2015-09-11 / Letters

Why be afraid of another study?

I am responding to the Sept. 4 letter from Marie Mason, because I am the petitioner the Agency for Toxic Substances Control and Disease Registry was trying to protect from such personal attacks. I have no connection to Boeing except for the fact that I worked at the Santa Susana Field Lab for three years, over 50 years ago.

Before you accept Ms. Mason’s conspiracy theory, I suggest you look at the 1999 ATSDR report on SSFL. It can be found at: http:// www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/ PHA.asp?docid=78&pg=1#_ 1_ 20

It is comprehensive, well-documented and specifically addresses the concerns of the community.

Ms. Mason offers a few snippets of information taken from reports authored by Drs. Yoram Cohen and Hal Morgenstern but ignores their conclusions and their caveats. Moreover, those reports were never peer-reviewed, and there were many questions raised when they were initially published and which were never answered.

My petition to ATSDR to provide the community an authoritative, independent assessment of the risk that SSFL now poses to surrounding communities actually came from a discussion I had with Prof. Cohen about ways to resolve the apparent discrepancies between his report and that of ATSDR.

Most people I know want the field lab cleaned up so that it does not pose a risk to people or wildlife. Boeing, DOE and NASA are committed to cleaning up the site with the only questions being how much cleanup is needed to be protective and not more harmful than what is being remediated. Rather than condemning ATSDR for work they have not yet done and conclusions they have not yet made, the community should be looking forward to a fresh, unbiased evaluation of the contamination now known to be at SSFL and the possible pathways to surrounding communities.

Why are Ms. Mason and others afraid of another ATSDR study? They obviously disagree with the conclusions of the first report and do not want to see a full health study that might possibly show their claims of off-site health effects from SSFL are not supported by the levels of contamination that are now known to exist. Let’s continue the discussion after ATSDR performs and documents its study. Abraham Weitzberg Woodland Hills

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