Sound machines may hurt ears

Your opinion piece on the use of ultra sonic Mosquito machines was most welcome [“Sonic warfare against teens?”, June 27]. There is a dearth of research as to the long-term exposure to such stimuli. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), dizziness and hearing loss are all possibilities considering the physiology of ear.

Ironically, adults may actually be at higher risk. Although this frequency range is not “heard” by the adult ear, it is still being processed by the auditory system. Therefore adult exposure could be of longer duration and possibly more damaging.

The use of such devices in urban areas is moronic. What the city needs to realize is that further research may reveal medico-legal implications.

Larry Denenberg AuD.
Retired Chief Audiology,
VA Medical Center, Philadelphia
Chestnut Hill


Kindness not on trial in Arizona

I write in reply to Diane Fiske, who lamented the sad tale of the Arizona professor who was tried “for kindness.” [“Local Unitarian minister defends Arizona professor tried ‘for kindness,’” June 27]

Of course, it was not his “kindness” that was put on trial. Rather, he was charged with aiding and abetting an illegal immigrant – a serious felony under Federal, and I believe also Arizona State law – a fact conveniently not mentioned in Ms. Fiske’s article.

Also notable in its omission is that, apparently, this illegal immigrant entered the United States without seeking asylum. Some of your readers are likely to point out that asylum seekers have the right to apply for same once they cross the border in a designated legal location, after saying the “magic words.” That is accurate, but these are not the facts of this case.

Any assertion that “immigrants are forced to travel without sufficient water or food” is false. The individuals who are overwhelming our southern border made the decision to leave their home country voluntarily, with full knowledge of the dangers they would likely face.

Another false statement: “Due process is being denied to immigrants.” This may be true of those who enter and immediately seek asylum at a designated checkpoint. If this were the case here, I am confident the “kind professor” and/or Ms. Fiske would have mentioned it.

This case is not an attempt to “criminalize kindness.” On the contrary, it is an attempt to enforce the laws of this country, and to keep its legal residents and citizens safe.

Sharon Reiss
Mt. Airy


It’s about time

Three hundred and forty-nine cities and counties in the country have already banned or charged for plastic bags. Two states, California and Hawaii, have banned them, and New York will ban them by 2025. It’s about time Philadelphia joined this movement to reduce unnecessary trash. On average, plastic bags have a life cycle of 12 minutes, and yet they remain in the environment for up to 1,000 years.

When you consider that two million bags are distributed every minute throughout the world, you can imagine the destruction they cause worldwide, clogging waterways and killing marine life, not to mention the ugly detritus that mars the landscape.

Let’s support this ban on plastic bags. It makes allowances for some produce to use plastic and for those who are willing to pay the 15-cent fee to retailers. In cities like Washington, D.C., Boston and Seattle, there has been a reduction of 85% in plastic bag use. Let’s show we care about the environment.

Sandra Folzer
Chestnut Hill