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Civic Leader: The high cancer rate among our citizens is the

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Civic Leader: The high cancer rate among our citizens is the [#permalink]

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22 Apr 2010, 09:48
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Civic Leader: The high cancer rate among our citizens is the result of hazardous material produced at your plant.
Board of Directors: Our statistics show that rates of cancer are high throughout the valley in which the plant is situated because local wells that supply drinking water are polluted, not because of the plant.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the board’s claims?
(A) The statistics do not differentiate between types of cancer.
(B) Nearby communities have not changed the sources of their drinking water.
(C) Cancer-causing chemicals used at the plant are discharged into a nearby river and find their way into local wells.
(D) The plant both uses and produces chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer.
(E) Some of the pollutants cited by the board as contaminating the local wells have been present in the wells for decades.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
C
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22 Apr 2010, 10:05
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(A) The statistics do not differentiate between types of cancer. Types of cancer has nothing to do with the arguement
(B) Nearby communities have not changed the sources of their drinking water. This would only make sense it the arguement mention an change in the levels of cancer over time, which it did not
(C) Cancer-causing chemicals used at the plant are discharged into a nearby river and find their way into local wells. Best choice. This is the answer I was looking for after reading the arguement. This makes what both sides said basically true, but adds in the information that the water is polluted because of the plant
(D) The plant both uses and produces chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer. Doesn't mean anything if the plant didn't polute the water
(E) Some of the pollutants cited by the board as contaminating the local wells have been present in the wells for decades.Without knowing how long the plant has been there, this does not help either arguement. If the plant was just recently built, this would be a good answer
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22 Apr 2010, 22:28
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It's C !

Inorder to weaken the argument, we need to find a statement which mentions "hazardous material produced at the plant contaminates water in the local wells" .

(A) The statistics do not differentiate between types of cancer. - Irrelevant
(B) Nearby communities have not changed the sources of their drinking water. - Irrelevant
(C) Cancer-causing chemicals used at the plant are discharged into a nearby river and find their way into local wells. - Correct !
(D) The plant both uses and produces chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer. - It does not mention about water supply.
(E) Some of the pollutants cited by the board as contaminating the local wells have been present in the wells for decades. - This would infact strengthen the argument.
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23 Apr 2010, 03:34
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C for me too.
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26 Apr 2010, 00:15
IMO C.

I like this kind of question as I dont have to locate the conclusion in the argument. It is present in the question stem.

Board's Conclusion: Local wells that supply drinking water are polluted and causing high cancer rate.

Let's analyze each option by PoE.

poohv005 wrote:
Civic Leader: The high cancer rate among our citizens is the result of hazardous material produced at your plant.
Board of Directors: Our statistics show that rates of cancer are high throughout the valley in which the plant is situated because local wells that supply drinking water are polluted, not because of the plant.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the board’s claims?
(A) The statistics do not differentiate between types of cancer. [This is Shell Game fallcy. Argument says cancer rate while this choice discusses on tyes of cancers. Incorrect]
(B) Nearby communities have not changed the sources of their drinking water. [New info is added but irrelevent/out of scope to our concern. Incorrect]
(C) Cancer-causing chemicals used at the plant are discharged into a nearby river and find their way into local wells. [Best choice. If the chemicals from the plant are discharged into the river which is a source for wells then the plant indeed in causing higher cancer rate.]
(D) The plant both uses and produces chemicals that have been shown to cause cancer [This is rather strengthing the conclusion. Incorrect].
(E) Some of the pollutants cited by the board as contaminating the local wells have been present in the wells for decades. [This is rather strengthing the conclusion. Incorrect].

[Reveal] Spoiler:
C

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Re: CR weaken question   [#permalink] 26 Apr 2010, 00:15
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