The EPA’s Unethical PM2.5 Air Pollution Experiments

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

By John Dale Dunn MD JD (via email)

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before Congress in September of 2011 that small-particle (2.5 microns or less) air pollution is lethal. “Particulate matter causes premature death. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.”

At the hearing, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) asked, “How would you compare [the benefits of reducing airborne PM2.5] to the fight against cancer?” Ms. Jackson replied, “Yeah, I was briefed not long ago. If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.” Cancer kills a half-million Americans a year — 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually.

That same month, September 2011, Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a journal sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, reported an experiment that exposed a 58-year-old lady to high levels of small particles in a chamber. After 49 minutes in the chamber, the lady, who was obese with hypertension and a family history of heart disease, who also had premature atrial heartbeats on her pre-experiment electrocardiogram, developed a rapid heart beat irregularity called atrial fibrillation/flutter, which can be life threatening. She was taken out of the chamber, and she recovered, but she was hospitalized for a day. Weeks later, an abnormal electrical heart circuit was fixed by cardiologists, as reported in EHP.

It is illegal, unethical, and immoral to expose experimental subjects to harmful or lethal toxins. The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, 3rd Ed. (2011), published by the Federal Judicial Center, on page 555 declares that exposing human subjects to toxic substances is “proscribed” by law and cites case law. The editor of EHP refused a request to withdraw the paper and conduct an investigation.

The EPA’s internal policy guidance on experimental protocols prohibits, under what is called the “Common Rule,” experiments that expose human subjects to lethal or toxic substances. Milloy referenced the “Common Rule” that governs EPA policy on research conduct in human experimentation in his letter to the inspector general of the EPA requesting an investigation of the matter.

A full report on the research study shows that 41 other people were exposed to what the EPA says are harmful or lethal levels of small particles, with some enduring up to 10 times the EPA’s declared safe level of 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The EPA human experiments described were conducted from January 2010 to June 2011, according to the information obtained by JunkScience.com on a Freedom of Information Act request, and ended three months before Ms. Jackson’s congressional testimony, but she still asserted dramatic claims of PM2.5’s lethality — thousands of deaths at stake and hundreds of billions in economic consequences from the deaths and disabilities caused by small particles.

According to the congressional testimony of Lisa Jackson, these experiments risked the lives of these 42 people. So what could have possessed these EPA researchers to do the experiments? The authors reveal the reason in their case report on the lady:

Although epidemiologic data strongly support a relationship between exposure to air pollutants and cardiovascular disease, this methodology does not permit a description of the clinical presentation in an individual case. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of cardiovascular disease after exposure to elevated concentrations of any air pollutant.

The people at the EPA claim that they must control air pollution to prevent the deaths of thousands. Then they expose human subjects to high levels of air pollution. Is it possible that they are lying, or unethical, or both?

In the experimental protocol, seven subjects were exposed to levels 10 times greater than the 24-hour safe limit for small particles, and all of the other 40 subjects were exposed to more than the 35 micrograms per cubic meter that the EPA says is the 24-hour safety limit. The researchers failed to report that none of the other subjects had any adverse effects, which is unscientific, since researchers are obligated to report results both for and against their hypothesis.

The only way out for the EPA in this episode is to acknowledge the reality that ambient levels or even higher levels of PM2.5 are not toxic or lethal, based on their own research, and to admit that their claims of thousands of lives lost from small particles is nonsense. Or they can stay with their assertions about small particle toxicity and face charges of criminal and civil neglect.

The individuals who were the subjects of this experiment certainly might be concerned if the EPA claim of small particle toxicity and lethality is true. There is good reason to believe that the EPA itself doesn’t believe the claims. However, based on congressional testimony by EPA officials, any death now or later of the subjects of this experiment from heart and lung disease or cancer would be under the cloud of concern about the EPA claims that small particles kill. What were the EPA officials and researchers thinking?

John Dale Dunn MD JD
Consultant Emergency Services/Peer Review
Civilian Faculty, Emergency Medicine Residency
Carl R. Darnall Army Med Center
Fort Hood, Texas

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72 Responses to The EPA’s Unethical PM2.5 Air Pollution Experiments

  1. Steve Keohane says:

    Is it possible that they are lying, or unethical, or both?
    Both is most likely.

  2. G. Karst says:

    Is this another result of those who advocate the end to animal testing? Using humans to replace guinea pigs, rats, and chimpanzees? Again… people in the decision making process who are completely disconnected from reality. It is the logical end for those who believe mankind is a viral infection of Gaia. If only, I could renounce my humanity, I could start getting proper medical care from the local veterinary. Not only would my medical care increase… I would save a lot of money, as the animal ape, that I really am. GK

  3. David Mellon says:

    Were there any controls? How are the controls doing? How many controls were there? Were the controls age/sex matched? Wish I had more time to comment. Will check back tonight.

  4. theBuckWheat says:

    It appears that, as usual in a government run by elites who are hellbent on imposing the Secular Utopia, laws are only for the little people.

  5. BFL says:

    Below find an example of just how far these people will go to protect the industry (actually more of a documentary). After watching I felt like I had been supporting organizations that (logically) commit legal torture/murder. Strong words but it’s a strong and heart wrenching documentary.

    http://www.burzynskimovie.com/index.php?id=110&option=com_content&view=article

  6. My uncle died fighting in 1945 flying a plane P-47 Thunderbold against the Nazis. (Lt. Luiz Lopes Dornelles, 89 missions, Honours: South Atlantic Campaign, Cross of Gallantry (The highest award of war Brazilian), Cross Blood Flying Cross with two stars Tape A, Tape B Flying Cross with 03 stars Distinguished Flying Cross with two palms (USA), Air Medal with 03 palms (USA) and Presidential Unit Citation (U.S.)).
    He died to protect the world against Josef Mengele and his successors, not to continue with pseudo-scientific experiments on humans.

  7. Terry says:

    Wait. I have (had) Atrial Fibulation. It started as occasional incidents and progressed over a couple of years until it went constant for about 6 months. I had a procedure done which, so far, has stopped it from happening again. The greatest risk from ‘AFib’ is a stroke. That is small. What kind of fibulation did she reall have?

  8. I believe that it depends on the nature of the dust. I have seen a clinical review of exposure over many years (ie health checks on workers particularly those working in areas of high dust when OHS requirements were less stringent) to high levels of a certain dust which is soluble in body fluids. The findings showed that there was no identifiable harm to any individual from the exposure and that some individuals actually had reduced problems. such as some smokers and some with existing respiratory problems such as pneumonia. On the other hand there are exposure problems with some non-soluble dusts such as silica, coal dust, and asbestos which are exaggerated in smokers. I understand threshold levels for many dusts have been determined on rats and mice. It is stupid to set limits on air and water quality well below those which may occur naturally.

  9. Andrew30 says:

    David Mellon says: June 4, 2012 at 5:27 am
    [Were there any controls?]

    Dave, you do realize that this is about the EPA?
    There are no stupid questions, but sometimes…

  10. tty says:

    I should think it is obvious that high levels of small particles, while probably not exactly healthy, are not very dangerous either. Reason: billions of people live and survive to a normal life-span in areas where there is always a high level o particulates in the air.
    Have a look at this map:

    http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/showImageLarge.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.0901623.g004

    It showes that the two largest concentrations of people on this planet – in the Gangetic plain and Northern China – both live in areas where the PM2.5 is twice or more than EPA:s “safe level”.

    As you can see the level of particulates does not correlate particularily well with industrial areas, but much better with deserts and areas of intense farming on loess or other wind-erosion prone soils. So to really lower the amount of particulates you would have to drastically change farming methods (which might be feasible) and prohibit deserts which seems rather more difficult.

  11. It is not the size of the particles but what they are made of that is important. Many pollen particles are far larger than this limit imposed by the EPA and do no harm unless you happen to be allergic to any of them then you could have a problem. Some mould particles are smaller than this limit and are dangerous in large quantities.
    The EPA must get its house in order and use science not convenient supposition.

  12. Ian W says:

    So we may understand this more clearly.

    From January 2010 to June 2011 – forty one (41) people were exposed to what is claimed to be a harmful or lethal dose of small-particle (2.5 microns or less) polluted air – some ten times as much as the recommended limit.

    The only effect was that one of these subjects, a woman with an existing cardiac condition, developed atrial fibrillation which is now cured.

    After these experiments in September of 2011 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before Congress that small-particle (2.5 microns or less) air pollution is lethal. Yet these (unethical) experiments demonstrate the falsity of that statement all experimental subjects are still alive.

    Is there any conclusion other than Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson lied in her testimony to Congress?

  13. MikeL says:

    They must have taken a cue from CARB (California air resource board). CARB used junk science produced by an employee of CARB who claimed he had a PhD when in fact he lied about having a PhD.
    Hien Tran lied about having a PHD from U.C. Davis but really purchased his degree at a diploma mill. Tran was the project coordinator and lead author of a report entitled “Methodology for Estimating Premature Deaths Associated with Long-term Exposure to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California.” This report was the main support document of a draconian regulation proposed by the CARB that would cost California diesel users billions of dollars, a cost that eventually the consumer would pay for in higher food, construction and transportation costs. These costs would be incurred in the retrofitting of almost all diesel engines for on- or off-road, even relatively new ones, with new pollution controls for the sole purpose of limiting particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns (PM2.5). Although there have been some epidemiological studies in the past that claim there is a health risk, those studies were highly speculative and done with poor data. In fact, there is a significant study that says that PM2.5 is not a health risk in California.

  14. eyesonu says:

    Lying to Congress or misleading Congress should be a crime. False testimony leads to bad policy decisions that can have enormous consequences.

    Lisa Jackson and the EPA is a good example of the federal government out of control. Laws and policies need to be enacted to force leaders of those organizations to confirm any so-called research presented to Congress to be independently confirmed as correct. This is white collar crime and is being perpetuated by representatives of the government itself.

  15. Jim Clarke says:

    In answer to David Melons questions: it sounds like the EPA is completely out of controls.

  16. Ben of Houston says:

    David, don’t bother. There’s no information. The 1 positive was reported as a case study, and would not receive a passing grade at an elementary school science fair. The remaining cases were simply released to Steve Milloy as a table of Name, Date, Particulate Concentration, Duration, and reaction.

    JunkScience has been doing a series where he sends it off to a different authority each week or so to get them to act. It’s been a farce so far, with only the original journal even replying, and then with a “no”.

    http://junkscience.com/2012/04/18/epa-human-experiments-debunk-notion-of-killer-air-pollution-agency-hides-exculpatory-results/

    http://junkscience.com/2012/04/24/did-obamas-epa-relaunch-tuskegee-experiments/

    http://junkscience.com/2012/05/01/epa-denies-milloy-charge-of-conducting-unethical-human-experiments-facts-show-otherwise/

    http://junkscience.com/2012/05/07/journal-editor-rejects-milloy-request-to-retract-false-case-report-of-epa-human-experiment/

    http://junkscience.com/2012/05/14/epa-inspector-general-asked-to-review-illegal-human-experimentation/

    http://junkscience.com/2012/05/23/epa-asked-to-investigate-scientific-misconduct/

    http://junkscience.com/2012/06/01/nih-asked-to-investigate-misconduct-at-environmental-health-perspectives-in-epa-human-testing-scandal/

  17. Owen in GA says:

    Let me see, you put someone with a compromised cardiovascular system who was already a candidate for irregular heart electrical activity into a situation where they would experience some cardiovascular stress and they have a cardiac electrical event. Sure, why didn’t they just have her climb stairs slowly for a few hours, probably would have gotten the same result.

    This is the level of scientific understanding at the EPA. It is an political advocacy group masquerading as a scientific body. This house needs to be cleaned!

  18. Mike Smith says:

    Steve Keohane says:
    Is it possible that they are lying, or unethical, or both?
    Both is most likely.

    I’m voting for lying, unethical, AND stupid.

  19. Jeff says:

    Taking a look at her numbers, and her general health (high blood pressure,
    overweight, family medical history, etc.), she should never have been part
    of any study like this, let alone any that put her pulmonary system at risk.
    The fact that she presented later with re-entrant tachycardia is another
    risk factor, which, although unknown at the time, could have been fatal.

    This shows what little respect these ‘watermelons’ have for the
    rest of us – we’re simply nothing more than glorified lab rats to them….

    If there’s any good side to this, the woman got a catheter ablation
    that may have saved her from problems further down the line
    (and could point at the reason for the heart problems in her family).

  20. Alan the Brit says:

    There they go again. A recent newspaper article over here in PDRofEU UK, claimed that consuming only three glasses of wine a week would save 4,500 lives annually, with absolutley no eveidence to support it whatsoever. Even the Doctors trade union, the BMA, (which John Brignal of Number Watch defines as Bloody Mendacious & Arrogant) conceded a couple of years ago that the three units of alcohol daily recommendation for safe drinking, (small glaas of wine per unit), was plucked out of thin (possibly warming or cooling) air, & were based on no actual evidence whatsoever, just somebody’s opinion at the BMA that that was the safe Politically Correct amount to consume! Ho hum! I suspect in the months & years ahead these figures will mysteriously multiply until they are at such ridiculous levels just as they did for seconhand smoking, up to & including people dying prematurely in their 70s & 80s to ge tthe munbers up!

  21. Goldie says:

    This is a serious problem and the experiment was highly unethical. The truth of fine particulates is that in order to establish a relationship with mortality requires a long term cohort study meaning that exposure in the long term is required. Cohort studies have shown increased mortality and morbidity in communities expose to higher concentrations of fine particles in the long term. With respect to acute premature deaths amongst the elderly and sick it has long been understood that an air quality episode may hasten their demise causing a blip (small increase) in mortalities, however it is also known that when the air quality improves the rate of mortality for some week sis below the long term average.

  22. polistra says:

    EPA is just carrying out its mission. Like any other army, it requires a certain amount of research to perfect its methods of mass murder.

  23. John F. Hultquist says:

    eyesonu says:
    June 4, 2012 at 6:27 am
    “Lying to Congress or misleading Congress should be a crime.

    Unless you are a member thereof.

  24. Speed says:

    Where are the controls — people placed in the “chamber” under the same protocol but without the particles?

  25. Doug Eaton says:

    Further proof of what I’ve been saying for decades: the EPA needs to be completely overhauled or junked for perpetrating politicized “junk science.” Bureaucracies become inbred and delude themselves into believing they are omnipotent. They become a law unto themselves. The inhumanity of this experiment proves they are out of control, as did the bogus CO2 finding and the quote from an EPA regulator on “crucifying” American businesses who don’t buckle under.

    Maybe Congress should require them to use only self-generated solar and wind power. That should finish them off.

  26. RobRoy says:

    That Lisa Jackson, she’s such a tool, literally. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the room where she is given her marching orders. I wonder who is present. Who’s giving the orders and who’s making sure?

  27. Chris H says:

    All of the experimental subjects should have been given an information sheet approved by a Research Ethics Committee. It would set out, in layman’s language, what the trial involved and it’s benefits and risks. The application to the REC should have set out the same information and be fully referenced. All of this should be in the public domain and discoverable by FoI.
    No REC in its right mind would approve a study with the risks, which leads me to the conclusion that the EPA evidence was a gross exaggeration of the risks.

  28. ferd berple says:

    eyesonu says:
    June 4, 2012 at 6:27 am
    Laws and policies need to be enacted to force leaders of those organizations to confirm any so-called research presented to Congress to be independently confirmed as correct.
    ===========
    The problem is that you can always find a scientist willing to independently confirm any result. You will find them the next year, working for the office of the results they confirmed.

    The problem is that government has both money and power in large supply with which to corrupt those individuals so motivated. Which is why the founding fathers of America recognized the dangers of government and the harm that it can do if left to grow unchecked.

    Unfortunately over the years these controls have been largely eroded as government has taken control of increasingly large portions of people’s lives, in the name of “helping” people. This process has greatly accelerated in recent years as the government has taken to declaring “war” on problems. Fear has driven an associated reduction in personal freedoms resulting in extremely high incarceration rates.

    Small governments help the people. Large governments help themselves. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

  29. RobRoy says:

    That Rotund, wheezing, unfortunate individual was their “Ringer”. She was bound to keel over from something…. I wish her well.

  30. David, UK says:

    “Is it possible that they are lying, or unethical, or both?”

    You missed out “stupid”.

  31. I understand the outrage against this. But why the surprise??

    The same people did this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

    After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  32. ferd berple says:

    What about the fine particle pollution thrown up by the wind? Moving vehicles, bicycles, even people leave a cloud of fine particles in their wake.

    Anyone with any training in science can spot the obvious flaws in the EPA study. 42 people, one study. It is nowhere near the size required to establish significance.

    Who can say that the one obviously ill person would not have developed the same symptoms if the air had 0.0 ppm? Was a control done to ensure the stress of the test environment didn’t induce her symptoms?

    How do you know you are measuring air pollution? Testing itself introduces stress which affects individuals. Which is why you need a double blind study, with a control grow that is tested identically in clean air, with neither party aware of which group has the dirty air.

    Only after the statistics are compiled do you reveal the group exposed to pollution, and thereby establish if there is a correlation between pollution and disease, or testing and disease. This methodology has apparently gone out the window of late in government run science. Yet they require just this sort of testing by private industry.

    What is good for the goose is apparently not good for the gander.

  33. Dr. Bob says:

    I have followed the research of Drs. Jacob McDonald and Joe Mauderly of the Lovelace Respiratory Institute. They conduct experiments to measure effects of engine emissions at ambient exposure levels, not multiple times expected exposure levels. This gives a better indication of how the respiratory system responds to “pollutants” and heals itself before permanent damage occurs. In most cases, exposure to ambient levels of engine exhaust do not cause lung damage as expressed by histological responses.
    The link below is to a Healt Effects Institute discussion of some of this work.

    http://www.healtheffects.org/Pubs/RR166-Press_Release.pdf

  34. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “…conceded a couple of years ago that the three units of alcohol daily recommendation for safe drinking, (small glaas of wine per unit), was plucked out of thin (possibly warming or cooling) air, & were based on no actual evidence whatsoever, just somebody’s opinion at the BMA that that was the safe Politically Correct amount to consume!…”

    What is it that gives me the feeling that three ‘units’ of alcohol a day was what the members of that BMA committee consumed….?

    “…And after all, WE’RE all right, aren’t we…?”

  35. David, UK says:

    @ Steamboat Jack, June 4, 2012 at 7:58 am:

    You miss the point, Jack. Syphilis is real.

  36. ferd berple says:

    Steamboat Jack says:
    June 4, 2012 at 7:58 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

    ================
    quote:
    “Now studies require informed consent (with exceptions possible for U.S. Federal agencies which can be kept secret by Executive Order),[2] communication of diagnosis, and accurate reporting of test results.[3]”

    or this government funded study

    http://www.whale.to/b/Project%20MKULTRA.pdf

  37. wobble says:

    That same month, September 2011, Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a journal sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, reported an experiment that exposed a 58-year-old lady to high levels of small particles in a chamber. After 49 minutes in the chamber, the lady, who was obese with hypertension and a family history of heart disease, who also had premature atrial heartbeats on her pre-experiment electrocardiogram, developed a rapid heart beat irregularity called atrial fibrillation/flutter, which can be life threatening.

    Wow! Just wow! There is so much wrong with this that’s it’s difficult to know where to start.

    The is absolute junk science.

    1. EPA is attempting to use an anecdote as evidence that particulate matter (or anything) is harmful. FDA and CDC would absolutely cringe at this.

    2. There is absolutely NO mechanism for particulate matter to cause immediate atrial fibrillation – making this further cringe worthy. How on earth hasn’t EPA been widely attacked by the cardiology community for suggesting otherwise???

    3. People with premature atrial contractions are more likely to experience atrial fibrillation. Even if there was a statistically significant correlation between the chamber experiment and atrial fibrillation, the use of a control group being put into the chamber without any particulate matter exposure could reveal that atrial fibrillation is caused by the stress of the chamber experience rather than exposure to particulate matter.

  38. woodNfish says:

    The US government has a long history of illegal human experimentation and human rights abuses. The government has performed radiation experiments on orphaned retarded children, LSD experiments on unsuspecting victims some who later committed LSD- caused suicide, and others who were driven insane and committed. Those are only two examples of many and none of the perpetrators or enablers of these atrocities have ever been tried or convicted, or even arrested for their crimes. The US government is nothing more than a super-large criminal organization and has been for many years.

  39. wobble says:

    BFL says:
    June 4, 2012 at 5:35 am
    Below find an example of just how far these people will go to protect the industry

    BFL, learn something about the prudent use of statistics and the problem with touting anecdotes. Burzynski hasn’t been statistically successful curing cancer. If he offered a “good” treatment, then he would be able to cure more patients than standard methods.

    Don’t be so easily fooled by these type of “snake oil salesmen” videos.

  40. RobRoy says:

    Wobble,
    Craziness abounds.There’s no mechanism for CO2 to make it cold either, yet, we’ve seen the warmists scramble to show it’s true.

    “2. There is absolutely NO mechanism for particulate matter to cause immediate atrial fibrillation – making this further cringe worthy. How on earth hasn’t EPA been widely attacked by the cardiology community for suggesting otherwise???”

  41. kakatoa says:

    Next time they want to run an experiment how about using a natural event such as a sandstorm- http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/us/07dust.html

    and checking out a large group of folks. Alternatively, they could head over to Beijing for a few weeks and do a few studies there…. on say a sub group of folks that have just arrived from the countryside……………………

  42. Gail Combs says:

    Steamboat Jack says:
    June 4, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I understand the outrage against this. But why the surprise??

    The same people did this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

    After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)
    ___________________________________________
    My Mom was a guinea pig in the following experiment and she was never even told. The (self-snip) doctors killed her with their darned experiments and Dad had to PAY THEM for their “treatment” TOO!
    THE HUMAN RADIATION EXPERIMENTS

  43. Gail Combs says:

    The Wine study was another case of fabricated “evidence”

    Researcher Who Studied Benefits Of Red Wine Falsified Data Says University

    An extensive misconduct investigation that took three years to complete and produced a 60,000-page report, concludes that a researcher who has come to prominence in recent years for his investigations into the beneficial properties of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, “is guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data”.

    In a statement published on the university’s news website on Wednesday, the University of Connecticut (UConn) Health Center said the investigation has led them to inform 11 scientific journals that had published studies conducted by Dr Dipak K. Das, a professor in the unversity’s Department of Surgery and director of its Cardiovascular Research Center.

    The internal investigation, which covered seven years of work in Das’s lab, was triggered by an anonyomous allegation of “research irregularities” in 2008…..

  44. Bob Ashworth says:

    Lisa Jackson is a charlatan. She says that about PM 2.5 but closes here eyes to the fact that the US and most other countries are spraying 40,000 tons US of bauxite and 100,000 tons US of High Carbon Ferromanganese in very fine particulate (10 micron and less) into the atmosphere each year. Using people as her guinea pigs is unconscionable. These people should sue Lisa Jackson directly.

  45. pat says:

    The EPA is made of of fools. Many uncredentialed in real science, but educated in collateral fields such as environmental studies, climatology, environmental justice, etc. The ‘sciences; that require no science. Lisa Jackson, I am sure, would have made a very competent chemical engineer. However she was never employed as such.her entire career has been an association with often loony environmentalists that are far more concerned with destroying the chemical industry than developing the same.

  46. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    The assumption is made that laws and ethics need apply to the EPA.

    Depart this path, lest one assume the EPA has good intentions and perhaps a conscience.

  47. John West says:

    Ian W says:
    “Is there any conclusion other than Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson lied in her testimony to Congress?”

    Yes, that they exposed people to what they believed to be harmful doses of particulate matter.

    Personally, I’m in the “she lied” camp, but there’s no escaping that either she lied to Congress or committed unethical research. Either way, she should be sent packing along with all the other EPA leaches that pander to every alarmist conjecture with increasingly asinine regulations direct from the bureaucratic class.

  48. Bill Tuttle says:

    eyesonu says:
    June 4, 2012 at 6:27 am
    Lying to Congress or misleading Congress should be a crime.

    It *is* — but only if you are testifying under oath. That’s one reason John Kerry has never been charged with self-admitted war crimes.

    False testimony leads to bad policy decisions that can have enormous consequences.

    That’s the reason people do it — the potential for advancing their agenda vastly outweighs the consequence of getting caught. And the consequence of getting caught telling lies before Congress in unsworn testimony is, for all practical purposes, *nothing*…

  49. Neo says:

    the lady, who was obese with hypertension and a family history of heart disease, who also had premature atrial heartbeats on her pre-experiment electrocardiogram, developed a rapid heart beat irregularity called atrial fibrillation/flutter, which can be life threatening

    SO they put this lady with a known heart problem in danger.
    Frankly, from the description of the experiment, we have no idea if the high levels of small particles in a chamber, her being obese, she may have had a craving to eat, or perhaps she was claustrophobic, that triggered her already known cardiac problem.

    Next, I suppose, the Department of Education will conduct experiments, using subjects with know peripheral vascular disease, to see if corporal punishment is truly life threatening.

  50. geography lady says:

    EPA in Washington DC (headquarters) has not changed in how they handle dusts (the different sizes and types-referring to asbestos, silica and coal) and human safety exposures. The levels are suppose to be based on health studies of working environments or actual living/environment conditions. They may be based on animal or cellular studies if the former do not exist. I can’t imagine placing people in experiments that are suspected to be hazardous. But often times the levels of “safety” are based on suposition of animal studies or working conditions, not on actual factual data.

    I have over 35 years working on asbestos issues and exposures. EPA-Washington DC. is junk science. They use in their literature that “as little as one fiber will cause cancer and death”. This statement is not based on anything other than a quick, off the cuff remark made by Dr. Selikoff at a meeting at NIH when he was pushed into saying what was a “safe exposure”. So a remark by L. Jackson that micro dust will cause death and therefore not exposure is safe, doesn’t surprise me. But life can be hazardous, for eventually if we are borne, we will eventually die.

    I seperate out EPA headquarter from the real scientists at RTP that I have worked with in the past. They didn’t believe 1/2 the stuff put out by Washington.

  51. Lars P. says:

    There was this interesting study here re ultra-fine particles:

    http://sciencenordic.com/air-pollution-hospitalises-small-children

    “The number of hospitalisations rises in line with the gases and medium-sized particles in the air – which typically come from industrial areas in countries south of Denmark – but hospitalisations do not rise when there are more ultra-fine particle in the air.”

  52. John Trigge (in Oz) says:

    Ms. Jackson replied, “Yeah, I was briefed not long ago. If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.” Cancer kills a half-million Americans a year — 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually.

    So, if this is true, there must be proof that 25% of deaths in the US are caused by high particulate levels. If not, is this another lie?

  53. David, UK says: June 4, 2012 at 8:11 am
    @ Steamboat Jack, June 4, 2012 at 7:58 am:
    You miss the point, Jack. Syphilis is real.
    *****************************
    I am puzzled. I may well have missed something, but I still don’t see it.

    The thread is about the Federal Government conducting unethical and life threatening experiments on unwitting subjects. I gave an example to remind this readership that the Federal Government has been doing that for years. I am a Simple Red Neck who went to a trade school (Merchant Marine College) and worked Union all of my life. If I know of it, then I expect that 99% of the gentle readers here would also know of it. It was just a reminder.

    My comment about making an omelet was a reference to the New York Times. Back in the 1930’s they excused mass murder by the Soviet Union. The Soviets were in the process of murdering more people than Hitler ever did. The New York Times justified it as an unfortunate result of a Grand Socialist Experiment. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs”. To put it another way, Madeline Albright has been quoted as saying something like “Yes, Stalin DID kill some 40 Million people, but he industrialized the Soviet Union, so overall he was good for the country”. 40 Million murdered as part of an experiment that has proven to be a total failure. My comment was a reminder of the total absence of humanity in people who would do that or excuse that kind of behavior. Then and now.

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  54. Dr. Dave says:

    About 20 years ago I attended an Infectious Disease conference in San Antonio. The keynote speaker was the late, great Dr. Jay P. Sanford. He told several stories about biological weapons research conducted by the US military. The common nebulizer was originally developed as a delivery system for biologic weapons. They had a Navy sub surface just off shore of San Fran and spray a non-pathogenic specific species of Serratia (non-pathogenic for most, anyway). They then went all over San Fran and obtained samples to see how far and to what extent it spread. At the break I went for a cup of coffee and noticed Sanford was surrounded by military brass. I overheard him assuring them that the experiment was completely declassified even though most of the public was unaware of it. An Admiral remained skeptical. Only recently have we learned about the the military and the CIA human experiments with LSD.

    I would be so bold to suggest that MOST of the “research” conducted by the EPA (and about a dozen other agencies like the USFW and NOAA) is nearly all BS. Their research would never pass muster with the rigors of the FDA. What’s even more galling is this nonsense, non-science cranked out by the EPA counts as “publicly funded medical research – much like a lot of crap pumped out by the CDC. Toxicity in humans and animals is not a linear dose-response curve. We are exposed to toxins or potential toxins every day, They EPA does not necessarily determine “safe levels”, they back extrapolate and come up with completely bogus numbers (like mercury from coal power plants or PM2.5 particulates). These unelected bureaucrats have long ago outlived the usefulness. We have hit the wall of the law of diminishing returns.

  55. Kforestcat says:

    What most people don’t know is minus 2.5 micron “particulates” are mostly particles produced from condensable gases emitted into the atmosphere – as opposed to fine solids emitted directly. So, I’d be curious what chemicals the EPA used to produce the 2.5 particulate. The EPA has stonewalled studying the impact of condensable particulates produced from utilities; even though there is considerable evidence showing that SO2 derived condensables are not harmful. Setting aside the ethical issues, the EPA’s statements are meaningless without knowing precisely what chemicals were used to produce the condensate.

    Kforestcat

  56. atheok says:

    Next week; the EPA willl be conducting similar tests. In these tests citizens will be exposed (ingest) 10 ties the daily limit of salt. The following week, the EPA will conduct an identical test only requiring clueless patients to drink ten times the recommended intake of purified water. The fllowing weeks, EPA will conduct identical tests only using natural rock salt and turgid nuclear tower cooling water. /sarc

    Sooner or later the EPA will learn what a LD50 level is; that is, the dosage level at which fifty percent of the populatio exposed or receiving the dose, die. Almost everything, no matter how pure has an LD50 level.

    For the final tests, EPA will pump into passing citizens, 10 times the regular daily amount of air. Patients that fail to hold ten times the regular daily dose of air will be forced to pass wind in the Penn State area. /sarc Really! I mean it, well I mean it just as much as Mannure man likes WUWT.

  57. Bruce Cobb says:

    This “experiment”, in addition to being unethical is just plain dumb. It is already known that some 2 billion people worldwide are exposed daily to high levels of indoor pollution from the use of “biofuels” in firepits and unvented, inefficient stoves, particularly women and children. Studies have shown that it raises blood pressures, leading to increased incidence of heart disease and stroke.

  58. jorgekafkazar says:

    Ian W says: “…Is there any conclusion other than Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson lied in her testimony to Congress?”

    She suffers from oral fibulation.

  59. Brian H says:

    Gah. They’re not even good enough scientists to come up with a plausible fake study to justify their pre-cooked agenda. I don’t know how long before Jackson got there the EPA was going rotten, but it must have been some time. Not even a maleficent fool like her could achieve the depths of dedicated incompetence and immorality it now displays routinely.

  60. ntesdorf says:

    The EPA looks more and more like an off-shoot of the remnants of Nazi eugenic studies. Millions died in WWII protecting us against the likes of Josef Mengele and his co-workers and successors. Now the EPA has picked up the threads and is continuing with the same sadistic, pseudo-scientific experiments on humans.

  61. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    KForestcat makes a point about condensed particles I will expand upon.

    There are PM2.5 particles and PM2.5 particles… PM 2.5 is not a size, it is an upper limit. Anything smaller than 2.5 microns is included in that fraction. What the particles are made of is quite important. Condensed volatiles likes tars and fomaldehyde are nasty things, that’s for sure.

    Current research on Black Carbon (BC) as opposed to Organic Carbon (OC) show far more negative response to particles that are a) BC and b) smaller than PM 0.1 (everything smaller than PM 0.1, not PM 2.5). See the work done at Clarkson U, esp the investigations using the measurement instruments from their Dr Philip Kopke.

    But my main point is this: “A full report on the research study shows that 41 other people were exposed to what the EPA says are harmful or lethal levels of small particles, with some enduring up to 10 times the EPA’s declared safe level of 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air.”

    What the heck?? 350 microgrammes? The WHO limit is 50. The Mongolian National Standard is 25. Both are arbitrary. There are places within the City of Ulaanbaatar with an annual average of over 600 microgrammes per cubic metre. The record PM2.5 level recorded in UB City is over 4300 per cubic metre. In winter the concentration is routinely over 1500. I have measured >600 inside the lab!

    But 35? Using a HEPA filter and a pump an LNBL (Berkeley) researcher was unable to get the air below 20 using a HEPA filter. In whose interest is this ‘safe’ 35 microgrammes? Filter vendors? Further, what does ‘declared safe’ mean? It matters entirely what the material is, not so much what the floating mass is. If that figure was entirely PM 0.01 BC nanoparticles I assure you it is a completely different risk profile than the same mass of 2.4 micron particles of OC. No comparison at all. And if you look up the sizes of viruses and fungi spores you will see we are exposed to all manner of small particles all the time.

    Remember how European diesel emissions were ‘cleaned up’ by great advances in combustion technology? Huge drop in PM 2.5, that is until better instruments were created that could measure PM0.01. It turns out that the old PM 2.5 is now a vast cloud of far smaller particles that were too small to be detected before. They go right through the lung walls, into the red corpuscles and cruise through the blood-brain barrier. What BC particles do there is anyone’s guess. And they have been there all along.

    Ultra-fine BC particles have always been in the air because biomass burning is a prolific source of them (almost all biomass particles are <PM1.0). The health science of this is FAR from being settled. The chances of that woman's health being at risk from the equivalent of someone smoking a cigarette in the same room is about zero. Cigarettes produce massive numbers of small particles, many smaller than the visible white smoke (<PM0.1 are invisible as it is the light scattering lower limit). Even a tiny thin wisp of cigarette smoke will be way more than 150 milligrammes (not microgrammes). A whole cigarette would be killing everyone in minutes if the risk was so high. No one would be allowed to cook bacon in the house, or eat near a BBQ, or make toast.

    The experiment put no one at risk and the Nazi research comparison is silly. Lisa J’s emphasis on PM pollution of indoor air is directly related to the EPA’s current initiatives to improve the lives of women who breathe smoke all day cooking over an open fire. The relevant programmes are the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Hillary’s initiative). Both emphasize the need for improving air quality by the introduction of improved cookers. There is a strong relationship between high PM inhalation and upper respiratory disease in women and the small children near them. It is a worthy cause, but it does not need scare tactics and inflated risks. Reality is scary enough. “…harmful or lethal…” More smoke and mirrors in litigious America.

  62. Gail Combs says:

    geography lady says:
    June 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

    ….I have over 35 years working on asbestos issues and exposures. EPA-Washington DC. is junk science. They use in their literature that “as little as one fiber will cause cancer and death”…..
    _______________________________
    Well if that was the case for asbestos, I and the rest of my family would be long dead. Dad sold asbestos insulation and I used to play with it as a kid (much nicer than fiberglass) I even have some asbestos in my rock collection and a nice slab of it for cooking “Baked Alaska” so that gives me over 50 years of “exposure” without any cancer.

    I wonder just how many people died because they took asbestos off the market. It was used in Fire proof brake pads and also for chemical hoods to prevent lab fires among other things. Useful stuff.

  63. Independent says:

    John F. Hultquist says:
    June 4, 2012 at 7:22 am

    eyesonu says:
    June 4, 2012 at 6:27 am
    “Lying to Congress or misleading Congress should be a crime.”

    Unless you are a member thereof.

    Obviously. National elections every month or two to ensure a quorum would get expensive fast.

    The EPA needs to be abolished and we need to start over. The agency is way, way out of control and is doing far more harm than good. Abolish it and replace it entirely with something sane.

  64. Brian H says:

    Independent;
    Abolishing the EPA isn’t enough. All of its regulations and standards need to be retroactively nullified and abolished. That would cause some problems here and there, which could/should be dealt with individually, sensibly. And ALL replacement “environmental” regulations etc. must be sunsetted: expiry in 5 yrs is automatic unless a full review of cost-benefit justifies renewing them — also sunsetted. That gives at least minimal defense against the Law of Unintended Consequences. Not to mention ill-conceived Intended Consequences.

  65. Ben of Houston says:

    Crispin, you are missing the point. Milloy is attempting to catch the EPA in a catch-22. Either

    A: They performed experiements on people that they knew to be deadly
    or
    B: They lied to America and under oath Congress.

    That’s why there is so much tongue-in-cheeck accusation going on. The real risk is immaterial in this case. If the EPA thought it was deadly, they shouldn’t have done it. If the EPA knew it was safe, then they have repeatedly committed perjury to preserve their own power. Either way, they are criminals.

    Brian, interesting thought. However, permits are issued for ten years. Your proposal would create an increasingly insane and unpredictable regulatory environment where the laws would change effectively overnight. It was bad enough keeping up with Obama. I’d hate to think of what would happen if it happened constantly.

  66. Brian H says:

    Ben, sunsetting forces much more attention to viability and cost-benefits of laws and regulations. Simplicity and clarity are heightened. And nonsense rules just drop out by being allowed to lapse.

    Obama’s “Rule by Executive cat-skinning” is another problem and issue entirely.

  67. AK_Rod says:

    The reason your hearing “So Much” from the EPA is “The people that WERE pushing global warming” has found NEW Jobs inside the Government.

  68. Human experiments? Why does this Eastern European Jew keep thinking of…

  69. John from CA says:

    Related to the EPA’s particulate matter experiments.

    The Obama administration’s EPA is about to kill 180,000 to 215,000 jobs by 2015 with GDP losses totaling as much as $112 billion and with additional total household disposable income losses of as much as $71 billion to implement an EPA regulation that is already regulated by other parts of the Clean Air Act.

    The EPA named the regulation “Mercury and Toxics Standards” but the regulation has nothing to do with reductions in mercury emissions. EPA admits the benefits of the rule are 99.996 percent related to particulate matter which is already regulated by other parts of the Clean Air Act. 

    How many ways can we spell stupid.

    Talking Points from IECA

    http://www.ieca-us.com/wp-content/uploads/Talking-Points_Inhofe-Resolution.pdf

  70. Michael J. McFadden says:

    Very well written article by Dr. Dunn! The distorted human guinea pig experiments involving elevated levels of PM2.5 and CO have long been a strong mainstay of antismoking research. See p. 10 of my “Lies Behind The Smoking Bans” at :

    http://kuneman.smokersclub.com/PASAN/StilettoGenv5h.pdf

    and read about the classic Otsuka study. It’s just another example of doublethink: on the one hand the advocacy researchers declare “There is no safe level.” while on the other hand even their most extremist elements send volunteers with monitors into smoky bars and bar/restaurants while assuring that there was “no risk” from sitting around forever in such places to get the measurements. “No risk is expected to volunteers in collecting the data” ( “AIR QUALITY IN MARQUETTE RESTAURANTS Before and After … ” by James L. Repace, Apr. 22nd 2011 for the Michigan Department of Community Health Tobacco Section. http://www.co.marquette.mi.us/departments/health_department/docs/Marquette_Air_Report_Repace_2011.pdf )

    One of the tricks advocates use in these things is to pretend that the EPA “Healthy” standards for 24 hours or 365 days have substantial meaning in terms of exposures of a few minutes or a few hours. The methods and distortions used in GW and pollution research in general are simply going down the accepted path for what’s been done years in secondhand smoke research without anyone blinking an eye.

    – MJM

  71. michaeljmcfadden says:

    Another trick, as pointed out by a previous poster, is ignoring differences in chemical composition of PM2.5 exposures: I’ve sometimes compared it to taking a teaspoon of sugar crystals, placing it next to a teaspoon of arsenic crystals, and declaring them both equally safe or deadlysince the crystals are the same size.

    – MJM

  72. bwdave says:

    It seemed the government’s official position in the ’90s was that if it weren’t for automatic weapons, hand guns, lack of air bags, and second hand smoke, nobody would ever die. With those villians mostly gone, they need new villians, because after all, people continue to die.

    Here in California, I see, we are all just a broken light bulb, spilled oil, trashed toy or battery, or other previously inconsequential trash deposit; from becoming destitute felons. This 394 page linked pdf presents some of the new law that went into effect in 2011 to ensure this possibility: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/LawsRegsPolicies/upload/2011-HEALTH-AND-SAFETY-CODE-Excerpts.pdf.

    So no matter how small or real the threat, your government can and may take your money and punish you, if you deposit a prohibited item in the trash. And, who knows, with the budget and the promise for green shirts jobs, they just might.

    Why didn’t I see this earlier? Could it be because I’ve been distracted by nonsense like global warming and PM 2.5?

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