Letters to the Editor

MTG, Public Enemy Number One

To the Editor:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene is a malicious menace walking the halls of Congress. She is a domestic terrorist who belongs on a ” watch list, ” not seated as a member in the House chamber. 

    She recently tweeted the US Food and Drug Administration should not give full approval to the presently-used Covid vaccines. Greene claims they are failing and are not effective against the spread of the Coronavirus. Such harmful misinformation, just outright, blatant lies that are contrary to all evidence, should not and must not be tolerated. In response Twitter suspended her account for one week. This is Greene’s fourth violation of Twitter’s platform misinformation policy. As you know in baseball, the rule is 3 strikes and you’re out. This so-called Congresswoman should have been out some time ago. This miscreant’s Twitter account should be permanently shut down, not just suspended.

    Greene’s repeatedly dangerous and ruthless rhetoric warrants even harsher measures. She should be banned from all social media platforms preventing her from spewing vaccine misinformation and advocating her vitriolic views on public health issues in general. 

   There should be no place in government at any level and in any capacity for this wicked woman.  Greene’s mug should be plastered on the walls of every government building and every post office declaring her ‘ public enemy number one. ‘

John Lown

Let The Science Decide On PFAS In Water

To the Editor:

Saying “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances” is a mouthful — so let’s stick with the common abbreviation for this group of man-made chemicals: PFAS. And no, you don’t want a mouthful of them. If consumed in high concentrations, PFAS may be harmful to human health.But we don’t know how high a concentration it takes. That’s why the Biden administration announced that it’s commissioning major new studies on their toxicity — and is seeking $10 billion through its infrastructure package to clean up and monitor sites where PFAS may contaminate drinking water.This makes sense. While much research has already been conducted on the potential impact of PFAS and health outcomes, consensus is emerging that newer methods are needed to ensure policy is based on sound science. Unfortunately, a number of state and federal policymakers are not interested in waiting for the results of scientific research. Some jurisdictions have moved forward with bans on using PFAS in products, and a House bill would immediately declare them hazardous substances. The nation’s Democratic attorneys general recently wrote to the EPA, urging the agency to make sweeping changes regarding PFAS management. And just last month EPA officials imposed new restrictions on the importation and use of these chemicals.The problem with this alarmist approach is that we have no readily available substitutes for these chemicals. Although most non-chemists have probably never heard of them, PFAS are common in manufacturing processes and everyday products. They are a central component of semiconductor manufacturing. They are used in aircraft and cars to prevent emissions from escaping into the atmosphere. They are in defibrillators and pacemakers. They are in the personal protective equipment used by frontline healthcare workers. We can take pictures with our smart phones in the rain because PFAS are used to keep critical components dry. Stain-resistant carpets and nonstick cookware contain PFAS, and many takeout cartons incorporate them to stop liquids from soaking through.In short, PFAS are highly useful.

But they can persist in the environment or accumulate in our bodies. When a PFAS-containing product disintegrates in a landfill, the chemicals can leach into the water supply. Studies have found that virtually all Americans have detectable levels of PFAS in their blood.The Environmental Protection Agency needs to find out what level of accumulation is dangerous so that regulatory agencies can act on science, not superstition.The fact is, there are thousands of PFAS chemicals, each with different uses and risk profiles, and only a few of them have been studied in depth. It likely will not make sense to regulate them as a single class. If activists and the EPA had their way, America’s vital domestic semiconductor manufacturing, which supports tens of thousands of jobs, and vital commercial, consumer, and scientific advancements, would grind to a halt.Instead of restricting PFAS use, policymakers should partner with manufacturers and focus on risk-based environmental stewardship regulations. If we ban PFAS outright, the price we’d pay in diminished healthcare and public safety — and diminished economic growth — would far outweigh any presumed risks.

 Rep. Mark Alliegro