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Re: More or Less Dioxin???

  On Thu, 24 Jul 1997, Sam McClintock wrote:
  > 1. The information on the decrease of biologically available dioxin is
  > not data of my manufacture or industry's.  It is data gathered by
  > university and government research. If you have a problem with specific
  > pieces of research or those scientists, then point to the specific
  > research, the page number, and provide references.  Don't denigrate an
  > entire population of scientists with such an offhand and casual remark.
  Sam, could you please do the same regarding your criticism of the
  Greenpeace report?  I agree with previous writers that if you have
  information which contradicts them, we would all benefit from hearing
  about it.
  University and government research is often indistinguishable from and
  just as biased as industry's for the very obvious reason that they are
  paid for by industry.  I don't recall whether it was you or another
  contributor who last week mentioned Indiana University research regarding
  dioxin air levels.  The commenter may have been referring to Louis
  Brzuzi's or Ron Hite's work from I.U.'s School of Public and Environmental
  Affairs, which receives some of its funding from Westinghouse.
  Bloomington, Indiana (home of I.U.) is fighting a long and protracted
  battle (more than 22 years) with Westinghouse and governmental agencies on
  all levels to get more than a million cubic yards of PCB-contaminated
  wastes cleaned up in our area.  Westinghouse was responsible for this
  contamination through careless and knowing irresponsible disposal of PCB
  capacitors at several dump sites.  Further they contaminated the city
  sewage treatment plant which had given sludge out for farm and garden use.
  Besides six major sites whose cleanup has been stalled by Superfund and a
  federal court consent decree which included incineration (a method
  rejected by the community), there are THOUSANDS of contaminated sites from
  sludge use, salvage sites and sites where Westinghouse workers took home
  PCB oil that have been entirely unaddressed.  The foregoing is just as
  background so you can see why dioxin issues are important to us in
  Bloomington (PCB capacitors were routinely burned daily at one of our dump
  sites in a residential area; also, the common Arochlors used by
  Westinghouse are reported to have some dioxin contaminants from
  manufacture).  The community has been in a constant struggle to get dioxin
  concerns interjected into the cleanup plan; so far the parties (dominated
  by Westinghouse) are reluctant to do any dioxin sampling and what they
  have done has been designed too poorly to have meaningful results.  One
  might think that since all this is going on in the same town, Indiana
  University researchers might be interested in our plight.  This has not
  been the case; Brzuzi and Hites declined to share data they collected from
  LOCAL dioxin air samples with activists working for a safe, just cleanup.
  Last fall, when we had Lois Gibbs speak in Bloomington, one of her talks
  was to I.U. SPEA students.  The SPEA dean approved the talk "as long as
  she doesn't talk about local issues;" then they would have to bring in
  someone for balance.  (BTW, Lois did a good job of including Westinghouse
  in the global lineup of corporate polluters, so technical she wasn't
  singling out local issues.)  There are other academicians inside SPEA who
  fairly avidly follow the local PCB issues; however, though they don't seem
  to agree with the unsafe cleanup plans issued by Westinghouse and adopted
  by the parties, none speak out substantively in a way that someone with
  their technical expertise could be useful.  Given the previously stated
  monetary contribution to SPEA by Westinghouse and the dean's injunction,
  it can only be assumed the Westinghouse has the squelch on Indiana
  University.  I personally doubt whether other universities are much
  different (e.g., Louisiana governor's recent threat to shut down Tulane
  over law clinic's assistance opposing Shintech).