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December 10, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-10

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 10, 1993 - 9


D.C. officials warn 'don't drink the water'

one million people in the nation's
capital and its suburbs are boiling tap
water, clearing grocery shelves of
bottled brands and keeping their
mouths shut in the shower after a
federal warning that local drinking
water may be contaminated.
Mohammed Akhter, Wash-
ington's public health director, said
the "boil water advisory" would con-
tinue for at least two more days for
Washington and Virginia suburbs.
Officials said all drinking and
cooking water should be boiled for at
least one minute before use, and
Akhter met with officials from the
Centers for Disease Control to review
the public health scare.
Officials announced the restric-
tions Wednesday out of concern over
the possible presence at a single res-
ervoir of a parasite that can cause
serious intestinal illness.
Commuters brought outside wa-
ter to work for grateful co-workers. A
downtown store sold out of its water
supply twice - once hours after the
alert was issued, and about an hour
after opening yesterday morning.
Students had the expected reac-
tion: Does this mean we get a day off?

"Obviously they're drinking more
water today because they're not sup-
posed to," said Shirley Richards, of
Abingdon Elementary School in Ar-
And complaints of stomach aches
didn't get very far with the school
nurse. "We tell them, 'It takes a couple
of days. You'll be fine,"' Richards
"I'm postponing a surgical proce-
dure on a patient even though she has
an emergency," said Dr. Alan
Bernbach, a Washington dentist. "I
don't want to take the chance. Prob-
ably nothing would happen, but if it
did you would have a real legal situ-
ation and medical situation."
At Washington Hospital Center, a
handful of people had come to the
emergency room by Thursday morn-
ing complaining of flu-like symptoms
like those caused by possible con-
The hospital was giving them flu-
ids and recommending they take
Pepto-Bismol to settle their stomachs,
Gatorade to fight dehydration, and
bananas for potassium.
At the Supreme Court cafeteria,
water,juice and soda dispensers were
marked "out of order," and sales of

Two British Embassy employees grab remaining bottles of water yesterday.

bottled juices were brisk.
The Senate's internal cable televi-
sion channels displayed a warning
against drinking tap water.
The White House has its own fil-

tration system, and a spokeswoman
said it was not affected.
The Environmental Protection
Agency advised residents to boil wa-
ter for at least one minute. 2

One of the gargoyles in the Law Quad looks on as students study for finals.
Surgeon General calls for
study of drug legalization
Europe shifting gears on drug legalization

AMSTERDAM, Netherland (AP)
-While debate opens up in the United
States over legalizing drugs, the trend
in Europe is toward increased toler-
ance for the user - and tougher pen-
alties for the trafficker.
U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn
Elders set off a storm by suggesting
America's streets might be safer if
drug use were legalized.
In Amsterdam, you don't have to
go far to find evidence that appears to
support her argument.
In the red light district, for in-
stance, elderly tourists mingle freely
with junkies and let their pocketbooks
dangle freely. In a city known as one
of Europe's major drug bazaars, purse-
snatchings are rare and drug-related
crimes of violence are almost un-
"I think the tolerance of both hard
and soft drugs has reduced crime in
ourcities," Amsterdam police spokes-
person Klaas Wilting said yesterday.
And Wilting and other European
*officials oppose outright legalization.
"If we do that, the government

will lose its grip on the (illegal drugs)
market, and we can't manage it any-
more," said Justice Ministry spokes-
person Jannie Pols.
Police have focused their war on
drugs on traffickers associated with
organized crime, even as tolerance
toward possession and use makes
drugs cheap and easy to get.
Sunday. I)ecemher 12
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