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"They don't give a damn about the rest of us"
Workers' lives at risk

November 9, 2001 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

Every day, the news is filled with more terrifying rumors about anthrax. But for the past month, the same media that have been whipping up anthrax hysteria have been lying to all of us who work near "Ground Zero" in New York City about the air that we've been breathing.

Last Friday, the Daily News reported that dioxins, PCBs, lead and other toxic substances have been detected at the World Trade Center site at levels that are unsafe. Benzene, which can cause leukemia and bone marrow damage, was measured by the Environmental Protection Agency at up to 58 times the federal limit.

That's funny, because at that time, the news was reporting that the air downtown was just fine--and saying that everybody should come back to work.

It's odd that none of the newspapers or TV stations could pull a single reporter off the "anthrax" story--where less than 20 people have been infected nationwide--to investigate what could potentially be a real health emergency for the hundreds of thousands of us who work downtown every day.

Of course, the people who will be the most affected are the rescue workers and removal teams that work at Ground Zero. The same city officials who have been praising them as heroes also have been lying to them about the health risks they're facing. Where I work, at UPS, a bunch of us are going to demand that we be given adequate protective gear to do our jobs safely.

This just goes to show that the people running this war don't give a damn about the rest of us.

Danny Katch, Teamsters Local 804, New York City

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