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美国英语听力80篇1 Lesson02

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Erin Brockovich
Six weeks ago, the movie "Erin Brockovich" opened the United States.
So far, it has earned at least 100,000,000 dollars.
It tells a true story about a young woman who helped people in a California town gain money from an energy company.
The people in the town of Hinckley accused the company of poisoning their water.
Shep O'Neal has more.
In the movie, as in real life, a young woman named Erin Brockovich made a discovery.
She discovered that the town's ground water contained a chemical known as chromium six,or hexavalent chromium.
The chromium had leaked from the town's energy company, Pacific Gas and Electric.
The people of the town were suffering many health problems,
including breast cancer, uterine cancer, Hodgkin's Disease, asthma and stomach diseases.
They claimed their sicknesses were caused by the hexavalent chromium.
They said the company knew its factory was leaking too much of the chemical into the water.
The lawyers Erin Brockovich worked for began legal action against the company.
Pacific Gas and Electric paid the town's people more than 300,000,000 dollars.
Scientists, however, say no one can be sure that hexavalent chromium was responsible for the peoples' health problems.
They say any one chemical does not cause so many different kinds of sicknesses.
Hexavalent chromium is known to cause lung cancer if it is breathed into the lungs over a long period of time.
But no studies show that hexavalent chromium in groundwater causes so many health problems.
Officials at the United States Environmental Protection Agency agree there is no evidence that chromium in drinking water causes cancer.
Yet the agency does not permit the chemical to be present in amounts larger than 100 microrams.
Government  scientists  believe  that  hexavalent chromium in drinking water is not healthy.
They have done studies on rats, mice and dogs.
The studies suggest that the chemical could damage the liver, kidneys and nerves.
And it could interfere with the development of unborn babies.
Whatever the  scientific  findings  about  hexavalent chromium,
the people of Hinckley, California received a lot of money from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

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