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# Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools

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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2017, 14:17
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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
A. The number of school nurses employed by Renston’s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
B. Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
C. Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
D. The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
E. Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston’s population now than they did ten years ago

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Last edited by Vyshak on 11 Jun 2017, 19:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2017, 15:26
Deba2017 wrote:
In the passage it says :

Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years.

In Option C : Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.

As per option C , less number of children reporting to nurses now compared to the number of reporting 10 years back , so obviously rate of reporting should be decreased. But the passage depicts opposite picture.

Thanks chiragmishra93 for the explanation!

According to the argument, the increase in the proportion of schoolchildren sent to the elementary school nurses is due to either greater exposure to the chemicals or a greater sensitivity to the chemicals. But what if children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals ARE more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago? That could explain the increase in the proportion of schoolchildren sent to the elementary school nurses, even if students' exposure and sensitivity to the chemicals has not changed.

Thus, in order for the argument to hold, the author must assume that children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are NOT more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago. Choice (C) is the correct answer.
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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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11 Jun 2017, 15:28
And I just realized notice that it was your very first post, chiragmishra93. Welcome to GMAT Club!
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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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12 Jun 2017, 01:52
joemama142000 wrote:
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston's schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

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

(A) The number of school nurses employed by Renston's elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
(B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
(D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
(E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston's population now than they did ten years ago.

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for most cr questions, except bold faced, and inference ones, alway begin by criticizing the argument.

whether the logic of argument is good
whether the evidence is distorted (whether the evidence is representative)

if evidence is not good, the argument fall apart. the answer choice support or weaken the factor affecting evidence will be strengthening or weakening the argument

choice C show that the evidence is not distorted, is representative, is good. and is the answer choice
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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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30 Jul 2017, 05:49
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i picked E , but E is not that relevant and it does not bridge the gap between premise and the conclusion. E only talks about proportion.

C bridges that the gap and is the correct answer.

in straight words, the author assumes that the trend is normal .

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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 02:44
(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago. > Assumption negation technique. Assuming children are more likely to be sent to school nurse today, this attacks the basis of conclusion that it is a result of greater quantities or greater sensitivity compared to school children 10 years ago.

All other answers are irrelevant :
(A) Number of nurses employed - Irrelevant; we are dealing with proportion of schoolchildren;
(B) Other substances - Irrelevant
(D) where chemicals are used - Irrelevant
(E) Overall population of children attending - Irrelevant as we are only dealing with proportions; ie those who are reported to be treated

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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 03:32
joemama142000 wrote:
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston's schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

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

(A) The number of school nurses employed by Renston's elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
(B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
(D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
(E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston's population now than they did ten years ago.

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Hi IanStewart

Here's another one for you, and really thankyou for thelast reply.
Consider this...

If the stimulus was worded as..

"the proportion of children, on average, sent to the nurses has steadily increased"

would this mean that the proportion of children per nurse has increased? If this is the case, then option A would be correct isnt it?

As per my understanding, the original question states that "collectively, the proportion of children that comes nurses for allergic treatments has overall increased". this would mean that even if the total number of nurses have decreased, the collective proportion of children that comes to the nurse is for allergic treatments has increased. For example, 40% of total school children used to come to 30 nurses. Now 50% of total school children comes to 20 nurses. In this question, we have nothing to do about "the average proportion of school children per nurse". Is my reasoning correct? Also please answer my question I asked earlier in this post. Please also tell, if the intended meaning was "proportion per nurse", then what kind of wordings could have been used?

Thanks a lot.

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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2017, 10:19
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston's schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

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

(A) The number of school nurses employed by Renston's elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
- We're dealing with PROPORTIONS (not absolute #s), and also, we're concerned with SCHOOLCHILDREN, NOT NURSES.

(B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
- Out of scope. Who cares about other allergies?

(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
- Children are MORE likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were 10 years ago? Destroys the idea that schoolchildren are exposed to greater quantity of chemicals...also destroys the idea that they're more "sensitive" than schoolchildren were before. They're just more likely to be sent to nurses now than before.

(D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
- OPPOSITE. Chemicals are more commonly used, so schoolchildren are being exposed to it more often at home, right? Doesn't that mean that schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals? Yes...and that's what is explicitly written in the Conclusion. Remember, when we NEGATE A/C, we need to DESTROY the Conclusion.

(E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston's population now than they did ten years ago.
- Out of scope. Who cares what the proportion of schoolchildren to overall population is?

This was tricky. Hopefully you can see why the Ans is C. Kudos please if you find this helpful

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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2017, 17:44
I think option A is incorrect because it says it has not decreased but that does not mean that the number of nurses have increased, it can be the case that the number has remained constant and if that is so, then number of children cannot go up.

Correct me if my logic to eliminate option A was incorrect. Thank you

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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2017, 09:09
Option E talks about the proportion of children wrt. to the entire population of the city. The increase proportion could mean either the number of children is more and the population is same as before OR the population of the city has lessened when the number of children is same as before.
This gives us nothing to show that these children are getting exposed to more chemicals than before. Hence E is out.

I hope this helps some one.
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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2017, 18:26
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston's schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

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

(A) The number of school nurses employed by Renston's elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.What if the number of nurses decreased? So what? Doesn't affect the proportion of students allergic to the chemicals. Irrelevant
(B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances. Other substances are irrelevant. Concerned about school children and the chemicals used in cleaners
(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.Correct assumption has to eliminate another reason why the proportion of children going to school nurses is higher. Keep this one in
(D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston. So? Irrelevant.
(E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston's population now than they did ten years ago. Proportion of children in population doesn't matter. Irrelevant

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Re: Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2017, 18:26

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