Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, W.R. Grace and Beatrice foods have polluted the aquifer located under East Woburn. There is no question of this, as testimony from workers such as Al Love show that they have spilled, poured and dumped TCE, or Trichloroethylene. Mr. Reilly testified that he should have known what was happening on the 15 acres of property he leased out to the Whitney barrel company. By dumping TCE and other chemicals onto the ground, these companies introduced these harmful substances into the environment, particularly the aquifer underneath. These chemicals are not industrial revolution chemicals; they are modern, harmful chemicals that have adverse health affects.
And who suffered for their actions? The people that live in East Woburn. They drank this tainted water, showered in it, washed their clothes in it, imagine all the daily interactions you have with water, that basic necessity of life. This water was pumped out of the same aquifer that was tainted by industrial pollution. It caused rashes, it burned their eyes when they took showers, and they got cancer from it. Experts have testified that with exposure to increased levels of TCE there is a greater risk of cancer. Dumping of industrial chemicals on the lands caused these health issues, not deodorant, not bacon, not whether Teflon frying pans are used, not if chunky or creamy peanut butter was spread on bread. To suggest that these innocuous household objects that you and me use everyday is responsible for the cancer cluster in Woburn, Massachusetts is simply erroneous thinking. If such household products were the cause of cancer, all of us would be affected and these products would not have met governmental standards to be sold on the market.
There was a greater than average number of leukemia patients in East Woburn, beating the statistical odds of random cases of leukemia. Many of these patients are young children, their parents barely making ends meet while placing their jobs...
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