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HUM 111 Together We Stand Letter

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Together We Stand Letter
Have you noticed that you are getting sick lately? A cause for that could be the
local gas company and if you aren’t careful, you and your family could be next. In the
past few years I have started to notice that people in our community are showing signs
of being sick. Normally, this would not be a problem, but several children and adults
were beginning to develop illnesses that were very similar to each other. After
comparing and researching the noticeable symptoms, I realized that much of the
problem could be coming from defects in the construction and development of our
community. The main concern I have is that if left untreated with continued exposure to
the gas, the illnesses will become more severe and can even be fatal. According to gas-
leak.org, small gas leaks throughout your home are virtually undetectable even by smell
(n.d.). This means that your home could be making you sick. Some of those symptoms
can include asthma, depression, eczema, migraines, etc. and will slowly poison
whoever is in the affected area, including pets. People have slowly, but surely become
worse and I fear that our exposure has already been too long. With the exposure to this
poison gradually getting longer each day it goes unfixed, the potential for severe
casualties greatly increases
The gas itself isn’t the main problem, but it is the additive mercaptan that affects
us the most. In addition to it being highly flammable, which brings the risk of explosions
or house fires, in high concentrations it’s also highly toxic and affects the central
nervous system. Long-term exposure can also lead to increased allergies,
gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, pain and discomfort, high red and white blood cell
count, and high cholesterol (gas-leak.org, n.d.). Natural gas, by itself, is odorless.
Mercaptan is the additive that gives gas its “rotten egg” smell and as ironic as it may
seem, mercaptan is added to the gas for easy detection, yet it’s the most harmful part of
using natural gas. While many others safely use natural gas every day, the Material
Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) suggests that it has never been tested at low levels and
long-term exposure (Specialty Gases of America, 2009). Methyl mercaptan also ranks in
the worst 10% of all chemicals based on the IRCH system and has been linked to be a
non-allergenic trigger for asthma (Buteyko Asthma Management, 1999).
As a community, we have to stand up for what is right. This has been plaguing us
for years and now that we understand the cause, the next step is to fight for justice. This
problem will not fix itself and will continue to get worse unless something is done. I don’t
want to wake up and find my son or daughter lying on the floor having an asthma attack
and I’m sure no other parent wants that either. Now it is time to act. This message
needs to spread to as many people as possible. If needed to, do some individual
research and share it with a neighbor or a friend.

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Anonymous
Had to paraphrase some of the content but overall, really useful material.

Anonymous
Just what I needed… fantastic!

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