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Valley Perspective

Rocketdyne Studies

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October 29, 2000

* Re "State to Finally Deliver Funds for Rocketdyne Health Study," Oct. 19.

The Times should check its facts before bestowing undeserved credentials on individuals.

The Times calls Dan Hirsch a scientist. Hirsch calls himself many things: anti-nuclear activist, nuclear watchdog, environmental advocate, onetime teacher of nuclear policy, community representative and, of course, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap. To my knowledge, however, even he has never described himself as a scientist.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that he cavalierly dismisses the data amassed by countless state, federal and company scientists and engineers on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and its impact (or rather lack of impact) on the neighboring community.

He proposes instead to estimate what the impact might have been, based on existing studies of health in off-site populations around nuclear sites elsewhere in the country.

Surely he must be joking.

PHIL RUTHERFORD

West Hills

*

The appellate court rejects a class-action interpretation of Rocketdyne's alleged community toxic-exposure based upon failure to demonstrate sufficient similarities. UCLA and Cal / OSHA independent studies are cited.

This point should always be suspect because independent laboratories always depend upon a flow of private-sector funds--not this time, but the next and subsequent times. Never are longitudinal epidemiological studies commissioned to study toxic effects over time. Universities are so equipped, but other motives prevail.

Those of us in the West Hills community are unfortunately quite aware of our friends who have disproportionately developed cancers. Where's Erin when we need her?

WILLIAM A. SPINDELL

West Hills

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