## #8 - Environmentalist: When bacteria degrade household

hassan66

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Would answer choice E be correct if this were a justify question or strengthen question (at its strongest)?
PowerScore Staff

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I don't think it would, hasan66, because in its conditional form we still can't know that it ever actually happens. IF those toxic vapors form, then some humans are harmed - that doesn't prove that any of those vapors ever actually DO form in landfills, or that they would do so in a landfill converted to a park, and we don't know if bacteria are present. So I would say no, that is not a justify answer, and if it strengthens it only does so very little.
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Leela

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Adam Tyson wrote:Correct, lilmisssunshine! Without knowing about the bacteria issue, we can't know that putting cleaning supplies into landfills is dangerous! The author doesn't have to assume that all vapors from cleaning products are dangerous, but only that some of them are (the toxic ones). It's the bacteria that guarantee the toxic vapors, and so that's what's missing. Good work!

I'm confused. Why do we need to know specifically about the bacteria in an assumption answer? Wouldn't that be more characteristic of a justify answer?
Brook Miscoski
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Leela,

The reason that we need to know whether there are bacteria present is that the stimulus is based on the idea that bacteria break down the cleaning supplies into harmful vapors, but the stimulus doesn't show that the bacteria are present. Thus, we must fill in the gap. Answer choice (A) fills in the gap by providing that the bacteria are present.

It's inconsequential that the choice may also justify the argument, since the argument fails without (A). Let's negate (A):

There are no landfills where bacteria degrade household cleaning products.

Well, if that's the case, the Environmentalist's concern about the vapors that would result from those bacteria seems a little silly, right? So (A) is required.