Wednesday, September 21, 2005

We're From the Government and we're here to help

From the El Dorado Hills Telegraph today, this headline-

Feds give presentation on asbestos
The subheading continues: "Officials return but offer no new information to board"
Jill Dyken from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry told Community Services District (CSD) Board members that asbestos is dangerous and can damage the human body.
Following the lecture, Board members asked what is an acceptable level of asbestos exposure. She responded that she could not tell them and that it might be years before she had a clue. We don't even know for sure whether asbestos actually causes the cancers with which it is associated, she continued.

She did know that between 1988 and 2001 there was no increase in the mesothelioma (the main cancer associated with asbestos) rate in El Dorado Hills. The cancer is a bad thing but we have no way of testing for it and it doesn't show up for decades.

So what does this woman think she is doing to help our community? Clearly we need to be scared shitless about asbestos. Clearly we need to continue to spend millions on abatement without any certainty that it will make any difference but all she can do is scare us about how bad it might be someday if the exposure rate is high enough and they actually establish causation.

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