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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Segment

Air Date: Week of

Responses to recent segments.


CURWOOD: And now, a word from you, our listeners.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Our interview with toxic waste activist Lois Gibbs about her crusade against dioxin drew a number of comments, including an e-mail from a listener to KPLU in Seattle. "Ms. Gibbs was allowed to state unchallenged the connection between reduced sperm counts in the human population and dioxin," the man from Seattle wrote. "The sperm count reduction is true, but the link to dioxin is just an interesting idea. There is no scientific evidence that dioxins are responsible for reduced human sperm count." My apologies. He's right, and we should have clarified Ms. Gibbs's remarks. Human sperm counts are down, but the only studies linking reduced sperm counts to dioxin have been in rodents. Which, by the way, lose half their sperm if their mothers are exposed to dioxin at a critical point in pregnancy.

George Betscakos, who listens to WKSU in Kent, Ohio, called to say Ms. Gibbs's arguments are alarmist.

BETSCAKOS: While dioxins are dangerous, she made it sound like everyone is walking around like a time bomb ready to go off. No one, no individual is at any capacity level that, you know, where you get a little bit more exposure and you're over the limit. That is absolutely ridiculous.

CURWOOD: But Marge Duck, a listener to WVIA in Pittston, Pennsylvania, says she's glad that the dioxin issue is getting exposure. Since dioxin is a byproduct of incineration, Ms. Duck says:

DUCK: We need more education about how our choice of consumer products adds to the problem.

CURWOOD: Our profile of Earth Island chief Carl Anthony drew several calls, including this one.

GOODRIDGE: Hello, my name is Tom Goodridge. I listen to WNYC. I wanted to commend you on your commentary on the Earth Island Institute, particularly your presenting Mr. Anthony's perspective on ecology as so intimately linked with the fate of our cities, and how he has involved the people who have been most dumped on.

CURWOOD: Our interview with a teacher whose students lobbied to get toxic waste cleaned up from a school playground sparked a New Mexico listener to write. "It will be up to the children, I am afraid, to make this a better world. We adults are not doing the best of jobs in that area."

Finally, in response to our story about a man who traded in his lawn mower for a flock of sheep, Jennifer Good told us about her mother, who lets 5 huge African tortoises loose to mow her lawn in Sonoma, California. Jennifer's mom Marilyn reports her reptiles are very good at keeping a small lawn trim. But she doesn't want anyone following her example. She says people should neither have lawns in water-poor California nor exotic pets to cut them.



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