Letter writer’s diatribe is nothing but hogwash | TheUnion.com

Letter writer’s diatribe is nothing but hogwash

Mike Thornton’s diatribe in the Other Voices column on Saturday, Aug. 16, seems to be nothing but hogwash. He says, “The ongoing presence of mercury, arsenic, asbestos, lead and other heavy metals from historic mining threaten healthy life in the Sierra.” If this is true, then why has our life expectancy increased year by year and why are the hospitals not filled with patients who have been poisoned by these elements?

The answer to these questions is that these threats do not exist and have never existed. I challenge Mr. Thorton to produce the name of one person who has become sick from any of those metals.

I wish to inform all the people living along the 150 miles of the Mother Lode that they are in no danger from any of the above, including cyanide (which is self-destroying in a matter of hours).

Robert S. Shoemaker,

55 years as a chemist and metallurgical engineer

Grass Valley

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