The Health Hazards Of Oil And Gas Powered Cars

According to Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois Medical Center, cancer is now the only major killing disease in the industrialized world with sharply rising rates. There are over 900,000 new causes and 450,000 U.S. deaths each year. Americans now have a one-in-three chance of developing cancer and a 1 in 4 chance of dying from cancer.

Dr. Epstein believes that there is very persuasive evidence that the use and manufacture of petrochemicals are the major cause for the recent rise in epidemic cancer rates, and that the relatively low retail price charged the U.S. taxpayers for gasoline totally fails to reflect hidden costs. He notes that apart from strategic and security costs of dependence on foreign imports, the environmental and health costs are prohibitive. They include:

*Leukemia and cancers among refinery workers and neighboring communities.

*Cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease from exhaust emissions from both vehicles and commercial plants.

*Leukemia and cancer from excess benzene during refueling. (Note: Consumers are routinely exposed to 1 part per million during full service gasoline refueling and 3 parts per million at self-serve pumps. That exceeds the 1 part per million standard above which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that workers be warned and protected.) *Liver and kidney cancers related to evaporation and inhalation of unleaded gasoline due to the isoakenes in gasoline.

*Respiratory disease, particularly in the young and elderly, due to aromatic hydrocarbons, especially xylene.

In a recent editorial (LA Times, 1989), the doctor summarized his position by stating, "the multi-national petroleum industry is a reckless corporate citizen that holds the world for ransom. Time and again, when a choice between profit and human health or the environment or national security must be made, the industry will choose profit every time."

Electric vehicles are a reality and are available today. Vehicles range from a $900 electric bicycle to a $20,000 luxury sports car. Several models are available for under $10,000 that are capable of carrying four adults. All the vehicles can be recharged simply by plugging into any standard 120 volt ac outlet. Some may also be adapted to solar trickle charging. An information update and an evolving list of available vehicles may be ordered for $30.00 per year from Solar Electric, 175 Cascade Ct., Rohnert Park, CA 94928, or by calling (707) 586-1987. ACCESS

Gary Starr, President of Solar Electric has been driving, researching, and marketing electric vehicles for the past 16 years.

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