Thursday, Nov. 15 is the Great American Smokeout. It's a day for smokers to quit smoking or to at least smoke fewer cigarettes. If someone you love or care about is a smoker, encourage and support them in their efforts to quit.
It's also a day to support area businesses that have voluntarily implemented a smoke-free environment. Second hand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in America (after smoking and alcohol) and kills more than 53,000 non-smokers a year. Second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, a few of the more shocking include: arsenic, cyanide (deadly ingredient in rat poison and used in the gas chamber), lead, carbon monoxide, cadmium (used in batteries), and formaldehyde. It increases the risk of stroke, numerous types of cancer, heart disease and impotency. Children who are exposed to second hand smoke suffer more from asthma and pneumonia and are more likely to die from SIDS.
By patronizing establishments that have eliminated deadly second hand smoke, we show businesses that are not yet smoke-free that there are both health and economic benefits to this kind of policy. For a local and state-wide directory of smoke-free restaurants visit www.ansrmn.org.
This Thursday, encourage a friend or loved one to stop smoking. Have a great meal at a smoke-free restaurant. You'll not only help save the lives of others, you'll be saving your own.
Arsenic in our water
Arsenic levels allowed in public drinking water will be lowered to 10 parts per billion in five years, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Todd Whitman.
She claimed this standard protected public health, according to the best science available. (Dispatch, Sept. 1) Knowledgeable scientists disagree with Whitman.
Arsenic is a contaminant which accompanies hydrofluorosilicic acid when it is used to artificially fluoridate municipal drinking water supplies. Unfortunately, the arsenic is even more toxic than fluoride.
Bladder, kidney, liver, lung, prostate and skin cancers, plus numerous other health problems, have been attributed to very small concentrations of arsenic in drinking water, according to the Summer 2001 Earth Island Journal.
In a news article titled "Fluoridation and Arsenic: The Hidden Hazards Behind the Faucet," Earth Island Journal noted that scientific research from Finland revealed "...people drinking water with 0.1 to 0.5 ppb arsenic had approximately 50 percent greater-than-average risk of getting bladder cancer."
The EIJ story further observed that 0.1 to 0.5 ppb of arsenic "... is exactly the range of arsenic we can expect to add to the water from the use of hydrofluorosilicic acid."
An official EPA pronouncement calling for cessation of water fluoridation would certainly help to alleviate the current arsenic problem. Instead, it appears the agency administrators choose to ignore the dangers of these hazardous industrial waste pollutants being purposely added to U.S. drinking water!
What about our elected officials in Washington, D.C. and St. Paul? Have you notified these individuals that you're tired of "shelling out" hard-earned tax dollars to pay for government-sponsored deliberate pollution of your public drinking water with fluoride and arsenic?
Elaine Jensen Chesley
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