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Industry should be honest with itself, us
Paul DeLeo (Opinion Exchange, March 19) says there is too much misinformation about the antibacterial chemical triclosan, yet his article only adds to the confusion. He says “the levels of triclosan in Minnesota waters are safe.” This is a red herring, because every news article on the topic has warned of dioxin building up in the sediment at the bottom of lakes and rivers. Where does the dioxin come from? The triclosan in soap, which goes down the drain and mixes with chlorine at the treatment plant.
It can’t be fun to realize your product is having unintended consequences. I know I’m not happy knowing my favorite soap was adding dioxin to the Mississippi River. Of course I’ve stopped buying it, and of course Mr. DeLeo’s industry is frantically searching for alternatives. Instead of trying to distract us with doublespeak, I would much prefer they come clean.
Darryl Magree, Tokyo
Even in an urban area, space is important
The consequences of teardowns that result in large homes on small lots are significant. I have another home in Chicago, where the impact of this trend on livability becomes apparent. Those who suddenly have an overbuilt lot next to them lose sunlight, air flow, views and privacy. Where once there was sun for gardens and bright rooms, there is shadow. Plants or turf cultivated for sun wither in continuous shade. Breezes and views morph into overheated spaces that look out at brick or clapboard. Neighbors’ windows are three feet away; their TVs and conversation invade others’ spaces.
One may not think about a “view” in the cityscape, but many homeowners see trees, gardens, birds. Even just seeing across the street is better than a wall a few feet away. Overall livability is reduced by a commensurate loss of green space for people and wildlife and by an increase in the heat-island effect, as well as in runoff and pollution.
Christine Penney, Duluth
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.