EPA Tested Humans with ‘Lethal’ Pollutants

EPA Tested Humans with ‘Lethal’ Pollutants
April 3, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has experimentally subjected humans to pollutants the agency frequently claims are deadly, the EPA Inspector General’s Office reports. The revelation puts EPA in the damning position of having to admit it either deliberately endangered human life or the pollutants are not as harmful as EPA claims.

EPA subjected 81 humans to “concentrated airborne particles or diesel exhaust emissions” in five separate studies in 2010 and 2011, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reported. The OIG also reported EPA failed to provide the human subjects with full information about EPA’s asserted risks for exposure to the pollutants.

“We found that exposure risks were not always consistently represented” to the human subjects, the OIG report stated. “Further, the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studies’ consent forms. An EPA manager considered these long-term risks minimal for short-term study exposures. We believe presenting consistent information about risks further ensures that study subjects can make the most informed choice about participating in a study.”

EPA justifies ever-tightening restrictions on airborne particulates and diesel exhaust by claiming the pollutants kill and injure thousands of Americans every year.

“Inhalable particles, particularly fine particles, have the greatest demonstrated impact on human health,” EPA asserts on its website. “Their small size allows them to get deep into the lungs and from there they can reach or trigger inflammation in the lung, blood vessels or the heart, and perhaps other organs.”

“Research has since confirmed the links between exposure to PM2.5 [fine particulate matter] and increases in respiratory health problems, hospitalizations and premature death. EPA's PM research also has affirmed the need for air quality standards to reduce PM in the air to protect human health,” the EPA website adds.

EPA responded to the OIG report by saying it did not violate any federal laws, rules, or regulations. EPA also asserted the human subjects were not subjected to the pollutants long enough to induce more than minimal health impacts. Some of the human subjects reported experiencing migraine headaches, cardiac arrhythmia, and decreased lung function after the testing.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)