Wednesday, April 25, 2012

EPA human experiments debunk notion of ‘killer’ air pollution: Agency hides exculpatory results

A lesson in not trusting official science.  They may be the biggest liars of all

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has conducted air pollution experiments on live human subjects that discredit its claims that fine particulate matter kills people. obtained the explosive and heretofore undisclosed results through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and reveal them here for the first time.


Last September, broke the news that EPA researchers had reported in Environmental Health Perspectives the case study of a woman who allegedly suffered atrial fibrillation after being exposed to concentrated airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in an experimental setting.

After disposing of the EPA’s effort to link the woman’s atrial fibrillation with her exposure to PM2.5, we commented:

    It’s also worth asking whether this is the only study subject that the EPA has studied. Are there others? What were their results? Do we only get to hear about the one result that could possibly be twisted to fit the EPA agenda?

To answer this question, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency to see if we could get answers those questions.

Result and Analysis of the FOIA Request.

This data sheet shows the following:

    EPA has been conducting air pollution effects tests on human subjects since at least January 2010.

    By the time the EPA researchers had published their September 2011 report in Environmental Health Perspectives, they had conducted 41 such tests.

    Of the 41 human experiments, clinical effects were reported by the EPA in only two study subjects. Both of these are controversial. One is the case study reported in Environmental Health Perspectives, which has been previously debunked. The other study subject flagged by the EPA researchers as experiencing a clinical effect (“a short episode of an elevated heart rate during exposure”), in fact, denied feeling any effects.

This reported effect was most probably due to some pre-existing condition or other stressor given the low-level of PM2.5 to which the study subject was exposed. Certainly the EPA has no reason to believe that was not the case or that the alleged heart rate jump was due to the PM2.5 exposure.

    The other 39 study subjects were exposed to PM2.5 levels up to 21 times greater (i.e, up to 750 μg/m3) than the EPA’s own permissible exposure limit for PM2.5 on a 24-hour basis (i.e, 35 μg/m3). All reported exposures among the 39 study subjects were greater than the EPA’s 24-hour PM2.5 standard. Seven study subjects were exposed to levels 10 times greater than the EPA’s 24-hour PM2.5 standard. No clinical effects were reported for any of these exposures.


There are at least three points to be made in light of this discovery.

1. The experimental results provide no evidence that ultra-high exposures to PM2.5 kill.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson testified to Congress last September that,

    [Airborne] particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.

These experiment results — produced by EPA’s own researchers — in no way support Jackson’s assertion.

2. The experimental results invalidate EPA’s cost-benefit analyses for its CSAPR and MATS rulemakings.

The EPA justified the multibillion dollar costs of its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and its Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) largely on the basis that the rules would prevent thousands of premature deaths from PM2.5, thereby purportedly providing tens of billions of dollars in monetized health benefits from “lives saved.”

But ambient levels of PM2.5 are typically far below the PM2.5 levels to which subjects were exposed in this EPA experiment. We reported earlier that the EPA’s 24-hour PM2.5 of 35 μg/m3 was exceeded only about 0.0096% of the time in the U.S. during 2009.

Moreover, the EPA experiment provides no evidence that PM2.5, even at very high exposures, causes any health effects, let alone premature death.

3. EPA and its researchers have heretofore failed to disclose to the public these significant results.

Finally, there is the matter of the ethics and perhaps even the legality of the conduct of the EPA and its researchers.

The EPA’s experimental data on PM2.5 clearly paint a quite different picture than that provided by the September 2011 report in Environmental Health Perspectives and the agency’s recent PM2.5-related regulations (i.e., CSAPR and MATS).

The EPA researchers failed to mention the results from the other 40 human experiments in their Environmental Health Perspectives report. At the very least, their failure to disclose their own contrary results raises serious ethical concerns.

As an agency, the EPA failed to disclose these stunning results in its CSAPR and MATS rulemakings. This ought to raise concerns about the legal bases for these rulemakings. More than simply ignoring its own negative data, the agency seems to have actually hid them from public view.


In addition to these EPA-conducted experiments, there is other compelling data that casts doubt on the EPA’s claim that PM2.5 causes premature mortality, including historic air pollution data, current Chinese experience with air quality and the study “Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Total Mortality Among Elderly Californians, 1973–2002.”

The results of’s FOIA request add to this growing body of evidence.

Given the significant actual costs of the EPA’s PM2.5-related regulations on society, it is incumbent upon Congress to conduct a thorough investigation of the agency and its PM2.5 claims.


Fertility drugs 'more than double the chances of children developing leukaemia'

This is ridiculous.  IVF mothers are treated with ovary stimulating drugs too and yet they were found to have no increased risk.  It makes no sense.  It has to be a random result

Fertility drugs can more than double the chances of children born to mothers who struggle to get pregnant developing leukaemia, a study has shown.

Children were 2.6 times more likely to become ill with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood leukaemia, if their mothers had been treated with ovary-stimulating drugs.

They had a 2.3-fold increased risk of suffering the rarer form of the disease, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Children conceived naturally after their mothers waited more than a year to get pregnant had a 50 per cent greater-than-normal likelihood of developing ALL.

But no heightened risk of childhood leukaemia was associated either with in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or artificial insemination.

The French scientists cannot yet fully explain their findings, the first to show a specific link between use of fertility drugs and childhood leukaemia.

Study leader Dr Jeremie Rudant, from the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at the French research institute INSERM in Villejuif, Paris, said: 'It has always been hypothesised that assisted reproductive technologies may be involved in the onset of childhood cancer as they involve repeated treatment at the time of conception and or manipulation of the sperm and egg. And it is now established that a majority of acute leukaemia have a pre-natal (pre-birth) origin.

'The findings indicate that more research is now needed to investigate more closely the link between specific types of fertility drugs and what role the underlying causes of infertility may play in the potential development of childhood leukaemia.'

Dr Rudant presented the results at the Childhood Cancer 2012 conference in London, hosted by the charity Children with Cancer UK.

A total of 2,445 French children and their mothers took part in the study, comprising 764 children who had been diagnosed with leukaemia and 1,681 who were free of the disease.

Mothers were asked if they had taken more than a year to conceive a child, and questioned about the treatments they had received.

Around 44,000 cycles of fertility treatment are carried out each year in the UK.  Use of fertility technology is increasing worldwide. In the UK, 1.8 per cent of all live births in 2007 followed fertility treatment, compared with just 0.5 per cent in 1992.

Despite a significant increase in risk, the actual number of children developing leukaemia after their mothers undergo fertility treatment remains very small.  Just 400 cases of childhood leukaemia are diagnosed each year in the UK, three-quarters of which are ALL.  ALL can affect children of any age but is most common between the ages of one and four. It is also more likely to affect boys than girls.

Dr Rudant said: 'Previous studies have suggested a link between infertility treatments and acute childhood leukaemia but there haven't been many studies, most of them have been small and they focused either on IVF or hormonal treatment. Our study was much larger and it's the first time that a specific increased risk linked to fertility drugs has been found.'


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