Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources held hearings on Aug. 28 and 29 to discuss proposals to set effluent standards for PCBs. At the hearings I warned that considering effluent standards was only the first step in stopping PCB leakage into the environment. To effectively limit further PCB discharges, the multitude of PCB uses must be carefully examined, and where they exist, less toxic substitutes must be employed. In addition, essential uses of PCBs in transformers and capacitors should be critically reviewed to determine whether or not the PCBs are irreplaceable.
The PCB problem is symptomatic of all environmental problems. We are again trying to deal with ecological contamination and potential health hazards with hindsight, not foresight. Hundreds of new chemicals go on the market each year with little pretesting for possible adverse effects on the environment or human health. Only when adverse effects are documented, as with PCBs, are corrective steps considered. Toxic-substances-control legislation currently before Congress would require testing and screening of chemicals before they reach the marketplace. We must provide government with the tools of a Toxic Substances Control Act so that in the future we can act with foresight.
MARTIN J. SCHREIBER
State of Wisconsin
Thank you for the sparkling Sept. 1 issue featuring shotputter Brian Oldfield on the cover and hammer thrower Robert H. Boyle as the lead author. Boyle's sledges, always dead on target against marauders of our environment, have become classic rallying points nationwide for defenders of ecological sanity.
As an ecological scientist, I share with my colleagues across the nation the frustrations that Boyle so well reports. No one is really listening, yet the data have the roar of a million Niagaras. Several of Boyle's pieces have resulted in remedial action being taken on issues ecologists had flailed away at to no avail. I deeply hope that Poisoned Fish, Troubled Waters flows into this category. The U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation recently reported that fishing is the nation's No. 1 sport. One hopes it has a future.
In 1969 a nearby manufacturer of environmental monitoring equipment ran a prophetic full-page advertisement in the technical journals. It showed a very dead floating fish and was boldly captioned TODAY THE FISH. TOMORROW.... It really said it all in four words. Only tomorrow was a lot of yesterdays ago. We still thoroughly lack any real commitment toward maintaining environmental quality in this country, from the very top on down. And for this lack we shall pay most dearly.
DOMINICK J. PIRONE, PH.D.
Environmental Studies Program
THE OLDFIELD IMAGE
I am not much on writing letters, but this is one time I can't resist. While my sisters were thumbing through your magazine their attention was brought to the title page of the article about Brian Oldfield (Coming on Strong, Sept. 1). Upon reading Oldfield's statement about God's intentions, one sister replied, "If I looked like him, I'd kill myself." Sorry, Brian.
Who does Brian Oldfield think he is? Who does he think God is?
Spencer, W. Va.
Vanity is surely present in the Brian Oldfield model of man.
ROBERT J. ROMANO
You should have put Oldfield's ego on the cover.
It's about time somebody recognized the greatest shotputter the world has ever known. Having witnessed Brian Oldfield's record-breaking 75-foot put last May, I feel that only Bob Beamon's 29'2�" long jump in the 1968 Olympics tops it in the history of track and field. However, when Brian "eternalizes" the world record in the shot at somewhere around 90 feet, which could happen as early as next year, Beamon's accomplishment will rank second.
MICHAEL C. BRAND