OPINIONS
Story last updated at 1:29 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2000

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Comments about Scarboro study

To The Oak Ridger:

The problems of Oak Ridge contamination is becoming more clearly identifiable with the Joint Center's study of Scarboro that lends some more clues to consider.

The Joint Center survey found that Scarboro residents complained of: respiratory problems, cancers and other growths, broken bones and back problems, sinus problems, and that the illnesses followed their moving there. This important page's findings from this report were "conspicuously absent" in the local news reporting.

The Joint Center report's findings happen to be symptoms consistent with exposures to fluorides and HF toxic gases, which are the most toxic and volatile toxic emissions from the DOE plants. This suspicion also correlates with many of the sick worker's exposures, who were exposed to Y-12 green salt HF process and cut open UF-6 process equipment that release HF and oxy-fluoride gases.

In other sites that have been affected with industrial HF releases the pine trees have died, similar to the downwind area from K-25. Also, the honeybee populations have died off, and both these effects are seen in this area.

It appears that Oak Ridge is not quite the city where the citizens "glow in the dark" like a Chernobyl, but more like an area where the citizens are chemically affected, like the Union Carbide accident of Bhopal.

Oak Ridge is more a slow chemical accident from a cumulative poison chemical, that was run by the same place that caused the Bhopal accident via lack of containment of poison gases.

Scarboro does not have to stand alone in being affected by the releases of toxic materials from the DOE operations, as part of the releases affect the entire city, and Scarboro via its close proximity to Y-12 has higher concentrations of gas pollutants in the community. Caution is advised with fluoride pollution, as these do bioaccumulate in garden plants and the food chain.

Other symptoms of fluorides pollution are things like thyroid and parathyroid gland damages, and this toxic effect adds to the damages already admitted from the ORNL I-131 releases and the NTS weapons testing. This area appears high in thyroid damages as well, and the HF and fluorides will increase those numbers.

Back in the '80s, ORNL sent persons into the community around K-25 to look at the fluorides in the water, milk, and gardens. The fluorides problem was known that early in Oak Ridge. ORNL set up the hole in the late '80s fly-over survey of the Y-12 area to draw attention from the plants HF emissions, and keep that issue confused in Scarboro and also the larger Oak Ridge community. ORNL also set up the pine beetle excuse for the fluorides damages to the pine trees downwind of K-25, this to avoid telling the town the plant's secret of the high fluorides emissions to this area.

The Oak Ridge City Council needs to take actions to insure the fluoride toxic problem of Oak Ridge and Scarboro are taken into account in the environmental and health assessments of the area. The EPA needs to carefully measure "all" fluorides in its continuing studies of the area, and note that DOE omitted this obvious toxic effect, of which they have long been aware.

More information on fluorides on URL: http://members.aol.com/doewatch.

Jim Phelps
1600 Buttercup Circle
Knoxville 37921


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