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TRI rule causes concern.

I agree with the gist of the article ["The Toxic Release Inventory, May 2002], in that federal environmental guidelines have become ridiculous. If I drop a kilo of lead in a small lake, I might kill a few fish with the impact--maybe a few get sick. If I drop half as much silver in that lake, I've just killed everything in that lake. Silver is naturally toxic to life forms. There's a reason that, when a girl gets her ears pierced, silver or sterling silver studs are recommended. Silver is naturally anti-microbial.

The hype and terror over lead is vastly disproportionate. A few [children] died from eating lead paint chips: those children had to be horribly neglected to eat enough paint chips to get lead poisoning in the first place.

If we're going to regulate substances proportional to their danger, make lead-acid batteries illegal. Somewhere near 70 to 80 percent of all lead goes into those batteries. And, many end up in landfills, dumps or leaking in garages. Why is the [one] percent, or less, of lead in the world used in electronics manufacturing suddenly so closely monitored? For the same reason Amnesty International complains about lack of peanut butter selection in U.S. jails--they can force change in a good, regulated system versus the real, and much larger dangers, in other areas of the world.

We need to encourage a public awareness of the true perspective of the environmental issue. If we're going to regulate tin/lead solder balls, we need to regulate silver earrings, too.

Tamara Wilhite, process development engineer
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Wilhite, Tamara
Publication:Circuits Assembly
Date:Sep 1, 2002
Words:262
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