Republicans: EPA violated scientific standards and ethics in human testing
Posted By Michael Bastasch On 3:18 PM 04/02/2014 In | No Comments
Republicans say the Environmental Protection Agency violated ethics and scientific standards through human testing with deadly air pollutants.
“It is abhorrent for EPA to be conducting these human experiments without providing robust information and notification to the patients about the risks of death and following the strictest protocols,” said Georgia Rep. Paul Broun.
“When justifying a job-killing regulation, EPA argues exposure to particulate matter is deadly, but when they are conducting experiments, they say human exposure studies are not harmful,” said Louisiana Sen. David Vitter.
Republicans have been concerned about EPA’s human testing practices for sometime. Broun was the first to bring up such concerns. He was followed by Vitter and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, both of whom expressed concerns that the EPA was using human testing to advance its regulatory agenda.
The EPA inspector general launched an investigation last year into the agency’s human testing procedures. The report, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, found that the EPA was not to disclose to human test subjects the risk of cancer and mortality from exposure to particulate matter, or PM, and diesel exhaust.
“While the EPA champions protecting human health, in one case, EPA doubled the amount of particulate matter it was exposing individuals to without fully informing the participants or all the proper ethical review boards,” Broun added. “This blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of others is despicable, and the proper steps must be taken to ensure that such carelessness does not occur again.”
The IG report found that “exposure risks were not always consistently represented and that “the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studies’ consent forms.”
According to the IG’s report, “only one of five studies’ consent forms provided the subject with information on the upper range of the pollutant” they would be exposed to, but even more alarming is that only “two of five alerted study subjects to the risk of death for older individuals with cardiovascular disease.”
“This lack of warning about PM,” the IG’s report notes, “is also different from the EPA’s public image about PM.”
The EPA has repeatedly cited PM as being a deadly air pollutant, even after short-term exposure. But this was not disclosed to human test subjects in three of the studies exposing them to the contaminant. Diesel exhaust also contains PM, along with 19 known carcinogens, but the EPA did not disclose to participants its potential carcinogenic and deadly effects in one of the experiments.
The EPA has sounded the warning alarm on PM for years now, and have set regulatory standards for the air pollutants based on the assumption that it was deadly and could cause considerable harm to people.
The EPA is currently looking to clamp down on PM2.5 standards, under the assumption that it is harmful to human health. Republicans argue that the EPA may have been using shoddy science to push its regulatory agenda.
“This is a prime example of how EPA handpicks what scientific information and uncertainties they use to support their overreaching agenda,” Vitter added. “Discounting the risk involved to human study subjects violates proper scientific protocols and fundamental ethics.”
The EPA did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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