Junks Science gadfly calls EPA-sponsored diesel exhaust study illegal, potentially fatal

EPAgasmaskThe Environmental Protection Administration claims that diesel exhaust can be lethal in any concentration, so why is the EPA performing human testing with diesel exhaust?

Junk Science gadfly Steve Malloy reported on the EPA testing, noting that “in the experiment, human study subjects were exposed for two hours to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in diesel exhaust at a concentration of up to 200 micrograms per cubic meter.”

The subjects, says Malloy, were warned of potential effects. In the case of the diesel exhaust study, conducted by University of Washington researchers, subjects weren’t informed of the worst of possible outcomes,that is, death.

The warning provided to aspiring subjects, who are typically compensated for their troubles, included the following:

University of Washington consent form (click to enlarge)

University of Washington consent form (click to enlarge)

In particular, subjects were warned “you may experience unpleasant odor, irritation of the eyes, nose or bronchial irritation. Other symptoms may include nausea, lightheadedness, cough, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, wheezing and phlegm production.”

However, they were told while exposure to the exhaust has caused cancer in laboratory animals has caused cancer, for people “the cancer risk of this exposure is extremely small,” though apparently not zero.

Worse than exposing subjects to known carcinogens, however, was the potential for death in the near term, as hours or days, of exposure to PM2.5, as the EPA noted in a 2004 assessment: “Overall, there is strong epidemiological evidence linking (a) short term (hours, days) exposures to PM2.5 with cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and morbidity, and (b) long-term (years, decades) PM2.5 exposure with cardiovascular and lung cancer mortality and respiratory morbidity.”

Furthermore, during a September 22, 2011 hearing of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Malloy points out,  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified, “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.”

Malloy concludes:

“Although EPA doesn’t explicitly make this claim, when you consider what EPA says about it, PM2.5 is the most toxic substance known to man.

  • “Death mere hours after inhalation. Consider, for example, dreaded substances that EPA considers to be cancer-causing like asbestos, benzene, ionizing radiation, tobacco smoke, etc. Unlike with PM2.5, in none of these cases, does EPA assert that a typical exposure can kill you within hours.
  • “Death from any exposure. Consider that even a [sic] poisons like cyanide or a chemical weapon require that a certain dose be administered. Mere exposure to poisons is not fatal. It’s the dose that counts. But with PM2.5, the EPA has determined that even the slightest exposure increases the risk of death (within hours, by the way).

“Thus, PM2.5 may be considered to be the most toxic substance on Earth, according to EPA’s scientific assessments.”

If this is the case, then, as Malloy points out, “University of Washington researchers have violated the Nuremberg Code and the federal regulations governing the conduct of human experiments.”

And all with the sponsorship of the Environmental Protection Agency, perhaps protecting the environment while poisoning the people who live there.