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Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir

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Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were first synthesized in the 1880s. Because they conduct heat but not electricity and are water-insoluble, fire-resistant, and extremely stable (withstanding temperatures of up to 1600° F), they were found, in the 1930s, to be extremely useful as components in cooling systems and electrical equipment (transformers and capacitors). They were widely used for these purposes and also in the composition of sealants, rubber, paints, plastics, inks, and insecticides.

PCBs were banned in 1979, after researchers linked them to cancer and developmental problems in humans. However, PCBs persist in the environment for extremely long periods. Because of an affinity for fat, they have a marked tendency to accumulate in living organisms; increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain.

At sites where dumping of chemical wastes had occurred, such as warehouses, landfills, and even rivers, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous wastes still remained. To locate, investigate, and clean up the worst of these sites nationwide, Congress in 1980 established the Superfund Program, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Due to dumping over a period of 35 years by two capacitor manufacturing plants located along the northern part of the Hudson River in New York State, EPA has estimated that 1.1 million pounds of PCBs have accumulated.

Field surveys of the river have found substantial contamination in 40 submerged sediment ―hot spots,‖ 5 exposed shoreline remnant deposits, dredge spoils on riverbanks, and estuary sediments. Today, because of PCB contamination, human consumption of fish caught in the most affected areas of the Hudson River is prohibited. But, while fish consumption remains the most potent route of PCB exposure, exposure can also occur through other routes. Eight municipalities currently draw drinking water from the Hudson and another, New York City, draws it during emergencies.

EPA‘s report recommending dredging indicates that, due to opposition of local residents, neither a landfill nor a thermal treatment facility (for high temperature incineration) can be locally-sighted and the PCBs should therefore be transported to a solid waste landfill outside of the area. The report does not, however, identify a specific location.

Furthermore, air along the river contains elevated concentrations of PCBs, and individuals living along the River show PCB residue in their bodies, paralleling the river's contamination. The EPA has recommended that PCBs be removed from the river bottom by dredging, thus reducing contamination and possibly eventually permitting revitalization of commercial fishing, which once generated $40 million income annually. However, the corporation blamed for the dumping argues that dredging may ―stir up‖ the PCBs (which they describe as now ―lying undisturbed‖ in the riverbed), causing the water, air, and riverbanks to become even more contaminated. Some area residents echo these concerns and also argue that dredging will subject them to years of unacceptable noise, disruption, and curtailed recreational activities.

1. Based on information provided by the author of the passage, it can be inferred from the passage that PCBs are:

I. heavier than water.
II. toxic to fish
III. readily biodegradable.
A. I only
B. I and II only
C. I and III only
D. II and III only
E. I, II and III


2. According to the passage, the EPA differs from local residents and the company responsible for PCB contamination in that it affirms that it bases its recommended action on benefit to:

A. commercial fishing interests.
B. residential interests.
C. the environment as a whole.
D. recreational activities.
E. the general American populace


3. It can be inferred from the passage that the justification used for prohibiting individuals from consuming fish caught in contaminated sections of the Hudson River is that the individuals may thereby:

A. reduce the level of PCBs in their bodies.
B. avoid any further increase in the level of PCBs in their bodies.
C. mitigate the accumulation of PCBs in their bodies.
D. prevent cancer and developmental problems.
E. cause a reduction in their health insurance premium


Originally posted by sandysilva on 08 Feb 2018, 14:42.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 17 Sep 2019, 02:39, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (557).
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2018, 02:40
2
Responding to a P.M.
OE for Q3.
3) Why are individuals prohibited from eating fish from contaminated areas of the Hudson? Review the mechanism described in ¶2: PCBs increase in concentration as they move up the food chain, and so eating fish from contaminated areas would increase the PCB concentration in the person eating the fish. It can be inferred that the fish ban is in place to prevent this from happening; (C) fits.

(A): Distortion. Though not eating the fish may reduce the rate of increase in PCB concentration, there‘s no indication that simply avoiding contaminated fish will reduce PCB concentration overall.

(B): Distortion. As above, though not eating the fish will reduce the rate of increase, this doesn‘t mean that it will eliminate the increase altogether; there are still other possible sources of contamination.

(C): The correct answer

(D): Distortion. Simply reducing the rate of increase won‘t necessarily eliminate all risk factors for cancer and developmental problems, which could come from any number of sources, non-fish-borne PCBs included.

(E): Health insurance premium outside the scope of the passage

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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 05:50
Its infact directly stated in the Second paragraph last line ,
PCBs can get accumulated in living organism as they move up in the food chain.
The passage never states that the level of PCB or so,
hence the answer clearly is C

Because of an affinity for fat, they have a marked tendency to accumulate in living organisms;
increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain.


Hope this reply helps, if so click Kudos :)
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 18:51
1
Please comment on the reasoning on Q3.

It can be inferred from the passage that the justification used for prohibiting individuals from consuming fish caught in contaminated sections of the Hudson River is that the individuals may thereby:

A. reduce the level of PCBs in their bodies.
Because of an affinity for fat, they have a marked tendency to accumulate in living organisms; increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain.
Furthermore, air along the river contains elevated concentrations of PCBs, and individuals living along the River show PCB residue in their bodies, paralleling the river's contamination.

Explanation:
B. avoid any further increase in the level of PCBs in their bodies.
Explanation: . Because of an affinity for fat, they have a marked tendency to accumulate in living organisms; increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain.
ie. Human is the last of the food chain, so it will not increase the level of PCB.

C. mitigate the accumulation of PCBs in their bodies.
Explanation: .
Because of an affinity for fat, they have a marked tendency to accumulate in living organisms; increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain.
Furthermore, air along the river contains elevated concentrations of PCBs, and individuals living along the River show PCB residue in their bodies, paralleling the river's contamination.
ie. PCB can be obtained from other sources, therefore, if human does not consume fish that is contaminated; the action will reduced the level of PCB in the body.

D. prevent cancer and developmental problems.
Does not explicitly mentioned that it will prevent cancer and developmental problems

E. cause a reduction in their health insurance premium
Not mentioned in the passage
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 11:04
Didn't really understand why the answer to Q.2 is A. The passage says that " The EPA has recommended that PCBs be removed from the river bottom by dredging, thus reducing contamination and POSSIBLY eventually permitting revitalization of commercial fishing". Clearly the commercial fishing revitalization isn't the main motive behind this.
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 07:44
Can someone help with q1? I could find support that refute 2 and 3 but what about 1?

Guess worked for A, overall all correct . What are the chances of seeing such long passages in actual GMAT?

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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2019, 10:26
Prateek176 wrote:
Didn't really understand why the answer to Q.2 is A. The passage says that " The EPA has recommended that PCBs be removed from the river bottom by dredging, thus reducing contamination and POSSIBLY eventually permitting revitalization of commercial fishing". Clearly the commercial fishing revitalization isn't the main motive behind this.



Hi, I have the same doubt. as well. Can anyone offer an explanation on this?
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2019, 08:06
Someone please explain question no 1 in detail
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2019, 01:53
1
AmarRajput wrote:
Someone please explain question no 1 in detail



I. heavier than water.
II. toxic to fish
III. readily biodegradable.

I: CORRECT and can be deduced from the statement that "sediments are settled down in the river"
II: Passage never stated that PCB is toxic to fishes; However, it is harmful to People if they will consume fish, which are present in PCB contaminated water.
III: PCB is not biodegradable, this is why it lasts for Years.

Hence; Option 1 is correct

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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2019, 22:16
MagooshExpert please explain question no 2
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New post 04 Jun 2019, 08:56
Bishal123456789 wrote:
MagooshExpert please explain question no 2


B, C, and E are out because 'recommended actions' are not going to benefit them.

it is b/w A and D

acc. to passage: "The EPA has recommended that PCBs be removed from the river bottom by dredging, thus reducing contamination and possibly eventually permitting revitalization of commercial fishing

it surely tells that recommended actions are going to benefit commercial fishing interests; Hence Option A is Correct.

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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 17:44
Bishal123456789 wrote:
MagooshExpert please explain question no 2

Hi Bishal123456789,

Happy to help! :)

Here's the relevant part of the passage for question 2:

Quote:
The EPA has recommended that PCBs be removed from the river bottom by dredging, thus reducing contamination and possibly eventually permitting revitalization of commercial fishing, which once generated $40 million income annually.


This part specifically tells us that the EPA's recommendation is specifically motivated by the revitalization of commercial fishing, so A is our answer :)

The rest of the passage goes on to describe the concerns of the corporation and local residents, which match the other answer choices, in contrast to the EPA's motivation.

I hope that helps! :)
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Re: Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 01:35
Topic and Scope - PCB contamination of the Hudson River and possible clean-up

Mapping the Passage
¶1 describes PCBs and what industries and products made use of them.
¶2 describes PCB toxicity, the ban on PCBs, and the problem that PCBs remain in the environment.
¶3 describes the historical context of chemical dumping and clean-up.
¶4 describes PCB pollution in the Hudson River.
¶5 notes that the fate of PCBs after dredging has received little attention.
¶6 describes competing views over clean-up: the EPA wants to dredge PCBs, while corporations and some citizens argue that this will do more harm than good.
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Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 01:38
Best Available Solution

1) A Roman Numeral inference question with little information to go on in the
question. RN I appears in three out of the four answer choices, so evaluate it first.
What in the passage would provide information about the relative weights of PCBs
and water? If the solution to removing PCBs from the river is to dredge, then PCBs
must be at the bottom of the river, which means that they must be heavier than
water. Eliminate (D). There‘s no suggestion that PCBs are toxic to fish; just the
opposite! If ―fish consumption remains the most potent route of PCB exposure,‖
that must mean that the fish are relatively healthy (at least until eaten). RN III
goes against the main thrust of the passage: if PCBs were biodegradable, there
would be no need to dredge at all. (A) must be correct.

(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. As described above.
(C): Opposite. As above.
(D): Opposite. As above.
(E): Opposite. As above.

2) A nastily-worded question. Be sure to take the time to figure out exactly what it‘s
asking. Differences between the EPA and the other two groups are mentioned in
¶6. The question asks how the EPA differs on the basis of its recommendation for
clean-up. The EPA bases its recommendation on the belief that dredging will reduce
contamination and may revitalize commercial fishing. Predict where the difference
isn’t: it‘s not on environmental concerns, because the company and the residents
also base their argument on environmental benefit. Neither the company nor
residents are associated with commercial fishing; this is therefore a valid
difference. (A) fits.[/b]

(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. Presumably reduced contamination will further residential interests, which the residents clearly also believe since some oppose dredging on the belief that it will increase contamination.
(C): Opposite. Even if the EPA is concerned with the environment as a whole, for which there‘s no basis in the passage, it‘s arguable that the residents have a similar environmental concern.
(D): Opposite. This is a reason that residents who oppose dredging, not the EPA, cite.
(E): Incorrect as described above

3) Why are individuals prohibited from eating fish from contaminated areas of the
Hudson? Review the mechanism described in ¶2: PCBs increase in concentration as
they move up the food chain, and so eating fish from contaminated areas would
increase the PCB concentration in the person eating the fish. It can be inferred that
the fish ban is in place to prevent this from happening; (C) fits.
(A): Distortion. Though not eating the fish may reduce the rate of increase in PCB concentration, there‘s no indication that simply avoiding contaminated fish will reduce PCB concentration overall.
(B): Distortion. As above, though not eating the fish will reduce the rate of increase, this doesn‘t mean that it will eliminate the increase altogether;
there are still other possible sources of contamination.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Distortion. Simply reducing the rate of increase won‘t necessarily eliminate all risk factors for cancer and developmental problems, which could come from any number of sources, non-fish-borne PCBs included.
(E): Health insurance premium outside the scope of the passage[/b]
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Polychlorinated biphenyls are heavy, syrupy hydrocarbons that were fir   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2019, 01:38
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