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LG/ELC500/SAMPLE TEST 2

PART A: (20 MARKS)


Read the passage below carefully and answer the questions that follow.
I

We consumed over 49 billion liters of the stuff in 2007, an eight percent


increase from 2002. It is refreshing, calorie-free, convenient to carry
around, tastier than some tap water and a lot healthier than sugary sodas.
But more and more, people are questioning whether the water, and the
package it comes in, is safe, or at least safer than filtered tap water.

II

Despite the concerns over water-safety regulations, demand for bottled


water continues to grow globally. The US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) requires bottlers to regularly test for contaminants, but the agency
considers bottled water a low-risk product, so plants may not be inspected
every year. According to one official, it is the manufacturer's responsibility

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to ensure that the product complies with laws and regulations.

III

Most bottled water comes in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles,


indicated by the number 1 and the letters PET or PETE on the bottle's
bottom. The bottles are generally safe, says Ken Smith, PhD, immediate
past chair of the American Chemical Society's division of environmental

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chemistry. But scientists say when stored in hot or warm temperatures, the
plastic may leach chemicals into the water.

IV

When 25-year old Leslie Tai, a filmmaker in Beijing, learned about the
health risks from plastic bottles, she was surprised. ''I have always
believed drinking water is good for my health so finding out that water

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bottles might actually be harmful is rather unnerving. Plastic bottles are


convenient as they are light and unbreakable,'' she says.

Many people sip from a bottle that has been sitting in a hot car, a
potentially dangerous move. High temperatures in your storage space are
not the only potential risk; so are the other things you keep there. Experts

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advise against storing water in the garage, near gas fumes, pesticides and
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other chemicals that could, at the very least, affect the smell and taste of
the water.

VI

Annie Hung, 24, an English instructor in Hong Kong, found that some of the
bottled water she bought had a ''funky plastic-like taste.'' She discovered

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the cheapest brands most often tasted this way and decided it would be
safer to stick to slightly more expensive brands. ''After hearing about
chemical seepage in bottled water, I decided it's not worth the risk to pick a
bottle that looks too old or too cheap,'' she says. In the past Annie might
re-use the same bottle more than once, but now she recycles the bottle

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after one use. ''The weather here makes bottled water a must, but you
have to be careful with what you drink.''

VII

''Are there hazards associated with these chemicals?'' asks James Kapin, a
chemical safety consultant in San Diego. ''Absolutely.'' But as with many
debates on chemicals, the exact health risks are unknown. ''We very rarely

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get black-and-white answers for the health effects of long-term exposure.


At some point, I hope, there will be a scientific consensus,'' adds Kapin.

VIII

In the meantime, experts have raised a warning flag about a few specific
chemicals. Antimony is a potentially toxic material used in making PET.
Last year, scientists in Germany found in their research that the longer a

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bottle of water sits around in a store or in your home, the more antimony it
absorbs. High concentrations of antimony can cause nausea, vomiting and
diarrhea. In the study, levels found were below those set as safe by the
EPA. However, it is a topic that needs more research.

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IX

LG/ELC500/SAMPLE TEST 2

In 2007, a National Institute of Health (NIH) committee agreed that

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bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in polycarbonate used to make water


cooler jugs, sport-water bottles and other hard plastics, but not PET, may
cause neurological and behavioral problems in foetus, babies and kids. A
separate NIH-sponsored panel found that the risk was even greater, saying
that adult exposure to BPA likely affects the brain, the female reproductive

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system and the immune system. The FDA has reviewed these reports and
says it will keep monitoring the data to see if the agency needs to take
regulatory action.
Adapted from C. E. Boyle, Readers Digest, March 2009

1. What do the following mean as they are used in the passage?


a) inspected (line 9)

_______________________________

b) unnerving (line 21)

_______________________________

c) associated (line 38)

_______________________________

d) toxic

_______________________________

(line 44)

(4 marks)
2. What is the implied main idea of the passage?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

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3. Read each of the following statements. Decide whether each statement represents a Fact
or Opinion and explain why. Write your answers in the space provided.
a) We consumed over 49 billion liters of the stuff in 2007, an eight percent increase
from 2002. (lines 1-2)
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

b The bottles are generally safe, says Ken Smith, PhD, immediate past chair of the
American Chemical Society's division of environmental chemistry (lines14-16).
___________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
(4 marks)

4. Are the following statements true or false?


(Circle your answer)
a) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regularly inspects bottled water plants.
i) True
ii) False

b) Experts say that water should not be stored in the garage,near gas fumes,pesticides
and other chemicals.
i) True
ii) False
( 2 marks)

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5. She discovered the cheapest brands most often tasted this way and decided it would be
safer to stick to slightly more expensive brands. (lines 30-32)
What is Annie Hung implying from this statement?

_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)
6. Explain what Many people sip from a bottle that has been sitting in a hot car, a potentially
dangerous move ( lines 23-24) means?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)
7. What does ''We very rarely get black-and-white answers for the health effects of long-term
exposure. At some point, I hope, there will be a scientific consensus mean?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

8. What are the possible effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in polycarbonate
used to make water cooler jugs, sport-water bottles and other hard plastics?

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

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PART B: (20 MARKS)


Read the passage below and answer all the questions that follow.

Maria Alvarado can tell whether it is a green-light day or an orange-light


day or a red-light day, which happens frequently in the Chilean town of
Punta Arenas. Maria works a 12-hour shift in the streets of Punta Arenas
keeping track of parked cars. She knows what it means when the sky
turns eerily white and the suns reflection off the surface of cars, windows

and the sea becomes blinding. It means that the hole in the earths ozone
layer is right overhead: its a red light day.

II

To Maria Alvarado, and the 120,000 residents of Punta Arenas, the


ozone hole is a local nightmare. Each spring it swells to about the size of
North America. Nowadays, it is common to experience the suns harsh

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ultraviolet rays, with no ozone shield, beating directly down on the


residents. A few decades ago, sunburns and skin cancer were virtually
non-existent in this cloudy, windy region. The expanding ozone hole has
changed all that. Since 1986 Punta Arenas has had more than 150 days
in which 25 percent or more of the ozone layer was absent. Scientists

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report an even higher intensity of UV-B rays, a particularly carcinogenic


frequency of UV radiation that causes skin cancer. The percentage of
people suffering from skin cancer in the region has soared to 66 per cent
in the past seven years. The actual number of people with skin cancer
may even be higher. Since UV-related disorders take decades to surface,

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the true impact may not be known for years.

III

For years the government of Punta Arenas was reluctant to address the
issue openly for fear of scaring away the tourists heading to the nearby
penguin colonies in the Antarctic regions. Nevertheless, in 1998, health
department officials devised the solar stoplight to give residents warning

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of intense periods of UV radiation. From September through December,


which are the spring months, they activate solar stoplights in schools and
business areas and issue updates to local newspapers, television and
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radio stations. The solar stoplight has four colour codes: green is for
normal days, yellow is for days when the residents should wear hats and

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sunglasses, orange is for days when residents should apply sunscreen


before going out, and red for days when residents should stay indoors.

IV

However, the vast majority of residents ignore the colour-coded


warnings. Children still play soccer underneath the el agujero (the hole).
A recent survey revealed that more than 60 percent of the residents have 35
never used sunscreen and only 42 percent have ever owned sunglasses.
The residents do not take heed of the warnings as many of them cannot
even afford to buy sunglasses or sunscreen. Most importantly, they do
not believe that the problem is as bad as claimed by the government.
Thus in the effort to raise awareness, local authorities have organized

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workshops for people who work outdoors. In addition, more stoplights will
be installed and additional educational projects have been planned.

Chilean government officials and environmental groups are calling on the


international community to provide funds for the monitoring of and
research on the impact of the hole in the ozone layer on the regions 45
people and ecosystems. This is because the ozone loss has actually
been caused by the industrial nations with their use of refrigerants,
aerosol

sprays,

fire

extinguishers

and

solvents

made

with

chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halogens and other ozone depleting


substances. According to scientists, although worldwide consumption of

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CFCs has fallen by 80 or 90 percent, the hole will not begin shrinking for
at least another five years and the ozone layer will not fully recover until
the year 2050. Nonetheless, environmentalists say that the recovery of
the ozone layer may take even longer since there are still many more
ozone-depleting substances which are not banned and are being used by

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many industrialized countries. Sadly, for many of the residents of Punta


Arenas, the damage is already done.
Adapted from Newsweek, December 2001
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LG/ELC500/SAMPLE TEST 2

1. Find words from the passage that have similar meanings to the words below.
a)

above

_____________________________

b)

increased

_____________________________

c)

extreme

_____________________________

d)

effect

_____________________________
(4 marks)

2. Write down the implied main idea of paragraph III.


_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

3. Read each of the following statements. Decide whether each statement represents a Fact
or an Opinion and explain why. Write your answers in the space provided.
a) Scientists report an even higher intensity of UV-B rays, a particularly carcinogenic
frequency of UV radiation that causes skin cancer. (lines 15-17)
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

b) From September through December, which are the spring months, they activate
solar stoplights in school, television and radio stations. (lines 26-29)
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
( 4 marks)

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LG/ELC500/SAMPLE TEST 2

4. Are the following statements true or false?


(Circle your answer)
a) The residents of Punta Arenas have always been suffering from sunburns and skin
cancer.
i)

True

ii) False

b) Scientists believe that the ozone layer will not fully recover until the year 2050.
i)

True

ii) False
( 2 marks)
5. For years the government of Punta Arenas was reluctant to address the issue openly for
fear of scaring away the tourists heading to the nearby penguin colonies in the Antarctic
regions. (Paragraph III) What is the writer implying from this statement?
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

6.

Why do you think vast majority of the residents ignored the colour-coded warnings? List two
reasons.
a) ___________________________________________________________________
b) ___________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

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LG/ELC500/SAMPLE TEST 2

7. Explain the relationship of CFCs consumption and the depletion of ozone layer.
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)
8. Sadly, for many of the residents of Punta Arenas, the damage is already done. (Paragraph
V) What is the writer implying from this statement?
_________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
(2 marks)

END OF QUESTION PAPER

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