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Letter: Concern for toxins in Long Island's aquifer

Household products are arranged by levels of 1,4-dioxane,

Household products are arranged by levels of 1,4-dioxane, with Downy the lowest and Tide the highest, at a news conference by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment in Farmingdale. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Concern for toxins in our groundwater

I am writing to express concern about the potentially harmful environmental and public health impacts from the toxic chemical 1,4-dioxane [“What’s in LI water? A lot,” News, June 3].

Tests commissioned by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment advocacy group, of which I am a member, found the toxin in 65 of 80 household products. It is scary to think that this probable carcinogen exists in the everyday products I use, including laundry detergent, shampoo, dish soap and body wash.

In addition, this chemical is leaching into Long Island’s groundwater, contaminating our coastal environments and our only drinking water source, which makes this situation all the more concerning, since this can cause long-term sickness in my community.

We need our state representatives to ban 1,4-dioxane from household products. My community of Bethpage already has to deal with the harmful effects of a giant toxic plume in our groundwater. State legislation under consideration to ban 1,4-dioxane is a positive step to make sure the situation doesn’t get worse.

Ashley Flores, Bethpage

Long Island’s groundwater has been under attack for a century or more. This is not only the fault of ineffective politicians and greedy industrialists. They are merely a manifestation of our society. We are them.

Many of us know people who spill used motor oil down storm drains, throw noxious chemicals into the kitchen sink and let their cars leak fluids all over the place. The cost of the cleanup is many times the cost of the prevention.

I believe it is actually too late. The aquifers can never be returned to their pristine condition. Chemical plumes can only be contained, maybe. Another reason to move off the Island.

Richard Mordecai, Bay Shore

Birth records bill could help find sons

Adoptees in New York State are forbidden access to their birth certificates unless they have a court order. Passage of legislation sponsored by Assemb. David Weprin of Queens would allow adoptees to obtain their certificates and learn the identities of their biological parents [“New York adoptees deserve equality,” Opinion, June 3]. This is important for adoptees and biological parents who seek to meet.

I am one of those biological parents who seeks to meet my children. In 1975, while I was in the Navy, my children were adopted after my wife had left us. I had no means to support them and no family or friends who could help us. I’m going to be 70 this year and would like to make contact before I pass away.

I would like to tell my sons, Tommy and Bobby, who will be 50 and 49 years old, respectively, that I still love and think of them. I would like to tell them it was not their fault they were adopted, and to share our family history.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Glen Oaks

Cop Shop owners are community-minded

Susan and Salvatore Piccolo, owners of The Cop Shop in Massapequa, exemplify integrity, giving and humanitarianism [“LI Cop Shop faces NYPD suit,” News, May 31].

They are pillars of the community and longterm members of the Massapequa Lions Club service organization. When the American South had a bad hurricane season in recent years, the Piccolos opened up the parking lot of their store as a staging area to collect food, cleaning products, clothing, etc., for people in need. As president of the Wantagh Lions Club, I am proud to be associated with Sue and Sal Piccolo.

Larry Lamendola, Wantagh

Socialism, spending and ageism, too

Writer Elizabeth Bruenig missed the mark in her op-ed, “Young voters love old socialists,” by a country mile [Opinion, May 24].

Old socialists, with their “authentic commitment,” promise young people the world — free health care, free college tuition, etc. Oh, and let’s eliminate student debt.

But who do they think will pay for those freebies? You and me, Joe and Jane Taxpayer.

Young voters, millennials, etc., will be in for a rude awakening someday. If they think the federal deficit is bad now, just wait until “free” reigns! They’ll wind up paying for those freebies, too!

John Cilento, Plainview

Rather than using her platform to bring reason and fairness to one of society’s most pervasive issues — ageism — Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig seemed to resort to stereotypical characterizations as the foundation of her piece.

What might have been a thoughtful column on how blocs of younger voters are attracted to the messages of an experienced and popular politician, her characterization of Bernie Sanders as “old” regretfully served up another example of thoughtless ageism. Why does a group of voters’ resonance with the messages of a successful politician have to be reduced to an age thing?

So Ms. Bruenig, since you didn’t offer a definition, what does “old” mean to you anyway?

John Imhof,  Amityville