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October 31, 1988 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-31

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Health
rally
attacks
G.O.P.
BY KATHRYN DEMOTT
For the speakers at Friday's
"Make A Difference Rally" - a fo-
rum on public health issues spon-
sored by the Public Health Student
Association and the Public Health
Students of African Descent - the
choices are clear in the upcoming
election.
No improvements in public health
and environmental policy can be
made until the Democratic party re-
gains control of the White House,
warned School of Public Health
alumnus Mike Silverstein, director of
health and safety for the United Auto
Workers in Detroit, and other speak-
ers at the forum.
Silverstein, who spoke to about 20
people on occupational and industrial
health, said the Republican party has
failed to enforce the Occupational
Safety and Heath Administration's
laws.
The country needs a political
Sparty that will regulate chemical
standards at state and federal levels
and protect the Workers' Right to
Know laws, which would obligate
industries to tell workers when they
are working with hazardous chemi-
cals, he said.
As of now, "30 percent of al
workers suffer damaging effects
from chemical exposure," he said.
The Reagan administration has left
S these problems up to the private sec-
tor, Silverstein said.
Silverstein illustrated the differ-
ence between the two parties by the
stances their vice-presidential candi-
dates took on the High Risk
Notification bill, which was in
Congress last spring.
The bill - which would obligate
industries to identify and inform
workers of high-risk chemical levels
and direct them to proper services -
was supported by Sen. Lloyd
Bentsen (D-Texas) and vigorously
opposed by Republican Sen. Dan
Quayle (R-Indiana).
"The last eight years have enacted
our grimmest nightmares," he said.
In 1980 the Reagan administration
dismantled the Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970, allowing the
*fireworks and meat packing indus-
tries, two of the highest risk indus-
tries, to be exempt from O.S.H.A.
inspections, Silverstein said.
Rackham graduate student Corey
Dolgon and LSA senior Tim
Hawkins, both from the Public Re-
search Group in Michigan's Toxic
Stop Tour '88, also urged voters to
vote yes on proposals C and D,
which would collectively allocate
$800 million in state bonds to clean
up the environment.

The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 31, 1988 - Page 5
Speakers support
Proposal A at rally

BY ALEX GORDON
The sun shone through the noon-
time clouds briefly Friday, casting
an optimistic glow on the six speak-
ers attempting to rally support for'
the defeat of Proposal A on the
November 8th ballot.
Supporters of Proposal A -
which calls for the end of tax-funded
Medicaid abortions - have been
appealing to voters through their
pocket books, said Judy Levy, bar-
gaining chair for campus AFSCME,
the workers' union.
"The right-to-life (group) is mak-
ing abortion a money issue to hide
their contempt for woman's rights
under the pretense of saving
money," Levy told the crowd of
about 50.
Former Ann Arbor mayor and
practicing physician Ed Pierce
agreed and pointed out that the
proposal would, ironically, cost the
tax payers more money in the long
run.
Those most affected by the pro-
posal if it passes would be the
younger pregnant women about 13
or 14 years old, he said. A child
born to a mother that young would
most likely go on welfare, ultimately

Cathy Cohen, a member of the
United Coalition Against Racism and
'Abortions will go on; a People Organized for Women,
determined woman will Equality and Rights, told the aud-
,biience the proposal has a racist and
get an abortion - it not classist bias that would hurt the often
an issue of abortion... It's defenseless poor.
safe vs. unsafe.' Illustrating that "the religious
-Former Ann Arbor right do not represent all religion,"
Don Coleman, a spokesperson for
mayor Ed Pierce the Religious Coalition for Abortion
Rights said it is the "will of God that
all children be wanted, that they be
costing the taxpayers much more cared for, planned, and able to be
costngythe apay0 eimchidmore ncaeof'.
money than a $300 Medicaid abor- Those opposing Proposal A have
tion. found voter unfamiliarity with the
Pierce added that whether or not issue to be a major stumbling block.
the proposal passed, Abortions will The few students who wandered by
go on; a determined woman will get the rally seemed to attest to this.
an abortion - it's not an issue of "I hate to sound ignorant, but I
abortion: yes or no. It's safe vs. un- don't even know what it is," said
safe." LSA junior Howie Nicholl.
The proposal is on the ballot in POWER member Pam Kisch and
two other states besides Michigan Susan Sherman, co-chair of the
next week. Only the state of Col- MSA women's issues committee
orado has cut off Medicaid funded said the rally helped inform people
abortions by a vote, and 15 states that the real issue is not tax dollars.
still provide the service. Several re- The proposal's leaders, they said,
spected state leaders, including are "a group of people against
Governor James Blanchard, have women's rights and in favor of
criticized the proposal. compulsory motherhood."

JESSICA GREENE Dolly
Former Ann Arbor mayor Dr. Ed Pierce speaks about the dangers of
Proposal A at a rally Friday.

State committee declares collider safe

BY NOELLE SHADWICK
Health risks to people residing near the
largest proposed superconducting supercolli-
der will be insignificant if Michigan wins the
bid for its construction, a state committee said
in a report last week.
The report released by the 18-member
committee - including health and business
officials, scientists, Stockbridge residents, and
environmentalists - concludes that "there are
no significant health hazards to the general
public" due to the conservative safety design
of the conductor and special features of the
Stockbridge area, where Michigan would
build the conductor.
The proposed $4.4 billion collider would
shoot high energy protons at nearly the speed
of light through a 53-mile oval-shaped tube
with a diameter of about two inches. The pro-
tons would crash into one another at various

intervals, causing them to fragment into
smaller particles called quarks.
The protons are not dangerous, the report
said, but when they collide, the fragments be-
come unstable. Most of these fragments only
last for a few billionths of a second before de-
caying into simpler components, but some of
the fragments are radioactive.
The half-lives - the amount of time i1
takes half of the atoms in a radioactive sub-
stance to disintegrate - of these elements are
usually only a few days. But two of the by-
products last longer. Tritium has a half-life of
12 years. Sodium's (Na22) half-life is 2.5
years.
Yet, the amount of tritium and sodium
produced by the superconductor will be low.
The total buildup in the soil from the conduc-
tor, according to a Department of Energy re-
port, would be approximately 1.2 percent of

the current EPA standard for tritium in drink-
ing water. The sodium build-up would be 36.4
percent of the EPA's standard.
The amount of tritium and sodium isotope
produced is equal to "one atom in a bucketful
of dirt," said Roger Dardan, associate director
of the SSC in Michigan. "There is more tri-
tium in the surface water now than would be
created by the SCC in a decade," Durdan said.
The longer half-lives of tritium and sodium
allow them to migrate further into the soil and
water underground. However, because the
Michigan site is composed of bedrock,
migration would be minimal. The proposed
depth of the site, 130-150 feet, would be an
additional safeguard against radioactive
elements surfacing or entering the water table.
The conductor is expected to emit no more
than 10 milligrams of radiation a year. Hu-
mans normally absorb about 5,000 milligrams

per year of naturally occurring radiation from
eating, drinking, and sitting in sunlight,
Dardan said.
In the event of a "catastrophic accident,"
the greatest health risk would be to people
working in the conductor, the report said. For :
instance, if any of the almost 10,000 super-
conducting magnets that hold the protons on
track were to fail, the force of the protons
would cause it to penetrate outside the tube.
The proton could create a tunnel of about
three feet before losing energy.
There would be no health hazards unless a
worker were to stand directly in the beam's
path, the report said. This possibility is safe-
guarded against by not permitting workers in
the tunnel while the beam is up.
Additional health hazards to workers could"
evolve from ordinary construction risks,.
transportation of radioactive wastes, or fire.o'

Fright
Continued from Page 1
Fine's interest in vampire lore
was sparked by research into 19th
century Slavik court records. There
he found numerous references to
"vukodlaks," creatures whom "40
days after death a devilish spirit en-
ters and enlivens." He said the vam-
pire became a scapegoat for those

who had no other explanation for
sudden and tragic events.
Traditional methods used by 19th
century Serbs to combat vampires
included digging up the suspicious
corpse and then subjecting it to a
variety of treatments - decapita-
tion, shotgun blasts, pouring boiled
wine through the intestines, or
piercing the heart with a stake.
Fine noted that if a body was un-
earthed and had not yet decomposed

because of lack of oxygen or high
levels of salt in the soil, immediate
contact with the air often caused it to
rot before the eyes of those gathered.
This, too, reinforced the belief in
vampires.
"People responded so vigorously
to vampires then, and even now in
popular culture, because the vampire
was so dangerous," Fine said.

Lost Chance to Be Shot!

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