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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Air Supply

“With the fifth anniversary of 9/11 coming up soon (and how are we coming with catching Osama?) it is only natural to think back to that day and how it, despite the tragedy, it could have been worse.”

“In a Sept. 13, 2001, press release, the EPA said the air around the disaster site was relatively safe and that short-term, low-level exposure of the kind produced there ‘is unlikely to cause significant health effects.’

The judge noted that Whitman in the same press release said her agency was ‘greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City.’"
-CBS News, February 2, 2006

“Thank goodness. Luckily our government was there to look into the problem and assure us, just like they did with the terrorist problem in general, and with about as much honesty…”

“Cahill's data found that the pollution included very fine metals, which interfere with lung chemistry; sulfuric acid, which attacks lung cells; carcinogenic organic matter; and very fine insoluble particles such as glass, which travel through the lungs and into the bloodstream and heart.
He is expected to present his latest findings at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York today.
Cahill's comments echo a report issued in August by the EPA inspector general, an internal watchdog on the agency. The inspector general concluded that under White House influence, the EPA issued misleading assurances that there was no health risk from air pollution after the attack.
The White House ‘convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones’ by having the National Security Council control EPA communications, the inspector general's report found.
Marianne Horinko, EPA acting administrator, has defended her agency's post-Sept. 11 statements about air quality, saying the agency put out ‘the best information we had, based on just the best data that we had available at the time.’”
-San Francisco Chronicle, September 10, 2003

“So the air wasn’t perfect... It was just the Administration’s way of trying to avoid panic and reassure the people. It was done for all the right reasons. It isn’t like this had any affect on people’s well-being. It was just a way of making sure everyone knew that they were safe.”

“An Environmental Protection Agency memo claims city and federal officials concealed data that showed lower Manhattan air was clouded with asbestos after the World Trade Center collapse.

And officials sat on the alarming information even as they told the public it was safe to return downtown, the internal memo says.
Testing by the city Department of Environmental Protection showed the air downtown had more than double the level of asbestos considered safe for humans, claimed federal EPA environmental scientist Cate Jenkins, who supplied the memo to The Post.
The data, which Jenkins says she culled from state records, appear damning.
On the day after the attack, the memo claims, city test results from the corner of Centre and Chambers streets and from the corner of Spruce and Gold streets showed asbestos concentration at about twice the level considered safe by the EPA.
The city did not release this information to the public, Jenkins says.
The next day, Sept. 13, city tests were ‘overloaded’ with asbestos in the air — so much that the lab could not conclude precise amounts — along Church Street.
Again, the information was withheld, the memo claims.
When the city published the test results for the weeks following 9/11 on its Web site in February 2002, there were 17 instances where the data was either understated or left blank, Jenkins asserts in her report.
‘New York City could wiggle out of the [claim of] concealment, because they weren't making any explicit statements about data at the time,’ Jenkins told The Post. ‘But the EPA can't wiggle out of this. They said the air was safe at the same time they were coordinating data with the city.’

To drive her point home, Jenkins compares statements made by the EPA on the same day test data was showing dangerous levels of asbestos.
On Sept. 18, then-EPA administrator Christie Whitman said the public in lower Manhattan was not being exposed to ‘excessive levels of asbestos.’
That same day, city testing data, some of which was later made public, showed asbestos levels 50 percent higher and more above what her agency considers safe, the memo states.”
-New York Post, July 16, 2004

“So they had to bake the books a little to get the answers that they wanted… Can you blame them for that? People needed reassurance that it was going to turn out ok. The Administration gave them the reassurance that they needed. What’s the problem with that?”

“The largest health study yet of the thousands of workers who labored at ground zero shows that the impact of the rescue and recovery effort on their health has been more widespread and persistent than previously thought, and is likely to linger far into the future.
The study, released yesterday by doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center, is expected to erase any lingering doubts about the connection between dust from the trade center and numerous diseases that the workers have reported suffering. It is also expected to increase pressure on the federal government to provide health care for sick workers who do not have health insurance.
Roughly 70 percent of nearly 10,000 workers tested at Mount Sinai from 2002 to 2004 reported that they had new or substantially worsened respiratory problems while or after working at ground zero.”
-New York Times, September 6, 2006

“Wow… It is like the media works for the terrorists. Look at how they keep reporting on the government lying and making the situation worse. There is a time and a place for that kind of talk, and it isn’t when the American people and rescue workers are hurting like this. We need to stop reporting these government abuses until such a time as the government sees fit to stop abusing people. Otherwise the terrorists (like Osama.. that guy we haven’t caught yet) have already won.”


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