some people have researched the toxicity of 1,4-dioxane and come to different conclusions than mine. That is their right. But they do not have the right to alter the facts to support those opinions.

Kurt Zimmer
City Councilman, 4th Ward
Ann Arbor