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Health Expert: Anthrax Threat Greatly Exaggerated ^ | 10/12/01 | Carl Limbacher and Staff

Posted on 10/12/2001 8:58:39 PM PDT by kattracks

The current media hysteria over a potential anthrax attack by terrorists is more hype than real health risk.

So claims health expert Steven Milloy, author of "Junk Science Judo: Self Defense Against Health Scares and Scams."

Writing in the New York Post Friday, Milloy slams the American Public Health Association for its claim that, "One-billionth of a gram (of anthrax), smaller than a speck of dust, can kill."

In fact, says Milloy, "one spore, even thousands, will not kill anyone."

"Wool sorters inhale 150 to 700 anthrax spores an hour continually without danger. Studies show that inhaling 10,000 spores is necessary for infection," he reports.

American Media's Bob Stevens, the only American to suffer a lethal dose of anthrax in the recent scare, is said to have been so farsighted that he held a letter believed to have been contaminated with anthrax especially close to his face in order to read it.

There may be more isolated cases like Stevens', says Milloy, but the dangers of widespread infection are slim.

"Even assuming terrorists knew how to make mass quantities of powdered anthrax without killing workers and surrounding populations, production would cost hundreds of millions of dollars," he argues. "Purchasing unemployed, ex-Soviet bioweapons experts is insufficient."

What about the reported plans of Twin Tower terrorist Mohamed Atta and his coconspirators to rent crop dusters and spay anthrax on population centers?

Airplanes dusting a city with spores aren't much use, Milloy contends.

"The few spores entering buildings would mostly settle; the few that didn't would likely be insufficient in concentration to cause infection. Outside, spores would mostly fall to the ground or be blown away and rendered harmless."

Milloy warns that while Americans have little to fear from anthrax, the panic caused by the current hype could be more dangerous.

"Anthrax infection initially resembles the flu.... More than 100 million people in the U.S. may well have flu-like symptoms in the near future. Should every cough, sore throat, runny nose and headache be considered a possible case of anthrax?

"Only if we want to bring our public health system to a grinding halt," says Milloy.

Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:

War on Terrorism

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events

1 posted on 10/12/2001 8:58:39 PM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Anthrax Threat Greatly Exaggerated

Ya think so?

Anyhow, it keeps the leftist newsies occupided and not preoccupied with Taliban generated "civilian" casualty claims.

2 posted on 10/12/2001 9:00:55 PM PDT by jlogajan
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To: kattracks
You tryin to ruin the fireside fun of all the Camp Fire girls around here.(;>)
3 posted on 10/12/2001 9:04:26 PM PDT by Stentor
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Pissed Off Janitor
Suitcase nukes is the main worry IMHO
5 posted on 10/12/2001 9:08:49 PM PDT by eclectic
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To: kattracks
Is it just me, or is the news media (being targeted by some wacko with anthrax), spending way too much time being concerned for their own safety.

If these anthrax letters are being sent by terrorist, they must be the dumbest terrorist in the world. Total damage so far: 1 dead, 1 assistant to Tom Brokaw with a bad rash. It's not exactly as shocking as the press make it out to be.

Let's get back to the war

6 posted on 10/12/2001 9:08:59 PM PDT by jerod
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To: jerod
It's actually very well planned. The terrorist's main goal is not to kill people but to cause terror, uncertainty, ruin. Death, being the most terrifying state to many, is their primary method of accomplishing this, but not their only method. A mass panic, as exemplified by these anthrax threats, is just fine and relatively cheap (no spent terrorists.)
7 posted on 10/13/2001 1:54:12 AM PDT by John Robinson
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To: John Robinson
Good point John. They have been students of our culture for a long time. They have identified what they percieve as our primary weaknesses and are attacking same. Rudi has been stating this fact for weeks and people are largely ignoring it. We must do as the Israelis and maintain our composure.
8 posted on 10/13/2001 2:01:25 AM PDT by Cold Heat
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To: John Robinson
Copycats with talcum powder are doing 95% of their work for them too. It's sick. I bet, however, after a while the shock will wear off, when the actual feebleness of this attack sinks into the public mind. This tactic will get old, fast. I have a feeling we have much better capabilities of detecting anthrax, etc. than our government is letting on. Shoot, how long does it take to grow some of it from a sample in a petri dish? You'd think we were still in the 1920's.
9 posted on 10/13/2001 2:12:10 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Could be backlog. How many labs are setup to test anthrax?

I agree that much of this is probably copycat. There are some real sickos out there. I think the "hate crime" laws are bad for America, but it would feel good to prosecute copycats under such.

If a person mails talcum powder... in an apparent effort to cause panic... and they get caught, what penalties will they face?

Is there a "shouting fire in a crowded theater" law?

Not saying there oughta be one, just curious.

10 posted on 10/13/2001 2:21:24 AM PDT by John Robinson
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To: kattracks
Agree.... FYI--

Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical Warfare- Survival Skills, Pt. II

"Has that clinton "legacy" made you feel safer yet?"

11 posted on 10/13/2001 2:22:27 AM PDT by backhoe
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To: John Robinson
There is a new " something ", now. Gov. Pataki, has said that when they find whoever did this, they'll throw him in kail, with NO possible chance of EVER getting out.
12 posted on 10/13/2001 2:30:12 AM PDT by nopardons
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To: kattracks

Anthrax is in every barn yard. I'm more worried about smallpox: The pc stopped vaccination years ago, and it has a long history of use.

13 posted on 10/13/2001 4:43:43 AM PDT by LadyDoc
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