Gravel on Playgrounds Linked to Cancer

Humans temporal in the face of elements

Inebriated Press \ Tabloid Division
April 8, 2008

Fox News reported Saturday that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that a mineral in gravel on North Dakota playgrounds causes cancer in lab animals. Experts say that since children in schools are similar to lab animals, that they’ll probably also get cancer if they play on the gravel. The playground has been closed as a precaution. Some locals who have lived and breathed the dust for decades think the EPA is off their gourd.

“I’m 80 years old and it hasn’t killed me yet,” said Milton Johnson, who ranches in the Killdeer Mountains. “They can test my lungs if they want — I’ve been breathing it all my life.”

Government officials say it’s not enough to know that this specific gravel has never hurt anyone because there’s still a chance it may, and it’s important that federal officials protect us from everything but high taxes. “It doesn’t matter that this kind of gravel isn’t the same as the stuff that was used in the lab on rodents. Rural Americans are mostly mousey right-wing vermin who want to cut taxes, and think people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and make something of themselves. They’re wrong,” said EPA bureaucrat and apple polisher Bob “Smart-Ass” Jones, a self confident environmentalist fearful of everything except big government and overregulation. “Dust can kill you, almost everything causes cancer, and we’ve got to ban dust and most everything else. I have no idea how anyone is alive today with all the carcinogens in the environment around us and the lack of more prohibitive regulations on all things.”

Crushed gravel containing erionite, a mineral found in the chalky white rock mined from the Killdeer Mountains in North Dakota, covers ballparks in towns and roads throughout the state, and Steve Way, a federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinator, said studies have shown that erionite causes cancer in lab rats, though the mineral is not regulated by his agency. Erionite is found in at least a dozen states in the West, but Way said he did not know of another area in the U.S. that uses it “at the same magnitude” as Dunn County. In the nation of Turkey, erionite has been linked to mesothelioma, an incurable form of lung cancer commonly associated with asbestos exposure, health officials say. Erionite found in North Dakota differs from the mineral found in Turkey, where it’s a known carcinogen. Erionite in the state is more calcium based; the mineral in Turkey is sodium based.

“It seems to me like they’re making a mountain out of a molehill with what little data they have,” State Rep. Shirley Meyer told EPA and state officials. “The taxpayers in this county are having a tough time trying to swallow this.” Federal officials don’t care what taxpayers think.

“I’m from the government and we know what’s best for you,” said Adequate Dictator, an official from the Department of Silly Stuff, the fastest growing U.S. federal agency with tentacles reaching into all aspects of both state and federal government. “We’re here to tell you what you can and can’t do, and what’s good and bad for you. When I wake up in the morning I just know what’s best. And I’m best situated to tell you how to live. You’re the taxpayer, you pay. That’s what you do. It’s important that we understand the important roles that we each play.”

In related news, doctors say taxpayer funded studies show that it’s likely you’ll die eventually even if you do what doctors and the EPA tell you to every day of you life. No word on whether they plan to cut down on the rhetoric or if it’s just an important role that they play.

(C) 2008

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