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SLUDGE VICTIMS

May 2001 update - compiled by Helane Shields - prepared for WWW by ESRA

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Anna: "You're telling people that the EPA never really looked at their risk of infcction from sludge?"

Dr. Lewis: "That's correct."

And, some other scientists back him up, like a Cornell University study that severely criticized the EPA's sludge science, saying it had made "fundamental errors and serious omissions."

In the study that resulted in the use of Class B sludge and this recent report from the federal government's Inspector General said the: "EPA cannot assure the public that current practices are protective of human health."

Take the Masseys. They live in rural Fort Bend County.
Doug Massey: "The smell got to be unbearable."
Jana Massey: "The kids couldn't play outside, and they always complained about not wanting to go outside because of the smell."

They say when these nearby fields started being spread with sludge, their lives started to change.

Jana Massey: "They got headaches, you know, nauseous, and they wouldn't even want to go outside."
And, the couple says what really puzzled them was when their two normally healthy kids kept coming down with respiratory infections.

Doug Massey: "It got to where we were taking them five, six times a year apiece, and every time we'd go, they'd have the same thing, upper respiratory infection."
They were infections the doctors could not explain.

Jana Massey: "We would take them, and we would ask them about that, and nobody can pinpoint that's what it is."

There is no proof of any connection, but Dr. Lewis said he ' is not surprised by their experience, which is what worries him about the sludge trucks.

Dr. Lewis: "I would consider them to be significant risks."

He is concerned. First because under EPA policies, the trucks are not required to carry warning signs.

Dr. Lewis: "For the public, it's essentially unavoidable. They dont know these trucks are on the highway. They don't know the risks that are posed there."

But, what worries Dr. Lewis even more are the trucks leaving a Houston

1121/01 3:42 PM

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