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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the July 2, 2005, issue of Science News

By
9:07am, June 28, 2005

Chlorine's fate?

"Special Treatment: Tiny technology tackles mega messes" (SN: 4/23/05, p. 266), on the reaction of nanoparticles of iron with trichloroethane (TCE) contaminating an aquifer, states that the TCE is converted "into ethane." What happens to the chlorine stripped off the TCE? Is it converted into insoluble inorganic compounds or is it available to react with another aquifer contaminant to possibly form another toxic substance?

Charles McChesney
Mars, Pa
.

The chlorine atoms stripped from TCE are converted into harmless chloride ions that float freely in the groundwater.—A. Goho

On the sunny side

It boggles my mind that someone paid for a study of the benefits of petroleum-based fuel in Africa ("Change of fuel could extend lives in Africa," SN: 5/7/05, p. 301) when a superior, lower-cost sol

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