Dangers of dioxins overblownAfter reading the Feb....

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

Dangers of dioxins overblown

After reading the Feb. 20 article in The Evening Sun by Susan McGrath regarding dioxins in bleached paper products, it's clear that the author based her story on misinformation.

The article implies that dioxins are present in chlorine-bleached paper products in harmful levels. What it doesn't mention is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has detected levels of dioxins only in the lowest parts per trillion an amount which it has determined to be far too small to pose a significant health risk.

While the article also states that dioxin levels can be found in human tissue, the fact that dioxins are naturally present throughout the environment in negligible amounts is neglected. As Dr. W. W. Harris of the University of Alberta's analytical chemistry department recently said, "Dioxins are necessarily present in the trees themselves."

With regard to the claim that dioxins are a "potent human carcinogen," no absolute evidence exists to prove dioxins have ever caused cancer in humans, even in instances of massive exposure. In fact, some studies have indicated that humans may even be less sensitive to some dioxins than animals exposed in laboratories.

Claiming that dioxins in paper products pose some kind of health threat based on the information currently available is unwarranted and irresponsible.

Sandie J. Preiss

Owings Mills

The writer is corporate director of public affairs for the Sweetheart Cup Co.

Aftermath of war

The "mother of battles" is over; most of our heroes can come home soon. The gulf war was won swiftly and efficiently. Saddam Hussein's forces have been reduced to a rag-tag and battered remnant. Kuwait has been liberated; Baghdad is in ruins, and a good portion of the Arab world now rejects Saddam's plea for Arab unity against the "Western forces of evil."

The Koran, Islam's holy book, states bluntly that God punishes the evil ones. However, we have seen who is evil. Iraq committed dastardly acts against innocent people in Kuwait and our POWs. In the aftermath of war, we can only hope and pray that the "evil one" will one day fall.

We have fought the battle, and the victory is ours. Our casualties were remarkably low, which is a miracle in severe warfare. Now it is time to rejoice and pray that one day that troubled region of the world will be at peace.

Marvin Brilliant

Baltimore

Abortion irony

I am very perplexed by the contradictions in our laws. A woman has a right to do what she wishes with her own body in the matter of abortion (where another life is involved), but has no rights regarding her body in the matter of the use of a seat belt (where she harms no one but herself). This makes no sense.

Those politicians who embraced abortion as a means to obtain or retain legislative seats will be haunted by their decisions. I truly feel sorry for those women who choose abortion for convenience, careers and other selfish motives. They, too, will suffer from their decisions.

Those doctors and clinics growing wealthy from the carnage of abortion, while expressing so much concern for the poor being deprived of the freedom of choice, aren't rushing to offer charitable assistance to these women. Selfishness and greed are the overriding motives in this situation.

Bernard L. F. Winter

Baltimore

Violence addiction

One wonders if our church-going warrior-leader has ever read the Sermon on the Mount, which is the crux of his professed religion. Not only are we enjoined to love our enemies but to do good to those who despitefully use us. We can only hope the Koran has a similar injunction.

Anyone still experiencing the old-fashioned feeling of compassion cannot but have painful pictures of the remnant of Iraqi soldiers, wounded, dying, starving, exhausted, struggling home to a barren, destroyed homeland which, due to our imposed sanctions (ironic word, coming from the Latin word for holy) and bombing, has no comfort to offer no food, no heat, no medical facilities, probably few hospitals and very little untainted water.

What kind of brutality is this? We have thought of ourselves as a generous people and law-abiding. We stick to the United Nations rules as long as they serve our violence-addicted purposes. I dread to think of the repercussions of this war on our grandchildren. If we seriously want to change our image of a new-order Genghis Khan, let's vote to lift the sanctions immediately. And let's get at the root of our violence addiction by monitoring the never-ending violence fed to our ears, eyes, minds and emotions through TV and films.

Who was it who said: "The meek shall inherit the earth"?

lizabeth Rouse

Columbia

Freedom's progress

An article in Other Voices Feb. 21 captured my attention. Written by Margaret Pagan, it was titled "The Liberation of Margaret Morgan."

Basically, it concerned a Harford County female slave who escaped into York County in 1837. Pennsylvania at that time had a law that protected blacks from being seized and placed in servitude. The owner hired Edward Prigg to bring her back. A state magistrate refused his request. He then returned to Harford County, formed a posse and forcibly returned her to Maryland. Pennsylvania indicted Prigg, who carried the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor.

The article made me look back into history. The 1776 Declaration of Independence reads, "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal." The Constitution of 1788, with the Fugitive Slave Law, returned Margaret Morgan to Maryland as a slave.

In those days African-Americans were not created equal or protected by the Constitution. We have come a long way.

James R. Dorsey Sr.

Bel Air

Value of human life

Regarding Robin Fuller's letter (Forum, Feb. 25): What sort of sad, confused mind equates the life of a child with that of a dog. I know of no parents who would save a pet's life in a fire before that of their own child or anyone else's. I would sacrifice every pet I have ever owned and loved to save the life of a loved one.

They don't want us to hunt, fish, wear fur or leather, eat meat or ride horses. Where will it all end? Will we even be able to keep our homes or even our bodies free of pests and vermin? They are not pro-animal; they are anti-human!

Lawrence D. Lease

Baltimore

What should I do?

The Evening Sun has left me with an interesting dilemma.

What am I going to do with the flag that was included in my paper Feb. 21.

If I throw it away with the rest of the paper, is that disrespectful?

If I grab it, along with the rest of the paper, to start a fire in my fireplace, will I be arrested?

Of course, when I received it with the rest of the paper, it was

folded in half. Is that proper?

I am patriotic and love my country. So what am I going to do?

A. A. Pefinis-Newport

Baltimore

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