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# Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain

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Manager
Joined: 28 Jul 2009
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Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2009, 11:04
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Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain, was blamed for the high rate of nerve damage suffered by people who work in grain-processing plants, many such plants switched to other chemical fumigants two years ago. Since then, however, the percentage of workers at these plants who were newly diagnosed with nerve damage has not dropped significantly. Therefore, either ethylene dibromide was wrongly blamed or else the new chemicals also cause nerve damage.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause.
B. There are no chemical fumigants that are completely safe for workers in grain processing plants.
C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable.
D. Workers at grain-processing plants typically continue to work there even after being diagnosed with nerve damage.
E. Workers at grain-processing plants that still use ethylene dibromide continue to have a high rate of nerve damage.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2009, 12:45
bsv180985 wrote:
Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain, was blamed for the high rate of nerve damage suffered by people who work in grain-processing plants, many such plants switched to other chemical fumigants two years ago. Since then, however, the percentage of workers at these plants who were newly diagnosed with nerve damage has not dropped significantly. Therefore, either ethylene dibromide was wrongly blamed or else the new chemicals also cause nerve damage.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause.

B. There are no chemical fumigants that are completely safe for workers in grain processing plants.

C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable.

D. Workers at grain-processing plants typically continue to work there even after being diagnosed with nerve damage.

E. Workers at grain-processing plants that still use ethylene dibromide continue to have a high rate of nerve damage.

Manager
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2009, 08:35
If it takes longer than 2 years for the damage to be detectable, the argument doesn’t hold good.

Hence the answer should be C
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2009, 08:39
straight C...
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2013, 08:06
Hello,
Can someone please walk me through with this problem.

Thanks
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2013, 09:51
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imhimanshu wrote:
Hello,
Can someone please walk me through with this problem.

Thanks

Sure! I can give this a shot.

Ok, this questions asks for the assumption. Lets find the premises and conclusion first:

Premise 1: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain, was blamed for the high rate of nerve damage suffered by people who work in grain-processing plants, many such plants switched to other chemical fumigants two years ago.

Counter premise: however, the percentage of workers at these plants who were newly diagnosed with nerve damage has not dropped significantly.

Conclusion: Therefore, either ethylene dibromide was wrongly blamed or else the new chemicals also cause nerve damage.

Now, we have to find the assumption on which the conclusion, i.e ethylene bromide was wrongly blamed, is based.
Maybe a diagram will help?

eth bromide---> caused problems
.
.
After 2 yrs
.
.
Switched to another chemical---> problem still exists!

So--> ethyl bromide is NOT the root cause of this problem

Now, lets look at the answer choices: (Remember, we have to focus on the conclusion, i.e ethyl bromide is not the root cause)

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause. Not true because this tells us about the new chemical and a if scenario. But we already know that the new chemical causes nerve damage. Besides this wont help us conclude that eth bromide is NOT a cause for damag

B. There are no chemical fumigants that are completely safe for workers in grain processing plants.
This is too broad to claim that no chemical is safe

C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable.
If you remember the premise, it says that after 2 yrs workers switched to a new chemical. Which means that it takes less than 2 years to detect the damage caused by ethylene bromine. So this is the correct answer choice
Another way to prove this is the correct answer is to negate it. If we said that it takes MORE than 2 years for ethylene bromine to be detectable, then we cannot prove if it was ethylene bromine or the new chemical that caused the damage, since we already switched to the new chemical within 2 years. So this statement is a good assumptio
n
D. Workers at grain-processing plants typically continue to work there even after being diagnosed with nerve damage.
This would actually weaken the argument because if the workers worked, there is no way of proving which chemical caused the damage
E. Workers at grain-processing plants that still use ethylene dibromide continue to have a high rate of nerve damage.
Not an assumption, because it does not directly support the conclusion which is: ethy bromine is NOT the root cause fot the damage.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2013, 10:00
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Expert's post
It looks like someone was faster than me but since I did this on my phone (while watching my son's soccer game 0-0 tie) I'm still to post it
bsv180985 wrote:
Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain, was blamed for the high rate of nerve damage suffered by people who work in grain-processing plants, many such plants switched to other chemical fumigants two years ago. Since then, however, the percentage of workers at these plants who were newly diagnosed with nerve damage has not dropped significantly. Therefore, either ethylene dibromide was wrongly blamed or else the new chemicals also cause nerve damage.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause.

B. There are no chemical fumigants that are completely safe for workers in grain processing plants.

C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable.

D. Workers at grain-processing plants typically continue to work there even after being diagnosed with nerve damage.

E. Workers at grain-processing plants that still use ethylene dibromide continue to have a high rate of nerve damage.

Remember that assumptions fill the gap between premises and the conclusion. Here the premises are 1) that plants switched away from ED TWO years ago because ED was blamed for nerve damage and 2) that the percentage of NEW nerve cases has not dropped. The conclusion says that either ED was not the problem or that the new chemical is just as bad. The assumption will connect these premises to the conclusion and will make the conclusion more valid.

A-The argument does not discuss any difference in types of nerve damage only the percentage of cases - out of scope
B-Completely out of scope
C- In order to conclude that ED was wrongly blamed for NEW cases after the change TWO years ago we have to assume that is doesn't take time for these nerve damages to be detected. - correct
D- out of scope - doesn't help us with the source of nerve damage at this plant
E- again out of scope because we are concerned about nerve damage cases and this plant that no longer uses ED.

KW

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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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13 Oct 2015, 18:47
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2016, 22:46
KyleWiddison wrote:
It looks like someone was faster than me but since I did this on my phone (while watching my son's soccer game 0-0 tie) I'm still to post it
bsv180985 wrote:
Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain, was blamed for the high rate of nerve damage suffered by people who work in grain-processing plants, many such plants switched to other chemical fumigants two years ago. Since then, however, the percentage of workers at these plants who were newly diagnosed with nerve damage has not dropped significantly. Therefore, either ethylene dibromide was wrongly blamed or else the new chemicals also cause nerve damage.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause.

B. There are no chemical fumigants that are completely safe for workers in grain processing plants.

C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable.

D. Workers at grain-processing plants typically continue to work there even after being diagnosed with nerve damage.

E. Workers at grain-processing plants that still use ethylene dibromide continue to have a high rate of nerve damage.

Remember that assumptions fill the gap between premises and the conclusion. Here the premises are 1) that plants switched away from ED TWO years ago because ED was blamed for nerve damage and 2) that the percentage of NEW nerve cases has not dropped. The conclusion says that either ED was not the problem or that the new chemical is just as bad. The assumption will connect these premises to the conclusion and will make the conclusion more valid.

A-The argument does not discuss any difference in types of nerve damage only the percentage of cases - out of scope
B-Completely out of scope
C- In order to conclude that ED was wrongly blamed for NEW cases after the change TWO years ago we have to assume that is doesn't take time for these nerve damages to be detected. - correct
D- out of scope - doesn't help us with the source of nerve damage at this plant
E- again out of scope because we are concerned about nerve damage cases and this plant that no longer uses ED.

KW

Posted from my mobile device

Posted from my mobile device

Reconfirmation of (C) as correct answer -
Negating (C) :
If the damage effects are detected after two years, then what damages we saw in the last two years, can't be due to new chemical fumigant. It has to be due to effects of ED. So if we negate (C), the conclusion falls flat - note the conclusion says " Therefore, either ethylene dibromide was wrongly blamed or else the new chemicals also cause nerve damage. "
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2016, 09:26
C is correct. Here's why:

Given the choices, you'll get it down to a 50-50 between A and C

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause. --> we don't care that the damage is different, but this doesn't indicate that eth. dibromide is off the hook or if new chemical is the cause

C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable. --> if eth. di took two years or longer to become detectable, then the argument falls flat - hence, CORRECT!
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Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain [#permalink]

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21 Dec 2016, 12:05
lawiniecke wrote:
C is correct. Here's why:

Given the choices, you'll get it down to a 50-50 between A and C

A. If the new chemicals cause nerve damage, the nerve damage caused would be different from any nerve damage that ethylene dibromide may cause. --> we don't care that the damage is different, but this doesn't indicate that eth. dibromide is off the hook or if new chemical is the cause

C. If ethylene dibromide causes nerve damage, it does not take two years or longer for that damage to become detectable. --> if eth. di took two years or longer to become detectable, then the argument falls flat - hence, CORRECT!

Completely agree. Plus, if you negate A, it doesn't affect the argument whatsoever. The same cannot be said for C.
Re: Because ethylene dibromide, a chemical used to fumigate grain   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2016, 12:05
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