GRE Argument Essay 239
The Trash-Site Safety Council has recently conducted a statewide study of possible harmful effects of garbage sites on the health of people living near the sites. A total of five sites and 300 people were examined. The study revealed, on average, only a small statistical correlation between the proximity of homes to garbage sites and the incidence of unexplained rashes among people living in these homes. Furthermore, although it is true that people living near the largest trash sites had a slightly higher incidence of the rashes, there was otherwise no correlation between the size of the garbage sites and people’s health. Therefore, the council is pleased to announce that the current system of garbage sites does not pose a significant health hazard. We see no need to restrict the size of such sites in our state or to place any restrictions on the number of homes built near the sites.
The Trash-Site Safety Council provides evidence in the form of a statewide survey to conclude that there is no requirement of restricting the sizes of garbage sites or imposing restrictions on building homes near such sites as the sites do not pose health hazards to the people living in their proximity. The statewide survey in which five sites and 300 people were studied, has revealed that there was a small correlation between the proximity of the homes to the garbage sites and the occurrence of unexplained rashes among the people who lived near such sites. Moreover, the study concludes that although people living near large garbage sites did have an increased incidence of rashes, there was no correlation between the size of the sites and people’s health. In several respects, however, the evidence provided by the arguer lends little credible support for the argument.
It is difficult to be convinced that the five garbage sites that were a part of the study represent all the garbage sites throughout the entire state. It is likely that these five garbage sites are located in such a way that they cannot possibly represent all such sites throughout the state in terms of their sizes or in terms of the number of people who reside in their proximity. The results as reflected by this study may not necessarily be true for all the garbage sites in the state. There might be sites which are much larger in size as compared to the ones examined by the study and therefore, it is likely that the effect that they have had on the health of people living in their vicinity is more profound. Unless the arguer provides specific information that proves that the five garbage sites examined by the study represent all the garbage sites in the state, one cannot be convinced that the results of the study substantiate the conclusion drawn by the argument.
The same line of reasoning holds true for the 300 people who were a part of the study. What is the surety that the health of these 300 people reflects the health status of all the people living close to the garbage sites? It is likely that the five garbage sites examined by the study were located in urban areas where people are educated and they have easy access to medical facilities. They may have been able to get good medical treatment leading to the health problems being addressed well in time. Therefore, the assumption that the proximity to garbage sites and the health status of people are remotely correlated is grossly unwarranted. It may not be the same scenario at all residential areas near the remaining garbage sites in the state. There is a possibility that the people staying near some of the garbage sites do not have access to medical help and the aggravated unexplained rashes in their case would have led to serious health problems due to staying close to the garbage sites.
There is no mention of the duration for which the people, who were a part of the study, have been living in the vicinity of the garbage sites. It is likely that the proximity to the garbage sites has long term effects on the health of the people and these might become more obvious with the passage of time. Therefore, unless the arguer considers all the issues that have been brought out above, it would be difficult for one to accept the conclusion as reasonable and valid. Hence, the given argument has been rendered unpersuasive and unsubstantiated in several respects due to lack of credible evidence in its support.