Sunday, September 1, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 1, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 4A The Odar Rapids Gaiettc; SUB., Sept. 1, H71 Do You Drink and Drive? This paged picture portrays a weekend scene that contributes heavily to alcohol-related fatal traffic accidents in Iowa. Highway roadsides provide the same kind of evidence. Last year in Iowa, 31.8 percent of the state's traffic fatalities were alcohol-related. Linn county matched the national average of 50 percent alcohol-related. Lead Builds Up in Body WASHINGTON. D. C. Several thousand years ago, the Romans were the most powerful people in the world. They spread their empire from Italy through the Middle East, northern Africa and Europe. But after several centuries, the men and women who built the empire lost their enthusiasm, creativity, and ability to rule. They found it difficult to reproduce. Without successors, their empire crumbled. One of the greatest eras in the civilization of the world came to an end. Today a number of scien- tists believe that lead pollu- tants had a lot to do with the downfall of the Romans. The Roman rulers ate and drank from vessels that had been made from lead. As a result, traces of lead could have gotten into their foods and wines and could have slowly poisoned their bodies. Traces of lead could have made them feeble-minded, listless. Lead poisoning could have marie it difficult for them 'to reprod- uce. Didn't End Whether lead pollution and lead poisoning partially or ful- ly led to the fall of the Roman Empire is not known for sure. But one thing is sure: lead inillutiim and lead poisoning did not slop with the Roman Empire. Today. Americans arc estimated to have 100 limes more lead in liieir bod- ies than people who lived several thousand years ago. People living in and near ci- ties are usually more exposed to lead pollution than arc peo- ple living in the country. Children are especially prone to lead pollutants. For one thing, they arc closer to the ground, and thus to automo- bile exhaust, a major source of lead pollution. Many chjldren living in older tene- ment houses in cities are tempted to nibble on paint (hat has flaked from the walls. This paint contains large amounts of lead, which are easily absorbed by the body. Air is a major source by which people take in lead pollutants. A third of the lead that gets into people living or working in cities is breathed from the air. But the other two-Lhirds comes from food, beverages, and drinking wa- ter. Scientists estimate that of the lead we cat, 39 percent is in meats, including chicken; 22 percent in vegetables; 17 percent in bakery products; 10 percent in juices; 9 percent in 'dairy products; and 3 percent in other foods. What Lead Dot's What happens when lead gets into our bodies? The tiny traces of lead build up. If they build up enough, they can poi- Belgian Inventor Mokes Bullets Without Casings By Michael S. Barrett LA IIULPE, Belgium As a young boy, Jules Van Langenhoven extracted powder from discarded World war 1 cartridges to fashion his own bullets. Old machinoguns found lying around became his playthings. Guns and bullets have been a part of the Belgian inventor's life since. His invention of a caseless bullet, manufactured by Daisy-Hed- don. the American BB-gun firm, could possibly revolu- tionize the weapons industry because it is and lias no brass shell lo expend. "Nobody learns in a school lo be an Van Lan- genhoven said in an interview. "That's Impossible. You arc a horn Inventor or you arc not an inventor. And that's the difference. "It's in your blood. Research is in your blood. I cannot slop." Van Langenhoven, 04, lives with his wife in a modest house on the main street of this small village, 10 miles southeast of Brussels. When he's In the S. and that is often he lives in Rogers, Ark., 100 miles east of Tulsa, Okla., where has its plant. 'I IK; inventor started work in 195" on a prototype bullet thai could be fired by compressed ;nr and leave no residue in the barrel or chamber "1 found a bullet with a case was a waste of lime and lie said. "I did it for myself. I'vf: been studying <i.' a long lime. There were somr mistakes that's normal. I blow up some guns that's normal, [tut I dun't Klvr lip." In 19lil. Van I.angenhoven went to Paris lo sec (.'ass Hough, president of Daisy- Ileddon. lie showed the airgun executive how his new bullet worked and Hough was so impressed he wrote Van Lan- genhoven a personal check on the spot, made him a partner and flew back to Rogers to begin research. In 1968, the first marketable guns were ready, and Daisy began manufacturing 1.000 of them a day. Student Seeks Haunted House CINCINNATI (DPI) Jim Walton, a 20-year-old student at nearby Northern Kentucky State college, is looking for a haunted house. Walton says he needs a house which has strange nois- es, voices or "spirits" for a research project in which he is involved at school. A newspaper advertisement placed by Walton drew re- sponses from two Cincinnati area residents who figured the ghosts in their attics might fi- nally be of some use to some- one. "I still have to check them Walton said. "I can't be- lieve everyone is lying to me about floors creaking and thai kind of thing." Wallon, a political science major, has an interest in par- apsychology, which he defined as "the science of studying behavior from abnormal phe- To Order Your Action-Ad. Dial 398-8234. son us, that is. cause some or all of these anemia, kidney disease, liver disease, muscle paralysis nr overaction. brain damage, convulsions, death. At the cellular level, traces of lead are known to inhibit enzymes in (he mitochondria, the energy factories of cells. Lead can interfere with iron- containing enzymes in blood so lhat hemoglobin cannot be made. Lead can attack the nuclei of cells, which contain the cells' genetic material. It can also keep helpful (race el- ements, such as iron or magnesium, from passing through cell membranes. Lead can destroy. nerve chemicals that nerve cells use lo commu- nicate with muscle cells. Animal experiments have shown lhat traces of lead can seriously damage both sperm and eggs. Lead can pass from an animal mother's blood lo the blood of the fetus she carries in her womb, even though the two circulatory systems are separate. If pregnant exposed lo high enough levels of lead, their offspring may be born dead or may not grow proper- ly. They also give birth lo fewer offspring. Lead can probably do similar damage lo human reproduction. The traits thai people in- herit can make (hem more vulnerable to lead poisoning. Pediatricians found thai children lacking a particular enzyme in their blood were more open in poisoning than were children born with Ihe enzyme. Many of the bacteria people are exposed to through air, food and water make poison- ous substances called endo- toxins. Scientists have found that if endotoxins gel into the body along with lead, this pollutant is even more harm- ful than usual. And the lead, under these conditions, ap- pears to attack enzymes. Vitamin C Lack of enough vitamin C can make us more susceptible to lead poisoning loo, il seems. In one experiment, young guinea pigs were given a diet lacking in vitamin C. A second group received food without C bul with lead. Oth- ers were given a diet wilh both C and lead. The animals gelling C and lead showed no serious signs of disease. Those simply lacking vitamin C had some trouble with muscle control. Those lacking C and also taking in lead completely lost their muscle control and even their ability to move. If you think you and your family are escaping lead's pernicious influence, you may be kidding yourself. No other trace pollutant has accumulat- ed in people lo levels so close to those causing obvious poi- soning. Over a fourth of all American children, 5 percent of the men and 2 percent of the women are estimated to have levels of lead in their bodies thai border on toxicity (ability to Feel lired or irritable? You may be suffering from a mild case of lead poisoning. Are your children hyperactive? Lead pollution may be the cause. As Dr. Henry Schroedor, of the Dartmouth Medical school and a leading trace pollutant in- vestigator, puts il, "II is disturbing lo think that all of us are being poisoned al least a little bit by lead." (One in a continuing series of reports on science and technology, produced and tributed by the American Assn. for the Advancement of Sci- ence, Washington, C.) By Dull1 Kuctcr The approaching car is wavering from one side uf the roudwuy lo the other, exceed- ing the speed limit. There is a screeching of tires and a grinding of metal. A human being is dead because uf alcohol and the tragedy will be recounted and deplored at cocktail parties all over town. Last year, there were 217 al- cohol-related fatal accidents in Iowa out of a total of 682 fatal crashes or 31.8 percent. The alcohol-related accidents killed 263 persons. Of counties of or more population, four were above the state average. Linn was second worst in 1973 with half the 32 fatal accidents being alcohol-related, result- ing in 19 deaths. Only Story county had a greater percentage of alcohol- related traffic fatalities. Nationwide, half the fatal traffic accidents are alcohol- related. Drinking and driving, says Iowa Safety Commission- er Charles Larson, is more acceptable in this country than in Europe. Legal Limit In most states, said Larson, a person is regarded as legal- ly intoxicated if his blood alco- hol content (BAC) is 0.100 that is one-tenth of one per- cent by weight. In Europe, particularly Scandinavian countries, the legal definition is much lower. Larson supports a bill intro- duced in the last legislature which would make it a mis- demeanor to operate a vehicle if the driver's blood was in excess of 11.05 BAC. a general point where driving is im- paired. "If we could just get the problem drinkers off the road." said Larson, "we could make great strides in reduc- ing fatalities." Larson revealed that Linn's high alcohol -related accident record, compared to the rest of the state, has prompted the consideration of a special program for the county aimed at the drinking and driving problem. "Linn will be considered after the first of the year for what we call a mini-ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Puj- Larson said. Surh programs are now being es- tablished in Pottawattamie and Dubuque counties, which had alcohol-related accident ratios of 3B.8 and 38.5 percent. Federal Funds Larson said such a program would bring about in federal funding in each of three yeans. The money would he used for expanded patrol- ling, help in prosecution, and additional court and rehabil- itation personnel. Wmdlbury' county is tine of 11 areas in the 'nation to have a major ASAP program, a million three-year project which involves a special eight- man ASAP police patrol unit, establishment of two schools for drunk drivers and extra personnel in the probation Jeparlmenl. In all, 25 persons, arc involved in Woodbury county's ASAP. The results have been a 600 percent increase in the number of persons arrested or drunk driving and a dc- Once Regency South is sold out, you'll have to settle for less. And pay more. Condominium residences from J63.100 to OPEN TODAY, 1 TO 5 p.m. at 100 Thompson Drive S.K., Cedar Kapids For Appointment Call: 36S-0300 or 392-4751 Built and Developed by Bjornsen Investment Corporation dine In alcohol-related acci- dents. Many citizens, particularly bar owners, fought the Woodbury ASAP project, ac- cording to Dolores Hacked, project secretary. "But I think when u drunk driver killed a pedestrian the mood changed." Mrs. Hacked said Ihe proj- ect in large part is still a matter of catching drun1' drivers who previously were not caught. Bul the deterrent effects are noticeable. People arc talking about ASAP at parlies and at she said. "It has meant sober people driving the not-so-sober home. If a man has been drinking considerably. he doesn't argue about his wife driving." Why arc half the fata! traff- ic accidents in Linn county al- cohol-related when the slate average in 1973 was 31.8 pcrcenl? In 1972. Linn county had 22 fatal accidents and 11 were al- cohol-related, again 50 per- cent. The stale average in 1972 was 29.2 percent. In 1971, Linn had 33 fatal accidents, 13 alcohol-related, or 39.3 percent. The stale percentage was 34.3. In 1970, Linn had only 9 alcohol-relat- ed fatal accidents nut of a tola! of 33. Linn county Ally. William Faches said part of the reason the county's alcohol-related accident figures are higher than the state average may be due to discrepancies in report- ing- Larson said there may be reporting variances, but a statistician in his office said accuracy and uniformity in re- porting is improving every year. Although stale law does nol require il. medical examiners in Linn and most other majo'r counties automatically take a blood sample an acci- dent victim (esl the BAC level. Faches says, and Larson strongly agrees, thai such samples and lesls should he mandatory. Law enforcement agencies here have been critical of the counly attorney's office, par- ticularly regarding plea bargaining results of some driving cases. Bul Faches said his office lias already processed 91 drunk driving cases Ibis year compared lo 107 in all of 1973; III in 1972, and 145 in 1971. "They are just too damn le- nient in the said Linn Sheriff Walter Omul bluntly. "If we don't get blood tests, we usually lose our case. I would say our rate of convic- tion on OMVI without a blood test is only about 25 percent." "I know the county attor- ney's office has its problems loo with so many cases to han- said Lt. Richard Red- dick, commander of Iowa highway patrol post 11, "so Ihe tendency is for them to treat OMVI with less serious- ness than we do. "it doesn't do any good to vigorously enforce the law If vigorous prosecution doesn't follow. And there has been a general trend toward greater leniency in the courts toward drunk Rcddlck claimed. "If a man is accused of drunk driving, and the charge is reduced through plea bargaining, I don't Ihink it is established in his mind that he should no longer drink and drive. Not Ego Thing "This is not an ego Ihing with our said Reddick. "They know what this kind of driver is doing out on the highway." Cedar Rapids police Capt. Louis Slepanek, head of the department's traffic division, said the lack of manpower "doesn't allow us to hold the number of traffic checks we used to. "In my opinion, this stimu- lates drivers to do things, lo lake risks they might nol or- dinarily lake. We intend, as soon as our manpower silua- lion improves, lo increase our surveillance." Stepanek estimates that on a Friday or Saturday night a check of First avenue drivers would reveal 50 percent have had at least one drink just prior to driving, and that 31) percent of the drivers would have consumed sufficient alco- hol lo impair driving. There arc opposing views and reports concerning the relationship of lowering the legal drinking age lo 18 in Iowa and alcohol-relalcd ac- cidents. A recent report by the Iowa department of public safety said allowing lowans 18 to 20 to consume alcoholic bever- ages had not significantly increased (1.4 percent) alco- hol-related traffic fatalities. Yet the safety department's own 1973 report said that young drivers have higher involvement in falal accidents Traffic Lights No Safety Guarantee MINEOLA, N.Y. iludy of the Nassau county Icparlment of public works ndicates that traffic lights are no guarantee against acci- dents. Compering accident rates at !6 intersections before and aft- er installation of traffic lights, the researchers discovered there had been 154 accidents in a two lo three year period before, and 157 after. Injuries increased from 83 to 95 and fatalities dropped from three to two. and Iheir vulnerability In traffic accidents is increased when drinking is involved. "One feature which differ- entlales young from their older counterparts is that young drivers are partic- ularly vulnerable to small amounts of alcohui." 01 the 235 drinking drivers involved In falal accidents last year in Iowa, one was 16; six were age 17; 15 age 18; 19 age i9; and 12 age 20. About half of the drinking drivers in- volved in fatalities were 24 years of age or less. The state study also showed thai these younger drivers had a lime patlern distinct from those 25 years old and above. The peak time for young drivers involved in falal ac- cidcnls was during the early morning hours (between mid- night and 3 a.m.) while peak lime for Ihe older group was between fi and 9 p.m. The effect of alcohol on young drivers was graphically shown in the fatalities study. The mean BAC for those 19 and younger involved in falal accidents was O.lfil, while for (hose 25 lo 35 had a mean BAC of 0.191 and Ihose 35 lo 44 had a mean BAC of 0.200. Two-thirds of single vehicle and alcohol-related fatal ac- cidents were caused by a drinking driver not able to hold his vehicle under control and one-fourth were due to speeding. Driving left of the center line was the the main violation of drinking drivers in multi- vehicle fatal accidents. Record Search The state searched three years prior lo the fatal acci- dent lo determine Ihe'driving record of drinking drivers involved in fatal crashes. Records of 199 were readily available. Aboul half of the drinking drivers sludied had had at loasl one accident in the three- year period. About two-thirds had some sort of traffic con- viction in that period. Following is a listing of al- cohol-related fatal accidents in 1973 for other Iowa counties: Allamakec, four fatal ac- cidents, one alcohol-related; Benton, 9 fatal accidents, two alcohol-related; Black Hawk. 21 fatal accidents, five alcohol- related; Buchanan, 5 and 4; Cedar, 2 and 0; Clayton, 7 and hi and 3. Delaware, 4 and I; Du- buqiic. 13 and 5; Fayette, 7 and 3; Iowa, 7 and 1; Jackson, 9 and 5; Johnson, 15 and 2; Jones, 4 and 2; Keokuk, 11 and 3; Marshall, 10 and 3. Muscatinc, 9 and 5; Polk, 43 and li; Pollawatamic, IB and 7; Poweshiek, 9 and 5; Seotl, 30 and 9; Tama, 9 and 3; Wash- ington, 9 and 1; Winneshiek, 8 and 3; and Woodburv, 13 and 4. AMERICAN LEGION ANNUAL LABOR DAY TRACTOR PULL HAWKEYE DOWNS CEDAR RAPBDS, IOWA OVER IN PRIZES ,2