Hiram Perry: What is Pollution? Or Contamination?

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Hiram Perry: What is Pollution? Or Contamination?

From:Hiram PerrySubject: How is pollution viewed?Date: Thu, 27 Jul 100 11:48:38 GMTWhat is Pollution? or Contamination?First, these terms are emotional. One sees something he doesn't like and it is pollution. It may not be viewed that way by someone else. EPA and local DEP people tell us that the amount of pollution, by qualifying it as so many parts per million, per billion, or even quadrillion, as they did to describe the amount of dioxin in Maine rivers.I realized sometime ago that I did not know what even a million was, to say nothing of what a quadrillion is. Sure, I know a million is seven figures, a quadrillion is 15 cyphers. But I still didn't know! So I decided to find out how many seconds I have lived. To my amazement I learned that in 83 years I've only lived about 2 billion, 748 million and 8 thousand seconds. Each year of our lives adds about 31 million, 536 thousand seconds. Obviously, I don'tthink that a part per million or a billion is very much.Those of us out there in the country do know a bit about this or that science. We must be forgiven if we are sometimes skeptical and think that environmental officials are way over their heads, as they tell us of this dreadful pollution of our lakes and rivers, for instance.I joined a group in Connecticut in 1952 to help clean up the Connecticut River. At that time our big trouble was scientists in Hartford controlling our project, who simply didn't understand the science of disposing of the waste our town was putting into the river. I see the same problem in Maine today and I am very skeptical about so many EPA and DEP reports of dangers throughout the state and country. But at least today I know what a part per million, a part per billion, really is!Hiram Perry, 6 Miles Road, Newburgh, Maine 04444 Tel. (207)234-2890/Fax (207)234-2940 e-mail perry@uninets.net