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The Less Beneficial Side to Home Brewing

October 04, 1992

Since your Sept. 27 article, "A Toast to Home Brewers," discusses the benefits of making beer at home, I would like to balance it by pointing out the risks of increasing alcohol availability and consumption.

Most people know that alcohol is a reproductive toxin but are less aware that it is also a cancer-causing agent. Alcohol damages the immune system and impairs judgment. Alcohol is linked to higher rates of homicide, suicide, motor vehicle crashes, rape, child and spousal abuse, transmission of sexual diseases and teen-age pregnancy. I would hope the costs and benefits would be carefully analyzed before a family takes up the practice of home brewing.

In Los Angeles County, for every $1 in alcohol tax revenue, the county spends $172 on alcohol-related services. Certainly health dollars could be better spent.

TRISHA ROTH, M.D.

Beverly Hills

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