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Philip Morris

Bad Science A Resource Book

Date: 26 Mar 1993
Length: 254 pages
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BAD SCIENCE A. RESOURCE BOOK bo C?r=aft - March 26, 1993
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0 . Too often, science is manipulated to fu4y'all a political agenda. Science that is used to guide public policy must be based on sound science -- not on emotions or beliefs that are viewed by some as "politically correct." ns ~ C) ~ ~ ~ w co ~ tra
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• Table of Contents Too often, science is manipulated to faclfitl a political agenda. 1. What Others Are Saying... 2. Recent Articles B. Government agencies, too often, betray the public trust by violating plinciples of good science in a desire to achieve a political goal. 1. What Others Are Saying... 2. Recent Articles C. No agency is more guitty of acUusting science to support preconceived public policy prescriptions than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1. What Others Are Saying... 2. Case Histories of EPA's Bad Science 3. Opinion Editorials 4. Recent Articles • D. Public policy decisions that are based on bad science impose enovanons economic costs on all aspects of society. 1. What Others Are Saying... 2. The Costs of Bad Science 3. Opinion Editorials 4. Recent Articles E. Like many studies before it, EPA's recent report concerraing environmental tobacco smoke allows political objectives to guide scientific research. 1. What Others Are Saying... 2. A Case History 3. Recent Articles F. Proposals that seek to improve indoor air quality by singling out tobacco smoke only enable bad science to become a poor excuse for enacting new laws and jeopardidng individual liberties. l. What Others Are Saying... 2. A Case History 3. Opinion Editorials 4. Recent Articles
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t i • MESSAGES Too often, science is manipulated to fulfz.ll a political agenda. Science that is used to guide public policy must be based on sound science -- not on emotions or beliefs that are viewed by sonie as "politically correct.." Government agencies, too often, betany the public trust by violating principles of good science in a desire to achieve a political goal. Numerous government studies have caused job loss, personal freedoms to be violated and even people displaced from their homes. These same studies have been later proven to be inaccurate following objective scientific review. The scientific community has been particularly critical of government studies regarding asbestos, pesticides, dioxin, radon, environmental tobacco smoke and water quality. *~* No ageney is more guilty of adjusting science to support preconceived public policy prescriptions than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA's Science Advisory Panel criticized the agency in a. 1992 report for failing to develop a'"coherent science agenda and operational plan to guide its scientil"ic efforts." The report went on to describe the agency's interpretation and use of science as "uneven and haphazard across programs and issues." In her initial review of the agency's operations, Administrator Carol Browner said EPA suffered from a "totall lack of management, accountability and discipline." EPA's self- admitted failures raise even more questions about its ability to credibly protect the publlc's health and safety. ~ 0 ~ .Is w r,,n ~ ~
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• ~ A16 Using Lab Animals to Make Environmental Rules: THE NEW YORK TIMES NATIONAL TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 1 Are Data Good Enough? S66£V6tiL0Z The use of rodents as a diagnostic tool for identifying health hazards is being met with growing skepticism because of evidence that chemicals frequently have wholly different er°°cts Qianu Hail Im 1 ha~ New York Tim_e in animals than in humans. Dr. Kenneth Olden, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, reviewed tests in his laboratory in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
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! Public policy decisions that are based on bad science impose enorrnous economic costs on all aspects of society. The costs of bad science are eventually borne by each individual taxpayer as they are passed down from federal regulations and mandates to state and local governments, consumers and businesses. Environmental regulation, in particular, costs a family of four an estimated $1,800 a year. +m~ • Like many studies before it, EPA's recent report concerning environmental tobacco smoke allows political objectives to guide scienti;Jac research. The EPA report is filled with unsubstantiated claims, lowered standards and statistically questionable devices. Never before has EPA proposed to classify a substance as a Group A carcinogen on the basis of such weak and inconclusive data. EPA's methodology on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) sets a precedent that could threaten the use of such common products as chlorinated water, diesel fuel, numerous pesticides and more. You do not have to approve of smoking to obje-ct to the EPA's decision to misuse scientific data in order to support predetermined conclusions. Proposals that seek to improve indoor air guality by singling out tobacco smoke only enable bad science to become a poor excuse for enacting new laws anrl jeoparclizing individual liberYies. Banning smoking to improve indoor air does not change the frequency of complaints or resolve the problem. Even within the EPA, which mandates a smoke-free environment, many employees complain about poor indoor air quality. Anything other than a holistic approach to improving the indoor environment threatens the health of employees and opens employers to new workers compensation claims. Moreover, these misguided regulations intrude upon the personal liberties of individual workers and create enormous and unnecessary economic costs. o a ~ W tcs tV
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! -2_ °Costly solutions are proposed and enacted into law before they are scientifically justified. Sometimes they respond to perceived--rather than real--risks to humans or the environment. There are no standards for evaluating costs and benefits, nor are there acceptable guidelines for setting national. priorities." Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Puyinkq for Federal Enuironrnentcal M'cnFrltetes: A Looming Crisis for Cities and Counties "What is troubling is the suggestion that publicly funded scientists may be playing fast and loose with the facts for political reasons. The integrity of the scientific process is tremendously important to the United States, whose economic fortunes rest to a large degree on its ability to exploit its scientific capabilities." The Detroit News, August 9, 1992 • "Congress is reflecting an erosion of public confidence in a scientitic establishment that not many years ago could seemingly do no wrong. The message from Washington is clear: science will receive no more blank checks and will be held increasingly accountable for both its performance and its behavior." Leon Jaroff Time Magazine, August 26, 1991. "In January, mayors from 114 cities in 49 states opened the campaign [for reform of environmental laws] by sending President Clinton a letter urging the White House to focus on how environmental policy-making had in their view gone awry.'Not only do we sometimes pay too much to solve environmental problems, we've been known to confront the wrong problems for the wrong reasons with the wrong technology,'the mayors said. ° The New YorA: Tlanes, March 24, 1993 tu 0 ~ a ? 6n9 ~ ~ 00
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0 WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SCIENCE MAi'IPULATED TO FULFILL A POLITICAL AGENDA "...A group of 425 international scientists and medical experts, including 62 Nobel laureates, issued an appeal warning against the increasing use of 'pseudo-scientific arguments' in the e.nvironnaental debate. While subscribing to ecological objectives, they demanded that ecological science 'be founded on scientific criteria and not on irrational preconceptions.," The Detroit Neivs, August 9, 1992 9 "Bowing to tlae demands of pro-lifers, the Bush Administration continued a ban on federal funding for fetal-eell transplants, despite the fact that the use of such tissue has shown promising results in treating Parkinson's disease and other disorders. Frustrated U.S. researchers watched helplessly as their European counterpaits moved ahead on medical applications of fetal tissue." Leon Jaroff, Time Magazine, August 26, 1991 "Crises can be exploited by organized groups to justify government action which serves to promote hidden agendas. If a real crisis is not available, an artificial crisi.s created by distortions and misinformation will serve just as well." Dwight Lee, Ramsey Professor of Economics, University of Georgia, in "The Perpetual Assault on Prdrgress" "Many environmental zealots in and out of government..,have proved themselves quite willing to bend science to the service of their political (and financial or bureaucratic) goals. The result has been a panicked public that is easy prey for all sorts of counterproductive regulation and spending. In the end that will lead to cynicism about the value of science generally -- and a poorer United States." The Detroit News, August 9, 1992
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Tttr; iVSW YORK TIMSS NATIANAI. MONDAY, MARCH 22,0, Otficials closed Smith Point Beach on Fire Island in July 1988 after syringe$ and needles were found in the water. 666£tV~VLOZ
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C`_'. i- ) !C'IE AFTER
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1 4 ~ ' Sea-DumpingBan: P litr ~ ~ o es ~ ~ Produced a Disputed Policy G~- C'onunued From Page Al • • Dnn Nog.n ChakfRhe New York Time Workers cleaned up sewage in May 1987, top, at the Island Beach State Park in Berkeley, NJ. Raw sewage, above, entered the Hudson River in June 1984 from a pipe on 125th Street in Manhattan.
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• . "A victory for the environment is a victory for the environment," she said. But it is not completely clear that a ban on dumping was such an environ- mental triumph. The negative effecfs of burying sludge close to thR shores have been documented with precision. But the dangers of dumping it In deep~ er water are leas r.~le~~r,. - Studies have shown that -sludge de- posited 106 miles out does reach the. ocean floor and, in the words of Dr. Frederick Grassle, director of the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coast• al Sciences, "it has a minute but meas- urable impact an the deep-sea ecosys~ tem." However, Dr. Grassle also saidd that health risks from the dumping appeared to be minimal - primarily because the ocean rapidly diluted the waste below dangerous concentrations:- Somc researchers have proposed the nearly lifeless plains at the bottom of the oceans as a relatively inexpensive,and safe, disposal site for sludge. They argue that at the deepest levels of the sea - several hundred miles away from any coastline and under neariy,. 16,000 feet of water - the sludge wi{} rest undisturbed and harmless. "' . Short-Sighted Proposal? „ However, many environmentalisYc and some scientists view the researcir proposals for deep-sea burial of slud&; asshm't-sighted. "It will take 10 seconds of logic a4-d: $10 million to prove that this too wflf' have adverse effects on the environ-. ment," said Dr. Elliott A. Norse; a marine ecologist who is chfef scientfsi;: for the Center for Marine Conserva=tion. But John Edmond, professor tsf chemical oceanography at the Massa- chusetts Institute of Technology, said;;; • "There are going to be impacts on oar- society of anything we throw awa}!',; . That includes ocean dumping. Bat.. there is a real crisis in land disposal bf our waste, and we have acted to 6aneven the consideration of ocean dunep=;r ing. "Even if we don't use the uppW , ocean -d and perhaps we should not---t we should think about the sea floor. Bt1(_' people are so emotional about these- issues that they can hardly see or thitkstraight." Next: The problems with laboratory~ testing. N O A ~ 4 3 ~ W ~ tD ~
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i THE SCIENCE MOB BY Plrilip J. Hilts v-e( rrruteites: l") tt're t tf,abie, Ck3c~sctve, and re•sourcrlul. t3tu :au h.aYc nu rahees. uFn4stur: Arrcd ivhcre`s thu eaur tn vnur carrcinq-canr xtarTot.tAtLe; C:xnair,r hri<sre canndnesr. tu duises; [{re r's~,hs thlnh :1nYt 1HYt tnM1t SUF1nti it. -Sramtva fEeazwc's transEat¢un u('soph.ECfc~' Pf.ifurfetr. itt the vearc bei"ure `1"or'ItC th'ar TI, science Isas a •smaiL chatated pr<>iestiirnt. fu 1940 tthere were about '(lU.f}(1Q scientists and S7oi rnillion in P(.dernd mtronec. Scientists cc•ere• a eantetuplatiee oracr, ~ul('k tht,ir espu- ................................ ............ .................... _.... I'tnt.tr j. Ittt:rs is a Wasitiel;¢e[a'e curre`ilnxacErnt For The ,r<-w I~srr. TtrrpS. - ---------- - - -------- - - - ------------- 2d 1H!°. \'FN` kFFlr(31JC MdY 18, 1992 The David Baltimore case-and its lessons. Si1rC !a_r the k.Orld X'as InBllted. M'ite6t :m UCCASHCinal t{ue&tiUtl Uf 5fO1PpOnk.°~5 Cir misconduct arose, it W85 C1uP- etly rsesul.ed within the confines 4 the pra.rfessiun. But rFOW, 4i5 the nLmlber ()f scientists reFlL'he,, I million andd their share raf the natiun's, i'eeierul bxdgct reaches 5_'5 billion, the c4eutands dor F'eater accuunta6ilin and upennetis are uelderstandahlc mtlre insistent. Thetiugh scientists watdd like to remain aicLiRf, tt hrotherhrx%d whose standards and integria remain above public reproach, that era is over. I St:rries about scientific rniscondhlct ;tre nrt longer an aherratictn. Indeed. in recentveaLS tite nlost notorious •
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. ally exposed to low levels of the suspect subslances. And even if they suffer unusual health problems, it is hard to know whether the illnesses were caused by the substance or something else - smoking, poor diet, etc. "Epidemiology is a real crude tool for looking for associations," Dr. Wilcox ac- knowledged. It is also lime-consuming. As a result, his department, like the pathology laboratory, is able to examine only a tiny percentage ot the substances subjected to animal studies. That nt>"ans the institute and the rest of the Government can seldom offer much more than the animal studies as warnings of a substance's possible danger to humans. ""We're looking for alternative approach- es," Dr. Griesemer said. "But right now, that's what we've got." Quite often, that means no one takes the institute's warnings se'riously any longer. P1'oWms Frustrations Grow With Knowledge Almost two years ago, the results came in from rat and mouse studies of 1,2,3-Irichloroo- propane, an industrial solvent used as a paint and varnish remover or a degreasing agent. Almost every animal exposed to the sub- stance was riddled with tumors "in several organs; " said Dr. Richard D. Irwin, the insti- tute toxicologist who wrote the report. "This is the type of chemical that shows the great- est potential for human effect." "Our understanding is that workers wash themselves in this," Dr. Criesemer said. And since the chemical is absorbed in the skin, he and others said, the finding was particularly. troubling. In Dr. Irwin's view, "It would be real good to get some human data because I'm sure there were people who were exposed to it in the past, maybe even now." £66£tr 4trL6Z • So did the epidemiologists look for people who had been exposed to the substance? "This isn't one we're looking at,° Dr. W il- cox said- Bu1 maybe, he added, the National Cancer Institute's epidemiologists did look at it. The cancer institute has what is probably the world's largest cancer epidemiology de- partment - 100 scientists and support staff. - and they get the animal-study reports automatically. But they seldom choose to begin a study based on the animal research, and they did not initiate one in this case. In 1990, when a rodent study suggested that fluoride might be a carcinogen, "we took that one on," said Dr. Fraumeni, head of epidemi-, ~ ology for the cancer institme. "We found i'nothing, and that was the last time." As for trichloropropane, he said,'9 haven't, heard of it." Dr. Irwin wondered if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration might: have done a survey or found a way to check on workers exposed to the chemical. But Dr. Edward Stein, a health scientist for O.S.H.A., said the agency had done no sur- veys and had not changed its standards for , trichloropt'opane since January 1989, when it Isaued a regulation limiting airborne emis- sions of the substance. , Up to the Manufacturer? As for telling people of the dangers, Dr. Stein added, "The primary manufacturers of, the product would be responsible." "I presume whetl updating training pro- grams at companies that use this, say annu- ally, whoever is doing that would be aware of the new information," Dr. Stein said. "They would make the employees aware of it, but I'm not sure if that is actually being done." "We always have a battle on the Issue of• what to do with the animal data," Dr. Stein. added. "I'm not trying to downplay it, but I do believe other things ought to have priority." So back in North Carolina, Dr. Irwin said: "I really haven't heard of anything happen- ing. It's almost as if our work just goes into a black box." Acknowledging that problem, Dr. Olden said: "I have to say we don't serve the American people very well right now. But that's where we are." I
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. - I Animal Tests as Risk Clues: i The Best Data May Fall Short . ByJOELKRINKLEY .0NI-e~ ~ryty~MVMYorkTmea GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 20 - Doaena of caged rats and mice spend t Price Cleanup? Wha a fErICA 9'huf(,NrfIFJ°q( their iMytibere In a taboratory, chewing the natfMt'a enNUU6 on PJttna rodent chow laced with as is tkY+Wn iaio much boric acid as they can tolerate As a result, even br. Kenneth Olden, without risk of death from poisoning. director ot the National Institute of These rodents and more than 1,000 Environmental Health Sciences, the others are being used to study seven branch of the National Institutes of common environmental and household He~th that direct ; the animal studies, - chemicals to see if any cause reproduc- ask whether Ihe nation is wasting i9ve problems. The rats and mice are billions of dollars reguiating sub- allowed to breed at will. Then scientists stancr~ Ihat might pose little risk. , here at R.O.W. Sciences, a research ~ Thc findings from about 450 animal laboratory that works under Federal studies over the last several decades, contract, examine several generations of offspring for abnormalities or de- fects. This project is just one of roughly 65 rodent studies under way at 15 labora- tories across lhe country at an average cost of about $2 million each. For much of the last two decades, these studies have been the Government's most im- portant diagnostic tool for identifying environmental problems that are health hazards and setting priorities - for Federalregulation. Billions Down the Drain? But now the animal-studies program "is being hobbled by doubts about its worth. So much evidence has accumu- lated that chemicals frequently have wholly different effects in animals and humans that officials throughout Gov-' ' ernment and industry often do not act ' on the studies' findings. And with that growing skepticism, the raatlonale behind a large portion of Continued on Page A16, Column I i L66£ti4tiLOZ Continued From Page Af Dr. Olden said, have led Federal and state governments to write thousands of regulations forcing government and industry to spend tens of billions of dollars a year regulating the use and disposal of several dozen chemicals, or finding alternatives for chemicals that have been restricted or banned. For instance, it was data from ro- dent studies that led the Government to ban or restrict the use of two kinds of artificial sweeteners, cyclamates and saccharin, as well-as the pesticide DDT and the industrial byproduct dioxin. In Dr. Olden's view, "That's art awful lot of money to be spending to be regulating sub- stances we might not have to be regulating at all if we had more information." After spending many billions of dollars to *clean up dioxin, the Government is midway through a reassessment because new studies of people exposed to dioxin - once consid- ered one of the most poisonous substances in the world - show it is not nearly as harmful as originally believed. Similarly, John A. Moore, a former assist- ant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency who now heads the pri- vate Institute for Evaluating Health~Risks, noted that DDT was banned because it was believed to be a carcinogen. But new data show that it poses "a rela- tively modest cancer risk," Dr. Moore said, though DDT does present other environmen- tal hazards. And as for some of the other chemicals that have caused cancer in ro- dents, Dr. Richard A. Griesemer, deputy director of Dr. Olden's institute, offered some additional revisionist ideas. "Saccharin doesn't have much risk," he said, "and I don't think cyclamates have any risk at all." Scott Green understands the weaknesses of his research. He is R.O.W.'s laboratory, manager, and he did note that the reproduc- tive studies "are already finding snme ef- fects." Some rats and mice are producing fewer litters that are smaller than average. "But is that relevant to what's happening out there in the environment?" he asked. "I can't tell you." •
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GREGG EASTERBROOK: HAS ENVIRONMENTALISM BLOWN IT? Has environmentalism blown it? GREEN CASSANDRAS By Gregg Easterbrook T he distinction between a bicycle accident and the end of ci ilizarion has seldom been so blurred as at the Earth Summit. recently con- cluded in Rio de Janeiro. There. discussion of palpable threats to nature mixed in equal proportion • with improbable claims of instant doom. Emironmen- talists, who wnuld seem to have an interest in separating . ........ . ......... . ........................ _ ..................................... _ ..................................... GREGG E.ISTERBROOR is a contributing editor for .\'ewsweek and The d!(¢ntic. the types of alarms, instead encouraged the confusion - on doctrinal grounds. namely that all environmental news should be negative. This ccorldview mav be appro- priate for fund-raising and facultv sherrv hours, but it can backfire in the realm of public policc. Consider the interplav between global warming hype and the Earth Summit. Most C.S. pollution controls exceed those of other nations. including Japan and Western Europe. Carbon emissions are the one impor- tant environmental category where :lmerica is the worst JULV fi. t992 THE NEw REPUBLIC 23
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• • . nC Ssaftu1etIto:BCe taory sim.a aes.drd a ros yaw ^%U UetxAX+++r,.ros }s7 r.u oxktcWtbn..atxo~.~~ tsasims ¢FUNoRMoaAtr++r.arr+crr+imsWt wiu.f8lP.rotE9..elat tiDS•IYN CJERIOCtKt'a+r.pr, rmbIM f1tIMoRV FAVHE. .raM..abr PE't~t BdsUO, .Abr W pnp. ab RWW RJ.MMtiJM4R A crisis that wasn't n the late 1980s, it became an artide of faith at the National Science Foundation -that America w00-running out of scientists Iattd engineers. By the year 2010, the agency predicted, there would be a shortfall of 675,000 of these valuable specialists. NSF'a chief administrator in those days, ;Erich Bloch, tirelessly repeated that gloomy forecaat to academic leaders, the media and especially to Congress when NSFs budget 'came up for review. His claims in turn were kited as further proof of the failure of Ameri- kaait educational institutions and of our in- "ity to keep paoew with Japan in an in- kteaeingly competitive world economy. ;Out as a recent congressional investigi ion makes dear, Bloch's shortfall never ma- Instead, the General Accounting ice reports that there'o a surplus of aaien- iata and engineers, that unemployment tee in some disciplines far exceed the na- ~bonal average and that beginning salaries for newly minted PhD's in many of these `,f'ietds are way down. NSFs faulty prediction turns out to have " the product of its own Policy and Re- hearch Analysis Division. The original re• port proclaiming the shortage was itself so iladly flawed and drew so much criticism xrom the statistical experts who reviewed it that NSFs Office of Legislative and Public Affairs refused to publish it at all. But that didn't atop Bloch from circulating thousands of photocopies and computer printouts far and wide. T he author of the report, Peter House, told a congressional hearing that he never really intended to influence public pol- icy and that he had no idea that his study had so much impact. The chairman of the in- vestigating subcommittee then read back to him passages from one of House's own books in which he extolled the considerable influ , ence his report had exercised over scienoe policy and how it had been assiduously dis- tributed among decision-makers. Bloch him- self made 55 speeches between 1987 and 1990 warning of the impending shortfall. Congress and much of the scientific com- munity have joined in expressing dismay at this tawdry chapter and the blot it has left on NSF's claim to scientific integrity. There may be some relief in finding that at least one of the threats to the nation didn't turn out to be so bad after all. But it's quickly dis- sipated by the thought that now we need to start worrying about what to do with all those unemployed scientists and engineers. 0
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Animal Tests as Risk Clues; The Best Data May Fall Shorti . ByJOELBRINKLEY Spocalb•ReNMYwkTlmn GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 20 - Dozens of caged rats and mice spend their days here in a laboratory chewing on Purina rodent chow laced with as much boric acid as they can tolerate without risk of death from poisoning. These rodents and more than I,606 others are being used to study seven common environmental and househo(d chemicals to see if any cause reproduc- tive problems. The rats and mice are allowed to breed at will. Then scientists here at R.O.W. Sciences, a research laboratory that works under Federal contract, examine several generations of offspring for abnormalities or de- fects. This project is just one of roughly 65 rodent studies under way at 151abora- tories across the country at an average cost of about $2 million each. For much of the last two decades, these studies have been the Government's most im- portant diagnostic tool for identifying environmental problems that are health hazards and setting priorities for Federal regulation. • Bllllons Down the Drain? But now the animal-studies program is being hobbled by doubts about its worth. So much evidence has accumu- lated that chemicals frequently have wholly different effects in animals and humans that officials throughout Gov-' ernment and industry often do not act on the studies' findinp. And with that growing skepticism, the rationale behind a large portion of What Price Cleanup? Third lAic(e pf a wrfas. the nation's Mp! ,tlittlalis thrown inttt = >' s ' As a result, even Dn Kenneth Oiden, director of the National Institute of Environmental HealU Sciences, the branch of the National Inatitutes of He th that direcc+ the animal studies, ask whether the nation is wasting billions of dollars regulating sub- slamtr:Ihat might pose little risk. . 7hc Ilndings from about 450 animal sutdies over the last several decades, Continued on Page AI8, Column I ebbChih L0-C Continued From Page Al Dr. Olden said, have led Federal and state governments to write thousands of regulations forcing government and industry to spend tens of billions of dollars a year regulating the use and disposal of several dozen chemicals, or finding alternatives for chemicals that have been restricted or banned. For instance, it was data from ro- dent sttidies that led the Government to ban or restrict the use of two kinds of artificial sweeteners, cyclamates and saccharin, as welPas the pesticide DDT and the industrial byproduct dioxin. In Or. Olden's view, "That's an awful lot of money to be spending to be regulating sub- stances we might not have to be regulating at all if we had more information." After spending many billions of dollars to clean up dioxin, the Government Is midway through a reassessment because new studies of people exposed to dioxin - once consid- ered one of the most poisonous substances in the world - show it is not nearly as harmful as originally believed, Similarly, John A. Moore, a former assist- ant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency who now heads the pri- vate Institute for Evaluating Health Risks, noted that DDT was banned because it was believed to be a carcinogen. But new data show that it poses "a rela-tively modest cancer risk," Dr. Moore said, though DDT does present other environmen- tal hazards. And as for some of the other chemicals that have caused cancer in ro- denls, Dr. Richard A. Griesemer, deputy director of Dr. Olden's institute, offered some additional revisionist ideas. "Saccharin doesn't have much risk," he said,'•and I don't think cyclamates have any risk at all." Scott Green understands the weaknesses of his research. He is R.O.W.'s laboratory, manager, and he did note that the reproduc- tive studies "are already finding some ef- fects." Some rats and mice are producing fewer litters that are smaller than average. "But is that relevant to what's happeningout there in the environment?" he asked. "1 can't tell vou."
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Science I sources in space; and the Earth Observing System for weather and pollution studies. Scientists were dismayed. Daniel It7eppner, an M.I.T. physicist, pointed out that the money spent on the space station this year will be almost as much as the total fiscal 1990 NSF budget, a major source of federal funding for all the sciences except biomedicine. Writing in The Sciences, the publication of the New York Academy of Sciences, he expressed his indignation: "It seems incredible that the government can spend billions on such flawed projects while allowing the world's greatest scientif- ic institutions to decline for lack of rela- tively modest funds." By one standard, at least, the troubles of American science are not that obvious at first glance: the Nobel science awards for the past few decades have been dominated by Americans. For example, 14 of the 25 Nobel Prizes for Physics between 1980 and 1990 went to Americans. But 13 of those 14 awards were for work done many years ago. Most of the Nobels for more recent research have gone to Europeans. "It ap- pears that American science is eoasting on its reputation," says Kleppner. "Today Eu- rope is beginning to run away with the honors." Physics is not the only discipline that is I hurting. Harvard's pioneering biologist I E.O. Wilson, the father of sociobiology, is concerned that the dwindling supply of il federal grant money to individual scientists is changing the very nature of research. A ~ quarter-century ago, he says, grants were ~ far more generous, and a higher percent- I age of proposals got funded. "In those days," he recalls. "a young scientist could i still get a grant based on a promising but I partly formulated idea or fragmentary re- BIG VENTURES THAT SWALLOW DOLLARS BY THE BILLIONS S'x.. ~~.~V .. . ~ 5 . . .. - ..-- . .. , . . )'1.7r:.... ~'._ " _.... ... . __ ' '- . ... ~ . ... 4_.. . • 48 TIME.AUGUSr241991 2074144005
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! only last year cangressional budgeteers ~ agreed to limit spending growth for domes- tic discretionary funding, in eHect making science a "zero-sum" category. This meant that increases for one scientific project, for example, might have to come out of the ; hide of another. I "I don't think that [Lederman's] argu- ~i ment was very good," says Harvey Brooks, ~ a Harvard science-policy expert. "Scien- ~ tists are having a hard time, and so are the I homeless. You have to justify science be- cause it is doing something good for soci- ety." Even Frank Press, president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), agrees on the need for restraint. "No na- tion can wdte a blank check for science," he says. "In a very tight deficit year, we may have to make some choicea" fn June the House of Representatives made a choice, and it did not sit well with scientuts. The House voted to designate 51.9 billion of rtASA's fiscal 1992 budget to continued work on the proposed space sta- tion, which could eventually eost as much as S40 billion. Because of the budgetary re- straints, that money may be cut from other projects supported by NASA and the Na- tional Science Foundation (itsn). And two huge science ventures are already siphon- ing off significant chunks of the federal budget: the Human Crenome Project, a 15- TIME, AuOUBC 2Q 1991 year, $3 billion program to identify and map all 50,000 to 100,000 genes and deter- mine the sequence of the 3 billion code let- ters in human ot+A; and the superconduct- ing supercollider, a high-energy particle accelerator to be built in Texas at an esti- mated cost of $8.2 billion. Several planned NASA science projecu could immediately suffer or even be elimi- nated because of the space-station vote. They include the Comet Rendezvous As- teroid Flyby mission, in which an un- manned spacecraft would make close ap- proaches to Comet Kopff and an unnamed asteroid; the Advanced X-Ray Astrophys- fa Facility, which will investigate X-ray 47
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1 3 NEW yORK, MONDAY, MARCH 22. 1993 Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island, .............. fately after the vote: "It is unfortunate that it takes a situation • like we have today with medical waste Sea-Dumprng Ban: Good Politics, washing up on our beaches, to capture the attention of the American public • and of Con ress. But B perhaps it is a But Not Necessartly Good Po iey blessing in disguise, since it has result- , ed in our action today to put a halt to ByMICHAELSPECTER For millions of people from Montauk o Maryland, the broiling summer of 1988 will be hard to forget. It was the lonest year ever recorded. Repulsive rash slicks covered the Eastern shore- dne. And borne upon a tide of public Dutrage, garbage emerged as a poten political issue. tn New York and New Jersey, where most of the waste appeared, health officials closed beaches by the score, depriving sweltering people of relief. Pictures of used syringes, dead dol- phins and human excrement scattered across the sand became a staple of the news. Anger required action. So without registering a single vote of opposition, Congress that fall banned the dumping of sewage into the ocean. The law pro- hib+'^el New York City from dropping ~essed waste into the sea and fficials to find costly new ways rid of it, The Rush to Ban "This is a turning point in human , history," said a euphoric Representa- tive tive William J. Hughes, Democrat of I New Jersey, after the vote. Other offi- : cials agreed, rushing to embrace the law as one of the most important envi- ronmental measures ever enacted. There was just one problem. Ocean dumping had absolutely noth- ing to do with the garbage that washed up on the sand that year. In fact, the problems that caused the mess on the beaches in 1988 - overtaxed sewage systems - were largely ignored, and the health risks they present are as serious as they have ever been. Most scientists agree that using the sea as a garbage can was unpleasant and are pleased that it is no longer legal. But some argue that dumping sewage in the Atlantic Ocean 106 miles from the shore - which saved New j York and other cities billions of dollars over the years - is less hazardous than i Ifp Y.ABT 5lat 4TR6Cr ilA9 BF:F?f I.IBEaATy;ll frnm ihe eeble amm,q,ly: Get belter buildln•wide + I haif the pire C.II Libeny Cahle 2P_'N9I= A!H"1' ~ What Price Cleanup? Serrmd artirle uf a seriev. most of the disposal methods that have replaced it. But Congressional leaders, relying almost solely an the summer's vivid images of filth, pushed through a ban on ocean dumping, As Senator John H. Continued on Page B8, Column I the ocean dumping of sludge." Representative Thomas J. Manton, Democrat of Queens, opposed the act at first, saying It would simply shift waste from sea to land, including land in his own district. But looking back to that time, he recalled: "Nnbody want- ed to discuss the relative risks or the merits. It had been a bad summer, and we all wanted to be able to say we did~ something. So we passed a law. I tried ' to have a debate. And it was like I was~ trying to destroy the planet." Because of the Ocean Dumping Act, New York City spent $2 billion on giant plants that turn processed sewage into fertilizer. The city plans to spend at least $300 million a year over the next decade to dispose of its sludge in this way and in others - many times more than it would cost to dump it in the ocean. . Better Ways to Spend But even some of the ban's most enthusiastic proponents at major envi- ronmental organizations, none of whom would be quoted by name, con- cede that the money might have been better spent on other problems, like fixing the extensive system of storm sewers that caused the waste to wash up on thee beaches in the first place. Indeed, the ocean dumping ban is a striking triumph of environmental poli- tics over science, a clear demonstra- tion of how environmental policy can often be directed by symbols and fears than by reasoned discussion of benefit and risk. In 1998, and still today, the real prob- lem came from New York's aged, 6,200-mile network of sewer pipes that mix household waste with rainwater. Normally, il is all treated together. But during storms, sewage treatment plants are quickly overwhelmed, and sewer pipes carry millions of gallons of raw waste directly to the rivers and harbors surrounding the city. In fact, in the summers since the ban on ocean dumping took effect, officials have closed beaches more often than they did before 1988. "There is no question that the New York City sewer system is the greatest cause of water pollution in the region; that has almost always been true," said Howard Golub, acting directorand chief engineer of the Interstate Sani- tary Commission, a regional regula- tory agency that for 20 years has been trying in vain to convince people to pay attention to the problem. "But a sewer system isn't sexy," he added. "It's expensive to fix, and no-~ body wants to hear about it. So people~ focused on what they understand - and they understand that sewage andl the sea don't seem nice together."
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s . • found a cure for wms, or why can't they fig- ure out, after nearly a balf<entury, how to store nuclear wastes safely or build space- craft that work? Why do they concoct com- pounds that end up as toxic waste or court danger by tinkering with genes? Some of this burgeoning antiscience sentiment springs from the well-meaning but naive "back to nature" wing of the en- vironmental movement, some from skillful manipulation by demagogues and modern- day Luddites. And some is misdirected; sci- ence is often blamed for the misdeeds of industry and government. But scientists too must shoulder their share of the blame. Cases of outright fraud and waste, sloppy research, dubious claims and public bickering have made science an easy target for itscritia. Says Marcel LaFol- lette, a professor of international science policy at George Washington Un'wersity: "One of the threads that run through all this is a refusal by the science community to ao knowledge that there iti a problem. They 50 continue with the attitude that scientists are part of the Elite and they deserve special po- litical treatment and handling." In Washington the new sock-it-to-sci- ence stance is personified by Congressman Dingell, who has taken the lead in investi- gating the wrongdoings of researchen. Many scientists consider his intrusion into their domain dangerous because it threat- ens their long-held notion that science should be self-governed, self-regulated and self-policed. When Dingell asked the Secret Service to examine the notebooks in the Baltimore case for authenticity, anme re- searchers accused him of launching a witch hunt and trying to establish "science po- lice." Because of his badgering of scientists at congressional hearings, he has been charged with practicing McCarthyism. Says Maxine Singer, a molecular biologist and president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington: "With Dingell, the issues get swallowed as he makes personal attacks on peopte." TIbtE.AUGUSr26.199t Despite DingelPs abrasive manner, however, he has rooted out some serious abuses in science. The Congressman makes a legitimate argument that science is a social tool and should be directed and regulated in the same manner as other so- cial tools, such as defense and education. A newly contrite Baltimore now says Din- gell's investigation was "an altogether proper exercise of his mandate to oversee the expenditure of federal funds." This month Dingell was at it again. He hauled ntx director Healy before his sub- committee to charge that by abruptly transferring a chief investigator of the Nmt's internal office of scientific integrity, she had "derailed" investigations and "de- moralized and emasculated" that office, which had been involved in the Baltimore case. Healy indignantly called the charges "preposterous," adding that Dingell "is a prosecutor. He's there to root out evil, whether it's there oc not." Underlying the current furor over 2074144008
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9 The Real Problem "Vallf lower a a Political Dance Modern sewerage usually consists of two systems: storm sewers that carry off excess rainwater, and sanitary sew- ers that handle sewage that needs treatment. But older, combined sys- tems, like New York City's, serve al- most 20 percent of the nation's popula- tion, about 50 million people living in the America's oldest cities. For dec- ades they have been the major cause of beach closings and dangerous levels of bacteria in coastal waters. They gener- ally work well enough in normal times; sewage and ordinary storm drainage are treated together and then dis- charged. 8yring a heavy storm, however, so much water washes into the combined system that it is overwhelmed. The treatment centers cannot handle the load and everything - storm water and sewage - floods untreated out the pipe. To solve the sewer problem, New York would have to build enormous subterranean tanks to hold waste wa- ter- during heavy downpours, and the city Department of Environmental Protection says that could cost several I '' lion dollars. Without them, many ches in the area will continue to be sed after particularly heavy storms. Every time more than three-quarters of an inch of rain falls, 500 milllon gallons of mixed sewage pours into area rivers and harbors, the city says. A report by the State University of New York estimated that sewage over- flows cost New York and New Jersey $3 billion to $7 billion in lost jobs, lost fishing days and forfeited economic opportunities in the previous decade. That report was published in 1989, just as the sewers were flushing sy- ringes and other trash from streets and gutters,onto the beaches. Still, almost nobody seriously questioned the need for an immediate ocean dumping ban. 'Congress Acted on Emotion' As Alan Rubin, a senior Environ- mental Protection Agency official in charge of de'ermining the risks of dis- posing of sewage sludge, put it in a recent interview: "By 1988, ocean dumping had become taboo, about as politically incorrect as any disposal of waste can be. Maybe it was a gbod thing that happened. Maybe not. But it was not decided on the merits. Con- gress acted on emotion, not on data." Those who supported the ban now argue that two rights cannot make a wrong. They say that ocean dumping needed to stop and that bills get passed "en they can, not always when they the most sense. You take care of emergencies '+rst in life and in politics," said Sen~tor Frank R. Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who was a leader in the fight to end ocean dumping. senator Lautenberg agreed that sew- age overflows pose a serious health risk, but he added: "Sludge dumping was the equivalent of a fire we could put out. Just because you have earth- quakes on the horizon doesn't mean you should let the fire rage." Mr. Lautenberg asserted that it was not as clear in 1988 as it is today that storm sewers, not ocean dumping, were to blame for most of the trash that appeared on the beaches. But he did agree that the barges heading out to sea provided an image that was too useful to ignore. "There is simply a point when you have to look at the broader picture," he said. "When we passed the law, it was at the height of a couple of ugly sea- sons. The waste may not have been a direct result of the ocean dumping, but it did alert people to the fact that we need to stop pouring garbage into the ocean." Unsavory Practice Where to Put A City's Sludge Few people are genuinely unhappy about the demise of a practice in which 1.5 billion gallons of distilled sewage sludge was dumped each day 106 miles off the coast of New Jersey. Even those who say it makes sense to consider using the deep sea to store dangerous wastes acknowledge that the sludge was beginning to find its way into the food chain nn the ocean floor. And while most industrial waste, heavy metals and dangerous contami- nants were removed from the sludge before it was dumped in the ocean, it was never possible to extract all the poisons found in a huge sewage system. For decades, New York dropped its sludge only 12 miles off the coast - turning vast aquatic reaches into home to nothing but slime. Environmental- ists fought for years to end ocean dumping. As a compromise, the Fed- eral Government decided to permit New York and several neighboring cit- ies to shift its dumping to the edge of the continental shelf, where E.P.A. offi- cials said it would do no harm. But even at 106 miles, where there is no scientific proof that waste disposal causes illness in humans, ocean dump- ing of waste has proven to be less than ideal. Although researchers first thought sludge dumped there would never reach the bottom of the ocean, scientists now know that some of it does. And when it gets there, it is eaten by animals that are eventually eaten by man. Troubles Elsewhere. But scientists argue that it may be just as troublesome to dump the sludge anywhere else. Sludge in landfilis can I seep into ground water. Even benefi- '~cial uses, like turning sewage to fertil- izer, costs millions in processing and , shipping. Whatever the ancillary benefits the ocean dumping ban may have offered, it also cost New York a great deal of money. And many officials now say that money could have been put to far better use by trying to resolve the more complicated - and pressing - dilem- ma ma caused by combined sewer over- I flows. "Am I sad that we no longer dump sludge in the Atlantic Ocean? Absolute- ly not;" said Albert F. Appleton, com- missioner of New York City's Depart- ment of Environmental Protection, He i has made clean water a major focus of his tenure. "In a perfect world we simply wouldn't dump our waste at sea. But is that how I would have spent our next $2 billion? Never in a million years." Other Solutions A Victory Draws Questions Tough new laws passed since the mess of 1988 govern the disposal of medical waste. So syringes and intra- venous bags no longer show up on beaches with much frequency, And Coast Guard boats now skim coastal waters for other visible debris. But the levels of microscopic organisms that the E.P.A. considers harmful to ht;- mans and fish - the real problem - are no less serious than they have ever been. "When environmentalists see a prob= lem thcy tend to say, 'Let's have a totat solution,"' Mr. Appleton said. "They don't say, 'How much bang can we get for our buck?' They don't say, 'Where is the garbage going to go if it isn't tv the ocean?"" , Mr. Appleton certainly considers, himself an environmentalist. But he and many others like him say the movement risks its credibility by plac- ing so much emphasis on crowd-pleas- ing maneuvers like the ban on ocean dumping. Nina Sankovitch, a senior project lawyer at the Natural Resources De= fense Council who worked for the ocean dumping ban, countered: "Enviroo- mentalists have a huge agenda. Is dumping sludge worse than burning garbage? Is money spent on recycling better than money spent on clean wa- ter? ter? There aren't answers to those questions. So when we have the oppor, tunity to improve the environment we go for it. And the Ocean Dumping Ban Act was a great opportnity." opportunity." Ms. Sankovitch says she now focuses much of her attention on the problem of combined sewers. But she said she sees nothing wrong with using the images of 1988 to help ban dumping - even though the two problems were not con- nected.
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Science COVER STORIES 0 Crisis in The Labs Beset by a budget squeeze, cases of fraud, relentless activists and a skeptical public, American researchers are under siege Sy LEtIN L1ROF[ ti'ulwur scienrific progress the narloncl healrh would dtreriorate; w(thour scientifrc progresr we could not hope for rmprmKment in our emndard of litvtg or fo. an i'ncreasrd nwnbcr of jobs for o+v ciriuns; and without scienrific progreaa a+e eould not hase main- taintd owlibmiea ogainst rymrtny. -Vannevar Bush, presidential science adviser fn Science: The EnEless Fn>nder, 1945 I t was the glory of America. In the decades following World War II; U.S. science reigned supreme, earn- ing the envy of the world with one stunning triumph after another. Fos- tered by the largesse of a government swayed by Vannevar Bush's paean to sci- ence, it harnessed the power of the atom, conquered polio and discovered the earih's radiation belt It created the laser, the transistor, the microchip and the elec- tronie computer, broke the genetic code and conjured up the miracle of recombi- nant ndw technology. It described the fun- damental nature of matter, solved the mys- tery of the quasars and designed the robot craft that explored distant planets with spectacular success. And, as promised, it landed a man on the moon. Now a sea change is occurring, and it does not bode well for researchers-or for the US. While American science remains productive and still excels in many arees, its exalted and almost pristine image is be- ginning to tarnish. European and, to a lesser extent. Japa- nese scientists have begun to surpass their American counterparts. In the U.S. the sci- entific community is beset by a budget squeeze and bureaucratic demands, inter- nal squabbling, harassment by activists, embarrassing cases of fraud and faflure, , and the growing alienation of Congress ; and the public. In the last decade of the 20th century, U.S, science, once unassaH- able, hnds itself in a virtual state of siege. "The science community is demoral- ized, and its moans ara frightening off the young," saysDc Bernadine Healy, director of the National Institutes of Health (rrm). "You have never seen such a depressed collecti.on of people," says Stephen Berry, a University of Chicago chemist "It's the worst atmosphere in the scientific commu- nity since I began my career more than 30 yearsago" In public perception, at least, that at- mosphere has been fouled by a multitude of headline-grabbing incidents: 'The federal researcher at whose urging Times Beach, Mo., was permanently evac- uated in 1982 because of a dioart scare has conceded that the draconian action was a mistake and that newer data suggest dioxin is far less toxic than previously believed. While some environmental scientists dis- pute the conclusion, the Environmental Protection Agency has launched a review of its strict dioxin standards, leaving the public confused about what to believe. •In space, the inexcusable myopia of the S 1S billion Hubble telescope, the balky an- tenna that endangers the $1.3 billion Gali- leo mission to Jupiter, and even the Cha6 lengerdisaster and the shuttle's subsequent troubles gave space science a bad name- notwithstanding the fact that the failures resulted not from scientific errors but largely from managerial blunders and bud- getary constraints. .The circus atmosphere that accompanied last year's announcement that cold fusion bad been achieved, the subsequent debate among scientista and the eventual wide- spread rejection of the claim evoked public 45
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sVEE JoURNAL. • • Southern California Edison Study Finds No Workplace T ie Between Cancer, EMF By BILL Rtctinnos Sta/JR¢porfernjTUe Ww,.oSTrseeTJourtnnL In a study with broad implications for the electric utility industry, researchers say they found no unusual cancer levels among nearly 12,000 Southern California utility workers exposed to high levels of electromagnetism. Funded by Southern California Edison Co., the study, published today in the journal Epidemiology, undercuts earlier reports linking leukemia and other cancers to workplace exposure to electromagnetic fields, or EMF. EMF is produced when electric current passes through a wire. Earlier studies reported elevated can- cer levels in workers as diverse as motion picture projector operators, aluminum smelter workers and telephone linemen- triggering health concerns and lawsuits. Experts said the latest study does not relate to other widely publicized re- ports linking EMF exposure to elevated levels of leukemia in children. One such study, done by Swedish researchers last year, found that children living r.ear pi,wer lines were up to four times more likely to develop leukemia than those living farther away from EMF sources. "It is unlikely our study will speak to the question of children's leukemia and EMF," said Jack Said, the study's lead author. Mr. Sahl, a senior research scien- tist at Southern California Edison Co., said that among other differences, leukemia seems to develop far more rapidly in young children than in adults. In the latest study, researchers said they evaluated health data from 36.221 workers who were employed by Southern California for at least a year between 1960 and 1988. They said they found no evidence of unusual levels of leukemia, brain cancer or lymphoma in the group. The study also failed to find elevated cancer levels in nearly 12,000 et4lMlfirM elassified as hav- _ing especially high occupational exposure to EMF. Southern California Edison called the report "the most comprehensive and best- designed study done to date on this topic." The utility said the research team used more sophisticated methods than previous researchers, including studying workers' full job histories and taking on-sight EMF measurements. It said the study's weak- nesses included the statistically small number of cancers in the sample and the fact that other EMF-related possibilities, such as birth defects, weren't included. Although the utility said the application of the study to non-Edison workers is "uncertain," Mr. Sahi said, "this weakens the argument that there is a connection between EMF and cancer in the work environment." - Mr. Sahl said the researchers were surprised by the findings. "We were sur- prised that after improving on the method- ology of the earlier studies, we didn't find a stronger relationship to leukemia and other cancers." Other researchers said they too were surprised. "There's no obvious expiana- tion," said David Savitz, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina. Three years ago, Dr. Savitz headed a research team that reported finding elevated levels of brain cancer in electrical workers ex- posed to EMF. Dr. Savitz said Mr. Sahl's team did "a well-designed study" that was more com- plete than his research, which relied only on information from workers' death certifi- cates. "This moves my thinking a little bit in the negative direction," he said. Utilities have generally maintained no conclusive evidence exists to link EMF and cancer. Nonetheless, fearful of the possible medical and legal fallout from the contro- versy, the industry now spends over 51 ~ billion annually to cut EMF exposure ~/. 0
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I 5 0 0 0 sult." Today, Wilson laments, there is tat less interest in funding such marginal and daring proposals. Physicist Nicholas Samios, di- rector of Brookhaven National i Laboratory on New York's Long Island, has also witnessed a nega- ~ tive effect among people on his ~ staff. "When funding gets tight," ' he says, "people get more conser- ~ vative and bureaucratic. You don't want to make mistakes. You want to make certain you do the right thing. But to have science flourish, you want people who take chances." These days scientists often pick their fields of research with an eye to the whims of funding agencies. That was precisely what I Jim Koh, a University of Michigan graduate student in human genet- ics, had in mind when he chose to specialize in cystic fibrosis. Re- search on the disorder, funded in part by the private Cystic Fibrosis Foundat on, is less affected by federal • udget problems than many other fields. "Fundability is a real factor in my thinking," Koh admits. Other young scientists are not so fortunate. University jobs are hard to fmd, and because of tight budgets will not become more plentiful until the older profes- sors, the majority of them hired in the bountiful, go-go 1960s. retire. When a university slot does open, hundreds of graduate students may apply for it. Industry too has little to offer newly graduated sci- entists. entists. Saddled with debt and un- der pressure to turn out favorable ' quarterly reports, it has cut back on money spent for research and development. All this is disillusioning to promising young uientists. At 34, Norman Carlin, an evolutionary biologist who has been a postdoctoral fellow at Har- vard since 1986, is giving up. "Last year I decided I would go through one more year of this fruitless and humiliating attempt to get work," he says. "Well, I didn't get a sin- gle job offer from 20 universities-and I got into every law school I applied to. So I decided to go where I was wanted for a change." When he earns a law degree, Car- lin hopes to specialize in environmental law. "I had tremendous fun doing science," he says, "and I'm bitterly sorry I won't be able todo it anymore." All too aware of the dearth of job op portunities at research universities, senior faculty members are faced with a dilemma. "When undergraduates come to me look- ing for career advice," says Dr. James Wil- son, a gene-therapy expert at the Universi- ty of Michigan, "I have to think long and hard about advising them to be scientists." Justified as it is, that kind of thinking alarma M.I.T's Kleppner. "If America's senior scientists cannot, in good con- science, persuade the next generation to follow in their own footsteps;" he wams, "the nation is finished scientifically." Money is so tight that many scientific institutions are finding it difficult to main- tain the equipment they have, much less buy new instrumenu. At Kitt Peak in Ari- zona, the structure of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories' solar telescope was beginning to corrode because astrono- mers, strapped for funds, had put off paint- ing it. This year they could wait no longer, and instead of buying a new, badly needed S1f1o,00o infrared detector, they put the available money into a paint job. The choice, while necessary, depresses Sidney Wolff, director of HoAo. Although the in- TIME,At1GtfSr26,199t frared detector was developed in the U.S., she says, "European observatories can af• ford to purchase it, while we cannot. This is really a revolution in technology; if you're using five-year-old technology, you're out of the game." The budget constraints are part of an even deeper problem afflicting American research: Congress is reflecting an erosion of public confidence in a scientific estab- lishment that not many years ago could seemingly do no wrong. The message from Washington is etear. science will receive no more blank checks and will be held increas- ingly accountable for both its performance and its behavior. Today, despite continuing brilliant work by U.S. scientists, attention seems fo- cused on their failings and excesses, both real and perceived. Why, critics ask after a decade of effort, have researchers not 49
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d 0 • the environmental study in May 1991. across the country. That led the 7heflp)rt said thet to meet dozens E.P.A. to call radon the most serious ol Feoeral environmental require- environmental public health threat ments. Columbus faced $1.3 billion to the nation faced. It was a menace so $1.6 billion in new expenses from 1991 great, the agency said, that radnn through the end of the decade, de- was probably causing up to 2QOO0 pending on the inflation rate. Virtual- cases of lung cancer a year. h• all of that money was to come from That estimate has come under in- the Columbus t'ny treasury. tense criticism from many radl - Of the $591 million 1991 city budget, health specialtsts, who have called il E62 million, or 11 percent, was de- unscientific and wildly exaggerated, voted to environmental pratections. GoingAhenheWater That year, the average Columbus household paid $160 for that purpose. But the E.P.A. ignored the crnlThe study said that by the end of cism and set an unofficial guideline the decade, if every Federal requtrefor the amount of radon it considered ment were met, Columbus's environ. safe in homes. The agency has been mental budget would more than reluctant to make the limtt kgally triple, to $218 million, or roughly 27 enforceable because of the backlash percent of the city's $810 million that some E.P.A. officials feared budget prolected for the year 2000. from homeowners. Hundreds of tlwu- The cost to a household for environ- sands would have heen required to mental protection would be $856 that spend thousands of dollars on venlila- year - more than the cost of fire or tion equipment to clear radon from poGce protectian. basements. ' - "When we came up with these Since the agency was unwilling to kinds of costs, we also looked far the regulate the air in private homes, justification and just couldn't find E.P.A, scientists and technical ex- much there," Mr. Pompdi said. "f perts chose to defend their assess- had to wonder, Am I out of touch? I ment that radon was a menace by have worked all my Itfe to protect taking action against the only other people from envtronmental harm, source in homes: tap water.So the Am I looking at these tssues in the E.P.A, proposed a legally enforceable wrong way"' limit on radon in water. Now',hesaid,"Inolongeraskthose Scientists who have looked at the questions because I'm convinced thal issue satd the threat tu health irom we are doing the right thtng." radon in water, if there is one at all, Mr.POmpiltsaidhewantscleanair can come only from inhaling radon and water as much as anyone else that e.aporates, particularly during ("This city will not survive without a showering. In other words, the Gov- clean environmenP'), but he added: ernment was trying to prevent some- "What bothers me is that the new one from getting lung cancer from rules coming out of Washington are their morning showers. taking money from decent programs Independent radiahon-health ex- and making me waste them on less pm'ts said that In virtually every area tmportant problems. It ktlls you as a of ine United States, the amount of city official to see this kind of money radon that evaporates from water is being spent for nathing." only une-thirtieth to one onehun- The Revolt Battling Radon: Changing Targets Officials in many other cities feel the same way. Late last year, Has- tings. Neb., began its own review of environmental costs and concluded that the single biggest draln on its ' treasury was the jg5 million it woultl take to build a treatment plant to meet a proposed E.P.A. rule for re- g moving radon from the city's water. Radon is a radioactive gas formed naturally when radium decays in rocks and soil. It is frequently found at trace levels tn water pumped from the ground, Before the E.P.A. pro- posal, made under authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act, almost no public-health spectahst had constd. ered radon in drinking water to be any sort of threat. And for years Hasungs had been boasting that its watrr supply was so clean that n could be pumped from an under- ground aquifer directly into the homes of 23,000 residents. Last year, however, the E.P.A. said Hastings did have a problem with its waten Radon levels exceeded the proposed safety limit. But critics of the proposal,includtng some agency officials, said the E.P.A,'S dectston to tackle the radon issue was an inglori- ous lesson in the dangers of ustng weak scientific assumptions to write an expensive new regulauon, even while many experts found thc idea absurd. dredth ot what ts already naturally in the air These experts said the reRulaf!on does nothing to protect health It's a silly thing that E,P.A. is pro- postng because radon in water is an insignificant public health hazard," said Dr. Ralph E. Lapp, a radiation physicist in Alexandria, Va., and au. thor of 22 bonks on radiation and public heaith, If the regulation becomes final, the cost to install filtering equipment in public water systems in the Unued States would be $10 billion m•120 billion, according to estimates made by several states. The Assaciatldt'of California Water Agencies recetitly estimated that the coat in Glifomta would approach $4 billion. . - "How do we explain to nur Yesi- dents the need for a regulatiomthat costs as much as this one will and doesn't provide any public-heelth benefits?" asked Dr. Adi Pour, the toxicologist for the Nebraska Depart- ment of Health. "1f this kind of rulemaking continues, it's going to hurt public confidert2e in environmental protection." The protests prompted Congress last year to pass legislation spon- sored by Senator John H, Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island, that pre- vented the E.P.A. from makinW+tte radon rule final until the agency looked at the benefits and costs again. When asked about the role, Martha G. Prothro, the acting Assistant Admin- istrator for Water at the E.P,A., ac- knowledged: °Wemavhavegonefur- ther then we need to in human health concerns.lt's appropriate to go back and look at thts proposai." So for now, Hastings, Neb., has been given a repl'teve, Many studies of radon have shown BaekinCnlumbus that it is harmful only if inhaled at AsforthatparktnglonnColumbuss highleveisoveralongpertud.Almost City engineers are sull working on 30 years ago, the Government did the problem. One idea they proposed confirm that uranium mmers in the wastodigupthedirt,turnitaverantl r West contracted lung cancer after allow the chemicals to evaporate. ~ vears of working in the mines, where But the state said Federal law for they were exposed to some of the bade that. The engineers then prohighestlevelsofradoneverrecordedo posed inserting pipes beneath m^ Among those who died, though, it was ground, pumping air to the surface also trur that many were heavv and trapping and filtering uhemical, smoker- that are released. The stxre envirmr - iheni during the I4k1/'S, the E.P.A. mental agency is Conslqerln2 tnttl munu smmucam heeh ut rudnn In Iu idea, The esumatrd rnr, . 250000 I, nercem 4 u:r nnm,.;~ rhev sunmcrl g,nn0on - ishe 1~'ew vurlc CUM 3 -~ ~- 73
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I APR 1 1993 THE t4'4&.L STR,EP: r af)i?I3.NAl:. THI:.'R SIDAY. Af'€?iI. 1, 1993 ---- - - ------ - - • ^ 'Frontline' Perpetuates Pesticide. Myths By IaswtY'ts T. Asestx "Frontline," the Public Broadcasting • System's investigative journatism show, is famous for Its controversial points of view. But it's now outdone itself. In an episode titled "I1a Our Children's Foad." which aired in most markets earlier this week, a well-meaning Bill Moyers and his PBS colleagues made recommendations that would increase our cancer and heart disease rates, increase the risk of world hunger, and plow down millions of square miies of wildli€e habitat. Apparently the "Frontline" staff didn't realize that those calauaities would be the result of giving up the farm chem- icals it warned us against. The show was prepara d to cele- brate the 30th anniversary of Rachel Carson's book, "Silent Spring." Miss ~ Carson blamed farm chemicals for wildlife losses that we now know were due to lost habitat and to industriafl pollutants like mercury and PCBs. In her ignorance, she also feared that pesticides caused hu- man cancer. We now icnow that farm pesticide residues contain less cancer risk than mustard and pickles or even than the en- vironmentalists' beloved mushrooms. We now know that 99.Ko of the cancer risks in our food supply come in the foods them- selves. So much for the cancer risks in pesticides. But the indictment against "Frontline" is worse than an omission of these facts. Medical practitioners across the country tell us today that the best way to reduce both eancerand heart disease is to eat twice as many fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful chenatcals that inhibit cancer. They are low in fat and high in fiber; their con- sumptian works against heart disease. But organic farming-fanning without ehemicals-can't produce low-cost, attrac- tive fruits and vegetables. Organic farm- ing produces expensive fndts and vegeta- bles because the insects and diseases eat most of them before they can be har- vested. The few that survive look shabby, and it's hard to get kids to eat shabby- iooking produce. On that basis, organic farming would produce more cancer, not less. Biotechnology may eventually help us engineer the pest protection into plants and creatures so we won't have to spray anything anymore. But most of the ardent environmentalists say they are against biotechnology, too. The worst indictment of an or- ganic farming system is that it could not provide enough food to supply even the current human population of the world. By 2050, there would be billions of organi- caIly induced starvation deaths. (The U.S. is one of the few counkies that could survive organic farming without risking starvation, but we have more farmland than almost anybody else.) Yes, the world could plow more land to .make up for the low yields on organic farms. But already, the world is cultivat- ing about 5.8 million square miles (the land area of South Americal for food. With organic farming, by 2050 we would plow down and cultivate 30 million to 40 million square miles of land. That's the combined area of South America, North Arnerica, Europe and most of Asia! Even Rachel Carson might have thought that a strange way to preserve wildlife. As evidence of farm chemical dangers, "Frontfline" offers one farming town in California that for years has had an un- explained high rate of cancers. But this town is famous in medical citcles because its cancer pattern is unlike any other town's. Medical studies have tried to tie the famous "McFarland Cancer Cluster" to pesticides. All have failed. Next, hir. Moyers cuts to a guilt-ridden California farmer whose son came down with leukemia 10 years ago. The farmer is afraid that his use of pesticides might have caused the leukemia. But farmers and farm kids have lower rates of leukemia and cancer than nonfann kids. Where is the medical evidence to tie the California farm boy's disease to farm chemicals? The "Frontline" hosts don't tell us anything except how "won°ded" they are. The program also ridicules a Public Health Serc-lce toxicology study that re- ported: "There is no evidence that the small doses of pesticides that we do get are causing any harm. The only effect that can be measured. .. is the storage of one of them-DDT-in the tissues of mcst people. This storage has not caused any injury which ive can detect." Then Mr. Moyers crows: "DDT would be banned 10 years later, just as Rachel Carson had predicted," This was in the early 1970s. But Mr. Moyers fails to tell us that DDT was banned against the recommen- dation of scientists and the Environ- mental Protection Agency's own hearing examiner. The dozens of experts who testified at the EPA hearing overwhelmingly said Df)T should keep its EPA approval because it wasn't dangerous to peo- ple or birds. Thepoiitical appointee who headed EPA feared a public autery if he concurred with the hearing examiner because so many people had read Miss Carson's book. Is the rest of PBS's widely noted envi- ronmental reporting based on evidence this shaky? Mr. dany is a fellow at the Hudsorr In- stitute. He is director of Fludxosa's CeTSterJor GPabal Food Issues. ~ ~ d ~ ~ a ~ ~ CCt? ~ 00
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• Government agencies, too often, betray the public trust by violating principles of good science in a desire to achieve a political goal. Numerous government studies have caused job loss, personal freedoms to be violated and even people displaced from their homes. These same studies have been later proven to be inaccurate following objective scientific review. The scientific community has been particularly critical of government studies regarding asbestos, pesticides, dioxin, radon, environmental tobacco smoke and water quality. ~ ® ~ ~ 40 ~ .~ a tu N
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9 -3- "In mindlessly defending the scientifically obsolete Delaney Clause, self-appointed protectors of the environment base their concept of 'dangerous' on the premises that (a) exposure to trace levels of chemicals play a role in causing human cancer; (b) a mouse is a little man; (c) if a huge amount of something causes cancer in a rodent then we must assume that minuscule levels ... must pose a cancer hazard to humans; and (d) these 'carcinogens,' defined as chemicals that cause cancer, occur exclusively in man-made products. These premises ... are obsolete today... The scientific community agrees that animal experiments, while useful in research, do not automatically predict cancer risk in humans; that risk is related to dose...and thus huge, almost-lethal doses of chemicals in animals have no relevance to human risk; and that chemicals which cause cancer in animals abound in nature. " Elizabeth Whelan, American Council on Science and Health Insight, March 8, 1993 • "'The whole area of environmental epidemiology is a frustrating one...' The principal problems are that people are generally exposed to low levels of the suspect substances. And even if the do suffer unusual health problems, it is hard to know_whether the illnesses were caused by the substance or something else - smoking, poor diet, etc." Dr. Allen J. Wilcox, Chief of Epidemiology at the Health Sciences Institute The New York Times, March 23, 1993 0
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2 ~ 0 ~ a 3 a a Q N V
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i tte,[renaths of liberalism: it's eerie tu hcar liher:d [•mi- ~piracv theorv. the nutiun makes tor snazzv direct mail. i mrnentalists a,.ertin:~ that views tltev disagree anlt tinppusedh~ Reilh recenth~ was bested bv lQuavles ~,.ught nu[ to he he:ud. \tore impurtant. the desire u1 he , i<wncil in the icriting nlii Clean Air Act regttlation h e .ttgrutnents ayatnnt uue > rsentpt trom c.onlrunung t tositiun traditiunalle is seen when a ntovement te;trs u i, abuut to be discredited. v not detttse environmeu- [al rhetoric beture tn implosion: In exemplarc r{uublespeak. some enviros put tilrth I Svru lirrk Trrnes did, that Quavle's action granted cumpa- that dissenting cielcs should be suppressed in the name I nies the treedom to "increase air pollution i%ithout uf balance. Gure, tur exampla asserts that reporters I prior notice." Stricdc speaking that is true, hut onh in . ,hould attach little lceteht to scientists tcho quesnon I the sense that the Tirnes is~firee to publish libel without reenhouse rmer.encv claims, because perhaps 2 per- cent ut cresfentialed researchers feel that wa¢ This sim- plv isn't true. l~reenpeace recentlv surveved climatolo- ~*ists, doubtless ho in for evidence of lobal warmin panic: instead it tound that t e IarQest,group ot respon- dents. 47 percent. believe a runawav greenhouse ettect is nearlv impossible. The two source authorities of t e greenhouse business. reports bv the National Academv of Sciences and the c.N.-affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on C:limate Change, contain hundreds of pages of credentialed misgivings. Recently I.utended the cli- ntate change ,rssions of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. There was clear agreement that recent temperatures are up, that thev might or might not continue to go up, and that the skv is blue. • ne factor in environmental overstatement is the belief that onlv end-of-the-world locution can hold public attention. This assumption is wrong. Voters care about many issues that pose no threat to life. and they would continue to support environmentalism even if the rhetoric were more vera- cious, because the plain-spoken case for the environ- ment is strong enough. At any rate, endof-the-world environmental issues have been in short supply recently. Toxic wastes once seemed like a threat to general well- being, but experience has shown their impact locallv confined and nowhere near as severe as assumed. Ozone depletion someday may imperil life, but with cFCs being banned there's little left to advocate, unless you know of a means to plug volcanos. Global warming holds out the appeal of a sweeping calamitv, a bad sci- ence fiction moe e come true. Enviros now seem almost to be rooting for temperature increases. Well, enviro fund-raisers are, at least. As the move- ment has advanced from a low-budget operation to a branch office of the status quo, the need to acquire ever larger sums has driven many green groups to relv on direct mail. The direct-mail business is based on scare tactics. conspiracv theories, bogeymen, and preposter- ous levels of exaggeration. Some enviros now eagerly promote (to credulous acceptance in the big-deal press corps) the notion that Ee,4 administrator William Reillv is a mere pawn before shadowy forces on Dan Quavle's Competitiveness Council. In fact, the council is a pip- squeak organization, and Reillv just persuaded Bush to go to Rio over the combined objections of numerous leading administration figures. But turning on a con- re<gardin[; toxic elnissions. Front-page stories devoted ntanv paragraphs to interpretation of the event as a sign , 1t impending emironmental doom. while skipping glis- ,ando over what esactlv happened. except to sae. as Tlre prior notice: legal penalties make it unlikeh• this will happen. The regulatorv [Lttestion was whether cumpa- nies with valid air permits must go through a tormal public hearing sequence [o obtain a new permit each time thev want to install new factorv process equip- ment. Reillv thought they should, Quavle thought thev shouldn't. Unaltered by the dispute. and tmmentioned in the stories, was that if Factore process changes do increase pollution. companies must disclose that tact and pav fines. - 0 nce vou know that, the incident is a mere tech- nical skirmish about how best to minimize reg- ulatorv transaction costs. But what if enviro attacks on Reilly succeed in convincing Wash- ington that he has lost power. and a self-fulfilling prophecy results% Thinking in terms of what may sell to the bulk-rate donor list engages the risk that, like politi- cians believing their own press releases, environmental- ists will believe their own direct mail. This in turn raises the worst aspect in which ecological hype may back- fire-the New Right parallel. at one time the New Right consisted of underfunded tnices crving in the wilderness. Then Ronald Reagan came to power and made some of the changes his back- ers favored. Rather than celebrating, many on the New Right became vet more strident, if only to differentiate themselves from a mainstream that had shifted some- what in their direction. A dvnamic took hold in which numerous conservative factions were more concerned about crazy claims for fund-raising purposes than about the actual condition of the real world. The public ceased believing conservative alarms: unstoppable as the New Right seemed ittthe early 1980s, it now bor- ders on insignificance. Enviros todav risk the same progression of events. Once thev were disfranchised outsiders, invariably right where industrv was invariablv wrong. Now the move- ment is a monied faction of the establishment, t~t- many satisfying right/wrong distinctions blurred by the verv reforms environmentalists set in motion. Like the New Right. enviros are evolving an internal dynamic of sel[ sadsfaction based on mutual displays of stridencv, with the state of the real world a subsidiary concern. That certainly seemed to be the name of the game at Rio. If emironmentalists keep proclaiming that nature is ending when daily the sun continues to rise, they may find the public's "oh, shut up" point can be reached on _environmentalism, too. JULY6, 1292 THE NEW REPUBLIC 25
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0 i 0 WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT GOVERIVMENT AGENCIES BETRAYING PUBLIC TRUST BY VIOLATING THE PRINCIPLES OF SOUND SCIENCE "Both nationally and locally, no mechanism exists for sensibly balancing the needs of people with important environmental concerns." Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Paying for Federal Envirortmental Mandates: A Looming Crisis for Cities and Counties "By the time it was finished, the [Peru Central School District in New York] had spent $3.5 million -- more than 15 percent of its annual budget, on the removal of asbestos. Then the Environmental Protection Agency that had enacted the asbestos ban, was forced to acknowledge that the threat of asbestos had been overestimated, and the risks of improper removal were often greater than leaving it in place." Jonathan Adler, The Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, June 2, 1992 "Asbestos, a major environmental concern several years ago, no longer seems so major: not major enough anyway to justify the $64 billion spent on eliminating it over the past eight years." William Murchison The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 1992 "National costs [of meeting the radon water standard] were estimated at $12 billion to $20 billion, and only 1 percent of the public radon exposure would be reduced." Philip H. Abelson Science Magazine
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-21.- • ERALD 9, 1993 NATIQ L NEWS 'FA TNE M P.PAt HMARCH sRp - ?_i992 Expert testi any or ~u ~ science? Supreme Court to rule if judges can bar ® eat scientific theories ' 9, AAStora t;paT£tN Merud Wauhsngton Buteau WASHINGTON - The trauma of auto accidents can cause cancer, one expert testi- fied. Hazardous chemicals can cause a type of AIDS, said another. Still otlaer experts blamed spcrmicidal jelly fi;r some t;isth dePects. That's "iunk science," critics cry. America's courtrooms, they complain, are teeming with "hired guns" who offer expert opinions on just about anything for a hefty fee. Now the critics want the • Supreme Court to givejudges the power to clear all federal court- rooms of scientific testimony thatt lies outside the mainstream. • But others fear that if judges become the gaflekeepers of sci- ence, valid theories may be banned from the whness stand. Since many of today's accepted scientific opinions once were considered cccentric,they argue, juries should hear the testimony and then decide its worth. The Supreme Court aild tackle this contlict in a case that carries huge stakes for law, science, bui- neas and ordinary people. The justices, who wi@l hear arguments Tuesday and rule 'sn. early summer, must decide whether,7ndges can barna expert witness whose research methods haven't been generally accepted by scientists. Po.r reviaw a sBt When is an expert's analysis generally accepted? When it is subjected to review by paen and published in a professionaljour- nal, many courts say. The peer review process has been praised as a method of weeding out false ideas, but criticized as a means of stitling innovation. Tha impact of the Supreme Conrt decision will be feit in vare- ous types of personal injury law- suits - especially the thousands filed on behalf of people trying to link their injuries or iElnesses to toxic substances, defeotive prod- ~ acts or medical cazelessncss. " It will have an impact in just about any case in which unoctho- dox scientific opinflon is cCiticala " said Harold P. Green, who teaahoa iaw, science and technoi- ogy at the George Washington Univessity Law Sohool. BMh drlwte cass . 1 he case before the catart arose when two San Diego area women, Joyce Daubert and Anita Lk`s°ouug,ga ve birth to babies with stunted arms and degs. The mothers blamed Bendecxin, the drug they had taken for morning sickness. Their lawyers f iled suit against the drug manufacturer, Merre9l Dow Pharmaceuticals, and pre- sented a judge with the opinions of eight experts who believed that Bendectin had caused the birth defcczs. By pooling the data from ear- lier studies, and by applying less stringent standards of'stat'astical certainty, the experts reached vastly dsfferent conclusions than those of the oripinal researchers. But federal gudpes dismissed the case. The opinions of the eight experts were'"unpublished, not subjected to the usual peer review process and generated solely for use in litigation," ruled Judge Alex Kozinskid of the fed- eral appeals court in California. "This case does not involve junk science," said Barry Naoe, the parents' lawyer. "Our experts , are highly credentialed aczen- tists, some of whom hold impor- tantgoverAmentaH pcasts... They didd not arrive at their opinions by reading tea leaves." Scientific and med'acat experts ase essential to personal injury lawsuits. The defense also needs experts to rebut such claims. '°We are facsni; the problem cf bought scientists - people who are not working for the good'of mankind but for their own Bnan- cial good," said Kenneth Starr, who was President George Bnsh's sCfl9citor generaa. Martin Connor of the busi- ness-backed American Tort Reform Association, says profes- sional experts have "tor,ally, dis- torted our justtce system." "It's not just a plaintitTs' prob- lem, either," he said. "°Experts aee misused on both sides," E.xperts themselves oppose screening by judges. "°('na not in favor of junk sci- encq but set rules preclude any- thing ncw," said Harold s.eligeq who frequently testifies as a chemistry expert. "If it's really junk sc'sence, the other side is free to prove it by cross-examining and rebutnng the testimony with tts own experts." Some of .4merica's most pow- erfut forces - major "corpota- tions, scientific organizations, medical societies, gosernments and trial lawyers among them - are trying to persuade the supreme fauet to rule their way. "Experts who ... do nothing moee with seemingly remark.able ` discoveries than submit them to judges and juries are not acting in a manner characteristic of scien- tists," declared the American Association for the Advance- ment of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. But many scientists deplore a publ'esh-or-perish rule. While peer-reviewed journals regularly publish studies of significance, they also have published theoraes that later were discredited - including some research that went on to win Nobel Priaes. COMF n5;y5}
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! -2- "Dioxin is a good example of the issues that the Environmental Protection Agency has in mind when it talks about the need to improve its scientific capabilities. If dioxin is as dangerous a cause of cancer as most scientists thought a decade ago, there's a strong case for spending a lot of money to scrub it out of the environment. But if it is in fact less dangerous, as some scientists now believe, that money could do more elsewhere to protect public health." The Washington Post, March 26, 1992 • "The popular demand for pesticide-free fresh fruits and produce is not justified either by cancer statistics or current knowledge of the effects of trace amounts of even proven carcinogens... Basing permissible pesticide levels on the reaction of laboratory rats to the chemical is crude and inaccurate ... statistically, laboratory rats are expected to contract cancer 53 percent of the time from constant exposure to any synthetic substance." According to Robert Scheuplein, Director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Toxicological Sciences The Washington Times, May 21, 1991 "[FDA's Dr. David] Keller's slow overly cautious philosophy -- with moments of inappropriate regulatory zeal -- restrict access to life-saving technologies while it increases the cost of medications and health care." Los Angeles T"imes, February 10, t993 i N ~
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• . • cases have invotveed snrne r,f rnit cottntrv "s tnoq rep- ~ tist char!;ed with the traucl. <'tnd it's famous les, utable sc ientists and universitia s. In 1`J8'i3 ~c,}ur I?arsce. ~ becau:,e of the nature of the f.'aud than because F,alti- a researcher at Harearcl Medical Schocal, was d€rund bv the National Institutes of Health to haFe faked some data in his ~rtudies on heart drsa°asa^.. In 1984 the National Institute of t<f< ntal Hraltlt aonri xded that Stephen I3reuuit>g, ,a researcher a.t the- Crniversite of Pittsburgh, had f:ahricatcd data in a p.tper about dru, therapy for inperactive children. In br,tFi cases earlic.r internal unitersit inecati~ati ne had cle ued the scien- tists of blanie. Rolzert Gallo, the chieC of the La6ora- at the ntt-t and the co-d'es- ory of Tumor Cell L iolo,,7 cot°eret' of the cause of :1D5, is trnder irtves- tigation he several fed- eral agencies for not giving sufficient credit in 1984 .for work per- fornied hr French sci- entists- ~ recent Nni rel ort fcluncl hirn riot gtultt• of misconduct but detailed several instances of irrespon- si.ble fie.ha7or. The Ntti{, which is charged with investi- {;aring allegations of misconduct in feder- ally funded research at universities, eXatn- ines a few dozen such cases each pear. It is impossible to sa6' how many others remain tinder wraps at the universities. The re- luctance of FYdm[nfls- trautrs to rctot out cases of rniscrondu+•t by facultv is harddv- surp-ising: when one comes to the atten- tion of federal investi- gatesrs, artd the perpe- trator is found guilty, rntore himself determined to make it famotts. Like a C;rcck traf,redc, it turns on a rharticR^r flaw in the pro- uagrlresst, unsecan Inhirnself but escruciatinah• obvious to the :budiettcc tlnbt allts ~ him to commit a sequence etf nnprobahls tUotish acts. Each 3e ads to the ftnal- maddeningly. avoidab(e--Call. The case is quite sintltle in msm: respects. and it could h.zse beeu rquiclait te.otved at the start. Instead it has drayged on for the past sis cears, involving dozens of eminent scientisi.s who rallied behind 1?al- timore, and provok- ing two university in{'tIIrles, tKYJ fiJrmaQ irLi"f'.Stiganons by the Nut, and threc: CCIII9ressionL4l hear- ings be the oversight committee responsi- ble f<tr looking into gocernneert fraud. -~nd still it is not ove.r. The Rttt has not vet hmshed its tn- vestigatii}n, and a grand jury in Balti- more is considering indictsnents against Imanishi-Kari. What we now have, though, is a thorough draft report by the Office of Scientific. Integrin' at the \n-i that provides a fac- tual guide to the irnpenetrable. Fronn this and the test.i- rni)rtv of e7lf-'h side since the draft was leaked to the press last sprYn};, we know at least the sequence of ee•ents that led to the puhlsc humiEia- IJHAi\YNG R3 L'1]? L:Nkf{FXi.'H TC1N ]IfF. NFN' IiFPOAI.[i: his federal rts'•.atxh funds are tLEthdr..,,tt More impot- tant in a s tem in rhich reprutiaon is p uamcrunt, a' charge of rntsbehacror representc a pern,,tnent tfis- grac:e-3 linp.,ering impediment to fntu-s fede:d and ~, private fcutding. Perhaps the tnost ae"marbcaltk :ase cif miacouducc In the annals of American science is the one known as "the Baltimore r-ase.° The most protracted scandal of the last sa..ver.4 iYcars, it stands as the e'<entplar ofsvhats ,rrsrng with the deflnsire and elf-re=~aVarin;; sYructure of the Anierlcan s ientific estaia isiuuent. It-s named after the scientist who trfP.aFed to inve_su,L,ate allegations uf faked tF<ttehara,l sDr. David Baldnture, rather than after I)r. Thereza tmanispri-kari, thcsa:ien- tion of Baltimote a Nobel Frize winner and former `tead ot' the S1-Etnehead Institute and president of Rorl.efeller C nne.rsitr. tl3altimore was fsnalle pressurcrd to resi,n from Iaockefi,ller last t:ail hv senior faculty who felt the c n,'oing scandal was an embarrassment to tlee universtlc,} We cannot sac whc Baltimore ciid what he clid. I have askcd htnc repe:ated3%'. ancl lie is unable to say Khn. The case bel;an ts-ith a rc &areh paper, pabiished in tht journal _let'toirc Rc C.:If on ."',prkl _.i- 1986, tirfed, "Aftered of' Enciogruiuus Imrnuncn ,lobuhn Gene ~ l l ~ Expression s t Trtns7gc.nn ltice C,onutintna a I{ear- 4 b ll ' Cf C ` Th i d M ~ tten r;rn~rc c,it i tan ene. e p,rper, ivr u }ronrinued on pc~pc 2S r ~ W ~ MAY 98.99G2 TFL5 NEN' RBPL.'81.!C 25 CO N
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1 • I I I I 1 116 exasperation and ridicule in the press. .Nobel laureate David Baltimore's stub- born refusal to concede that data reported by a former M.L2 colleague in an Immu- nology paper Baltimore had co-signed was fraudulent, and the shoddy treatment of the whistle blower who spotted the fraud aroused public suspicion about scientific integrity. Worse, from the viewpoint of sci- entists, it brought about an investigation by Michigan Democrat John Dingell's House subcommittee and fears of more federal supervision of science. By the time Balti- more finally apologized for his role in the affair, the damage to science's image had been done. •Another Dingell probe, which revealed that Stanford University had charged some strange items to overhead expenses funded by federal science grants, mortified univer- sity president Donald Kennedy, led to his resignation and raised questions about misuse of funds at other universities. "I challenge you to tell me," said Dingell, "how fruitwood commodes, chauffeurs for the university president's wife, housing for dead university officials, retreats in Lake Tahoe and floviers for the president's house are supportive of science." P A long-running and unseemly dispute be- tween Dr. Luc Montagnierofthe Pasteurln- stitute in Paris and Dr. Robert Gallo of the tatx overwho had first identified the nIDs vi- rus raised public doubts about the motives and credibility of scientists. Those concerns remained when Gallo conceded that through inadvertent contamination, the vi- rus he identified had been isolated from a sample sent him by the Frenchman. Last week thejoumal Science revealed that adraft of a forthcoming Nut report about the affair criticizes Gallo and accuses one of his col- leagues of scientific miscondttet. • Bowing to the demands of pro-lifers, the Bush Administration continued a ban on federal funding for fetal-cell transplants, despite the fact that the use of such tissue has shown promising results in treating Parkinson's disease and other disorden. Frustrated U.S. researchers watched help- lessly as their European counterparts moved ahead an medical applications of fetal tissue. ~ In several raids on research laboratories, animal-rights activists destroyed equip- ment and "liberated" test animals, setting back experiments designed to improve medical treatment for humans. Activists using legal means, such as picketing and newspaper ads, successfully brought pres- sure on some laboratories to improve treatment of test animals. But others cam- paigned to halt virtually all animal experi- mentation, a ban that would cripple medi- cal research. At1 told, the animals-rights movement has led to a false public percep- tion that medical researchers are generally callous in their treatment of test animals or at least indifferent to their welfare, 46 SeiaMcs •Although gadfly activist Jeremy Rifkin failed in a legal attempt to delay the first human-gene-therapy experiment last year, he skillfully used the courts to set back by months, and even years, other scientific tri- als involving genetically engineered organ- isms or substances. His success in obstruct- ing genetic experiments came despite the fact that in every case, his warnings of dire consequences proved to be unfounded. Fa- vorable coverage of his views in some newspapers and on TV heightened public misgivings about genetic research. To many researchers, howev- er, the single greatest threat to U.S. science, and a source of many of its troubles, is money--0r a lack of it. That view came into sharp focus in January when No- bel laureate physicist Leon lsder- man, the newly elected president of the prestigious American Asso- ciation for the Advancement of Science, issued what he called his "cry of alarm." Lederman, former head of Fermilab, the high-energy physics center in Illinois, had conducted a survey of research scientists in 50 universities. Most of the nearly 250 responses, he reported, came from demoralized and under- funded researchers who foresaw only a bleak future for their disci- plines and their jobs. "I haven't seen anything ltite this in my 40 years in science," Lederman said. "Research, at least the research carried out in universities, is in very serious trouble." And that, he warned, "raises serious ques- tions about the very futnre of sci- ence in the U.S." By Lederman's calculations, if inflation is taken into account, federal funding in 1990 for both basic and applied scientific ro- search in universities was only 20% higher than in 1968, while the number of Ph.D: level scien- tists working at the schools dou- bled during the same time period. In other words, twice as many re- searchers are scrambling for smaller pieces of a slightly bigger pie. The competition for financing has forced scientists into fund- raising efforts at the expense of research and has led to angry ex- changes over what kind of work should have priority. It has also forced researchers to propose "safe" projects with an obvious end product. Those restraints are clearly detrimental to the bold and inno- vative research that has made American science great. Leder- rUAE. AUCUSr u, tset man's solution: "We should be spendin twice as much as we did in 1968." For his alarm, and especially for h proposed cure, Lederman was not immed ately overwhelmed by acclaim-eithe from fellow scientists or from Congres The Bush Administration had already re quested a generous increase in the acieno budget, critics noted. Lederman's call for. doubling of financial support at a time o severe budgetary restraint, they charged made scientists seem petty and self-servin: and suggested that they are out of tour1 with the country's political realities. In fact I 2074144004
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THE WALL STREET JOLRNAL. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1992 A14 Earth Summit Will Shackle the Planet, Not Save It By S. f'7tED SINGEa International meetings in New York this week are drafting a treaty for UNCED, the United Nations Conference on the Environ- ment and Development, scheduled to con- vene in Rio de Janeiro In June. This so- called Earth Summit is being promoted by environmental activist groups around the world and by certain political leaders. Un- troubled by lack of scientific support for catastrophic global warming, they aim to impose a system of global environmental regulations in the name of saving the planet. The White House has so far refused to be stampeded; but with elections upon us anything can happen. Why all this frantic activity leading up to the Earth Summit, which will bring some 40,000 participants. to Brazil, with travel costs soon to exceed half a billion dollars? We are dealing here with a curi- ous alliance of interest groups. Central planners and assorted utopians would like to place natural resources and even na- tional economies under international con- trols, preferably theirs. There are still many around who supported the failed Law of the Sea negotiations to set up an In- ternational regime for exploiting ocean minerals; they now see an opportunity to achieve their aim of global environmen- tal controls under U.N. bureauf;rats. To be sure, there are many who are sin- cerely concerned about the future of the planet; they are the "foot soldiers" of the environmental movement. The "generals; " however, seem more interested in salaries, personal power and perks. With budgets now surpassing $400 million a year collec- tively, the officers of these organizattons spend their time traveling from conference to conference, extorting funds from indus; try, and-with the help of the media- frightening the average American Into writing those $10 and $20 checks that form the bulk of their support. But UNCED covers more than just the environment. The "D" stands for "devel- opment," and to many In the Third World this means the New International Ecoa nomic Order-which they failed to achieve 20 years ago through the U.N. General As- sembly. Cynics then referred to the NIEO as a "scheme of transferrin mone fro the poor In t e rich count es to t e c In the r countries." r or e tocrats now view UNCEI~as [ tt ve ic e ta recons tute this sc eme un er t e lse o eco o. ey call for industrialized nations, wh ch cur- rently contribute most of the carbon diox- ide to the atmosphere, to impose a huge tax on all fuels, and then transfer the pro- ceeds through an internatlonal authority to less developed countries. According to De- partment of Energy calculations, Ameri- can consumers would end up paying twice as much for gasoline and electric power, a scheme guaranteed to stunt U.S. economic growth. But limiting growth has always been among the announced goals of radical environmentalists-even if the burden falls mainly on the poor. - We are seeing this struggle now on a small scale In the Northwest, where pro- tection of 250 northern spotted owls will re- sult in, by conservative estimates, the loss of 33,000 jobs. Another example Is the con- troversial weUands policy that permits the Envlronmental Protection Agency to re- move private land. from development- without compensatlbn-under the pretext that It has ecological value. Influential politicians support UNCED, Including such U.S. senators as AI Gore (D., Tenn.). Majority Leader George Mitchell has just published a book, "World on Fire," that endorses both the global warming scare and the controls on energy use that UNCED hopes to impose on the in- dustrialized countries. And It is the Senate that would ratify any international agree- ments resulting from UNCED. The U.S. is certain to play the key role in the outcome of UNCED. The White House, to its credit, has resisted the exam- ple of Germany, Australia and other na- tions. They have announced,specific tar- gets for not just capping but reducing car- bon dioxide emissions, by as much as 25% over the next decade or two, but have yet to detail their policies or the tremendous costs involved. Pressure is mounting on the U.S. to exercise "leadership" by abandoning its present position; the U.S. currently calls for limiting the full "basket" of greenhouse gases, rather than only carbon diox- ide, and avoids specific targets and tlmeta- bles. Until recently, the U.S. point man was John Sununu, then White House chief of staff. As a scientist and engineer, he un- derstood that the scientific climate data do not support the catastrophic warmingtheo- rfes. Sam Skinner, the new chief of staff, will have to resolve the differences between alarmists within EPA and others, includ- Ing Department of Energy officials and White House Science Adviser Allan Brom- ley, who have been urging a go-slow ap- proach until a sclentific.basis has been more firmly established. The key decision will focus on whether George Bush should attend the Earth Sum- mit-as the democratic presidential candi- dates are urging. His presence in Rio would put his prestige and that of the U.S. behind the rush to impose global controls on energy use that will have a calamitous impact on jobs, technological progress, and standards of 1Pving. Mr. Singer, professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Virginia, di- rects the Science and Environmental Pol- icy Project in Washington. 41
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. i 1ftlc &'ssk'!-2 AL 41NWHERM I THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 1993 0 FL^~' IDX!'.n7 RO YSESi 3UMM1a: 'NH~-7r'J .-"ii J dAi'= i`There's no home for salmon ... spatted owl ... old growth forests.' - Billy Frank, Jr. FISHING RIGHTS: They are worth little now for Biliy Frank Jr., of the Nisqually tribe. Frank dtes loss o By Je9 Reinking watersheds.
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0 . 0 Scientists Urge More Cellular Phone Stuclies No Proof of Cancer Link, Hill Panel Told By Cind Skrzycld w~~esmw~ A panel of scientists said yester- day there's no trod that pottahle cellular phones cpusQ cancer, but catled for more studies to allAy~ lic cuncems aboUlfhealth risks the phones, .. . In the meantime, aetentists fror~ the Food andDrng ,eldmin9stratios~ and the National Cancer 3nstitute yesterday adyisld,j(~e millions qt Americans who h$ye c~lly~ar phoues, to limit their use.. : " The cautiofuit`y+ noqe"vras sounded at a congressipnal br>efing prompted by a scare thatfiaa qwept the ~elhitarw plwtte indug~ si`ncy a Florida mi~ blamed -his e's braitrcancer on rOP din waves emitted by her cellulat phone. Since then, three other peoi ple have alleged a link between cef; lular phones and bYam tumors. The cellular phone industry, which has grown rapidly to about 10 million subscribers dtter the last def cade, has assured thepublic that ce1= lular phones are aW and wilE com- mission a study to pn3k!e' lts point. Appearing bef tiottse Energy and Commerce ~tp~iuttee yes- terday, six scientiat8 4mphasized that there is no caasC for alaim be- cause it has not beeq that the electromagr76tiet r'~ . tion emitted by cellular pitoties c6zt catise or pro- mote cancer. But they all a, ,that more re- search is nedded' and'eotne of the scientists said & id the meantime people should not use cellular phones excissivety. The Food and Drug Admhilstraam~t,~s,~a~id~ ~i,t~ was pre~ p~eepl8 ~ uw' q+e~C tl..+. •~6t cellular phones. 'There is no proaf there is a prob CSLLULAIt, Froo Al le between cancer and cellular ph es, but there are these studies th4 elevate concerns and wariant f4ter study," said Mays Swicord, i4f of the Center for Radiological at the FDA. 'ime and distance is your friend," Sw~•ord added. "Less risk, if there is will be incurred. You don't neQ to be on your cellular phone for twiltonrs." Achard Adamson, director of can- cea:etiology at the Natlonal Cancer In~itufe, urged "moderation in all thi{igs." 'I~ere has been a growing debate the effect on the body of electro- m~netic fields.(EMFs) associated wilfy such devices as microwave ov- high-voltage power transmis- siot lines, but only in the last few 9 ks have cellular phones been wn into the controversv. date, no conclusive evidence has"&-en found that EMFs are able to cade or promote cancer. 'the controversy is over portable phtes with antennas attached. About 3Ollion of them have been sold, ac- coz$ing to industry estimates. Ihey contain transmitters in the h4sets, which are operated close to thiChead when people are talking on ar phones, which have antennas mounted outside the vehicle, and household cordless phones, which op- erate at much lower frequencies and use less power, are not involved in the debate. Small, hand-held portable phones now account for about 60 percent of cellular sales and are especially pop- ular in major metropolitan areas Small, hand-held portable phones now account for about 6Q percent of cellular sales and are especially popular in major metropolitan areas. such as Washington. Most cellular service is priced on the assumption that customers will be on the phone an average of 2I/2 hours a month. The cellular industry has been on- the verge of panic over the past few weeks in the wake of publicity over a lawsuit fded by a Florida man who alleged that his wife died of brain
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• 0 -2- cancer caused by radio waves emit- ted by her portable cellular phone. The husband, who took his case nationwide on CNN's "Larry King Live," is suing three companies in connection with his wife's death. "My concern, like most Americans who use cellular phones, is 'are they safe?' " said Rep. Edward J. Markey (IYMass.), chairman of the House telecommunications and finance sub- committee, who brandished his own Motorola Corp. portable cellular phone at the briefing. . Rep. Lynn Schenk (D-Cahf.), who asked if duration of use mattered, admitted that she and her husband "can be on our personal cellular phones for hours at a time." The experts said that more re- search, aimed directly at cellular phones and electromagnetic radia• tion, needs to be done. Thomas Stanley, chief of enqi- neering and, technology for the FaF~ eral Communications Commission, said his agency was not expert in . evaluating the effects, of radio fre- quency radiation, but that hand-held' cellular phones do not exceed the 1'tmits set for safe exposure. Stanley said the guidelines adopt- ed by the FCC recently have been adjusted to lower the level for ac- ceptablf.emissions. Some cellular phone instruction manuals from manufacturers warn OZOtib6tiLOZ t6TUN POST ... WEDNESDAY, F>seuexY 3,1993 A7 ANATOMY OF AN ANGST A ll cellular telephones use antennas to broadcast radio signals to a receiving tower, which then routes calls via regular phone lines. A caller's exposure to the radio waves emitted from the antenna varies with different types of phones. A M..dReM ouYalar phoem must emit a signal strong enough to travel several miles to the nearest receiver. S.om)• of the radio waves hit the caller's head, which is behind the fiiarp of health risks. While cellular car phonu also broadcast strong signals capable of traveling several miles, the antenna is located outside the car, minimizing the caller's direct exposure to the radio waves. °rs t,4 avoid direct contact , However, Stephen Clery, profes- V vlth",the antppas of thepbonets,, -sur of physics and biophysics at the Ademson, who said the National Medical College of Virginia, said he Cwtcvsr Institute would begin an in; • believes there may be a'potential depth study of the effects of various relation" between exposure to elea k'uxlu,of exposure to eledtrorimagneic tromagnetic fields emitted by cellu- radiation, noted that the rate of lar phones and cancer. brain cancer in people under 65 was Experiments he has done are not declining and its incidence was far precisely in the frequencies that cel- outstripped by lung cancer. lular phones operate on, however. Adamson said he did not believe When he irradiated two types of cellular phones cause cancer. "Is it. cells in the laboratory for two hours possible? Yes. Is there a great proba- at radio frequencies found in indus- bility? In my estimation, no," he said. trial equipment and microwave ov- Condlm phorros broadcast much weaker signals. They need only travel as far as the receiving unit in ~ the house. That unit then sends calls over traditional phone lines. 9v1WiNN1~FR50N-TIEWAS/lUMnqlroR T ~ I ens, he d*o,Yered:tltaYtQKdblte showed abnormal growth, He said results from defh+itive studies woyld qot be ready fortwo to three years. David Klefman, deputy office di- rector in the Environmental Ptetee~ tion Agency's Office of Researbla vs1 Development, suggested that other lifestyle changes, such as stopping . smoking or changing otuo's.diet, might have more beneficiai, health effects than worrying about emis- I siore from eellular phares,
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0 60fiWLOZ ~ .
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ftrtjtt,t,i7rt°fiarl and aratttfterred htf3altii2lolr ;thian I Fin ad13. tott jt ne lti, 1986, O'Tut.,le herself con- ne-t coitstas;ue at ttir, and three other xlentists, ~ frontexE F]ah:imote and itnantshi-lure at a meeting also ciescribed experiments that ptarporteci to show that when scientists inserted a foreign gene into ntice, it did noE ati e~.p( ( tc d_lust na6.e fUrelgn Anubf)dit a ILathel ~t had some unknots-rt e;f6ect on the mouse'S envn j;ene~,. altetnng them to include antibodies that mtmacLed tFte foreign anrlbodt'.'Thce paper implies that it might sorree- tiutc be possible to gain command of the body's defenses br introducing forcign genes that would recruit ihe rta.tnral ones to attact a selected target. The paper began to unravel almost immediately, even hefore publirat.icyn. T'he warning sig-res c,ame from the tbsn' postdoctoral student., Dr. Margot O"I'oole, assigned bv Imanishi-kari to extend thee work to the next step. SFre could not duplicate the vork and wasted almost a tear demonstrating that important experiments in the paper were tbmrcrng. It is always dan- gerous for postdoctoral students to challenge their superiors, upon whon-s they rely for every detail of their professional life, includinp; naoney, labstzace, and the opportunitv to ps.tblish. This particular challenge would require either an extensive correction or a with- drawal of the paper. an unusual procedure that would embarrass all of the authors. n\iae 19856 O' Iocrle first touak the uncontfort- al le f icts to her thesis adviser and trao other scien- tists at Tufts Unner ity, which Was about to hire Itnanishtluui. They were concerned enough to call in Imanishi-Kari for proof of'the workk she'd done, • but ttfter a quick perusal of several pages of her notes 111 the experiment, they decided that whatever prc}tr tenis existed need not be disclosed. (Forensic experts at the Secret Servicee now say two of the pages of evi- dence she brought were fabricated just before the tnc.ct ng. Tufrs hired fm anushi-F:ari, where she remairts today as an assistant professor in the department prtthcrlogy,) O'Toole then went to t.he de.an at sz[t', who asked Dr. Hertnan F.isen, a friend of ISaltimore's, to look into the case. Though Eisen was the officially desig- nated investigator at ~trt. he never looked at hnanishi- Iiari's lab data or her notes. He did not question Imanishi-k.ar, CY'I'oole, or &altimcare. Instead, he quickly read a me-rncr from O"Toole on wha t was wrong, discussed t.Ire matter with the hufLS scieIlttsts, and later ssrotc a report savin; that there appeared to be errors in the C.'ePZ paper and differences in inter- pretation hel:ween [tnanish°s-[tirtri and O'Toole, hutt that this was "the stuff of science," and not misconduct. (Sebcral motuhs ago, in a n2eeting with scientists at Harvard v.hn continued to be pert+arbed br the case, [isen adm'vtted that he ciid ncttt rvad O'TroPc•'s memo carefullb. He also said he "never belieced" the theor}, behind the part of the paper done h:• hnanishi-Iim-i, and sas bbas not particularl_e° concerned with the acctt- r lcv of the cbrde nce ux E Such rltionalizstions could ~tartils hace provided the reassurance the group was looking fos,! ------------ --- ------ - - ------ attended hv Eisen and another co-author of the (%dll paper, David h5'eaver, a member of BaEtimore's lab. She ec3s th€e unly one who brought data to the meettng- seventc.cn pages trom Imamaht han°s notc .(Incestiga- tors at utH later said those pages were pruna facie evi- dence of trouble because they showed results oppo- site froui those reported in the ;aaper.) According to O'Toole, Itnanishi-Ir'.a.ri admitted at the time what she has corne to state pub icf v: sonne of the work cited irt the paper was not done, and other work got difa Ferent results than what was reported. At the end of' the meeting, O'Tuc' le asked that the paper be cor- rected or withdrawn. Kailtinrore replied that such prob- lems with accuracy are nott urmsual and thev need nott be r_orrected-a startling new standard for scientific inqlnrV. He said thatt the sa:ientifac process is "seif-c:orrect- ing"-meaning that other scientists will eventually fig- ure out that the published work was ten-ong. It is true that honest work is often wsrong and requires another study to reveal that. But Baltimore was extending the notion of self-correction tao cover errors he knew existed but decided not to report. Thus he was doom- ing some scientist to repeating work that need not he repeated, merely to maintain his own unblemished record. O'Toole pressed him. He says he told her she could write to C'.t,14 but that if she did, lie would x•r.te his own letter endorsing the paper's results, and that he couldn't imagine they would acceptt her letter then. O'Toole says that she left the meeting feeling belea- guered and decided to let the matter drop. H owever by ,jui,v 1986 the case was sniffed out bt a pas.tr of self appointed fr tud scouts at *r:x, ttalter Stewart ancl Ned Feder. They had heard of the c.asee thtrrugh the p*rapevine and began to press O'Tcaerl~ to give thern information about it. 'I'hough they have no official status as in- vestigators. the burden of pressing such cases went to dheu because they were willing to do the work neces- sary. Tlaere is in fact nobody in science directly assigned to study and adjudicate potential cases of mis- conduct. They also alerted Representative John Din- gell. chairman of the House Subcommittee on Over- sight and Investinations. who oversees the workings and misworkings of' federal agencies. He began his own prolonged intytsirb• and eventualiv held two hear- ings oar the case, one in April 14ft8, the other in April 1989, IIn januarr 1988 Stewart and Feder`s icurk and Din- gell's investigation finally prompted the ;vtN to appointt an official committee to snvcstiFate the tnatter. But at first, and trase to form in iIi -estigations carried out bv scientists, the xatt put tzeo of [laltinroore's close asscrci- ates urt the panel, Frederick Alt of Columbia, a co- author with Baltimore on rnore than a dozen papers, md,Jaanes Darnell of R.ockefeller, co-author on Falti- - - --------------------------- - ------------------ - --------------------------- - 28 1 ttC McSC FiEPUHLtC MAY i$, 1992
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funding, and fueling Dingell's investiga- tions, are the implicit assumptions that sci- ence can no longer be fully trusted to man- age its affairs and that society should have a larger voice in its workings. "We can't just say Give us the money and don't both- er us anymore," acknowledges Chris Quigg, a physicist at Fermilab. Congressional pressure on science has been countered by a growing pressure on Congress-by institutions and researchers lobbying for science funds. Influencing the lawmakers has become so critical that sci- ence is recruiting the professionals of per- suasion. Many universities pay $20,000 a month each for the services of Cassidy & Associates, a science-lobbying firm that has been successful in getting federal mon- ey earmarked for its clients. Some of Cas- sidy's trophies: $15 million for 1Lfb Uni- versity's Human Nutrition Research Center and $19.8 million for the Proton Beam Demonstration Center at Califor- nia's Loma Linda University. Four bIo- chemiatry societies have joined to pay for- mer Maine Congressman Peter Kyros $100,000 a year to lobby for increased funding for biomedical research. Unfortu- nately, money appropriated for these pro- jects bypasses the peer-review process used by such scientific bodies as the NSF and the NIH. Too often, science lobbyists find easy pickings on Capitol Hill, where Congress- men, courting votes, can win generous sums for research projects in their home districts by simply slipping riders onto ap- propriation billt. Federal legislators in fis- cal 1991 approved at leaat S270 million for pork-barrel science projetxs, In many cases, this kind of financing supports pro- jects of dubious value, while more worthy endeavors go begging. An example: a rider, attached by Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, provided 39 million for a factlity in his state to study how to tap the ettergy of the aurtr ra borealis. That projee4 now funded, is characterized by one University of Mary- land physicist as "wacky.." , T he NAS's Press is worried that too many scientists and re- search institutions are rushing to engage lobbyista. "ney see that's the way the country runs, through lobbying atd pressure," he says. "It's possible that public confi- dence in scientists will be diminished." That may have already happened. tn the view of some members of Congress, sci- entists have become simply another spe- ciel-interest group pleading for its selfish ends. For all the tvbbyiag, the scientific community has reached no consensus about the worthiness of various projects Molecular biologists and particle physi- cists find it impossible to agree on the relative merits of the Human Genome Project and the superconducting super- collider. "Scientists are scared to death about having to make sttch choias," says Francis Collins, the University of Michi- gan geneticist who led the teams respon- stble for identifying the cystic fibrosis and neurofibromatosis genes. "It's such a contentious area that I'm afraid people won't be able to agree." What is the alternative? Researchers blanch at the thought of a scientifically illit- erate public allotting the available funds through the political proaas. Yet if the sci- ence community cannot establish its own priorities, it is inviting Congress and the White House to make all the chokes, for better or worse. While striving for a consensus, scien- tists would do well to put their house back in order. They should avoid cutting oorners or misusing funds in a desperate effort to make financial ends meet.They must come down hard on transgressors, give whistle blowers a fair hearing and not stonewall in defense of erring colleagues And they should discourage the ill-conceived prac- 77ME, AUGUST76,1991 tice of hastily calling press conferences to announce dubious results that have not been verified by peer review. Fqually important, scientists should re- double efforts to help educate Congress, the press and the public about the Intpor- tance and benefits of some of their more esoteric work. An example: in little publi- cized reports in science journals last month, three teams of researchers re- vealed that they had used genetic engineer- ing to create, for the first time, mice whose brains develop the same kind of deposits as those found in humans with Alzheimers . disease. Using these mice as models, the scientists should now be able to learn more about the debilitating disease that afflicts 4 million Americans and to develop drugs to . alleviate the disorder. . In short, the use of genetic engineering and test animals, practices decried by the i more fanatic critics of science, has provid- ed a means by which Alzheimer's disease could be controlled or even cured. More . aggressive promotion of this kind of news ~ would certainly enhance the image of re- searchers, help restore waning public trust I in science and lessen the clout of anti- i science activists I While scientists remain divided about ~i the solution to their dilemma, they do agree, almost universally, on the tieed for ample support for basic research-re- search that is not launched with a well- defined end product in mind. Such work has not only been the foundation for America's brilliant scientific achieve- ments but has also paid handsome finan- cial dividends. For example, basic studies of bacterial resistance to viruses led to the discovery of restriction enzymes, the biological scissors that can snip DNA segments at precisely defined locations. That discovery in turn made possible re- combinant-DNA technology, which spawned the multibillion-dollar biotech- nology industry. And the laser, now the vital component of devices ranging from ' printers to compact disc players to surgi- I cal instruments, was a serendipitous by- i product of research on molecular structure. ' Nearly a half-century ago, Vannevar Bush's clarion call launched America into its Golden Age of science and helped ; transform society. His words still ring I true today, despite the social and eco- I nomic woes besetting the U.S. In fact, a t vigorous science program, properly ex- I ploited by government and industry, might generate the wealth needed to solve these problems. To create that wealth, the U.S. must increase its invest- ment in science, both by allocating more dollars and making certain that the dot- lars already appropriated are spent more wisely. "We cannot stop investing in our future for all the problema totlay," warns Frank Press, "or we will be mortgaging our future." -n.pvw ay x M.dstsaw xaw Weap aadOk# 8sstpaeNWasMt{b it
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a numYrcr 'ai oue +)3 thc siote- books was elt aaa~ed• sirngllv rch'sted +'tut both font and back. d-}inea in hmniishi-I•iari's notebook pages were out of order, ovcrtvritten, and somt• were eiearly wrong W n the experiments represented on the ptgc Ltter W " en corefrranted vtith hcer bY the iti'tti ln+,e sr.egatc,irs, Imanishi-Iia:~'s said that dates "don't mean anvthing.° Mavtre they are not evt.u dates,,just numhcrs. Numbers referring_' to cvhat% she was asY:ed. "I don't b,nocs,•' she said• Baltimore was clertric shaken be' the tireeting. Those present said his color sank, and thc•v Ceared he would be sick on the spot. But his tecoiwrv tvas quick. In a subsequent meeting that rnust he considered at the least highly imlaropett he rnet with the titH investiga- toes and with irnanishi-[v3ri to talk about the testimonc they would give before Dingell. For example, tvhen Imanish'i-Y;ar[ suggested thee paI er mav have gotten dis- colored by leaving itt in the sun, tini investigator Dr. Hugh AleDetitt said that story tt•ottld not work because thet alreadc knew it vr•as not true. He of fered the pos- sibilitv that there evars another explanation, one she hadn't suggested yet. When itt caane aime to testifc. Baltimore delivered as rernark;able a piece of' or.itcrrv as a scientist ever did hcfore Ccrngress• °"Phe Secret Service apparent- lv conducted a nine-month farensic analysis of €7r. Iman9shi-IC:ari's lat>oratorv notes," lie said. "In a cha- radr of htlpfulness, they presented a partial oral sum- mary of their findings on Tuesday, April ?:i. That pre- sentation w rs designed to terrify withctut provtding any rhstana.e . last Sun 3eG~ srrrne written rraah rrals were ~rovtdcd. And based on those and what I h ace heard tod<r}, there is still nothing from the Secret Service investigation that causes nte to doubt the validity+ of the Cell paper.° Though Baltimore himself had aal- rnost sing'le-handedlv created the whole spectacle, he went on to chastise IDiugell. "+I aeu.stt tell wnas, Mr. C:hair- man, I ant verv troubled about how this sittsatizvc got. so out of hand. I have a eer•,• real concern that ,laneri- can science can easih• become the victim of this kind of governmemt inquiry.... Profeasor hnanishi-Iiari is also avictim, ... She deserves mv suppurt, and the sulr port ol` all scientists, ior any of then could be in her shoes." N o onc doubts that Baltimore is a brilliant sci- enu5t. But those 1•rhu know hint have seen anetther, mearc childish David Iitltitnore in outbursts frorn tmie t0 time. Iiis extraordi- nary success m:r, also have led him to feel iniulnera- hh•---able to detlect p rsonal scandal merehr by bring- ing the weight a-If his reputation to beac F'rom his weakness we see the weakness ctrf science: that it is a human enterprise. Its practitioners struggle always against ernotion and prejudice, and never Cullti over- conte them ~ c CP Toole s plight illustrates the dangers in a hierar httal av+stem tshere a scientist is inaudible to all those above her ran4:. GGhen she made her chaz'ges, the senior scientist.s tnraed and spoke to one anrrtha^r. Eisen t<tlked to Ba3timore, Tu£cs to MIT, Later, when Stewart, Eeder, and Uhtgel[ jcr'snr.d in, they likewise car- ried no [rarticulctr stau.is in science. @3a17mott and oth- ers even chose to contradict the forenstc c perts at tlte Secret Sr.et.ce, who .utelv know their business. O'Tocyle, who is now working at the Genetics Insti- tute in Cambridge, 'tY.ssachusetts, after a long hiatus in tvhicit no cane in the taeld irc:ai3d hire her, believes that the unlv v.a\ to avoid another Baltimore case ic to have the investigations of such matters open and pufr €ic. C)ther scientists hace had a simii r response. Dr. Walter Gilbert, a Nobel Prize winner in molecular biot- ogv from Rarvard, sass: °'Sonae of as are just aghast at David's behavior. Through his octrt doing, the case becacne a dramatic test of power trehveen the Congress and the scientific esrahlishment. It became a case of how science should he supported and reviewed. He tried to rnake it a test case, rather than sac, 'I'm sorrc,' and walk awam, or, as an}' scientist should, sar that i#` the work was wrong he wotdd be responsihle and tvithdt'aw it." The c3sce, Gilbert sae's, has proved to he a het3fthy reminder to scientists "that lab notebooks are open dcocr.rments, that all the authors on a paper are resprrn- sible for it. Fact-finding must be done vigorouslq and impartial@y, rather than br• the friends of the persc n involved, I4'hat has not heen healtl-iy is the failure af the institutions-both the universities and the Ntta-to investigate quickly and thoroaighly" B ut the Baltimore ctsae echoes something deeper in the sctcntrfic wcrrld than mere secretive procedures and mutual, collegial protection. it revc als a:rmethi.ng about the nature of the scientific mind itse9f'. The kev to sci- ence, the physicist lticharci Feynrnan xrc}te, is "a kind of scientific int.egrit}r, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honestr-a kind of' lettning over laackwards. For example, if voa"re doing an expet`iment. +rou should report eventhing that you think might make it invalid---not onlf what you think is right about it." These are exacting stan- dards, and ones that human heings---si°ittt all their pre:rpens'tto for pride, sanity, arrd ambition--regularly fatil to live bv. For too long scientists-and the se,ciety that supports theni-have believed that they a.re s',rmehctt immtute to these craperfecturns, that their professional ittttgrin shoailtl thercfore tae ptsced bevond the troubling, apen soma trrnes misplaced scruune of a liberal deutucr•ac:: The l tst feev vears should prove beyond any doubt that those scientists are all too human and that such '<c.ruttnr is all too often merited. David Baltimore clearl:° failed .a.s a scientist-throagh his carelessness, his willftti oversit;ht, and his ext.raordi- ntrrv attemp€s to protect his rn4n reputation at the expensc of a conscoernious toung ee3lleagtte. Ir-n the end.I3rlumor'etnarEvertentlu t'creaker just how ivhtr,r- ahle the scientific profession is to ahnse by 4liose entrusted tco protect it. + - ---- - ------- - ------------- MAY 9G, 1998 7 F1E Nrw RCi'l.B:_!c 31
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F. . . - --... . . .. .-... . . . 'tI-1$sI IM E:S SXTUFCD .Al`i FE's4~'.[aJA R:Y . i f 99 -; Alexander Chancellor ~ in New YOrk  Behind every seemingly futile piece of medical research lurks some vested commercial interest t makes no sense to me. Why should a man with a bald patch on the top of his head be any more likely to have a heart anack than anybtrdy else? Nesirthel= research pub- lished this week in the Journal of the Amerixn Medical Association wnufld have us believe that men under 55 suffering from "vertex baldness", which means baldness on top rath- er than at the front of the head (where you can be hairless vdth impunity), run ~ an unusually high risk of heart disease. The balder you ar, the greater the aick. Ifyou at2 only moderately bald, like the Prince of Wales, the risk is about 40 per cent greater than if you have a full head of hair. But if you are really vtry bald indeed. the risk can be as much as 340 per cent higher. To help you wxtrk out how much you axe at tisk, the Journat of the American Medical Associ- ation published a table showing the Hamiiton Baldness Scale, a collection of 24 numbered drawings showing different kinds and degrees of hair lo.r.w. As health scares go, this one is particularly unpleasant. Not only is it cruel to bald people, who may already be slightly depressed about theiraandi- tion. partiasiariy in the middte of a freezing winter, it • also describes a risk which no- body can do any- thing to prevent. If you accept the studies that haat linked heart r.its- `1`his most recent health scare is especially cruel to balding people ~ ease to high blood prz..oure, ~ tobauxo, or choles-tevl, you ' can at teast give up drinking or eating or amokinp„ if you so desire. But you can't gi+re up being bald, at least nat at the drop of a hat Baldness is a tnrtdition for which there is still no certain .Itre. So one is bound to wonder why anybody should want to publish such findings, and to wonder evert more what could have made any- body want to embark in the first place on such a welyd and apparently futile piece of researclt. The answer to that qurs- [ion is that behind almast every medicd study of this nature theae can be found lurking some commercial intesest The research link- ing baldness to heart attark; was carried out by the Boston C7nivessity School of Public Health, but it ^.vas paid for by the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, Miehigan. And what dces the Upjohn Company doT it manufactures a hair-growth stimulant r:cllcd minoxidfl, which it markets under the name of Rogaine. .1coording to 'Ihe New York Times, "Upjohn was concerned about the poss'i- bihty of reports of adverse effects like heart attacks anrons; minosidil users, and then [tried{ to determine whether such cardiac pmir le'ms reflected use of the rnedication ora gene.ral risk factor." Why the company ghrynld have ncen con- cemed atunat non-existcnt r:;pc,rt> was nut explamrcd, hut aynr gcts tiv: Eenesnl idea. T'he aint of the nr searr-h s3wnsorevi by l.tp- ji-ahn was tn prove, if {xx~cibte, that if minoxiaii users wrre by any chance more likely to get heart attacks than people who didn't use it. this would not he IxK_ause the medicine it.,eif had harmful sideeffects, but because the people who used it wero bald. So in order to prntert the reputation of mirtozidil (a reputation which nobody has ehatllengexE), people with bald patches on their iaead.s have been needlessly alarmed. The opposite nf this situa- tion wa.s described two weeks aga an The Wall Street lournal in an amc3e a ut eCounc or'1 n- lts headquarters in New York 'Chis was a long invcstigative piece about the skill and tenacity wittt which, for almost 40 yeasc„ this research organisation, heavily funded by the to- baceo ctrmpanies, has sought to cast doubt on every bit of evidence linking _ smoking to ill health. The Wat( Street Journal described Che work of the o.^.'¢en- sibly indepen- dent council as "the longest-run- ning mLsintor- ination cam- paign in LJS busenc.^su history". Although staffed by reputabEe, even illustrious saenusts. [he Kr!urnal said, it had iung hx'En closely unked to a public rclaionl tsrm C.,11leeF 1101 and (';nowltr,n. whictt had published such neKVS itesn.s as "Lung can- ce.ts found in non-smr,king nuns", and hetpr.l authors preiduce ;rooks with tidc`, like ,tirrsaka ti'ithatL.. Feac and {Gzr ,1 heud and ,4m,o.ke. Dcspite the Journal's harsh condemnation of the Couracil ft:rr Tobacco F?e- sean:h. I feel almost sorry for it. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the . search for good nevs about smoking, and yet it has completely lost the pn:pa. ganda war. Although then: are stilf people who wdil tell you that tlte air in New York is ra polluted that simply living hene is eluivalent to smok- ing three pacF:ets of ;;ga- rettes a dav, it is now vir- tually impossible to find anybody who does not beiieve that smoking is very bad for you. However questionable sonte of i9s assertions, the Council for Tobacco Re• search does at least offer some support and comfon to the unfortunate Ameri- can smoker who is other- wise constantly hara.sjYsrd and abused. Anxiety, after all, is bad for you ttur, and the asuna3 ie at leas2 wagsng war against that particular ailment Isn't that Fxr- haps more virtuous than terrorising the bald?
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THE WALL STREET JOIJRNAL. • • . In one of the most thorough studies, reported last year in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine, a team led by Dr. McLaughlin of the cancer institute care- fully sorted out possible causes of 316 cases of lung cancer among 1,668 miners and other "dusty trades" workers in China. Tungsten miners with heavy silica expo- sures, they found, actually had about half the risk of lung cancer as the general population. In contrast, silica-exposed tin miners had elevated lung cancer rates- but they also were exposed to significant amounts of arsenic dust. "The study doesn't really provide support for a causal relationship between silica and lung can- cer," concludes Dr. McLaughlin. Link to Lung Cancer Against this backdrop of uncertainty, a controversy recently erupted over a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on the silica question. After more than a decade of analysis of health records on 3,246 quarry and mine workers, NIOSH last July reported that the data indicate exposure to silica is associ- ated with lung cancer. Industry officials that supplied the worker records for the study say the institute - which conducts research on OSHA Issues-molde4 the report to reach a politically correct, preordained conclu- sion. They note thatin four earlier drafts of the report, no significant silica-cancer link was found. Former NIOSH employees who helped shape the earlierversions are critical. One of them, Robert Reger, now a professor at West Virginia University and a consultant to the National Stone Association, calls the final report a"disaster;" He faults its authors for conGuding, silica was associ- ated with increased lungcancer risk in granite workers even though data on their smoking rate wasn't available. . Gregory Wagner, a NIOSH manager who oversaw the final report, counters that the previous analyses that didn't find a significant cancer link were "cronfusing" and "lacked clarity. Ultimately, I said [to the NIOSH researchers involved], 'Go back to the beginning and tinker with it.' " The final report, he insists, was "dear, accu- rate and scientifically credible" and con- tains appropriate caveats. Dr. Wagner adds that the granite workers with a high rate of lung cancer probably smoked at about the same rate as the general population because their rate of other smoking-related diseases, such as heart disease, wasn't elevated. Thus, smoking probably didn't account for their high cancer rate. But other researchers say manual workers who smoke often have relatively low heart-disease rates-constant exercise offsets their smoking-related heart risk. Moreover, in one early version of the NIOSH report, researchers noted that when they obtained smoking histories for 30 workers who died of lung cancer-589o of the total who died of the disease - they found 93% had been smokers. That infor- mation was dropped from the final re- port, along with the earlier conclusion that the excess lung cancer cases in the workers "can be largely attributed to cigarette smoking." While controversial, the study is likely to carry much weight in the silica debate. "Things that get disseminated by the U.S. government sometimes have a way of becoming sacrosanct," says Dr. Reger. Indeed; Ukiah's Mr. Swide is still wor- ried after learning that the government- designated carcinogen he exposed his daughter to was ordinary sand from Cali- fornia's Monterey beach. "It was just an unnecessary risk to have that stuff around," he says.
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irt ;Muecesvt at .e,'a.kxr 6 on n'trSli.cul ir bie+4o- I Ihe third panel tvcmh<.r, Ur uta Storb of the Lln,ter- sin-rf C hicago. was 4tter fr,iunc° to have ea1"itten a letter ~ of reconmlendatit>n for dmantshi-I{ari. That surruner Baltimore bc°gan a national campaign designc:d to derail the ntH and congressional inves- tigatiane_. f-le attacked O'Teiolc as a"discontented post- drsc•• in a letter to the Nis, ;rnc9 he and seir.r l friends at MtT orchestt'ated the writing of 1et.ters to more than 4Q{i colleagues in echich the investigations were declared to be a threat to science itself. Baltimore at the titne was ehief of the !~'hitehrad Institute, ~ttT s molecular hiologp research institute, as well as a pro- Iessczr at rStr, and he committed tens of thousands of dollars of the institute's mone<< to lobbying, includ- ing the hiring of A4.in Gump, a high-pria:d 41'ash- ington latt° firm, to press his arguments upon Con- gress. Baltimore cast the conflict as one of outsiders invad- ing the sanctuary of seience.'1'hep xvere, he said, maii- cic ush tnisrepresenting az;cientffre dispute about error as a case of fraud. Ide appealed to the xenophobia of other re.searchers in asking them to rall}• round him. In one letter, a ciose friend of S3altimore's, xtr: s Phillip Sharp, urged his colleagues to writee srl-red pieces, and letters to the editor and to Congress. His sample letter to Congress said: "I believe that to continue what nbanc of us percesvc. to be a vendetta against honest scientiatq will cost our societt dearlv. If scientists who have been exonerated of all i%iongdoing must con- tinuee to defcrul themselves against vague and shifting • cliarges, all rne.nibers of the scientific community must be af'raid." Robert E. Ptallack. dean of Columbia Col- le;;e, did write an op-ed piece in The New Ii,rk Times in which lte deplored congressional meddling in science: "The way Dr. Baltimore is being treated means that witch-hunts are in the ofi'tng," Pollack declared. "If Cbngt'ess legislates against error' in science, there is no chance that a sensible e•oung person will choose to be a acientist.® The nuntl.ler of combatants in the fray grew, until half a doien Nobel Freze winners and eminent scientists frotn Stanford, ntrr. Harvard, 'I'ufts, and Rockefeller had taken up the cudgels. Baltimore and his lobb.;ists arrtut}ed for a bec•d~ of distinguished ncientists to go to Washington on his behalf• Thev had sc ats reserved just ilch'snd Baltimore at Dingell's second congressional hearing in April 1989, facing Dingell. D avid Iialtunots. was the onh~ source of his ctil- i' hagues` tcrttsnty that the ca c was one of etr'or nnd not fraurl But Baltimore htmself had not looked at the evidence in rietad; in fact• he said it was not his buwiness to look at it. C4?tdtt he did katow, at the eerr least, cs=as that there were false statements in the paper. For example, one of the probr lcnxs raised in the mnrmer of d°dfiG was that one of the ~ reate•nt did not p:rfortn as stated irt the paper. That September, se•t°er.il months after Eisen had concluded his inrfuiry into the mattet', Baltimore st-rote in a leuer 30 T}[E \r4K' R6FI:NLI{' MAY 16,1902 ao F1inl (niar3e_ public ua,de~-r s.akatioe r tl '"T'l2e~ <sidene:e tharr tlle fSet-I arltibi7dY doesn't do as described in the papr t is cleai "1 het e3a's statetnent to dc.u tl:tat she knety it all dle time is a remarka:ble admission of fnzilt.... 4v'hr •I'hereza chose to use the daca and to tnislead both e t'tts and those who reacl the paper is hevond me." iLtore intcrestin,u,, a few lines later 13altianore admitted choos- rng, to mislead those who read the paper, and he gave a reason whss "All authors do have to take responsibilit for a manuscript, so all of ets are in a sense culpable, but I would hate to see David's [David Peeac•er] iittegritl- qu€:stioned for something hc accepted in good faith. •.. The literature is full of bits and pieces now known to be wrong, but it is not the tradition to point each oete out publidw•" He said that no correction sht uld be published but that he would privately let others know that Finanishi- Kari's data "are rsot reliable, and l, for one, will be skeptical of Thereza's work in the futttre." Later Iiaiti- mrrre told the Office of Scientific Inte,>;tity that he was not proud of this letter and his decision to advise against a correction and added, implausibly, that prolr abkc he and Eisen had rnisundestood Imanishf-lgarfi's explanation of her tnisdeed. Lrianishi-kaei is crri€;inallg from 13ioizil and has a mild accent, W hen Dingell subpoenaed Itnamsht hau's notebooks in preparation for the congress- ional hearings in the spring of 1989, she mett with Baltimore and his law,vet• Normand Smith. She confided that she realI- had no notebooks, only loose sheets of paper, spiral-hound pads, and f'old- ers. Rese.archers' notebools often are not pristine, butt when subject to examination they must make sense. G1'ltat should I do with this mess? skte asked. Either Ral- timore or Smitla--neither will be definite about. it- told her to assemble them into a notebook. On April 25 Dingell's staff intited Baltimore in for a private talk. It was nine days before the heat-ings were ~ to take pl=ace Dingell's staff had taken tlte notebooks to the top fore isic experts at the Secret Service, w•ho reported that all the signs of outright fraud were there. Ilinbell's staff felt that if Baltimore got a look at this new data, he rnightt have a chance to regroup, back away and offer to help resolve the matter. He I eva:, told that the Secret Service had fourtd that 20 per- cent of Imantshi-Y tri.'s notebook material showed eni- dence of being faked. But Baltimore still didn't back dos,•n. In fact, at the hearings he was asked how hn sni,hi-k:ari caine to make the notebooks. fIe replied that liee did not kn(nV• 7hc paper and typefaces from mechanical data counters did not match thosee used in the lab in 1985 rrlten the data was supposed to haFe been taken. Ittathei', all the signs matched perfectly data fron'@ another tinte in the Ia7-sereral cears before, when it would have been impossible lirr the experiments to have been done. The paper on ashich the purport- cd data was recorded was a peculiar shade of sell w green. unlike ;ansthing seen in the lab for years. - ---- - ------- - ----- - --- - --- - ----- - ------ - --------- 4
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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 1993 i Next week the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to crack down on the proliferation of junk science in American courtrooms. The occasion is a case called Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharnmaceuticals, on which the court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday. At issue is whether the Federal Rules of Evidence require, or even permit, a court to adhere to the common-law "Frye" rule. The Frye rule holds that a court should exclude expert scientific evidence that is based on a theory or method that is not generally accepted in the scientific community. Daubert involves two boys born with tragic birth defects that reduced the size of their limbs. Their parents filed suit alleg- ing that the deformities were caused by their mothers' use of Bendectin, a once commonly prescribed morning sickness Rule of Law By David E. Bernstein I drug, duringpregnancy. The problem fac- ing the plaintiffs was that the defendant presented the trial court with overwhelm- ing scientific evidence from epidemiologi- cal studies showing that fetuses exposed to Bendectin do not have a higher rate of limb reductions than those not exposed. The plaintiffs countered by presenting experts who testified that based on their reanalyses of the data used in those epide- miological studies, they believed that Ben- dectin does cause birth defects. The dis- trict court found that this was not compe- tent evidence and granted summary judg- ment for the defendant. The plaintiffs next appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed in an opinion written by Judge Alex Kozinski. Judge Kozinski noted that the plaintiffs' experts had not submitted their reanalyses to peer review, or pub- Junk Science in the Courtroom lished them in a scientific journal. He explained that because the experts' reana- lyses were not subjected to verification and scrutiny by others in the field, the results of their studies would not be gener- ally accepted in the scientific community. The legal basis of Judge Kozinski's opinion was the Frye rule, named after the 1923 case in which it originated. The vast majority of courts adhered to the Frye rule until the promulgation of the Federal Rules of Evidence in 1975. Federal Rule 702 provides that scientific evidence is admis- sible if the proffered expert qualifies as such, and his testimony "will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue." While Frye is not mentioned, there Is no indication in the legislative history of the rules that it was meant to be rejected. Because of Frye's "general accep- tance" test, the determination of what is appropriate scientific evidence for legal purposes was largely in the hands of the mainstream scientific community. With the promulgation of the Federal Rules, however, some judges believed that they were given wide latitude in determining whether questionable scientific testimony would be helpful and therefore admissible. The result was a series of embarrassing decisions in cases involving scientific evi- dence. Most prominent was what has be- come known as the Spermicide Case. The case involved young Katie Wells, a girl born with tragic birth defects. Her mother sued Ortho Pharmaceutical in fed- eral court in Georgia, claiming that its spermicidal jelly, Ortho-Gynol, was re- sponsible for Katie's defects. The case was heard in 1985 before District Judge Marvin Shoob. Judge Shoob, unfortunately, did not screen the evidence to ensure that it was generally accepted by the relevant scien- tific community. Despite the overwhelm- ing consensus of scientific opinion that the spermicide involved, nonoxynol-9, could not have caused the birth defects, Judge Shoob, sitting without a jury, found for the plaintiff and awarded $5 million in com- pensation for Katie Wells's injuries. Judge Shoob cited several scientific studies in 1»s decision, but only one of them directly investigated a relationship between spermicide use and birth defects of the sort that afflicted Katie. That study had been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, which found it inconclu- sive. One of the study's authors appeared at the trial, and warned Judge Shoob not to construe it as proving a link between spermicides and birth defects. The judge, he later remarked, had either ignored or failed to understand his testimony. Judge Shoob's published opinion sug- gests that he emphasized the "demeanor" ~-.-.,,.... . . . '~ rtdlet the iG'rye rule, the' EJ daterrninattun of what i is *ptbprstate eiexttip ~otJili'erGC¢ ttttts F{3Tp6ly in_ th1t;.'. ~ '}tandv of the =ins#reum scientific comm4ni.fy, I i and "tone" of the experts and his percep- tion of their biases and motives more than the substance of their testimony. Many in the scientific and medical communities were upset when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The Spermicide Case marked a turning point in the annals of junk science. Embar- rassed judges began to return to the Frye rule and to otherwise more strictly scruti- nize scientific testimony before admitting it into evidence. . The result has been a greater conver- gence between scientific opinion and courtroom result. For example, another spermicide case making almost identical claims had been filed in the same court as the Wells case at about the same time. Because of procedural delays, that case A15 was not At" until j891. This time, a different judge `excluded the testimony of the plaintiffs' eatperts and found for the defendant. the judge noted that in the ensuing six years the Btandards for admit- ting scientific evidence hNd gtown,far stricter, and that the same evidence? Shoob relied upon In finding for tbe pbft' tiff was no longer admissiible. Despite this strict-scrutiny trend, juhli- '~ science litigation continues to be a prob- lem. Electric power lines are attraet$ig junk-science-based litigation, as are video display terminals. Junk-science claims about silicone breast implants and f7t1- mune-system problems are also beginning to hit the courts, already resulting ihone award of $25 million. And despite over- whelming defeat thus far for plaintiffs' lawyers, Bendectin claims continue to. be litigated. A Supreme Court opinion affirm- ing that the Frye rule was not mooted,by the passage of the Federal Rules of ;;vf- denee would discourage severely thi`s liti- gation, as well as future junk-sdience claims. Of course, the Supreme Court cannot simply look at the effects of its rulings; its duty is to consider the underlying law. Some scholars argue that itale 702 super- sedes the Frye rule, while many qthers disagree. In resolving this Issue in pad- berl, the court should keep in mind thb text of Rule 102 of the Federal Rules of Evl- dence, which provides overall guidance for interpreting the Federal Rules: "These rules shall be construed ... to the end.that truth may be ascertained and proceedings justly determined." A decision reaffirmjng the Frye rule or establishing a new, simi- larly strict standard for admissible scien- tific evidence would serve to advance these goals significantly. . I Mr. Bernstein, a Washington attorney, is co-editorofthejorthcoming "Phantom Risk: Scientific Inference and the Law" (MIT): i 840btil.bLOZ
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~ Haw a Rebellion Over Environmental euneg 3 * • Rules Grew From a Patch of Weeds ByKE1THSCHNEIDER Spmolm Tee new Tud, nmee COLUMBUS,Ohro-Thiscitvdrdconcluded that the largest sums of n't want to pave paradise for a parkmoney were being spent on the least mglor. itjustwanteorocoverapatch threatenrngenvtronmentaiprobiems, of weeds and mud behind the Short like exposure to toxic and radioactive Street garage, where the cny main- wastes. In the view of these state tams its fleet of police cruisers and panels, more important environmen- garbage truckss tal issues, like damage to farmland But two years ago, cuy engineers and finests. were being largely ig- here in Ohio's capital discovered nored, traces of chemicals in the dirt and "We re really Just about at the end learned that the Federal hazardous- of the reducttonsrn risk that you can waste law might require a $2 million achieve by the conventional ap- cleanup before the hrsl ounce of proach, which is to crank down on the pavement could be laid. Right then, a polluuon coming out of the end of the forgettable little slretch of urban prpe," said Dr. William Cooper, an America became the focus of anger ecologist at Michigan State Universi- and exasperation so profound thatit ty who helped lead his state's study, started a national campaign among "Now we're into more subtle issues. cities and states. How clean do we really want our After the city issued a report on its environment? How much are we real- problems, all of a sudden Columbus's ly willing to pay for it?" leaders were joined by hundreds of city officials, state leaders and many private homeowners across the caun- try as they advocate a cause lhat until now big business has been argu- ing most forcefullyr that many of the nation's envtronmental regulations bring enormous expense for little real benefit. Although mdependent safety spe- ralrsts said the chemical concentra- ttuns were too small m cause any harm. Federal law dchned several of the compounds as hazardous and re- quired that they be removed, if de- tectable in the soil at all. What the Law rMwvndea In effect, the law requfred the city to take these expensive et": 9DIg up [.4 million pounds of dlrt containing no more than a few pounds of toxic chemicals from a patch of ground no larger than a baseball dia. mond. 45hip that dut 1,500 miles south tn Texas to he burned in un incinerator 4lnstall detecuon equipment to monitor the air for up to 25 years for traces of any contaminants that might remain. All this, the engineers asked, to expand a parking lot? They called a meeting at City Hall, and that led to the Arst malor study to identify the cost of complying with Federal environmental regulations. When It was completed, the study showed that environmental custs were about to swamp Columbus in red ink - or'generale a taxpayer revolt. Now nearly 1,000 other cities have asked to see the report And prompt- ed by the Columbus study, the Nation- al League of Cities has made updat- ing the nation's environmental laws - and through that reducing costs - one of its top five political priorities in Washington In January, mavors from 114 cities in 49 stams opened the campaign by sending Presrdent Clinton a letter urging the White House to focus nn how environmental pohcy-maktng had, in their view, gone awry. "Not only tlo we som<umes pay too much to solve environmental prob- lems, we've been known tn confront the wrong problems for the wrong reasons with the wrong technology," the mayors said. During the Bush Administration, William K. Reilly, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, offered public support for thts campaign and even began offerv tng grants to states that wanted to reevaluate their environmental prion- ues With that money. Michigan and Vermont were among the hrst to appotnt panels afcitrzens and sctenttsts l0 examine envlronmenlal po11Cy. In published reporls, bath state's panels The Seeds Benefits Are Vague As Policy Shifts The seeds of this grass-roots push lav in the Federal Government's shrft in focus over the last 15 vears f]'om promoting broad envrronmental guals (purifying the air, cleansing rhe water) to regulating speciftc toxic substances: dioxin, asbestos and doz- ens of other compounds tound at traae levels In drinking water, chemi- ca4waste sHes and the lika Controlling the kind of pollution ' that poured out of automobile tail- pipes or factory smokestacks, and stopping waste discharges into rivers and streams, showed clear soclal benefits. And so public acceptance usually came easily. But the improvements in health or emvronmental safety from the more recent effuns have been less ohvrous, sctenosts continue to debate how dangerous dioxin may really be. An industrial byproduct, dioxin was once considered the most toxic substance known to man. Reducing dioxin levels to the Federal standard - less than 13 parts per quintillion in drinking water, the equivalent of a single drop in lake Michigan - is difficult and terribly expensive, even though nu one really knows what, if any, bene- fit5 result. More than 10 years ago, the Fed- eral Government adopted the view that when there is any doubt, it is better to take the prudent approach than do nothing. But a decade later, the economlc costs of this policy are painfully clear while the benefits re- main largely unmeasurabte. Last year, home owners, farmers, miners and timber industry workers roared into Washington and brought to a standstill Congressional efforts to reauthorize the Endangered Spe- cres Act and the Clean Water Act, two of the laws that form the toundauon of American environmental policy. President Bush focused on this theme during his reelection campaign, largely siding with these protesters. This year, city and state leaders have joined in a campaign to write into environmental statutes a provi- ston requirmg the Federal Govern- ment m evaluate scientific evrnence and the cost to communities before resurng any new environmental direo uves. Leaders of the major envrronmen- tai groups are fighting this idea. Thev areue that n would set a level of proof so difficult to meet that the Oovern- mem could nm write new regulatlons unul people started dytng. But backers of the provrsion assert I Reguiation and the Price per Llfe ~ Two years ago, the Office of Mangement and Budget tried to ! estimate the cost of certain environmental and safety regulations by ! dividing the cost of enforcing each rule by the number of lives it I appeared to save. The estimate is highly sublective 5snoe it is , virtually impossible to know now many lives might have been lost '' without a certain rulee to addiLonn tlle analysis d,tl not account for i non-tatal iniurre5. But this cost-benetn analyss d,d demonstrate the i Bush Adm,n,stratlon5 attitudes tnwartl tne laws it was enforcing Now. state and locai governments are distributing this analysis widely to support tflelu criticism of national environmental pOlicy Here is a partial list of regulatrons. Cost Per Prenature Death Avertad ReNlntlon In MlfBona of DoRars Ban on unvented space heaters $ 0.1 Aircraft cabin flre-protection standards . 0.1 Auto passive restrarnUseat belt standards ' 0.1 Trihalomethane drinking water standards 0.2 Aircrah floor emergency ughting standard 0.6 , Concrete and masonry construction standards 06 I _.~._....~_...___...~...._..~._-_...__. _....__._..___ I Ban on flammable cmldrens sleepwear 0.8 ! Grain dust explosion-prevenoon standards 2,8 I Rear seat auto lap/shoulder belts 3,2 Ethylene debromide drinking-water standard ' 5.7 Asbestos expoeure limit for workers , , 8.3 Benzene exposure limit for workers 8.9 Standards for electrical equipment in coal mines 9.2 Arsenic emission standards for glass plants 13.5 Ethylene oxide exposure limit for workers 20.5 i Hazardous-waste lishng for petroleum- I refining sludge 27.6 Acrylonitnte exposure limit for workers 51.5 Asbestos exposure limit tor workers 74.9 Arsenic exposure limit Ior workers 106.9 Asbestos ban 110.7 1,2-Oichloropropafre limits in drinking water 653.0 Hazardous waste land-disposal ban 4,190.4 Formaldehyde exposure limit for workers 82,201.8 Standard for atrazme/atachlor in drinking water 92,069.7 Hazardous waste listing for wood preserving chemicals 5,700,000.0 SourceOX~cedMana9emmraM&A9s! /931 that unless changes are made, public support fm' envtronmental pmwc- tions wdl crumble as costs continue to rise. The Anger Counting the Costs In a City Hall ]t was precisely thts issue of cost that prompted the Columbus en6r- neers to can a meeting in January 1991. One parttctpanl, Michael J. Pompih, who was in charge of the Columbus Health Department's envr ronmental-health divtston, had on his own been quietly studying how much the cnrv would have lo pay to complv wrth a new wace or rules coming out of Washtngton. These were intended to prevent public exposure to minute levela of chemicals in air and water. "The guys were talking about spending all that money for nothing at the Short Street garage," he said in an interview. "They were complain- ing about the $2 million, And I said, the issue isn't $2 millton, It's a tot more than that I told them my guys had identified millions more in costs cnywtde to meet Federal envrrom mental requirements, and where were we going to gel the money to meet those mandates?" Culumbus's Mayor at the time, Dana Hurk Rinehart, a Republican. promptly named hir. Pompih chauman of the city team ttlat pubtished
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ti.os ans=fes t^resr a~o~9b f~•~. ~Atr4 • • • We Need an FDA Leader, i Not a Regulatory Czar Is Health care: AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer's are among the issues where David Kessler has compromised science and ethics. By JAM1S P. DRISCOLL, W ILLIAM K. SUMMERS and BEVERLY ZAKARIAN activists are more politicaffy powerful. Another instance of misguided leader- ship is Kessler's campaigri against "off-la- bel" use of drugs. Most cancer drug therapy is "off label"-that Is, used for cancers other than that for which it is FDA-approved. Health insurance compa- nies welcomed Kessler's policy because it justified their ever-narrowing reimburse- ment policy. This "off-label" policy also restricts exchange of information. Kes- Astonishingly, cohorts of Dr. David Kes- sler's campaign barred doctors from using sler are working behind the scenes to effective combinations of cancer drugs. induce President Clintnn to retain him as Unneeded barriers to optimal treatment eommissluner of Lhe Wund and Drug Ad- are rusting patients their lives. mntlstrattun. 'L'he habdiues of retaining After consigning tacrine to limbo, driv- •ssler are numusttOd~Awa~..j~,.~ i,DDC Into the underground and taking Tpealth-care go y~~ arogp ~octors, last Cli aywill need a prag- winter Kes31gl~decided Ur it*atrltrwYw+ publioageti8a for the FDA. Clinton American medical-device_ matie industry the . _ , 9s e•,ntmiltui both to improving access-to world's largest and most innovative. Yet hcallh cale and to restraining its cust. The Kes.~ler's regulatory jihad threatens to Clinton commissioner for L•DA must be a furec rclucation of U.S. mukers to uthcr loyal aad pragmatic team player. Kessler is not a team player. He follows hjqown agenda with a headline-grabbing style. Kessler betrayed former President Bush and he woutq bp6rpy,CBntorn: $f6., sler'e slow, overly cautiops philosophy- with moments of inappropriate regulatory zeal-restricts access to life-saving thera- pies while it increases the cost of inedica- tions and health care. For example, Kessler claims to champion faster AIDS drug approval. But ignoring the advice of AIDS activists and clinicians, he delayed approval of DDC/AZT combi- nation therapy for one year, waiting for data that never arrived. During that year, he sanctioned an illegal, underground drug market to silence AIDS activists demand- ing DDC. If Kessler had no new data, what made him finally approve DDC last April? First, California AIDS activists and Vice President Quayle's office criticized Kes- sler's delay. Second, the DDC underground collapsed because of defective quality con- trol. The FDA was facing the scandal of sanctioning a dangerous bootleg product. Rather than expediting scientific proce- dures, Kessler merely yielded to pressure. The illusion that Kessler accelerated approval of drugs for life-threatening dis- eases ia dispelled by continued delays with the Alzheimer's drug tacrine (aiso known as THA or by the brand name Cognex) While I,Ot)0 Alzheimer's victims die each day, tacrine has heen delayed 2'h years. acrine is effective and clearly is less toxic an the AIDS drugs AZT, DD1 and DDC. nother promising drug for Alzheimer's, entane, was recently scuttled' by Kes- ler's FDA. Why do Alzheimer's patients keceive unequal treatment? The AIDS countries, ott the heels uf their pharmaceu- tical counterparts. And denying patients life-saving devices such as brain aneurysm balloons is killing people. I America must have an FDA etoner who mg/tes decieionp on the bj4,o; - science and ethics. The needs of AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer's patients should become the priority. The biotechnology, medical-device and pharmaceutical inno- vative edge must stay in America. At FDA, the time for change is now. James P. Driscoll, a nationally known AIDS patient advocate, is vice president of Direct Action for Treatment Access in San Francisco. Dr. William K. Summers of Arcadia is a member of the Atzheimet's Rights Alliance. Beverly Zakarian is chief execntive of the Cancer Patients Action AUiance of Brooklyn, N.Y.
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! aZA THH DETftOIT NEWB SUNDAY, AUGUST e, 1992 + [The D etraitNews FOUNDED AVG. 26, 1273 ROBRRT H. OILE9 EDITOR AND PUBLISHER THOMAS J. BRAY CHRISTINA BRADPORD EDITORIALPAOE EDITOR , MANAGINU EDITOR JAMES L. GATTI JULIA S. HYABERLIN DEPUTY MANAGING DEPUTY MANAGING ED1TORrNEwa ~ ZDITOR/PEATSIREa A GANNETT NEWBPAPER PUBLI$HED DAILY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY MORNiNGa 015 t.AFAYBTTE BOULEVARD, DETROIT, MICH, 48224 CONGRESS shall make no taru respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,• or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancrs. FIR6T AM6NflMENT TO TaL' U.9-CONSTiTUTION, A Rat in the 4zone Scare? . Most of the public "knows" that there's an ozone hole in the tipper atmosphere and that the chief villains are refrigeranta. lnternational agreements to phase cut these chemicals, called ehloro/tuoro- carlinns (CFCs), by the mid-1990s already are in place and are unlikely to be repealed. Yet a lot of very respectable scientists still have nagging doubts about the ozone theory. As a result, Rep. William Dannemeyer, R-Calif., last week introduced a resolution calling for a pres- idential commission to review the evidence for ozone depletion. Meanwhile, Michigan Rep. John Dingcil, chairman of the House Energy and Com- merce Committee, has been directing some pointed questions to the White House science adviser and the National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion (NASA). Both men appear to smell a rat in the ozone sto- ry. What got their attention was NASA's press conference last Feb. 3, at about the same time that Congress was beginning to work on the space agen- cy's budget, suggesting that a big new ozone hole in the sky might be imminent over the Northern Hemisphere. If so, it would be a serious matter: Ozone acts to filter out ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and damage plant growth. + The focal point of the press conferellce was a se- ries of high-altitude flights by NASA planes in northern latitudes that found "unexpectedly high" chlorine levels of up to 1.5 parts per billion. But NASA held its press conference even before its high-altitude sampling had been completed, much less subjected to the usual scientific peer review process. Now it turns out there's no hole. Moreover, as Candace Crandall of the Science and Environmental Policy Project in Washinglun points out, some of the same NASA scientists were aware of far higher readings in the past. Why the rush to publicize this particular finding? Given all the uncertainties, it may make sense ~ to take some preventive measures to protect the ozone layer. W hat is troubling is the suggestion tllatpublicly funded scientists may be playing fast and loose with the foots for political reasons. The integrity of the scientific process is tremendously ilnportant to the United States, whose economic fortnnes rest to a large degree on its ability to ex- ploit its scientific capabilities. Reps. Dannemeyer and Dingell aren't alone in their concern. Recently a group of 425 internation- al scientists and medical experts, including 62 No- bellaureates,'issuedanappealwarningagainstthe increasinguse of "pseudo-scientific arguments" in the environmental debate. While subscribing to ecological objectives, they demanded that ecolagi- cal science "be founded on scientific criteria and not on Irrational preconceptions." Manyenvironmentalzealotsinandoutofgnv- NJ ernment, however, have proved themselves quite -p willing to bend science to the service of their politi- -4 cal (and financial oi bureaucratic) goals. The result ~ has been a panicked public that is easy prey for all Aa sorts of counterproductive regulation and spend- A ing. In the end that will lead to cynicism about the a value of science generally - and a poorer United W Ststes.
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Scripps Howard News Service, November 21, 1992 • Scientists r~pped as alarmists mO ecology warning 3v Mark Sohhnkrnann ST .O'JM1] POST eISPATCH 0 • Scientists who issued a "waxning to humani:Y" about ecological dete- rioration were criticized Thursday as and-development alarmists who fai: to strike a balance between the en•: ironment and economic well- e:ng. '7t's the usual hrne we've come to etioecr" from the Union of Con- ce:red Scientists, said Candace CcandaR, executive director of the >cierce and En•rironmemal Policc t'n'-'Cct a research croup. '1'hese i,i:Ids of tactlcS d0litue to the reaiftr and extent of our ;ro;,,:ro_ntai orobiems m:d even r=> ta bring anour effective cost- ~ t_~ VC' S Chamoer of Commerce, . 'lratic:tal As=-ociatior, of AIanu- .,- urers, the American Petroieum "n=;::vte an~ the Xc;ional Coal .:sso- ; ^n also criticixed the warning. . e carous organizations ob- c[ed m.he seience groep *s charge ::ic'. :.5- basines_ nursues short- .. r. profi at the e!:psnse of the en- .~ anment an ,~ its recommendation ..,.a the buntin-1 of fossil fuels be _rtailed. T ~e Ur:io:. of Concerned Scien- -:ss warned Wednesday that Earth ~tuld be "irretrievably mutilated" the ne::; fev decades unless dam- ac::g activities are phased out. .':ore than '-.500 researchers around the worll endorsed the statement. -ne union cited world population yrov; th and increasing threats to the atmosphere. water suppiy. oceans, soii, forests, antmals and plants. It cziied for cur;ailment of the cutting o.` forests, expansion of conserve- tioc and recycling, and stabilization of population. Michael Baroody senior vice president of the National Associ- atmn of Manufacturers, said the re- po:z ignored tne 51.5 trillion tbat the United States nas spent on environ- menta: improvements over the past 20 years. Moreover, Mn Baroody said. "The ven-environmentay prog- ress I just talked about eame be- cause of changes in processes by American industry and technologi- cal developments by American in- dus-try" \Ir. Baroody said t-he onl} way to pay for environmental protection is by continued economic growth. P-nd that growth depends, at [east for now, on the use of fossil fuels. John Grasser, a coal association spokesman, said industry has worked with government in recent years to clean up the water and air, but "you've got to look at the trade- offs" because mocing oo quickly can spur industry shutdowns and costjobs. Harvey Alter, a chemist who man- ages resources polic3' for the na- tional Ctamber of Commerce, said a,-rpnre, including busi=se is con- cer ned about the en-virennteat. "But we have to manage the envi- ronment like we manage everything else" Jir, Alter said. "Some people would put the enviranment ahead of people. I don't think the majority of our population would agree:' S. Fred Singer. director of the Sci- ence and Environmental Policv Pro7ect. said the U.S. enviroament is imnrovinz and nopularwn growth is stabilizing. He added that various parts of the world have problems, but that most are loral in nature - such as a Iack of spa_ce for garbage in the Unite tates. Mr. SineerS a former professor of environmental sciences at the Uni- versitv of l'ireinia. said the con- cerned scientists umon's statement was batt oi a "numbers 2ame:' He said the group m.ant ave been trein to offset the I'-eidelberg Anneal. a statement st .ed by 1,800 scientists lasn•eac whtc : saz "aae- guate y manage sctence ana e- noloet-" are "tnispensa e6f woS"s"'m overcoming problems such as nver- 1 olation, starvation anc a•or - dtseases. -Nir. Singer said that the appeai amounted to "a revolt bv_ scientists jired of seeing science constantly politicized, used and mistreated." • Distributed by Scrippr Howard News Service. - - Appeared in: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washington Times and other newspapers
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COMMI.t NTA 'RY CANDACE CRANDALL Meaner grows the greenery T he average Joe on the street might be hard-pressed to find a common thread among such diverse groups as the National Association of Realtors, the American Sheep In- dustry, the Heritage Foundation, and the Independent Petroleum Association. But thsnks to a 12 page polemic now being c6rculated by the Sierra Club and a 5 page letter m Cangress from the National Wildlife Federation, activists ev- erywhere should have no trouble linking them up. These organizations and some 36 others have been "exposed" as part of a"Wise Use" conspiracy, an "environmental destruction coali- fion" that NWF President Jay Hair claims is hell-bent on tuming the planet into a "batrea moonscape" by stripmining Yellowstone, park- ing oil rigs in the Grand Canyon, and depleting the ozone layer over North America. Others named? Try such subver- sive organizations as the National Association of Homebuilders, the American Fatm Bureau Federation, the American Motorcycle Associa- Oon, and the National Cattlemen's Association. "Wise-Use," a term originally applied to land-rights citiuns' i ~,W11i+~~n ~CYp1~Cg (and other U_S _newspapers) Wednesday, December 9, 1992 groups out West, has been up- graded to a "shut-up" label (i.e., sexist, racist, bomophobe, funda- mentalist Christian, devout Cath- ohc, etc.), encompassing virtually any organization or individual that has ever had the temerity to suggest that knee-jerk environmental leg- idation wastes valuable tax dollars and puts Americans out of work, or that there an alternative scientific views on the seemingly endless litany ofpotential ecu-catastrophes now facing the planet. If this sounds as though environmentalists are falling victim to unbridled hys- teria, it is perhaps understandable. With President-elect Bill Clinton contemplating his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and the role that agency will play in national and intema- tional pofiry, there is a pressing need to stifle the growing chorus of dissent among scientists, business leaders, and members of the public if environmenhl pressure groups hope to maintain their dout on - Capitol Hill. Despite opinion polls showing continued support for a dean envi- romnent, the signs are more omi- nous than good. Guilt and fear doesn't sell the way it used to. Fur sales are inching back up. Eco- oriented mutual funds, ona touted as hot properties, are going no- where. Magazines and newsletters focused on environmental topits are battling extinction, their read- ers, according to the Wall Street Journal, overrun by messages to think and live "green." It's no better at the ballot box. In 1990, more than 200 state environ- mental initiatives went down to de- feat, including a 39 page, single- spaced regulation nightmare called "Big Green," which Californians voted down by a margin of more than2to1. This year, with the economy overshadowing all other issues, far fewer environmental measures were on state ballots, but most met similar fates. Ohio voters, by a wide margin, dumped a proposal to expand on the "toxic warning" concept for consumer products, a measure that opponents said would have done little good at great cost. Massachusetts voters killed a recy- cling initiative that carried an an- nual price tag of some $230 per household. Oregon voters defeated overwhelmingly two measures to close the Trojan nuclear power plant. Not surprisingly, leading politi- cians, ever mindful of the political cross-currents, have suddenly toned down their environmental rhetoric. Journalists, who once could be counted on tn promote the movement's agenda, are also breaking ranks, sobered perhaps by the Eatth Summit, which had been biEed as a serious discussion by international statesmen, but which revealed itself btstead-in the words of one correspondent-as an outrageously expensive bazaar of the bizarre, a sideshow of turtle- lovers, nuclear-power haters, breast-feeding advocates, Holly- wood celebrities, and Th'vd World kleptocrats intent on getting their hands on more of those good Yan- kee dollars. At many of the largest environ- mental organizations--including the NWF, Siena, and Greenpeace USA--softening public support has resulted in some highly publicized belt-tightening. Grassroots fund- raising bas been on the slide since last year; charitable foundations, enother source of revenue, report- edly are directing more and more of their environment dollars toward small groups focused on specific, local problems. "There is a sense," says journalist Stephen Greene of the Chroniele of Philanthropy, "that either the large environmental organizations don4 need the money or that their years of effectiveness have passed." In need of a new public relations strategy, environmental pressure groups have, in the months since the Earth Summit fiasco, tried to address some of the public's eco- nomic concerns by issuing report after report claiming that environ- mental regulation can actually bolster the economy, create jobs, raise new revenue, and reduce the deficit. This argument is suspect, how- ever, since jobs are not readily transferable--loggers cannot he eas0y tumed into environmental lawyers, for example-also, it misses the point. The purpose of environmental regulation is not to raise revenue to reduce the deficit, the purpose is to correct or prevent a dearly idenn'fred environmental problem. The other tactic has been to re- new efforts to silence dissenters by making them politically auspect Thus the "Wise Use" pejorative, a bogeyman that is nothing less, in the words of the Sierra Club, than an "insidious yet vastly organized plot...to dertroy the entire environ - mental movernent" [Emphasis the'trs.] This new campaign--aheady picked up by other activists-may indeed prove more successful, from a political standpoint, than a puta- tive global warming (in a cooler- than-nornrat year) or the desire to save old tree.s (at a cost of some 33,000 or more logging jobs). Per- haps the spectre of realtors or mo- torcyde enthusiasts out to "get" environmental groups will prove useful too in bringing in more of those $10 and $20 checks that make up the bulk of their support. But these kinds of tactics do little to clarify the reality and extent of our environmental problems and even less to bring about effective, cost- conscious solutions. Newsweek journalist Gregg Fasterbrook, among those recently critical of activist groups and their tendency toward overwrought rhet- oric, has pointed out that the desire to be exempt from confronting the arguments against one's position typically is seen when a movement fears it is about to be discredited. Certainly that is some of what is behind this shift in strategy. But when organizations like the Sierra Club irresponsibly counsel their members, in hysterical tones, "to take whatever action is neces- sary to stop the destmction," and then hand out arbitrarily designated hit lists, it becomes something much worse--it becomes a move- ment that threatens to undo much good that has been accomplished, a movement that threatens to im- plode. President-elect Bill Clinton should consider carefully the im- plications of this ugly trend among environmental groups. What is needed in the new Administration is the backbone to withstand pres- sures from extremists and to focus on what should be our national long-term goal--bringing con- cems for wildlife and ecosystems back into balance with concerns for the welfare of people. Candace C Crandall is execu- tive director of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, which monitors the useofscienBfre data in developing federal envi- ronmental policy. OGM4trdOZ The Science & Environmental Polirvv o.nta^• oI^, '"l°^^ ^',,. °•^^
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0 1 from Peter Samuel, 12131 Main Street, PO Box 99 Libertytown MD 21762, Te1301/898-5882 DC:202/4E8-8451 Fenr 301/898A465 September 23, 1992 FDA, EPA mug company with bad test, then demand it fix the test by Peter Samuel It was a cmalli news item in thc May 15 issue of the trade journal Hospital Purchasing News: "3M exits glutaraldehyde business after 15 ycars." Opting "not to get bogged down in the federal government's regulatory prOcess;' tha 3M company was pulling Glutan:x off the market atter fifteen years. A company spokesman said that Glutarex was a very small part of the company's business and it was not worth going through the hassles of gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Glutarex was the 3M brand name for a disinfecting and sterilizing solution basc:d on the chemical glutaraldehyde. It had been one of about eight competing products - mostly based on glutaraldehyde too -- used in hospital operating rooms, dental clinics and doctors surgeries for disinfecting sensitive • instruments and keeping tables and other surfaces dear of germs. For years the EPA has regulated sudi germicides but lately the PDA has claimed jurisdiction too - by defining the disinfectant solutions as "medical devices" (How expansionist regulators will stretch the language!) And the Federal Trade Commission has gott into the act by questioning the advertising claims made in connection with marketing the products. The three federal agencies have been wreaking havoc for established mannfactttrers of the germicides. A couple they are forcing close to bankruptcy for no good reason, and as thv 3M withdrawal shows, they are adding a massive risk premium to the calculations of anyone doing business in territory where the FDA, EPA, FTC gangs rnam. The agenriPs that are supposedly dedicated to serving public health are in this case endangering it by spreading disinformation about the products, disrupting the supply chain for disinfectants for medical and dental instruments, and heavily assaulting the economic viability of the manufacturing companies. Their tnp managements have been forced to hire large crvws of lawyers in place of salesmen and manufacturing personnel. The most powerful and most easily used medical disinfectant, Sporicidin was forced off the market completely on December 13 last year by a p -4 A ~ 0 ~ O .P W
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• ! [ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Cancer Scare How Sand on a Beach Came to Be Defined As Human Carcinogen Tests Using Common Silica Spark a Scientific Clash Over Safety, Procedures Sounding Grass-Roots Alarm By DAVID STIPP Staff Hepar[er of TnF. W ALL aTREET JaVRX/A. After Jim Swide recently emptied abag of sand into his two-year-old daughter's sandbox, some words caught his eye: "may contain ... crystalline silica ... known to the state of California to cause cancer." Horrified, the resident of Ukiah, in northern California, snatched his daughter out af the playare&. "I thought,'Whyam I letting my daughter play in something th&t says right on the label, It causes canceRa !' be says. "It was quite a shock." Mr. Swtde scooped up the sand, returned It to the store and got his money back. Richard Shoemaker, the store's owner, hadn't noticed the warning, but now posts it prominently. After all, he notes, it looks like the stuff on a California beach. In fact, it is. Crystalline silica, the primary ingredi- ent of sand and rocks, looms asperhaps the scariest cancer demon ever. It is in count- less products: pharmaceuticals, bricks, paper, jewelry, putty, paint, plastics, household cleansers - notto mention bags of sand for toddlers' backyard boxes. Finding It Everywhere Soil is laced with the stuff, so is dust In the air. Most water supplies are filtered through sand, so it Is in drinking water. Traces of it cling to root vegetables and other foods. Silica, formed when silicon and oxygen chemically combine, makes up about a quarter of the Earth's crust. (Some silica is in a noncrystailine, "anwrphous" form that isn'f linked with cancer.) The idea that much of the planet's surface is a deadly chemical may sound like the stuff pf science fiction. But, it is true: For several years, crystalline silica has been classified as carcinogenic by various regulatory agencies, including the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The official lumping of beach sand in the same category as carcinogens such as dioxin, critics contend, suggests as noth- ing before that the regulatory system tends to cry wolf when it comes to cancer. It underscores broader concerns among scientists that the tradttionat method of massvely dosing rats to assess caticer risk- coupled with regulatory tripwires set to go off at the slightest hint of carcino- genic potential-is fundamentally Bawed. Indeed, most researchers agree there is no clear-cut evidence that silica is carcino- genic fnhumansn even at high doses over many years, much less at levels most people are exposed to. Emphasizing the lack of compelling data, former govern- ment researchers, in an extraordinary dispute, maintain that a federal report linkingsilica to cancer was published after earlier versions of the same report-which showed little evidence of the link - were discarded for no good scientific reason. Legal Lhpflcations "Silica is not something Mr. and Mrs. America should be worrying about," says Joseph Mcfaughlin, a National Cancer Institute researcher and co-author of a comprehensive study on the issue. The government's labeling of silica as - carcinogenic "has opened up huge legal implications," adds Malcolm Ross, a sci- entist with the U.S. Geological Survey. ^Products are liable to be dropped, or people will be scared to use them." In Wisconsin, the widow of a former quarryworker is seeking compensation for his lung cancer, alleging it was caused by silica. California agencies have pressured companies that emit silica to Inform coh- sumers about im cancer risk - thus, the warning on sand. Now grass-roots gtoups are sounding the alarm, and officials In Industries that use silica fret theymay face a flap like the asbestos scare of the 1980s- - an episode, according to many experts, that wasted billions of dollars and need. lesslyendangeredthousandsofpeopleisee article on page AS). Citing Dust "Crystaliine silica is as dangerous or more dangerous than asbestos," declares_ Alma Schreiber, a Fetton, Calif., resident seeking limits on dust emissions by a local ~ quarry. She adds that she first heard the substance Is carcinogenic from PacificGas ~&®ectric Co., which, In compliance with California's "t'ight-to-know" law un haz- ardous substances, warned Its customers ' that it sometimes conducts sandblashng, which emits crystalline silica. The utility says California knows the chemical causes cancer. How did California cnme to know more than scientists on this issue? Crystalline silica's reputation began __ _ with the discovery in the 1500s. that heavy dust exposure among miners can cause _ lung disease. Researchers now call it silb _ cosis-a noncancerous, fibrous scarring of the lungs following prolonged, heavy expa sure to silica-laden dust. The disease now rarely occurs berause of regulations limiting dust exposure In the workplace. But doctors have seen thousands of cases of silicosis through the years. Yet they haven't noticed abnor mally high cancer rates among patients - exposed to silica dust. In 1982 one re- - searcher wrote that "the incidence of lung P(ease 7trrn to Page A8, Gblumn f
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• How Sand on a Beach Was Defined ~ ~~ Cancer Scare. As a Human Carcinogen and Sparked a Controversy 0 • • Contitiued Proyn FFrst Page cancer in miners with silicosis is signifi- cantiy lower than in non-silicotic males." But that year, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, David Gold- smith, made a splash by proposing that silica can cause cancer. Several clues suggested that conclusion, says Dr. Gold- smith, now at the Western Consortium for. Public Health, Berkeley, Calif. In particu- lar, Laurence Holland, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mex- ico, had just reported that when high doses of silica in water were repeatedly injected into the lungs of 36 rats, six developed tumors. That "struck me as quite power- ful," says Dr. Goldsmith. Dr. Goldsmith, the most ardent advo- cate of the view that silica poses a cancer risk, in 1984 organized a conference, "Sil- ica, Silicosis and Cancer." Soon after, an arm of the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Can- cer, formed a"working group" of scien- tists to look at the issue. After examining past studies, the group found "sufficient" evidence that silica is carcinogenic in animals, but only "lim- ited" evidence that it is in humans. Still, in 1987, the agency listed silica as a "proba- ble" human carcinogen - a label it affixes when at least two animal studies indicate a substance causes cancer. 'Plausible and Prudent' According to a policy statement, this automatic leap from limited animal data to a declaration of human risk is "plausible and prudent" to flag cancer risks early. But many scientists find it troubling. Among other things, the policy gives little or no weight to studies indicating that substances don't cause cancer. The listing of silica as a probable human carcinogen was based chiefly on five rat experiments. But at least five similar studies in ham- sters and mice, all reported by 1986, found no evidence of cancer. Moreover, even the rat studies weren't very compelling, according to scientists who conducted them. Most of these re- searchers blasted the rats with silica doses 100 or more times the amount humans are exposed to, even in the dustiest work- places. Most tumors that developed were different from those that typically occur in cases of human lung cancer, notes Los Alamos Laboratory's Dr. Holland. Despite conducting the pivotal rat study that Dr. Goldsmith cites as "power- ful," Dr. Holland concluded in a 1990 review of cancer-silica studies that "there is a great deal of uncertainty" about silica's link with cancer and decried "re- peated overreaction to every positive ex- perimental observation." • Adds Corbett McDonald, a professor at Montreal's McGill University and chair- man of the international working group on silica: "There was sufficient evidence in animals and limited evidence in man"' of rcinogenicity. "But [the agency] has his custom of saying'probable.' It doesn't mean that it is probable. And then the U.S. agencies tend to take the next automatic step of treating it as a carcinogenic sub- stance. That's the trouble." Indeed, OSHA's cancer alarm goes off more readily than the international agency's - the Labor Department agency requires just one study indicating a sub- stance is carcinogenic to trigger its cancer- warning rules. Thus, the international body's classification of silica as a probable carcinogen automatically activated OSHA's "hazard communication stan- dard," requiring companies to issue warn- ings to employees about workplace materi- als containing more than 0.1% of crystal- line silica. Intentionally Broad Despite the skepticism among many scientists, OSHA says it did the right thing. Its rules on toxic substances are intention- ally broad to ensure that employees know about dangerous substances. But consider what happened on Thanksgiving Day 1990, when firefighters arrived at a blaze at a pottery plant in Roseville, Ohio. The fire started as workers burned empty bags of sand used for glazes. The bags had been tagged as containing carci- nogenic crystalline silica. Rock Samson, Roseville's fire chief at the time, says that when his men first arrived and started dousing the flames, "I thought it was going to be simple.... But then I got to seeing the warnings on some of the bags. When I saw that I said, 'Okay boys, it's time to get out of here.' " The firefighters pulled back, cordoned off a "hazardous materials hot zone" and called for help, says Mr. Samson. Soon, a small army of firefighters from four towns brought in nine trucks and assorted equip- ment, including a "deluge gun" for spew- ing water from a distance at hazardous materials. Emergency workers rushed house-to-house to warn residents to stay inside with doors and windows closed lest they breathe toxic fumes. When the blaze was finally extin- guished, Mr. Samson and his firefighters checked into a hospital. "We got chest X-rays and the whole nine yards," he says. "It was just a precautionary measure. But I've had a couple of close brushes with death, and it makes you think what could happen to you." As silica scares multiply, a crisis at- mosphere is mounting in industry circles. Officials with the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the National Industrial'Sand Association and other groups say their main concern is liability lawsuits. "Suppose a consumer sees a cancer warning on abag of crushed limestone Ire's put on his driveway, later develops lung cancer and then sues the limestone pro- ducer," frets Frederick Renninger, a spokesman for the National Stone Associa- tion, a trade group in Washington, D.C. He adds that the fine points of the scientific debate are likely to get lost in such emo- tionally charged cases - just as they did in the scare about Alar, the apple growth regulator that was banned by the Environ- mental Protection Agency even though limited rat data indicated the chemical posed little, if any, risk. But Dr. Goldsmith still contends low exposure to silica outside dusty workplaces may increase a person's risk for lung cancer. "The evidence is that silica is a probable carcinogen," he asserts. "That doesn't mean ambient exposure will result in lung cancer. But at the same time, it doesn't mean you're safe." Few silica experts agree with Dr. Gold- smith's opinion that ambient silica- meaning levels outside mines or other dusty workplaces - is worth worrying about. But Dr. Goldsmith's view may carry the day: The EPA, as a prelude to possible action aimed at limiting public exposure to silica, is relying on him as its main_ consultant on silica-and-cancer data. Dr. Goldsmith says he recently scanned human studies on the issue and found that 24 of 26 studies showed a statistically significant inereased-risk of lung cancer among workers exposed to silica. But at least six prior reviews by other research- ers concluded that the jury is still out. Many studies Dr. Goldsmith has cited as suggesting an increased risk don't account for smoking among the workers. Blue-collar workers have a higher smoking rate than the general population, which may explain higher lung-cancer risks in miners and quarry workers. Indeed, in one study on silica exposures among Vermont granite-quarry workers who had an elevated lung-cancer rate, researchers obtained smoking histories on 84 of the workers who died of the disease. AB 84 were smokers. Moreover, many of the studies were based on company records of workers who received disability compensation for lung disease. Past studies show such employees tend to minimize how much they smoke. That can produce what seems to be a high lung-cancer rate among those ex- posed to silica dust, even when smoking records are factored in. Skeptics also note that few studies linking silica with lung cancer have ac- counted for other, well-established carcin- ogens - including arsenic dust and radon found in mines. To be sure, there are a few studies that, after accounting for smoking and other factors, suggest silica exposure raises the risk of lung cancer. But other, equally rigorous studies have found no signs of cancer risk from silica. WAIL SfiREff XRNAL.. 31 ~;t.1 ~1 3
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BULLEFIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS Lip
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. 2 combined team of the Lnvirotunent Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Adnunistration and the Fpdrral Trade Commission. The Sporicidin products -- a cold sterilizing solution, disinfectant sprays, disinfectant tnwalettes and a general disinfectant solution -- had been used by hospitals, clinics, physicians and denflsts unchanged since their introductiuu 14 years ago and gained nearly a quarter of the 860m to 570m annual market for medical instrument disinfectantc. Until 1977 the dominant disinfectant was Cidex, a Johnson and Johnson product that is ntainly glutaraldehyde. In a replay of a venerable capitalist theme a little guy came along with an improvement. A Washington area dentist turncd inventor/entrepreneur Dr Robert Schattnpr took on J&J. He't1 already made several million dollars with his invention of the wQllknown throat spray Chioraseptic (Proatur and Gamble bought out Schatttter's rights and now markots it). Schattner then experimented with a mir of the throat spray's main constituent, phenol together with the gluaraldehyde used in the Johnson and Johnsnn product to try and produce a better operat9ng room disinfectant. The two germicides combined into a • product he called Sporidtlin. This mixture turned nut to have a synorgistic disinfectant effect which was considerably more powerful than the straight glutaral.dchyde based products. Fur many purposes it could be diluted with water. It had less of a clouding effect on optical instruments and was easier to use. Diluted with water, Sporic.idin was able to kill germs, viruses and epnres more quickly and at room temperatures. It grew in market share partly because of the inf.uuvenience of storing the bulkier non-dilutable simple glutaraldahyde based disinfectants and the nuisance of having to heat them to got their advertised genn killing capabilities, as compared to Sporicidin's effeetiveness at (iA degrees. For example to be sure of killing the tuberculosis bacteria an nperating room instrument must be immersed in undiluted Cidex for 45 minutes at 77 degrees (requiring a bit of heat in aircondltioned hospital conditions), whereas the same disinfection will be achieved in 1/16th solution of Sporicidin in 10 minutes at room temperature of 68 degrers, uCcurding to EPA registered tests. Plain glutaraldehyde composed disinfoctants have several other No disadvantages; V i 0 ~ 4~- 0 ~ ~
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i 3 - their vapors sting the eyes, irritate the nose, cause snme skin allergy problems and are noxious enough to be regulated by the OccupaUonal Health and Safety Administration. If the disinfectant is plentifully used in operating rooms and doctors' offices its gaseous concentration can easily exceed the 0.2 partc per million OSHA safety level - the chemical can cloud the glass of instnuments such as endoscopes and mirrors rendering them ineffective for some time after disinfection -- it is harsh on the hands of medical personnel leaving a yellow stain on the skin - it needs to be heated slightly beyond room temperature fnr greatest effectiveness The danger then for operating room patients is that the unpleasantness and inconvenience of the glutaraldphyde-heavy disinfectants will cause staff not to use them extensively enough to thorouglrly decvntaminate instrumenis end surfaces. tirhattner's contribution to the cnvironment of the operating room • and doctors surgery was to provide them with a morP user-triendly, hence more usable, disfnfactant. As documented in a number of product reviews in professional hospital journals, he was able to take a powerful but rather unpleasant disinfectant (glutaraldahdye) and exploit its previously unknown synergistic effect with a less powerful but more-pleasant-handling disinfectant mouthwash (phenol), and make sanifting work a little easier in hospital operating rooms and doctors offices. The innovation produced some contrnvarsy in the mid-1980s with claims and counter-daims. Some of these appear to have been simply honest differences of professional opinion, but many were mntivated by competitive considerations. The regulators chose to disregard the fact that hospital teehnieianc, doctors and dentists are qualified by years of scientific education and daily work experience to make informed judgments about the products they buy. What is most extraordinary about the recent draconian intervention against the disinfectants is that these products are bouRht and used almost exclusively by lrained wcll-infotmed professionals who have a menu of choices and appear to be satisfied with the products. Normally, regulaLors intervene where customers are unhappy with a product, or arr tncapable of ~ making informed decisions. Yet the users of Sporicidin or othor similar `t . ~ A 0 .P a+
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• 4 disinfectants have not been lodging complaints with the agencies. I 'he Centers for Disease Control says it dnes not have a record of any case of a diRPase acquired as a result of failure of Sporicidin or other similar disinfectants. The Sporicidin product has hven repeatedly tested by independent testing laboratories. As late as December 12, 1991 - ironically the day before the raid -- a rwtariced letter to Sporicidin's Robert Schattner from Tohn H.Lee, the product manager of the Antimicrobial Programs Branch of the Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substaaces of the EPA said that Sporicidin coitd sterilizing solution was "properly registered and certified" and that it was approved for sale for the disinfecting and sterilizing uses Indicated on its lahal (See facsimile). But the trade press had carried a story at the begituting of December 1991 that the feds had decided to act against Sporicidin. The company made a set of tPlephone calls but could find out nothing. On the morning of December 13, a massive interagency assault on the company began. Three agencies itSued long press releases and gave press briefings. Teams of agents representing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agancy (EPA) accompanied by armed U.S. Marshals arrived unannounced at the Rockville Maryland offices of Sporidtlin Inc and simultaneously at its rontract manufacturing facility in Jonesboro Tennessee with a slew of orders and charges against the company's producta. Stocks were seized. Stop sale, stop use and removal (movement) orders wore issued. A formal complaint was filed alleging the products were "adulterated and misbranded." The government agents demanded the company recall all its rrodncts, and began searching and copying ita files and records in a hcavyhanded display of power. One pretext for all this was the claim that Sporicidin did not have an FDA marketing permit (called a 510k). This was a Kafkaesque complaint since the FDA had not issued any rules or even given any unofficial guidance as to how companies could obtain such clearances. No dearances had been given, so the same coniplaint could have been made -- and muld be made today - about any of Sporiddin's competitors. The company has EPA permits dating back to 1976 which were renewed periodically, the last being issued the day before the regulators hit the company December 13. The FDA treated the EPA permits as irrelevant. 0
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• 7 glutaraldehyde-based disinfectant - was also the cuhject of attack by the regulatnrs with the L•PA itself the chief hitmen. The EPA was hwnlliated when It was taken to court by Metrex Corporation, mamttacturer of MetriCide. The company established to the catisfaction of a federal court judge that iwt only was the EPA test ittelf deficient if carefully and prnPerly carried out, but that the EPA testing was in fact ahamefully badly conducted. A bad test was badly dune! Judge Lewis T. Babcock of the U.S. INstrict Court in Colorado concluded June 18 in the case of Metrex Corp vs. William K Reilly (EPA adtuini5trator) that the g,overnment had failed to follow proper laboratory procedures in testing MetriC'ide. It failed to properly establish the ineffectiveness of the products it had said were ineffeWve, the judge said. The case rrvPaled sloppy testing procedures by the EPA. In some cases samples were overdiluted as compared to the label instructfons. An Inappropriate neutralizing snlutinn was used that did not properly neutralize the disinfectant. The tests showed that a more highly diluted sauiple of the . disinfectant was more effective than the lass watered sample -- the reverse of what should be expected. Yat the EPA testers failed to retest where sudt anomalous results were found. And they failed to use control samples, which prntPssional testers said were essential. The EPA's documentation of its tests was sloppy and inadequate, ittdepettdent scientists all said. The EPA failed to adhere to the estahlished code of Good Laboratory Practices which it requires of independent laboratories. (The L•PA's own laburatury staff followed poor recording and other lab procedurPs, thp exact kind of negligent lab behavior for which it levies fines against oubide laboratories of hundreetls of thousands of dollars.) The EPA was apparently so frightened of revealing its shoddy laboratory practiceb that it declined to put any of the actual testing staff on the witnms stand in Denver. As a result Metrex Corp persuaded thc judge that the EPA had done the company a grave injustice In declaring Its product ineffective. Judge Babcock said in his judg,ment that the EPA'b test results of the sterilant "simply cannot be said to ho valid" and that the EPA's press releases and telephone hot line announcements about the test failures of Metrex pruducts were "as a matter of fact and of law false." He issupd an injunction N M ordering the EPA to cease its statements that the Mctrex disinfectants were V A i ~ ~ ~ A ~
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Detroit News MONDAY. .4PRI1._ 27. 1992 ;iiinrnerit • The ozone scare: Policy by press release By S. Fred Singer A recentannouncementby It required careful reading to discover that NASA, the U.S. space agency, that an aircraft-borne instrument had de- tected a high reading of chlorine nothing at all was happening to ozone, ;tampeded the i?.S. Senate into pasa. ing an amendment. 96-0. calling for .m accelerated phase-uut of the man ufacture of chlorofluorocarbons. A before and after that date. The docu- used in refrigeration, air-condition- week later, the White House ordered ment was silent on this important ing, and in the manufacture of foam a phase-out of CFCs by 1995, five point. Nor did it reveal that similar plastics andelectronic circuit boards. _vearsaheadofschedules measurements in 19&9,thedateof --Butaccordingtotheeewndpresere- Allthiswasaccomplishedbytwo the last such experiment, also en- leaae,iseuetkbythesemeNASAof- CQASApressreleasesandalotofat- countered high chlorine values. Al- fice on the same day, the volcano cention from the news media. It is though widely anticipated and dis- Pinatubo was emitting chlorine com- discouraging to see public policy cussed at the time, there was no pounds and particles into the strato- driven by press releases rather than Arctic ozone "hole" in 1989, nor in sphere that were actually depleting proven science. any other year. The CFC ozone theo- the ozone iayer in the tropical re- What really happened? As best as rytssimplynotgoodenoughtopre- gions. one can tell - absent any published dict chlorine values or ozone deple- And, curiously, the Pinatubo information that can be checked by tion. presareleasepaeeedoverthefactthat independent scientists - a chlorine The NASA press release may depletion at low latitudes would lead detector, flying on a NASA research have told the truth, but it didn't tell to large increases of surface ultra-vi- aircraft in the northern stratosphere, the whole truth. It did not reveal that olet radiation - with all of the con- encounteredhighconcentmtionsof chlorineatomacyclebackandforth sequenceeusuallyreservedforozone •an active form of chlorine, capable of between an active and inactive form, changes believed to be man-made: attacking ozone. depending on the presence of strato- Inereaeeeinakineancer,cataracte, But, of course. it required careful spheric ice particles, which in turn . plankton death, etc. Apparently, nat- reading of the artfully worded docu- depend on whatever happens to be ural ozone changes don't count. ment to discover that nothing at all the tempereture. Stratospheric Why did NASA bave to release was happening to ozone. Most press "weather" has become the pacing the information on Feb. 4 when the reports fell into the trap. variable for ozone depletion, not the experiments were to continue The NASA announcement was levelofchlorine.Thisvital'pieceof thtoughtheendofMarch?Officiels based on a peak chlorine reading, information was withheld felt they had to warn the pub6c of an whichoccuaedonJan.20."Peak" ThePress release claimed that the "everinereasiitgdengerofozonede- implies,however.thatreadingswere source of thechlorinewas"mainly pletion." lower - perhaps much lower - both CFCs,"aman-madechemicalwidely Amorelikelyexplanationiathat 0 tf NASA waited until the end of the experiment and did not find an ozone hole, any announcement would im- mediately lose its publicity value. By holding aut the possibility, however slim, that a hole might develop, the NASA project could improve its bud- get outlook and perhaps even have a policy impact. NASA's game plan has proved successful. (Shortly after the announcement, the "threatening' chlorine values dropped by 75 per- cent. Now the winter is over, and there has been no Arctic ozone hole.) Members of Congress are begin- ning to ask if those two weeks be- tween the peak observation and the NASA announcement allowed enough time for independent scien- titic scrutiny, and for coordination of an accelerated CFC phase-out with all of the affectedindustries and gov- ernment agencies. Has the White House fully considered whether CFC substitutes will be readily available? Will the substitutes be as non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-flammable andefficientas CFCe? Some of the substitutes being tested have produced tumors in rats; others have proved to be flammable in kitchen refrigerators. Many of them will require that existing equip- ment, currently worth more than $135 billion in the United States alone, be modified or replaced. And envimnmental activists are already clamoring for the early elimi- nation of CFC substitutes because they are not suffrciently "ozone friendly." One.]ast item - a scientific nug- get. A research paper by two Belgian scientists, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, appears to demonstrate that the frequently claimedozone depletion, based on global data from surface stations over the last 30 years, disappears com- pletely when one corrects for the in- terfering effects on the measure- ments by atmospheric sulfur dioxide. If confirmed, this discovery would throw all of our fears about ozone de- pletion into a cocked hat. As they say in the Alar business, how do you like them apples?  S. Fred Singer is professor of en- vironmeatal sciencee at the University of Virginia, now on leave, and directs the Science & Environmental Policy Project in Washington, D.C. He designed the currently used instrument for measurin&ozone from satellites. 2074144038
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• • 0 The more serious sounding pretext for the assault on Sporicidin was the claim that its products were ineffective. David Kessler the FDA administrator was quoted in a pzebs release as saying: 'These products do not wurk. Doctors, dentists and othpr health professionals should stop using them." Adding some newsworthy drama, the FDA also charged that Sporicidin products could cause "serious, adverse health consequences or death." (In an interesting qualification the Centers for Dibease Control was quoted as saying that it had no record of any actual case of nosocomial or hospital/dnctnrs' office infection attributed to the failure of Sporiddiut products in their 14 year histury) The EPA and FI'(.' joined the FDA in publicly accusing the company of false and misleading advertising. The three government agencies claimed that joint FDA laboratory tests had shown the Sporicidin products failed to storilize as claimed on the labels. That would on the face of it seem to be an excellent case for the government action and there was considerable positive npws coverage of the government action including the obligatury one line denial by the company. The regulators were pictured as brave and forceful public sorvants cracking down on pharmaceutical charlatans. Trouble is; it was the iegulators who were the charlatans! It has transpired in the seven months since the FDA and the EPA staged their media circus on December 13 last year that what Is ineffectual and a menace to public health is not the Sporicidin disinfectant product but the government testing procodure for disinfectants. Moreover it Is now clear that the EPA at least knew its tests were highly quostionable, but participated in tha raid on Sporicidin and all the phony publicity all the same. Pive months after the raid and denunciation of St+oridicin's products the FDA flipped On May 25, the agency quietly signed an agreement wilh Sporicidin allowing several of the psuducts that administrator Kessler last December said were "inrfforrive" and "adulterated" back on the market without any change whatever in their formulation! FDA spokesman Sharon Snider told inquirers that the agency had settled the case with Sporicidin. It could go back on the market, she said. The FDA thereby tacitly ackitowledged the bogus nature of its sweeping charges against tiporicidin that it had so righteonsly and forcefully made late last year. In an apparent facesaving move the agency insisted that the cuutpany add some inconsequential detail to the Instructions in the form of an extra instruction insert in the packaging boxes s
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• 9 liuuted shelf life, after its two components are mixed. It says on the hattle that after mixing or 'activation' it may only be used for 30 days. Beyond that it tends to lose its orip,inal wlur and goes yellowy-amber. The Fl )A test data sheets describe the tested product as "amber" in color indicating the lab may have tested aged and bruken-duwn Sporicidin. Moreover the laboratory analysis showed it was tested at 1.92% glutaraldehyde whereas it is registered for use at a minimum 2.0% concentration of glutaraldehyde. The lab may just have overdiluted the sterilant. Even yu Spuricidin's cold sterilizing solution passed 239 out of 241) tests. Joseph ICon2elman clinical director of oral health research at the large Walter Reed Army medical center testified in the Sporicidin case wrote that his review of the tests on Sporicldin persuaded him the tests were improperly conducted, and said he regarded the PDA report as mis]eaQing. Said the Walter Reed mare "fhe (H•!]A) shidy purports to show that the cold sterilizing solution failed some tests at full strength. In actuality 239 out • of 240 tubes passed the test. The (FDA) analysts failed to inquire whether the Ione failure might have been contaminated by other sources, a common scientific oonfirmatury technique which should have been followed " A newsletter of the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association dated July 13 quotes James Danielson, a micrubiulogist at the FDA lab which tested Sporicidin, as saying that "over half° the many disinfectant products they teeted failcd the AOAC test, yet Kessler of the FDA, Reilly of RPA and the FfC chose to single out the one company for an espPrially savage attack, Virginia Chamberlain the person in charge of disinfection and sterilization at the PDA's office of compliance and surveillance Is quoted in the CSMA newsletter as acknowledging that the AOAC sporicidal test is "outdated" and as saying that the FDA is working to improve its test methods. Tim Ulatowski, associate director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health is quoted in the same industry newaletter as bayinK: "AOAC methods are troublesome." Apparently ron<wrn ahout the inadequacy of the tests at the working lovcl of the FDA never filtered up to elevated level of the agency's multi-media wonderboy, David Kessler. Or else he doesn't care't At the press conference December 13 when the government muggers were beating up un Spuricidin, they told journalists that Sporicldln's ~ Lustomers could safely switch to the Johnson and Johnson product Cidex. Yet v a . ~ A ~ O N ~
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• 6 of its products. And in an extraordinary acsatilt on the first amendment of the constitution it insisted that the company deatroy reprinls of scientific Journal articles that touch on its products. FDA officers have demanded to supervise the dumping of boxes full of articles on glutaraldehyde based disinfectants publishcd in THE JOURNAL OF OPERATING ROOM Rl•'SHANC'H, THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAI. MICROBIOLOGY, OPTOMETRY AND VISION SCIENCE and such like. Shades of Nazi book-burning! The EPA is in an extraordinary situation. For years it has issued approvals of Sporicidin and other competitive disinfectants, knowing that the limitations o( the AOAC test will produce regular 'failures' of good product. It knows the tests of disinfectants are fattlty. Yet it joined in the multi-agency mugging of Sporiudin. Its fellow muggers at the FDA now appear to want to make amend< with the victim, yet the EPA Is stalling over lifting its bana against Sporicidin. Although the EPA has repeatedly endorsed the validity of the product over the years and in December it allowed the FDA to take the laad role against Sporicidin, it now says it has now said It is not bound by any • FDA settlement with the company. Just over a year before it participated in the raid on the Ruckville company the EPA formally acknowledged serious deficiencies in the test used against Sporicidin. It laid out ten deficiencies in the test in a request for applicants for a contract to research a replacement testing system for disinfectant5. This is published in the Federal Register dated December 6, 1990. There the EPA said that the existing test methods (the so-called AOAC sporicidal test) "lack reliahility and reproducibility" and cited ten problems in the test. There wae variability in results because of vnryirtg hardness of water and neutralizers used, lack of standardi~.ation of the soil extract medium used, unreliability in the growth medium for the Closlridlunt spore, lack of uniformity in carrier (container) conditions, lack of standardization of the spore load in the carriers, and a ten fold variation allowed in the test pathogens' resistance to hydruchlurIc add. The EPA subsequently awarded a $700,000 researr•h contract to a Canadian university to develop an improved test, becausc of shortcomings in the AOAC test. Yet !t was this test which the HhA acknowledged as lacking reliability that had been the basis for assaults against disinfectant manufaciurers. Sporicidin is not the only manufacturer being harassed. A competitor p Metrex Corporation of Colorado which markets MetriCide -- a similar -4 O A w
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0 8 ineffective or had failed tests. And he said that the EPA "either knew or should have known that the restdts in this case were not sufficionfly reliable to bc called valid." Metrex Corp brought as witnesses miaobiologists who said they had frequently performed the EPA test (called the AOAC sporiddal test) and that It was unreliable and inconsistent even when ronducted with maximum care. They noted it is not a quantitative test since it starts without any count uf the spures tu be killed by the sterilant There may be as many as 700,000 spores or as few as 200 to be killed. Moreover the tests call for carrier vessels with quite variable numbers of fissuwes aud 'utterstices In which the spores can 'hide' from the rhamicat, a condition that is designed out of modern medical instruments and modern operating rooms aud detttist/doctors offices where there are stainless steel and varinuc glazed surfaces. As a result there is great variability in the results of the EPA test and all sterilants fail the test regularly. Mary Bruch, a microbiologist at MicmHin 1'est Jnc, a Chantilly Virginia based private laboratory said that even the best practitioners of the EPA . sporiciddl test get false results almost as often as they get correct results. !;hp said her laboratory uses the test only because the EPA requires it, adding "Jt's a game." Another microbiologist Norman Miner, former manager of biological sciences at a Johnson and Johnson, said that he teated the leading glutaraldehyde based prndurts, including Cidex - the dominant product used in hospitals and that in hundreds of tests, all lhe producls failetl the AOAC test 20 to 25 percent of the time. He said the hPA's testing of the Metrex sterilants was particularly badly done and that the documented result "doesn't nteke sense." "Hither there has been a mislabelling, or a mistranscription of results from some raw data...it duesn't make sense...as a scientist I wouldn't draw a conclusirtn based on something that doesn't make sansQ " On the basis of such botched testing the EPA aiutututced to the public that the Metrex sterilantc wern inpffvNive, and started the process of sending its brown shirts in to close down the company. Only the Colorado court has stopped It. The tests used to discredit Sporicidin were apparently just as bad. They were conducted strangely nut by the EPA but in a food testing laboratory run N . My tho FDA in Minneapolis. Like many such products, Sporicidin has a v ~ ~ A ~ 0 tn 0
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C N O V A ~ A A O O N
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0 10 Cidex fails the AOAC test just as oftcn as Sporicidin and MetriCide, acmrding to the Jolumun and Johnson tester, Norman Allen Miner. He told the rourt in Colorado that he had run the AOAC sterilant test "hundreds, approaching a thousand times." About half dte tests were of Cidex, his product; the other half were C'idex's rompetitors, such as MetriCide and Sporicidin. Cidex failed just as often as the others, he said - 20 to ?a^'16 of the titne. The court testimony was as fnuows: Q. Did you ever see failing results out of either of these producta...? A. Yes. Q. Once in a while? With some regularity? About how frequently? A. (With) sunte regularity. Maybe once in four or five runs. t1. How does the performance of MetriCide...compare to that of Cidex. A. It is absolutely statistically equivalenL All the cnld sterilizing solutions are based on glutaraldehyde, so it was only to be expected they would perform similarly, the former Johnson and Johnson tester said, because their principal active disinfectant component was _ the same. All the companios buy their glutaraldehyde from the same manufacturer. What of the dramatic charge by the feds December 13 that Sporicidin was "adulterateJ." It turns out this allegation arose from the regulators innoconce of basic chemistry, and their failure to consult anyone with a working knowledge of chemistry. Kessler's super-yleutlts had noticed a discrepancy between the list of ronstihtents on the label and the manufacturing formula. The product label names sodium phenate aa a constituent whereas the factory invoices show that sodium hydroxide and phenol are used, but no sodium phenate. It was on the basis of this supposed discrepancy that the FDA publicly charged the company with adulteration of its product and misbranding. What they did not know was that sodium phenate is obtained by mining wdiwn hydroxide and phenol. As soon as the iwn liquids aro mixed they become sodium phenate. The charge that the company had misbranded its product was therefore baseless and the charge that it was adulterated was absurd. In the consent agreement between Sporicidin and the IDA the company agreed to what the FDA chose to call a"reconditioning' of its product. Now in regular English usage reconditioning mcans that the product N is reworked to somehow change its composition and characteristics. But the y ~ A A O th lV
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12 . the supposed inuniuent risks that had been demonstrated in thv NI7A test. The F.PA is now offering to lift this freeze on Sporicidin's cold sterilizing solution but only on condition that SpuriLidirt do its own laboratory testing on the product to demnnstratp its efficacy. But it was the supposed inefficacy of the product as suggested by FDA tests that led to the Deceutber 13 1991 bans. So we have reached the situation where the FDA has allowed products back on the market which David Kessler said last year "don't work." The old AOAC test is disnmdited and there is no generally accepted test to demonstrate spnre killing power. But Sproricidin is being asked by the EPA to devise a new test which will be aLceptable to it. But wait! T'hn N.1JA already has research contracts out with the Canadians for an improved test, and estimates it will be another two to three years before that new test protocol for spore killing is completed. EPA wants a small private company to finance n competitive researdi project fur a uew spuricidal test protocol while fts products remain banned on the basis of the discredited test. "Only in Attterica!" say its international competitors. Sporiddin estimates itc losses to the end of July at the hands of Washington's blundering hiimen at nture than $10 million -- $5 million in lost sales, $2m in custnmer reimbursements, over $1m in legal fees and $2m in lost inventory. 30 people in the manufacturing plant lust their jobs and a dozen administrative and sales people have gone. In their place a team of lawyersl What's behind this destructive madness on the part of regulators? Several agencies fighting for regulatory turf; an effort to 'get' a little upstart company that has upset the established players; a drive by regulators to get scalps on the wall to justify their budget claims in Congress; the huge ego of the likes of PDA administrator D. Kesslet) just normal Washington blundering. Perhaps iYs a hit of all of these. ends Peter Samuel runs Greentrack International, a Washingtnn UC' area news service that Lovers environmental issues from a skeptical perspective. Pnds all 3Mout3/9/23/92 N O V ~ A P O N A
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0 11 Fi)A hae acknowledged in the May 15 consent agreement that Sporicidin as manufactured for years is quite OK, and the fine print of the consent agreement provides that axisting stocks will be allowed onto the market again chemically unchanged. Production will resume using exactly the same constituents. The disinfectants will hv exactly the same as before. So what is this "reconditioning" that the FDA is requiring? The word "recurtditioning" is being used by the FDA solely to dascrihe the insertion of an extra instruction sheet in the packaging. This misleading language is part of the PDA's cover up uf itb backdown. It is an attempt to mislead people tntn thinking that the agency forced the company to change its product, when in fact the agency has backed down and acceptetl the prutiuct unchanged. The other face-savar for the FDA is contained in a legal maneuver by which the agency has permitted Sporicidin products back un the market not by approving them but by a "finding of substantial equivalence" to products marketed by the company prior to enactment of the law under which it claiuis jurisdiction. In fact the products are identical. They haven't changed _ and such a 'grandfathering' is simply a way for the FDA to avoid saying ' explidtly that it has approvetl thent. A lPttor from the FDA to Sporicidin dated September 15 spells this out: "This letter will immediately allow yuu to begin (It began in 1975. The FDA writer means: 'resume' P.S.) markating your devices (disinfectant solutions - P.S.) in accordance with the terms of the consent decree. An FDA fuiding of substantial equivalence of your devices (disinfectants N.S.) to a pre- Amendment device (disinfectant P.S.) results in a classification (approval P.S.) of your devices (disinfectants P.S.) and pennits your devices (disinfectants P.S.) to proceed to the market, but it does not mean the FDA has~ approved your devices (disinfectauts) "~ -ir a ~q Q~d.t w b m/lie (~) Such Orwellian verbal contortions anstic sleights-of-han ld cannot cover up the simple fact that the e,autct saine ytvducts which FDA said had to be immediately banned as a monace to health last December 13 are okay as of September 15 this year to go back oz~market unchanged. At time of writing the EPA Is still holding out on Sportcidin with some bi2arre maneuvers of its own. Its many pre-Decembcr 13, 1991 approvals of Sporicidin products have remained in effect throughout the assault on tha company even though the EPA joined the FDA in issuing an N • emergency Stop Sale, Use and Removal Order Deceutlrer 13, 1991 because of a 4~h ~ A .fa ® Cn ta
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1
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. Roanoke 11mes &World-News UESDAY, DEC. 29, 1992 coMMIENr", Give industry a bigger science rol By PATRICK J. MICHAELS THE SPIN-UP of a new administration allows scientists a great opportunity, They can cast off their shackles, reduce the deficit, increase productivity, and set the country pointing toward the shining city on the hill of technological supremacy and scientific lead& ership. ~ How? Easy. Get the govermnent off their backs. The fact is that virtually every successful academic scientist is a ward of the federal • government..Oftgwot dQ.the research neo- ed tenure . h ~.. ~ t t t 0 wi ou appe tng o one or ano r agency for considerable financial support. In the environmental sciences, the amount necessary to build such a research machine in time to get tenure (six years) is around $1 million. This requires no mean amount of supplication and obedience to, say, the National Aeronautics and Space Adminis- tration, the Environmental Protection Agen- cy, the Department of Energy, or the National Science Foundation. , ' If anyone truly believes that these agen- cies do not have political agendaa, they need look no further than "public choice" ecoaom• ic theory. They exist to perpetuate them- selves, and to expand their territory and their political influence. Government agencies bo- have just like people. The agency goals cannotbe accomplished without the largesse of Congress. Thus begias' a peculiar back-scratching in which political patrons define a particular problem as The Most Important in History. The agency re- sponds by testifying that the end is near un- less a few billion is spent pronto-and then it probably will be even worse than we thought. Such issues and constituencies include the ozone "hole" (NASA, NSF, EPA); global warming (NASA, NSF, DOE, EPA); sexually transmitted diseases (National Institutes of Health, NSF); or roughage shortages (NIH, U.S. Department of Agriculture). The list is as infinite as is the predilection for Homo sapi- errs to have nightmares. All this is well and good for agencies, but horribly destructive of science. For the most progress in science is made when researchers challenge existing paradigms, the most over- arching of which is that we am doomed. But don't expect agency heads to march up to the Senate's Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Technology and say that, well, global warming isn't much of a problem after all, so maybe we ought to;be investigating how it might cmam a better world. Heck no. That's the province of industry, and industry has as much of a vested interest in funding research based upon that hypothe- sis as the government does in promoting the apocalypse. But the amount of funding that industry tenders toward basic research on the environ- ment is minuscule, and is viewed as "tainted" by a community whose primary source of funding is designed to prove that things are terrible and getting worse. So hetet 's how to chan things, save money and promote scientif oeprogress: The Clinton administration should pro- vide an enhanced tax incentive for the sup- port of basic research by industry. Every re• search dollar provided by industry shoWd be met by a consequent reduction in federal support.The resnlt will be that scientists will no longer be required to shill for the apocalypse in order to keep their jobs. Government has its agenda (more government) as surely as ?ndustry has its: more industry. Both are bi- ased, self-serving entities. Scientists should be allowed, or even en- couraged, to choose between biases in their choice of funding. Right now, they have no choice. As a result, the diversity of opinion and contention that is required for scientific progress is being stifled by a government hetl- bent on promoting itself. Now it would be easy to blanie the gov- ernment for getting us into this mess in the first place, but in fact it didn't. Rather, in try abdicated. Government got into big science with the Manhattan Project on nuclear f s: - an explosive success. Then, the social tion of science became institutionalized : the panic response to 'the launching of Soviet Sputnik in 1957. Industry saw ei- developments as a great way to get suppo, basic science off its own back. And so it did. Now, industry reaps whirlwind: excessive regulation and econt ic miasma, because we're about to cente; plan the world's energy economy based on threat of global warming. This threat rather easily be diminished by close insp tion of the facts - something that all th, agencies that are getting oh-so-fat are ~ about to trumpet and promote. So, there you have it, Mr. Clinton. i duce federal spending on basic science much as industry will compensate for it; ~ courage industry with tax incentives. Scii tists operating and benefiting from a f, market of ideas, rather than government co mand-and-control, will help get you out of regulatory mess that had to result when g~ ernment took over seience. What you will get, Mr. Clinton, is a verse, rejuvenated scientific community tl divides equally between the worried and optimistic. Parity between those groups v enhance the dynamic tension necessary _ scientific progress. And because the Unil States has more good scientists than any i tion in history, it's a sure shot that you'll credited with the greatest explosion ever scientific progress. Patrick J. Michaels is associate professt of environmental sciences at the University Virginia and is affiliated with the Washington-based Science & Environment Policy Project. The Science & Environmental Policy Project, 2101 Wilson Blvd., #1003, Arlington, VA 22201 .(703) 527-0130 2074144040
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0 . No agency is more guilty of ai{justing science to support preconceived public policy prescriptions than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA's Science Advisory Panel criticized the agency in a 1992 report for failing to develop a "coherent science agenda and operational plan to guide its scientific efforts." The report went on to describe the agency's interpretation and use of science as "uneven and haphazard across programs and issues." In her initial review of the agency's operations, Administrator Carol Browner said EPA suffered from a "total lack of management, accountability and discipline." EPA's self- admitted failures raise even more questions about its ability to credibly protect the public's health and safety. N O V A 4:h, O 0) W
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THE WALL S'I'l''""IET JOURNAL. Timber Summit to Attract 30,000 Peacemakers In War Between Loggers and Environmentalists fiy tllIaints MI Co,' And Ruse Grir'el.n .n,u n,m,,,..,.,,i'n„ w,~, .. :, President Ctinton miy4ht want to bring his own chain saw to tlle timber summit Friday in Portland, Ore. He might need it to cut through all the hoopla. About 30,oU0 loggers, environmemal- ists,journalists and other interested par- ties are set tu descend un Portland for the summit, me.ant lo start a peace process in the nallan's protracted wars over wild- life protection and logging. Bonnie Raitt, one ot the president's favorite singers, and other pop stars will perform. Salmon fishermen will send a flotilla up the Colum- bia River. f.umberjacks will hold a mid- night prayer vigii. Mugfcians, sword swal- lowers and jugglers will do thelr things, loo. "II has all the elements of a cfrcus;' observes Brnek Evans, vice president of the National Amlubon Society. No Big Initiatives Expected Indeed, the murhalicipated summit is shaping up its a lol lupwro show than go. The govenmlent no lu¢~;rrl,is expected lo put forth illly nhljnr hlitlatives at the sununit to break the logjam over forest pullcy - a fm1 thut will disappoint many in the West. And the kind of things Ihat the Clinton team is likely to promote at the summit, like juh retraining for displaced loggers and broad ecosysteni management in public foresls that would allow some logging, dou't address sume of the biggest problems right now. 'fhuse problems In- clude sky-high lumber prices and heavy loggling - oftei'iw,ftly brudish pogging tech- niques and harsh Impitt~ls on wild'libe - on private timberlands. The president's call fur a timber sum- mlt flllfllletl a I:anlpalgn pledge and raised a lot of expeclulions in Ihe West, where it was seen by many on both sides of the issue as a last shot at ending the warfare over wildlife protection and logging that has raged since the spotted owl was de- clared endangered in 1990. In addition to Mr. Clinton, Vice President Albert Gore, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and sev- eral other cabinet officials will attend. Adlninistration officials say Ihe confer- ence, modeled after December's economic lipitheri,ng in Llttle Ruck, Ark., will consist of rnundhIhle discussions on three topics: who is affected by Ihe Ilmber crisis; the ecronomic, envfrunmentul and sociological and economic development. After the event, an interagency task furre that has already been working on issues related to the conference will help develop a compre- hensive forest-management plan. One aim will be to standardize the oftemcunfjicting practices of the various federal agencies involved in timber policy - and to assure that they obey Bmbermanagemenl and wildlife-prolection laws, which they re- peatedly failed to do during the past two administrations. The Clinton administration's lungierm plan for resolving the clash over cutting in the federal forests centers on first getting court injunctions banning logging on mil- lions of acres of public forest lifted. That won't be easy: Federal timber agencies must first come up with a spotted uwl-pm- tection plan that federal judges deem meets legal requirements; the courts have rejected several previous plans, which can take months to compile, as inadequate. Survey Completed Moreover, ajusPcompletGd survey by Forest Service biologists has fonndithat Ohe, Northwestern ancient forests are homel to more than 600 species, many of which are suffering. The scientists' report con- cludes that any owl-protection measures should be expanded to ensure that those other species are protected as well. It Implies more logging restrictions than the government has ever proposed for the ancient forests. Mr. Babbitt has praised the new report, but the Forest Servlce's chief, Dale Robertson, has been cool to it, . In the long run, the Clinton administra-, tion seems headed toward al1oaing some cutting while setting aside enough habitat to ensure that healthy forest ecosystems survive intact. Indeed, "It's the habitat, stupid," has become a catch phrase among summit-going environmentalists - and some administration aides. The govern- ment may also try to restrict raw-log exports, which have remained high even as mlllworkers have been cast out of work by the thousands because of log shorP ages. Walt Mtnnlek, chief execulive officer of TJ Internatlonaf Inc., a Boise, Idaho, lumber company, says the industry shouldn't expect logging on public lands to ever reach more than about 1051of the levels seen in the 1986s. 'Those days are gone for gaod, and we better face reality," he says. Mr. Mimiiek and other timber operators also believe they'll eventually be required to use far nwre gentle logging techniques. "The era of those big clearcuts Is over," he says. Congress May Act Much of what the administration hopes to achieve in the forest, though, will take many months and probably require con- gresslonai action. Moreover, because of the factlonalization in the environmental community, timber harvests will still be subject to legal challenge and protest, even If mainstream environmental groups sign on m the new approach. Timber companies want to somehow restrict their opponents ability to sue; environmentalists are dead set against that. In the meantlme, the situation in the Western forests is growing grimmer. The plunder of public timberlands has slowed and owls are safer, but the logging restrictions have helped drive lumber prlres to record highs in recent monlhs. The price of redwood logs in Califurnia, for example, has snared to 59u0 per 1,000 board feet, more than double year-earlier prices. To date, the increased costs haven't seemed to have much impact on the gen- eral economy because home sales have been relatively slow and builders haven't been able to pass on their increased lum- ber costs to consumers. Prices Spur Heavy Logging The surging prices, however, have spurred heavy logging on private lands and prompted many holders of smaller timber parcels to~ selI them off for log- "It's a great irony9•, but a lol of trees that would have stoud forever are coming down because of high prices and the fear landowners have thal they might never be able to log," said Dun Bealy, a timberland manager and forestry consultant in Redd- Ing, Calif. Moreover, because the costs of meeting limber-harvesting regulations and acquiring permits have soared in the pest fewyears-to about $8,000 from about II,SOp for a slale-required timberharvest plad In California, Mr. Beaty estimates- landowners who do decide to cut are having to cut more to make any profit. Aaton Smythe's family owns 160 acres in Mendlcfno County, in California's red- wood country. lie considers himself an environmentalist, hut he recently sold tim- issues involved in forestry, and "new and /- ®~`O'~T~7~,'~yL,ryy innovalfve" ideas for forest managemen V4l The Lumber and Timber Industry "'4MhasM waea prodealr employment le Oryou ad Wahlnplon, in Ihousandr 41 130 .125 ItSS' 114 4 I ; n .mm_-_,aa -.---,- n?; ''n ~'rf 'a 'Se 'u 'x 'af nupionsma. ~as d ~ ~ iv>, s i ~iaCax tlEmAN+nuK Total hervert lor Orepon and Washlnpton, in Olllfons ol board laet 'et at 15 'eI 8artts us forcsrSrmre.Y.-..'.a Em~.'armenranCTnJe m Mrm,,,,~ Fm her rights to 35 acres; logging wdl start trees can cmnmand rn;hl mnc .,i, ~wlt soon. "We didn't want to cut thosc trees, but I've got taxes to pay, and Ihe prices lievahle," he says. might never be uble. 11 1 d,m I, w i„•u . I I II~III~1 I '.'ll~
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r. ~ ~cienti+t, hat' l i,,ntributed to or reciewed the summary clid nut reprement the report fairhIPCt' repurt. %0hich ha, heen nidelc d"cribed and cutild he misleadine to nom->cientist~. An h.rt-VCED>upil(Wt<•c<us~ presentinea"<cien- ocertchelminema,jorit~ofrespondentsdgreed titic con-rn>u~ ab lut the re:dit,V nnd datleer of that there Ncas nn clear ecidence in the climate enhanced ;.n-eenhou~~ waizninL. Colleaettes nho record nf the last 100 pears for enhanced green- %c()rke,l ()it the rep,rt had cumplained that it< house wmTning clue to human acticities. Nearly "PnlicN.makers ~ummtu;c" did not aectn•atelc all respondents espres<ed;kepticismabout the repredent the conclusinm in the repnrt it>elC. adequacc of the glohal climate modeLs (GC.lls i And jnurnalirtd amd bureaucrats presumabl%- u>ed to hredict future climate warming. read unl}dtrstintmurc, not tht• rtither technicd ()ther independent ~urtecl support these -tnu-paet. report. tindine>. For example. a Socember 1991 Gaflup The=unev results were remarkable. Of m-er poll of-4nu members of the .american Metenm, 30 scientists who re=ponded.'d'3 sip~•eed that the logical tiociet,v and the American Geophysicel lune 1992 > 35
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-39- lnvestot°e BtTsiness Dally * ra .. r 1 0+ A t. t s S U e Killing Fields ARE PESTICIDES REALLY SO BAD? 0 Despite Fears, Food Is Safer And More Plentiful By Michael Fumento fn Los Angdcr "The only word that de- scribes it is war." That was the first sentence Bill Moyers ut- tered in Tuesday's Frontline show, produced and broadcast by PBS. The war Moyers was talking about is the one waged by pesticides against inscctsandwxds. But the Moyers show itself may reflect another war, that of envirommn- talists and their sympathimrs against pesticides themselves. And many scientists and other critics say the anti-pestidde, proorganic au- sadc may actually be haardous to our health. "The biggest threat to human food supply today, to human cancer, and to wildlife maintenance would be organic farming," said Dennis Avery, director of the Center for Global Food Issues, part of the Hudson Institute think lank in Indianapolis. "It couldn't give us the food supply we need today, it couldn't give' us attractive fndts and vegetables, and it ldn't give us Ihe yidd to protea ife hibitats" OWfrom whal would rwise be evertapanding aopland. he said. The Pnlltic Broadcasting $ystan's Frontliue show, which eoncsmed pri- matily pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables, comes at a time when ' Congress is coosidering legislation to replace a 1958 Cedetaal law called the Delaney Clause. It regulates additives, including pesticides, to processed foods. Environmental groups such u the Natunl Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund arc working hard to baa as many man- made pesticides as possible. Last year, the NRDC won a federal court deci- sion, which the Supreme Court allowed to stand,.that effectively would ban 35 such pesticides. The NRDC was also the group that launched the,public relations campaign in 1989 that succeeded in having the apple growth regulator Alar pulled otf the market. Most of the health conams oC pesticides revolve around the possibility that they awe aneer: . 77te Frontline show contained a clip of. Moyers interviewing farmer Paul Buxman, whose son was diagnosed with leukemia. . 'Moyers told 8steners,'Today (Bux- an) worries about pesticides. A recent uonal Canar Institute study found t, if you hve on a farm, you hare a fu greater chance of getting some forms Domustidaales'dl U,S: producsd pHs82itl4s' In mlllionss otfountls.. • y ' ;000 m-'ta AF'H 1 i9yJ Thursday, April t, 1993 evenlually ftnd natural rodent arono- gens in essentially everything we rat. ', "There are over 1,000 naiural chemr als in a cup of coffee;" said Ames.- "Only 22 have been tested. Of these, 17' are(rodent)arcinogens." !. . In a paper published in the journal Science, Ames and Berkeley colleague Lois Gold said, "One cup of coffee I pesticide residue. contains 10 milligrams of known (natu- '. Moyers told his viewers that •'indus- mt) rodent arcinogew, about equiva- try's own tests suggest that 65 pesticides ' lent in wnBht to the potentially now in use may cause cancer." Mcycr- ' carcinogenic synthetic pesticide residues holf wrote that "68 pesticide ingredients one ats in a year." have been determined to cause ancer." Said Kolbye, "We am surrouruied by Neither made any reference to thosc a sea of carcinogens, most of which are anccs being not in humaos but in wlural compounds occurring normally laboratory animals - usually rats or taavarietyoffoods." . mice-speciallybredtodeveloptumors But he explained that the body's eu8y. These rodents ue typially daud defrnse mechanisms are able to resist with 400,000 times the amount of them arcinogens in small doses, though chemical a human would teceive.. often not in the massive amounts which. Increasingly, such massive dosing of hboratoryrodentsreceivey rodents has come under fire in the Many of those naturaBy occmring' ~ scientific community as being of little chemicals jim themselves p°u°det, ' value in determining human causes of developednotbyindustrialchemistsbut cancerby mother nature For one, srys Bruci Ames, a anecr Said Ames'"Plantscouldn'tsurviveif ' researcher at the University of Califor- they wercn'l ftlkd with toxic chemical, , nia at Berkeley, the correlation for rat They don't have immune systems, teeth, and mouse ancen in these tats is only claws, and. they an't run away. So about70X. . ,. throughoutevolutionthey'vebeenmak- d edes d nt If l lat h d e u ~ r o . aae y re e rp ruc yetterchemiststhanl woo Monsanto. o , NRDC General Counsel predict for each other 30Y% of the time, SimOarl They've been at it a long time." Y he aska, what does that say for how they AI Meyerhoff, in a recent New York ' tedietforhtmanaaznp i Indeed,AmaandGoldestlmatethat Times opinion piece, wrote, °Farmen, p 99.99% of all, pesticides by weight are For another,.lhe idea that mamve M turaL i mn exposed to herbicides have a six t doan of chemicals that atue tumors in grcater risk than others of contracting Take the potato. will also ause tumors at a • a few d t ro en s certain ~~ „ But Aaron Blair, ehief of the oecupa- fraction of those doses is swpectl tlonal studies section at NCI, said that "Cenluries ago, science became aware intact,"Farmershavealowermorulity that the dosc makes the poison," said rate overall: lower heart disase, bwer Albert Kolbye, a former assistant sur- ancer,everythingbutaccidents." Bcon general in the Public Hcalth However, said Blair: "If you Iook at Service and also formerly the associate individual anats, there are eight or bureau dircdor for toxicology at the nine tumors that tend he excessive. But Food and Drug Administration. then, them are at least 35 dillerent Thus,foresample,VitaminAinsmall ancersitrs." doses is necessary for life, while large That would mean that fatmers have doses will kill. Eating a lot of saltaurcd equal or decreased levels of cancer at at Insist has been linked to stomach ancer, least 26 different sites. but no one can hve without some salt. William Fischer, director of the Insti- Fully half of all synthetic chemicals tute for Environmental Toxicology at fated in maasve doses on laboratory Michigan State University in.Lansing, animals h.ve auud tumors, a figure chaired a report on that 1986 study for that experts say will probably more or theCouncilforAgriculturalScienceand km applymsynthe4cpestiddes. Technology in Ames, Iowa. ' But what neither Moyers nor Meyer- "It's notcoraa to quote the results of 'ho1T said is that the limited testing of a single study. ... With (our) study we n't"rial chemicals using the same sun- h h lf f h d d h Potatoea contain two chemicals, sola- nine and chaconine, which kill insects in the same way that synthetic organo- phosphate peetiddes do. A single potato contains - about 15,000 micrograms, Ames said, "And yet you're eating only about 15 microgtams of man-made organophosphate peaticidesa day. "And yet," . fafd Ames,' "nobody's worried about (aolanine and chacoNae) becaux they're natural. It's a double standard." Ames says that the irony of the antl- pestitide campaign being based on cancer fear is that increasing evidence points to fruits and vegetables as impor- tant in warding ofFcerhin ancen. "If you eliminate synthetic pasticides, you make fruits and vegembles more expensive," he said. "People will thefs esl less of them and morc will die of anar." own t at a o t em, too, Pesticide critics charge that we are ar s has s looked at all of them." Combined with studies since then, the studies show am°usinBrodentanecn. . . wing more and more chemicals in a wide range of positive and negative Moyers told his atsdientt: "Federal steadily escalating war against bugs, correlationstooerlainancets. 1aw'permtsthemaduaof'bpattades mold, and weeds. In terms of variety, "What that tellsme," said Fischer,'Ss in arrots. EPA now believes eight may this is true. But it's because farmen are .that if there is a higher risk to farmers, licaneeraBeOn'" using so many highly specific chemicals the risk is very low or weak, as . Ames notes thrt carrots naturally that they are able to use so.much less of evidenced by its being so haid to =tafn chemicals have been found to themoveraB. dekcA" . ausc ancerin rodents in massive doses. Whde Meyerhoff wrote: "The use of Blair thinks that herbicides may be This is also true of apples, bananas, pe*tiddes has increased at leaat tenfold" ausing some of those aneera among broccoli, Brussels sprouts, abbage, ~atheDelaney(7ausewasenactedin farmers, but Fischer says it's importanl celery, and many other unproasud 1958, use of two types ofpestieidea that to point out thtse ate Aerbfcidet, R'hioh foods. may leave residues, insecticides and are sprayed on woeda, not on fruits and Ames thinks that further testing will fungicides, has actually declined since Megetables. Unlike insecticides and tm- 1964, the frnt year for which data was . gladea, they have nothing to do with available. - fCMrt'dJ 2074143989 COrnP wxat
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0 WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT EPA'S MANIPULATION OF SCIENCE TO FULFILL A POLITICAL AGENDA "The Environmental Protection Agency admits that its priorities are seldom based on actual need, rather on public perceptions of potential risk." Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Paying for Federal Environmental Mandates: A Looming Crisis for Cities and Counties In 1990, the EPA Science Advisory Board concluded that environmental laws. "'are more reflective of public perceptions of risk than of scientific understanding of risk. "' The New York 1Fmes, March 21, 1993 • "An in-house study last spring by the Expert Panel on the Role of Science at the EPA noted that, outside and inside the agency, EPA is widely viewed as 'adjusted to fit policy. "'.... "Matters are all the worse with the EPA, given the teeth-gritting zeal of the Gore gang, who rarely stop to count the economic cost of their nostrums." The Dallas Morning News, December 16, 1992 "While EPA has attributed 5,000 lung cancer deaths a year to radioactive radon gas seeping up from the earth into houses, the epidemiological studies on household radon tend to show that houses with higher levels of gas have lower levels of lung cancer."..." The science of which EPA avails itself is that which happens to fit the political agenda of the moment. Epidemiology didn't support its position on radon, so they ignored it." Bonner Cohen, Editor EPA Watch Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 N 0 ~ 41. ~ 0 w ~
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R i EPA and Bad Science: A Case History on Dioxin Termed a"possible" human carcinogen in the early 1980's, dioxin has been more commonly portrayed as one of the most potent carcinogens known to man, despite the fact that similar compounds occur naturally -- in broccoli, for example. The EPA's position on dioxin resulted in scientifically unwarranted costs. o During 1982 and 1983, the federal government spending $33 million to buy the town of Times Beach, Missouri, and relocate its 2,240 residents because the streets of the town had been contaminated with dioxin. o The scientific data on dioxin did not support such drastic action. o Currently in the process of revising its assessment on dioxin, the EPA now concedes that the health threat was exaggerated. o Dr. Erich Bretthauer, head of the EPA research, brushed off the cost of cleanup as an "expensive mistake." • .
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The Science & Environmental Policy Project, 2101 Wilson Blvd., #1003, Arlington, VA 22201 9 (703) 527-0130 Scientific myths ride in on hurricane winds Mleheele BrPATRICKJ,MICHAELe N ow that Hurricane Andrew - the most expensive vortex in recorded history - has come and gone, blowing everything to bits in its path, the usual political suspects have substituted one strong wind for another. In fact, the only thing that one could forecast with more confidence than Andrew's path ("a well-be- haved hurricane," whatever that means, from the forecaster's point of view) is the likelihood PatrickJ. that it would be used to enhance Aflchaels, a pro- the vision oflurid environmental fessnrofenvi- change because of man's pemi- rorrmentalsci- cious influence on the atmo- enres at the Uni- sphere. versiryoJVir- At least that's what readers of ginia, is Newsweek saw: "Many scientists aJJUiated with are also confident enough to say: TheScience& look at Andrew; that may be Environmental what a greenhouse world would Policy Project in be like." Washington. Pretty subjective stuff. In fact, Hismostrecent the scientific core of all this is bookis Sound MIT scienlist Kerry Emanuel's and Fury: The 1987 Nature paper that calcu- Science and lates that an increase in the 1'oliticsof strength of hurricanes could Global Warm- accompany global warming, This ing, paper, which is an interesting theoretical calculation, Includes assumptions about the behavior of hurricanes that are known to be untrue, and which are freely acknouiedaed bythe aulhoe 840b14tFLOZ VIEWPOINT SUNDAY, SEPiEMBER20, 1992 el* ffiaml HeraO One of these is that hurricanes, sured a lowest pressure or 26.23 Iiiiiiii,sisiii which require sea surface tem- inches in Hurricane Gilbert in the Ifltistory is tobeour peratures in excess of 27 degrees C.,el- Western Caribbean. This beat the stus,donolreducethetempemture Qf previousAtlantrcrecom,byagrand gutde,amodest the ocean over which they travel, total of 0.15 inches, that was mea- Everyone knows that they do, and sured when the great LaborDayhrrr- warmtng will flroduce Emanuei only assumed it as a maner ricane of 1935 augured into the Flor- of convenience in his calculations. ida Keys. more wimpy kttrrtea)tes To give an idea of how much eoot- ' In fact, il's only in the last 35 years inghurricanescauseinlherealworld, orso-sincethe1935s1orm-that but about as many consider Gilbert in 1988. After it hit we've been dropping barometers via Gilberts orAndrews or the Yucatan peninsula, Gilbert aimraR into the eyes of hun-icanes. unspun into a garden-variety system (No, thank you. You can't pay me Camilles orLaborDay burblingacrosstheBayofCampeche. enough to do it.) One thing we've That caused ?real consternation in found is that big storms tend to soekos as we have the news media, which likes destruc• rr'eaken a bit (i.e., their lowest pres- tive hurricanes about as much as sure rises) before they hit land. Gil• already seert. bert's pressure rose considembl - Democrats love btg unemployment to values above than noted in Flor- fgures. But because it had Qenemted ida during the 1935 storm - before it so much interest earlier, while setting hit Cozumel. If we assume that the the record for the lowest barometer 1935 storm also filled up a bit before ever. recorded over the Atlantic O itdrownedatminfulofescapeesfrom eenn, Gilbert became the most Keys, it seems obvious that its instrumented cyclone in human his. the tory. loweslrpressure was probably beneath As Gilbert chugged between the Yucatan and La Pesca ("the fish"), Mexico, where final landfall was made, even as a moderate hurricane it cooled the ocean 5 degrees Celsiuk from 31 C to 26 C, which is beneath the value necessary to create subse- qucnt hurricanes. This is equivalent to the difference between summer and winter temperatures of those waters. and serves more to demon- strate that the hurricane is as much a natural brake on surface warming as it is a product of warrn temperatures. Having said all that, recent events provide an appropriate forum to beal on a fcw hurricane myths, particu- Iarly as they might be affected by a putative global warming: (1) lfurricanes are beconiing more ,severe. This nonsense sprang up in September 1988, when aircraR mca- (2) The most severe hurricanes are related to global mannirtg. Unmiti- gated balderdash. Only two "Cate- gory 5" hurricanes, government dia- lect for "big time;" have hit this country. The aforementioned 1935 atorm hit when temperatures were very warm. The other 5-blast was Camille in 1969, which tore up the Mississippi Gulf Coast with profound dispatch. It occurred when the hemi- sphere was near ilsc+pldest lempem- lure for the last half century. Here's a chronology of all of the 20th Century "Category 4" storms to hit the United States with respect to global warming: Andrew occurred as hemispheric temperatures approached theirlowest valucs mea- sured in the 14-year salellitc record, and a0er a rapid cooling from Mt. Pinalubo. Hugo (1989) occurred in a very warm year, Carla (1961) - the storm that made Dan Rather famous - Donna (1960), Audrey (1957) and Hazel (1954) all occurred during a cool period. Prior to 1950 hurricanes weren't named, but it W„ s still cod for the 1947 Category 4. Similar storms in 1928 and 1926 occurred during rela- tively warm times, and the 1919, 1915, 1909 and 1900 storms all occurred during colder than normal temperatures - the last, the natural disaster with the highest number of fatalities in the history of the United States. Score for Category 4s: Three during warm years, and 10 when tcm- peratures were below average. (3) Hurriroae sereri(y n'ill increase in a wanned aror)d. This one, based upon a casual read of Emanuel's paper, flies in the face of what has been ahsened in the 20th Century. While there hasn't been much overall temperature change. there have been some warm times (like the 1930s and the 1980s) and some cold timcs (1940-1975), Writing in the scientific journal Meteorology and Almo- spheric Physics in 1990, scientisl Sherwood ldso and his colleagues found that indeed there are more tropical cyclones (the generic term for tropical slorms and hurricanes) in warm years, but that they tend to be ireaker. (4) Almo.st all tropical cl'clts are bad netec. Hardly. While it is Irue for the relatively uncommon Category 4 and 5 hurricanes, a landmark 1967 study by George Cry, of One U.S. Department of Commerce, demon• stmled that as much as 50 percent of the late summer rainfall that nor- mally occurs in the Southeast and Atlantic Coast regions of the United States results from the much weaker Category I and 2 hurricanes and trop. iical storms. Regional agriculture is heavily dependent upon this precipi- tation. Much of the double-cropped soybean culture of the Southeast is in its period of maximum moisture requirement just ss,hen these storms are expected. I Where does that leave us in a warmed world? First, as I have said repeatedly in the last few years, observed data suggest we won't we the apocalyplic warming that is in vogue, but we should see some. If his- tory is lo be our guide, a modest warming will produce more wimpy hurricanes but sbout as many Gil• 'berts or Andrews or Camilles or Labor Day sockos as we have already seen. Coastal agriculture will nourislr, but every few years someplace is going to get pulverized. Every suc- ceeding blast is likely to crost more money because of increased roastal populalion and monetary intlalion. And as the dantagc Ilgures go up, up and m.ay, folks will likely blame global warming, instead of their mcn desire to the in hnrm's way. 11
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• -2- "An EPA internal review in March suggested that the agency's own grasp of scientific calculations is 'uneven and haphazard."' William Murchison The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 1992 "It's now open season on whatever contaminant the EPA chooses to label the killer contaminant of the week, with the effect that once again, Americans are going to be stampeded into fearing a substance for reasons which upon close inspection are scientifically indefensible." Bonner Cohen, Editor of EPA Watch Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 • "'People have a right to expect that public officials are making the right choices for the right reasons. We need to develop a new system for taking action on the environment that isn't based on responding to the nightly news. What we have had in the United States is environmental agenda-setting by episodic panic."' William K. Reilly, former EPA Administrator The New York Times, March 21, 1993 "'Our society is very reactive, and when concerns are raised people want action. The problem in a democracy is you can't easily sit idly back and tell people it would be better to learn more.' The result is that 'we're now in the position of saying in quite a few or our programs, Oops, we made a mistake. "' Richard D. Morgenstern, Acting Administrator for Policy Planning and Evaluation at EPA The New York Times, March 21, 1993 .
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-~4= MAP A 1QU Chica_go,_Tribune, Is there any room for reality in our pesticide policy? Camxr is e major health risk, killing onc out of evcry four Ame[tcans, and notlttug ereates moro atarm than findin that something weButr~e ' cxposcd in every connoisseurs daY c~ indua malignancies of irony will be pleased by this patYdox: The C7inton admtnistration is doinp a favor to public health by prop,wing that we discard one weapon against canai'. Since 1958, a federal law known as the Delaney clause has stood for the proposition that the only aeceptable canocr risk is zero. It bans any additives in processed food that have been found to cause canecr in people or laboratory animals. 1'he law has been used to knock lots of agricultural testicidcs off tho market, whtch doesn't ~ Stephen Chapman ~ mean it has been an ally of human welfare. When the law was passod, scientists could measure rwtde restdues in foods in t.+er[a per thousand or, ey were lucky, parts per million.'f'oday, they can sometimes detect concentrations as low as parts per qnintillion-"rougbly the same as a tables,poon of liquid in all the Ureat hdcca eombinep;' Time magazine notes. A consumer is about as likely to get cancer from a part per quintillion of a Pesticide in her food as a Chicagoan is to dic from a spoonful of arsenic poured into the middle of Lake Superior. But the law is oblivious to the hints made by rcality. The Environmental Protection Agency tried to relax its application of the Delaney clause to incorporate some respect for common scnse. But environmentalists, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council sued to stop it and won. Thc federal courts ruQ in eRcct that when a law is ridiculous, its still a law. The etfon to wwkcn the Ddenty clause, however, happened under.the sinister Republican EPA, which was presumed to be a puppet of Amalgamated Poisons Inc. Now we have a benign Democratic EPA, headed by a former aide to environmcntalist darling Al Core. And what dous Carol Browner think or the Delaney clause? She thinks it's bunk. Releasing a list of 35 rgricultural cftentiieel.c thar could be prohibited as a rauh of the court decisions, she wid the agency °doea not believe that the pcs[icides ... po.u an unreasonable ri.k to public health, based on available data." March 4, 1993- Browner apparen[ly prcfers somcthing like the previous EPA position, which wa~ to rcplace the zcm risk s[andard with a'negtigiblo risk", policy. lt would pcrmit a pcsticide if, based on the most cautioua assumptions it would cause no mor+C than one additional casc o~ canccr in every mllion - . peoplo if they were exposed to it for a lifotime. That was also the policy recommaded in 1997 by an expert panel convcnod by the National Research Council, an arm of the Nanonal Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Enginartng~and the Institute of Maficinc, ]t said a zan-tisk pobey forces the EPA to waste tinte on insiphttifiant hazards and, if consistently followed, would cauae sevete adjustments in agriaittural practicea„ . particularly in control of plant diseases." Allowing any ~cer dangcr may sound like a.., dangerous departure. But the fatt is we pay no' attention at all to 99.9 peraent of Ihep~pd in our food--those toxins produoed not yb peopk but by plants, In ward off fungi and animds, "Americans eat an estimated 1,5p11 ntilligrants of namral Pesticidespcr person per day, says University of Californsa at Berkeley biologist Bruce Ames, "whtch is about 10,000 times more than they consume of syothetic Pesticide residues," Contrary to myth, moreovu, man-made chemicals aro no more hazardous than natural ones. Apples acquainted with Alar wrxe pulkdout of produce bins, but Ames notes that even the moat pristine apples_contain at kust three carcinogens and 132 chemu;als that have never been tested for cancer-causing properties. Everything from carrots to cocoa, from peanul butter to pepper, carrla substances that could, in sufficient dosa, ki8 you. Considering the risks inflicted by ttat[tre, it's silly to worry so muc8 about the ones contributed by man. In fact, bantdng pesticides in the attempt to . d~ i~ f~miu kely to have perverse results. A 'ut rich in vcgctables and greins is one of the bcxt ways to reduce the risk of cancer. But when farmers arc prevented from using valuable pesticides on their crops, yiclds of these foods are totver thon they would be otherwise and prices are higher, . - discouraging their consumption. Fewer pesticides, morc cancer. This is the legacy of the Ik1an..y clauu, a reminder that benevolent motivex are no guarantee of sound policy. Carol Browncr has learned something frotn the experience, even if a lot of her fellow environmentalivts havc not. COMG A9~
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.+ ! • 0 -3- In an era of increasingly scarce revenues and with environmental regulation costs already soaring to $150 billion per year (an average of $1500 per household), it is time for the Environmental Protection Agency, under new Administrator Carol Browner, to heed the warnings from its own advisory panel and adhere to the established rigorous standards of peer-reviewed, published research. When decisions are made on the basis of public hysteria, created by screaming headlines and tabloid TV, the citizenry is cheated out of billions of dollars that might be better spent on truly improving the public health. N O A i i V ~ ~ O 4 ~
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• EPA and Bad Science: A Case History on Radon Radon, a colorless and odorless byproduct of uranium decay, can accumulate in soil and building materials (e.g., stone, concrete blocks, bricks). The current radon scare is based on studies conducted more than two decades ago. o Studies performed in the 1950's and 1960's on miners showed a high level of cancer. Though radon was present, other factors that can contribute to cancer were also present, such as smoking, nitrogen oxides and mineral dusts. o A report by the National Resource Council (the BEIR IV report), based its findings on the studies of the illnesses that afflicted miners. It found that high levels of exposure of radon to cigarette smokers enhanced the incidence of cancer. Despite the large uncertainty of these fmdings, EPA: o made statements on the carcinogenicity of radon based on the BEtI2IV report. • o based its radon policies and statements to Congress on the assumptions contained in these studies. o developed a computer model that showed children being more susceptible to radon than adults, though the BEIR IV report made no such claim and in fact stated that susceptibility to radon is not age dependent. The EPA's presentation of this "evidence" resulted in: o the passage of the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988, which gave assistance to states responding to the health threats posed by radon and set a national goal of reducing indoor radon levels. o Rep. Edward 7. Markey's (D-Mass.) proposal of the Radon Awareness and Disclosure Act which mandates radon testing and mitigation device certification, calls for testing in all schools by 1998, authorizes grants to states for testing, education and mitigation, and creates a Presidential Commission on Radon Awareness. If enacted, the proposal would necessitate huge costs for the renovation and new construction of schools, residences and offices and would justify litigation on behalf of alleged radon victims. n~ O ~ i . J ~ A O V O
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• EPA and Bad Science: Environmental Tobacco Smoke The latest example of bad science presented itself in December, 1992, when the EPA released a report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders," which claimed that "secondary smoke" is responsible for as many as 3,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. The EPA report has been widely criticized within the scientific community because: 0 of the 30 studies reviewed by the EPA, 24 showed no statistically significant correlation between secondary smoke and cancer, and the remaining six showed a correlation too small to nile out other factors affecting the incidence of cancer, such as diet, outdoor air pollution, genetics or prior lung disease. o the EPA changed the statistical analysis model (confidence interval) for these studies from 95 to 90 percent -- thereby doubling the margin for error while also satisfying the agency's desire to demonstrate increased risk. I* By relying on only six studies and reducing the confidence level of its data, the EPA was able to conclude that environmental tobacco smoke is a human carcinogen. No national legislation has been proposed yet, but: o the EPA's report and recommendations are being reviewed by the Occupational Safety and Health Association, which itself disputes the EPA's findings on environmental tobacco smoke. o state legislatures and businesses are already reacting to the EPA assessment and are trying to fmd ways to reduce people's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. This latest case of bad science once again calls into question the EPA's scientific methods and its use of science to promote "politically correct" policy. ~ 0 V ~ ? 0 y . N
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4 f
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0 EPA and Bad Science: A Case History on Alar Alar is a growth regulating chemical used to slow the ripening of fruits and vegetables, especially apples, headed for market. The EPA began pushing for a ban on Alar in 1985, even though: o its own Scientific Advisory Panel concluded that there was little scientific basis for such action. o experts with the World Health Organization and the British government found no evidence that Alar was carcinogenic in mice, and stated that the minuscule amounts found in food posed "no risk to health." The EPA used negative publicity and its own preliminary reports on Alar to pressure manufacturers into withdrawing the substance from the marketplace, even though the scientific evidence used was far from conclusive. o In 1989, a CBS "60 Minutes" segment -- orchestrated by a public relations firm hired by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental activist group -- implicated Alar as a carcinogen, especially for children, causing a nationwide panic. . o Scientists at the American Council on Science and Health and the American Medical Association characterized the scare as spurious. Two years later, in the journal Science, the EPA admitted that, while still a "probable" carcinogen, Alar was only half as potent as it had stated in 1989. o Many scientists viewed the EPA's retraction as halving an already hypothetical risk. o The EPA has been additionally criticized for its method of animal testing, which can produce distorted results. o Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has said that Alar had never posed "a health hazard." As one put it, the Alar issue was a"sorry example of what can happen when politics and hysteria prevail over science." The ban on Alar still stands today and has resulted in losses for apple growers and processors, bankrupted many small growers and forced the government to purchase unwanted apples. The estimated losses to the apple industry, the Alar o ~ industry and the U.S. government total more than half a billion dotlars. 4 ~ A .P 0 rn 00
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0 EPA and Bad Science: A Case History on Asbestos Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is separable into fibers. The outcry against asbestos has resulted in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 and the forced closing and costly clean-up of many commercial buildings, government facilities and schools, even though: o it is not known if all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic; o most forms of the cancers that are believed to result from exposure to asbestos were contracted in the workplace on jobs such as mining, insulation and pipefitting; o scientific studies used to support the claims of asbestos hazards focus on the 1940s when exposure and risk were high; o technologies developed following the studies of the 1940s now limit occupational and general exposure, thereby negating the applicability of those studies to today's situation; is o studies recognize that there is a high correlation between lung cancer and the use of or exposure to airborne asbestos, but scientists have not determined the correlation between low-level exposure to asbestos (such as that encountered by the public in older buildings) and the incidence of lung and other cancers; and o a report from the Health Effects Institute Asbestos Research, "Asbestos in Public and Commercial Buildings: A Literature of Review and Synthesis of Current Knowledge," commissioned by the EPA and Congress, concluded that "although public concern over asbestos in buildings has focused primarily on potential risks to general building occupants, there does not appear to be sufficient grounds for arbitrarily removing intact ACM (asbestos-containing material) from well-maintained buildings...". Nevertheless, unscientifically based opinion, inconclusive studies about exposure levels, and the alleged carcinogenicity of certain types of asbestos continue to drive debate and lawsuits and impose expensive removal costs upon society. The EPA's use of outdated studies in the radon and asbestos cases without evaluating the actual carcinogenicity of the substances at low levels of exposure once again demonstrates the need to restore scientific integrity to the regulatory process at the EPA before enormous expenditures are imposed through laws and regulations. o • -4 P a P .P 0 -4 i
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0 • 0 111[ nI A1N IlEA1/4L MIRIIIAY. AIIGtISr ro, In4^ Following sheep over the edge By PATRICK J. MICN0.ELB The Reulora news agency rrrt•ntiy varnod LM1n slnrms arehelypµ•al nI' nmdern iuurnah.ms Thcros a pregnnnt man in the Philippines, end South Alnurican sheep are gning blLrd ber;iusr ~d t h...... m huh•. Even when I was working on the high sehaol paper- I mmemher snmelhing abnut lhc rrpurter's dul-v lu ask who. what, n•hcro, whon and why -- ax in when did he get pregnant and what happened to the shmp? The sheep stnry is 1his: Every sprinu, +rhrn the Antarctic latcavintrr oznne do pletion brcaks up• chunks nf rzeone-do- plcted st mtospheric ar are whiricd away. w+d n few slnvlve In Ilu• lafitudes uf Punt+s Arenas or the Falkland Islanrls. Thc suddcn burst ol' ultraviulet-61lNBr radiation is strung, and the animak air so stupid that thev don't sheek shade. Im stead, they immediately get catarac•ts and start bumping into buildings and each other. and falling uff clifl's. As a number of scientists hace noted recently, it's easy to go around puking holes in the story about Ihe catastrophic oznnc hole. Forexample,assumc•thatthe I>,ypolhesizeti mechanism reslrmsihle I'or its sudden appearance around 1983 - a peculiar cloud in the Antarctic strato- nphero - is real. The Nalinnal Science Fnlmrlahmis Susan Solumun has slated un several acca.mnx that ozune deple- tions will be atrlerated by big• dusty vulcannrs thal put a Int uf ddurinc, bm- rninc andjunk m the•mlratospbr.•rc. If we comprossd 9cuho4rc limc intu the vpaco nf uhe year. thcse rxplosinns +cnuld umur every fcw mtnules - they'm hardly tlncmnnton. Antl if they are so wunmun. they c•an't be aPOCalqptic onaugh to tlvraten the planet.Othcrwise we wouldn't be here, and life pmlubly nnuldn't havv eenlvtd Imvnnd wnrms nr wha¢•ver clse spends all its time undt•r- praund. Especially touching was the footage of reporters feeling the `baby' in his belly move, which in reality Still, the combination ol'slratospheric were the muscles clnuds and CFCs makes e bclievable, if r nun-apocal,yptic story. wmch should underneath pop s make it unprintable by tnda-v'Sjnurnalis- l.eel•g(lt~ tic standards. Whu. what. where, whei r l/ and why arc a bit fuzzy around the rdgcs. but yort can still get some Inpleal consts- is a ammm~n ailment nf rattle. ICS nlien It•nc•y from lhc byline to the end. caused by yeasts that are killed by UV-B. Nn so for the sheep, After Nnusamk On to the pregnant man: A/'ter Reuters hiton thcslnrvand noonoolselxnlmred plrt it nn the tvrl'c, wilhnul many ques. tn cheok the faetn. FGO-TV in San Fram tlooss samr• Ih:rt seen prelty nbvinus, the ciseodidslnry appeared on virtually every video :n:c ;arlln n: x.urk, Ey ~•r:..ay owcuv.r; Pmagunian sheep are sn liv snuth on was the I'mnage of rrpnrters feelmg the the plmret that lhera• isn't enough 11V-E3 ~•bahy" in hls belly move. which in realily to try their cyeballs. This is the latitudc• wrre tho musulus underneath pup's bc¢•r- and climate equivalent nf Sumden, a land gul. Where was the rush to consult ex- not knnwi+ for Wnned bodies, except in perts in gynecology'. Couldn't snmenne anmmercials for funlas,ybeer, In fucl. if Ry him to Manila for an ultlvsound from Ihis amount of ultraviolet radiation wem a dnctmr nnt chosen by Mr. Plrgnant cuusing cataracts, every Miami native hinwclf After all• lie might have wanted ucer Ihe age af 10 shnuld he walking tuknuwlhveex) mnundwdhawhilecane. Nn.lhemasnniltmrknwmhstul'igure KGO senl its science udunr. Dnun nut that the ahcep had a yeast infectinn flacknty. down to Puntas Arenas. lie and wet•ks in figure out that a man hrrlds a tleprcc in ph-vsics, and lu• pruba- hly was a little skeptical ahout shevp be- inq blinded by sn little radiation, but the station told him to go an,yway. Upun nrriving at the tip nf Snulh America. Hackney 1'nund blind sheep ev- erywhere. Dut hr sent sume eyeballs back In the Vetrrinary St•hunl at the [4u- +rrsuy ul' Czlihrrnia in Davis lirr iusprc- lirm. Nat a singlu cmtaract aas fnund. W t them was an epidemlo of pinkGyc• which wasri t prcgnant bas to dn with what has haplx'nad tn the new.v husiness whon it crnnts lu scientific and tec•hnical issucs. First. liw reporters are trained much im math and se•rence.and they are Ihere- line either irrationally skeptical nr guili- ble aMmt btll.h. Second, news budgets huvr Ixrn ncalyd so fur hack that any ,nnslder,lble crcpense Illke anim; to Nlnlns Arcnas or finding nar Philippine I'nend an ultrasnundl is frowned upnn, ^6cA,tz~ espeeially if it's going to blow the latest spectacular. In fact, stories like these - including immrnent death from the ozone hole or global warrning - are immediately atl- vanced to the 1'ront page as soon as sume- one rents a ronm at the National Press Club and calls every reporter in Washlnqtnn up For doughnuts and bvhnes. No onc has to travel, n's goud cnpy. and Me xrdes, w'hat rcpnl'IUr who avmdcd ualou- lus feels comfnrtable asking a quanntm llvetlucsllnn? This dantt• was first called nn Irrime• linre news in October 1983 when FPA's John Iinffman spoke nf tens nf fuel af sea level rising from global warming be•gin- ning around 1990 Ithat's 2.5 years aKnr. and it continued through NASA'.s Feb. 9• t992,announcementabouttheimmmcnl ozone hnle nver Canada lstretchad tn 6ennebunkpurt by Sen. Alhert V. Gorr• Jr.. D-Tenn,l, so please bring yuur sheep induors. The fact is, there's litllo incenlivo tn scarch for truth on starros hke lhcso. That bvllne, which takes real ropnrtmg tn get. unti aays that the wnrld I>nY o.luma tn an cnd. wlnds up nn the back pages. u' it's ever printed at all. And if you think that scienhxls are gmng to jump up and say. well, macM, my cash cuw fglobal warming, glubal rnnhng. acid rain, the ozone holr. air VnI- lutiom water pollution, AIDS. defnresra. tlon• bwdiversity, populatinn, etc.l Isn't the ond ol'the world alYer all, and pleaso pass the funding somewherc chr• nrjust save il. ynu probably bclit.•vr: that men get pregnant. N Rather, as in most cases whcrc there am large amounts of mnney and powcr tn Q Ibrk around, people behave like blind ~ shcep. A, v Micharls. ns.mciate pmfesrnr of enot- •p ~ mnmentnl sciences at the Unmersity of ViMireia. is tuaaeialed witR the Snvnee Q und EnrironntcrUUl Policu Pmlert. ~ urDton, D.C. ~
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A Draft - Opinion Editorial JUNK SCIENCE AT THE EPA . . Time and again, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged by law with advancing environmental quality and human health, has taken extreme positions not supported by science. Under pressure from activist organizations, which are often aided and abetted by the news and entertainment industry, the EPA has lost sight of whether real benefits can be achieved by setting overzealous standards. The result has been regulatory chaos, billions of dollars wasted, and a public repeatedly terrorized by overblown health and environmental crises that make headlines one day and then fade to nothing the next. Take Alar, for example, a chemical used to slow the ripening of apples headed for market. The EPA began pushing for a ban on Alar in 1985, only to be rebuffed repeatedly by its own Science Advisory Panel, which concluded that there was little scientific basis for such a ban. Then in 1989 a CBS "60 Minutes" segment -- orchestrated by a public relations firm hired by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental activist group -- appeared to implicate Alar as a cancer-causing agent, setting off a nationwide panic. Mothers tossed apples in the garbage; apple growers lost millions of dollars in income. But the scientific evidence was far from conclusive. Experts with the World Health Organization and the British government found no evidence that Alar was carcinogenic in mice, and stated that the minuscule amounts found in food posed "no risk to health." Scientists at the American Council on Science and Health and the American Medical Association characterized the Alar scare as spurious. As one put it, the Alar issue was a "sorry example of what can happen when politics and hysteria prevail over science." Nevertheless, the EPA used the negative publicity generated by "60 Minutes" to pressure manufacturers into withdrawing the substance from the marketplace. Only two years later, as reported in the journal Science, the EPA backed away from its earlier statements, saying that, while still a "probable" carcinogen, Alar was only haljas potent as it had stated in 1989. Many scientists simply saw this as halving an already hypothetical risk. Indeed, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop declared in 1991 that Alar had never posed "a health hazard." Yet the ban on Alar still stands. Another case: dioxin. The controversy over exposure to this chemical has dragged on for more than two decades. Termed a "possible" human carcinogen in the early 1980s, dioxin has been more commonly portrayed as one of the most potent carcinogens known to man, despite the fact that similar compounds occur naturally -- in broccoli, for example.
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10 1 • • • -2- During 1982 and 1983, the federal government spent $33 million to buy the town of Times Beach, Missouri, and relocate its 2,240 residents, because the streets of the town had been contaminated with dioxin. But the scientific data on dioxin didn't support such drastic action -- a fact the EPA now appears willing to admit. Currently in the process of revising its assessment on dioxin, the EPA now concedes that the health threat was exaggerated. And what of the millions spent for cleanup? Dr. Erich Bretthauer, head of EPA research, shrugs it off as an "expensive mistake." The latest "crisis" -- environmental tobacco smoke -- has been widely criticized as the most shocking distortion of scientific evidence yet. Last December the EPA released a report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders," which claimed that "secondary smoke" is responsible for as many as 3,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. Of the 30 studies reviewed by EPA, 24 showed no statistically significant correlation between secondary smoke and cancer, and the remaining 6 showed a correlation too small for researchers to rule out other factors than can affect the incidence of cancer, such as diet, outdoor air pollution, genetics or prior lung disease. Unable to maneuver this issue through a barrier of long-held statistical standards, the EPA simply reduced the confidence interval for these studies from 95 to 90 percent -- thereby doubling the margin for error and forcing the conclusion of increased risk. If secondary smoke is so serious a problem, why did the EPA have to rig the numbers? The litany of questionable crises emanating from the Environmental Protection Agency is by no means confined to these three issues. It could just as easily include lead, radon, asbestos, acid rain, global warming, and a host of others. The situation has gotten so out of hand that the Agency was admonished last year by its own Science Advisory Panel in a report to then- Administrator William Reilly. Noting that the EPA's scientific findings are widely perceived, even by EPA staff, as adjusted to fit its policy prescriptions, the Science Advisory Panel report, "Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions," criticized the Agency for failing to develop a "coherent science agenda and operational plant to guide [its] scientific efforts ... and support its focus on relatively high-risk environmental problems." "The interpretation and use of science is uneven and haphazard across programs and issues," the report said, adding that bureaucratic policies and institutions are set in motion to address environmental problems long before the scientific evidence is conclusive or, indeed, even considered.
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MONDAY, JANUARY20,1992 ' V)!• A)AO(Jl11qfUl1(~illllc(( ' • SECTION E COMNIENTAIIY ommmummu~ JONATHAN AD[.E R ': Ea•ger to star in the clean air: follies~ ~~.. rleetturrlosersrtdeb flrslaffwopans yeduadircct N N content wilh IM reg• result ef regulations aimed at im• ulalary apparatus int. pnvkigairquNB} ' aoscd by the 1990 CICM The wtdated asstimpllen behind Air Acl, 11 p~ulem states the Cafi/Ymlastaalerrlsia rMt mar ssa prepared M adopt rhe more datingendsslansgtandardsfornew atrMgeat CalRornin etean air atan• - .utonsoMfes b a onsl-e11'ectlre way darda.The mlire Eaatene seaboard, i of reducing samog.'f9te argument ia frow Vlr6inla to Maiae, with the • . -- , simple: By reduc(ng new car emis• lone enaeptien of Com,ec8cut, hea - sieas or Cerlaln sasag precursors, utnesnced s.peort of tM ucw C.M- auch as volatile organic composrn(s f%rala regulations mandating (VOG) aad altro,gen osido (f/Ox), "cle.ner" aulomabiles. Thgether, I i regulrory egencles can greatly ra tUese alato represeat more Ihan I I' " - ''- ' ', duce arlran smog fermxion. While eno-tAird ef the domestic avaarso- . ' . . tlsismaybasebeentruelnlhhei976s bik marhet, and adoptlen of the , • .. - . when such standards were first inr strdarda could bare tremendeus -- - ' plememcd, tifs is almply no longer oonsequenceaforbolhthenmerlcan . . Ihecase.AnyslgNficantgeMssobe aubatubge (Muslry and the na- . . acMieved through such measures tkml emamny as a wlmk, as aulo- . ... have aka.dy been reaNaed. . rktcsarepushedtodesignemire ' ,. - . AneweartodaywiBenslt7lfper• fkNS around Ihe mare ditlkull aeet less hydrocarbons and 76 per• standaNs. . . .' .. .. . ~1. ~ . " eeat ieaa Nlht than IMse built 16 WMite lldastep has beenheraldcd •-i -- years ago. The resuit has been a sig- as M /npurtan gatn for rhan air nirhmnt deellne /n ambient levels ef QuaMy, w1uN many falllo resliae Is O/fJ - amne (the prbaary eowstlluem of that Inpleraawlaiion ef the C+B/br- i • amag) nallomrlde. By all convers- ye slandards wiY de Nlge, Y my- . . - .~ ~ .._ ' Nond staadards, a weM•mdnlained tWng. to lalpmre air quality. The -'- • -. newcriscleam7fiereisliltklobe slandardswill,hwrese6lqtposeyel -- s-_.I gainedbyfuctherreducingnewt•n• anNMerre6ulsloryberdenantheal•. , .. -ewissions by 1 or 2 perccntage ready slrained scanowies of the ' .s, . poin~, and what little &ains are Narlhea.w.'fhis wlll Inevitably re• ~ G®V~ ~ VL®Z - " - achieved will nm be evidenced for aullInlast7obaawdslowergrowth, .-yearsbcmesnewer,cleanercan . andtlutclearlylenutinthelnterest -_ ' only gradually replace their older wflheseaUlea. - . ^ - cuvnlerporls. Now tmch 'will the slendards -If the Ensirm slates dso opt Ibl' lually could be to foreMaN lrnpme- 6•lwlMennure, only 10 percent of Eerly It Is currerNly esdmned that ~- rDahlo^da's requlrernenta fW refw- mentslnairquality. Becauu tighter Ihe rehkles ue responslEle for up- (be tallp(p eniaslon standards MWMed gasaline, it cauld rdd as emission standards Increase Ihe proximately hall of the mobile atoae wt7 add S2DO to si,oog lo Ihe m.ch as IS cents per gollon at the cost ef new vehicles. older vehkles goprce aw• pollulion. This mcans eoAVfonewur.Accordingloone pumvpsndquadruplelAellumberof -whlchtendmbemorepoButGg- Ihat,nnaverage.«tevehicleInlU fntdy mnducled by DhI/McCrsw lobs losl. In skorl, Ihese standords stay on the road longer.s poteallai rnWes as much air pollnlion as Ihe 71III, Iln: standards could elindnaee "„'Id leave the region decimated, pew car buyen either buy less• other nlne. What is more, of IMse erpNnyes75,gpOjobainlhercRlon. TIi°eeostsarelnadditlonrotlmse expensive,usedvehiclesordelayra- vehlclesthatere"grosspolluten; it already bcing Imposed by the Clean placing their atm older cars. This is esdmated that as many as 10 per• - AlrActof 1yyg,whoseairlodcssec- trend Imrard'stickeashock" Is al• t' unl have 4arn deliberately lam• 1 111 S70 h d lbl d tl I l ~LE n From pasc EI ' •'- ; - • pered whh in arder ta Iacrcaroa4hr nt/1h11e peKmtwnwo at IMY eaparso of 1ir quaN1R Of Ihe romalnhsg veld• des. nurel aro ellber older veh/elee, or aMonmbOea But Mya rwt lrcen wcll nminlnhrod. Sinqrle and Inon• penalvc relwirs are alten all that Is needed to two a Iromy pdhnhtg-ve• hictc Ima a elrin• Wndng car: :' of raurse.lhia as Iosl on IMrcll- tdelera resiawsllda fnr "gdng Call• fnrain;' n" are Ille fitdings nf lYe .recenl NMiowd Arndemy of gei- 'encq report IMI Irnrlwa canrea- t(onelmelhmisof musgcanlroi.Thl repnrt's cnm,annlua Ilml anvirea• manlnl regulolwa orerralwnnlo "Ilte el&cileeaess nf VO(: eoldrds" Ma g«m 'virtaally unnoliced. Menn- l wkib, VOCawlro{aeanlhmeapace, as ovldeaced by C.Iirarnial new mulUmllYaa-Ldlar VOCralpdaliena gevcmblg axnmwt anuwner prod- ucla awck na hnirnprny, derdoranl, mal dterrha.~ 7hm to rornl, New \itrh atnla Is prepnting Io foflow CaW- . Ibrtdal kad o.ce again, 71e Norlhmalem states am svell tmave elcaner alr, but I lley are Yeller nff nat fallowhtg Cnllfornia to nrlrese k. Aa IM I+suclMlon of Northeast Air Mmatgera lold Cmt- arrsidtlring IhuClenn AIrAclloun• aldennloa, "Thcre Yevu Aoen ne air qpnlily slaJics demonstrating cam• clsaisely Ilw IhonirqnnlitybeneBla in Ihc Nortlmnal would be cst.rpom We M qwse ilnlicated In Snu/hern Cellfordn." If INis Is (Im casq then lhc Califprnia alandurda should slay allmmc- - ~ . Ner1: Is ihcre a aolutiauf .i . sn emenla• . rca e, an n: mp y via Jawlhan N. Adler Is an tnviran• ~an e nne w r.est more I ,grmal policy ana/ysr m tlw Can- . bglion annually , UonoftigldertailpipestandardswlU flllee 8nle e 1na1i1We. Ireaically. oae result of imple• maYe it weree.Tbe air qaallty gnine. M ~ nremingllwCalifurniaalandardsac• tradltionallyachieredlhry~rar- seeADLER,pngeE4 •
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A WARMING . THEORIES NEED WARNING LABEL BY aFCEDSINGER The debate over global warming has been more hype than solid fact. T he „,,nvt~ntinnnl tri: dont the: e du}: >eem~ to be x~ follotc>: increasing c:u'- hmm ~iimirle from bucninl* fossil fuel is rnhanc'ing the naturtd atmospheric •reenhou=e effect. BY the next centur.y. the resulting Fl.,bal tetu•ming• will present a clear :md present dange• to huntankind. We neecl to i'intl radical>olution., a; quicklc as possible to avert catssstrophes-inclucling N iolent weather. parched farmlands, rising sea levels, floocled continents, complete ecolog7cal collapse, and mil- lions of environmental refugees. I suppose that man,r readerr, uf the Brdleiur would agree. Fmthennore. ?onie of the more ardent propo- ?. ]• rrrl S, , '(i~r ix rliia.rdor nt Mr It~(r.<biny/iur- Iru",lSt'ir.„rnuJ li"r'ir.,urrnarfril Puliril Prn- irrt r SEF'1' . iunl proir,,nr nhr'u. ~irruru.wrtrrl sr'it'nrra reu2 Irrrrbl (II t/rr (", IY('I'.Cli'( ot 1 ii(lirrm iir r'bn(dorr." riilr, cuncetved that opiniun-makin,r und "publicatiuu hc pre=s releas,.., are be•ing used to intluence environmental pulic~. ACith montentum buil. lin_ tmt'xcd the "F..u'th aunimit"-the l'.\. Cmfez- ence on Emicomnent anti Dek'elopmerr CtiCEDI in Rio tie •Janeit'n this month-the issue of ctimate %r:u'ming has~ taken cetter ~tasl:e- :tianc scientists hare spoken uut. Philip Abei- son, in a lead editorial in the March au, 19bu. Sc'ierwr. ohaerN 'ed that "if Ilrlobal tearmingl i> anal}'zetl apphing the customat.c standards of scientific inquir}t one must conclude that there has been more h,% pe than solid fuct," Robert 1l. White, presirlent od'the Sationu, deademc of Eneineerin¢ and a cli<tinfnti,hv~l meteuraloc*ist.vrrote in tlteJulc 19911 ~rvr~mr.{o. rom ,r,.'GiN en thi-'crlv ~colf historuit is 1l-¢ wrpri,ing that manp mete7(ruloe'ists harbur ~ Ieep rrrer~a[ion± xUout takinp' cu~tl ~actiom r 1i , the basi,of predirtiott~ ol' a climate \cau'mini." And in late Decrmbe:.Julm Hotte'htun, chie['eui- tor of the C.A: ±pon~oreCl Inter,e'o% erntnentei Panel on Climate Chanee I IPCC I Repott, whic'it forms the ba>i~ for the global tcarmintT p~ ~rtinn of the CACED Earth 3ummit, announced a much reduced prediction of future climate warming based on nett~ntdies. As rellot'teI in the December 29. 1ySri Surrdr,u ul' L,ni- don, Hou¢hton. v hn alxo directs lhe Hriti=i~ MetewrologicalOffice,ca>tigatecle~ ronmennr, scaremun~'erins_. ac'tix i't, for ~ e l num r ~ e~ ~ r , ro n e a About global warming nent.~ of elobal Xcarmink theot'ie, seent t,l beliece that it is somehow inappropriate. if n~ d rlotcm:ght i:nmoral, for an.n scientist to eutphar size the theories' uncertaintied. Their argument ,rems to he that it is better for national g-oeerr ment± to do ~omething, honeter costlc lecen if it ttu'n< out that Ncttrmine theories are ~t'rong',. rather than risk waiting for ma~e certain an~l per<uasic e (lata. It is not smptisin~* that such views are ~tidel~~ heid. After all. the public ha; been exposed to a stead~~ diet ui' hrped news ,tories and TV ~pe- cial, and I~ropavamdized by environmental pres- sore erotn~~. Hu.cecer, these views are not Aharel h}' o-dLspecialists in atmospheric ph~~sic, on' climxtulok'}'-dcientist= ~cho acttudly- <ttul~ lhe>e problent,. There is no scientitic con>enstt, in suppm't ,,1a ereenhou,e %carmingthreat. h cnm • tci ~~ve U ~ P e t h ~1 ~ Um•ine the smnnter .. t' 1991, resr.u'cltec, at th< Science S Emironntental Polic'c Prnlec: i 5EP1' i, an inriepenQent. fotmdation-ftmQe~ l research kroup. sent -ur% e}' tiwm= to nwrr thau 120 C.S. atmoepheric ~cienti±t~. 11oat of thee • • 34 'I'lu1 hitll.aiuul'tLr~ Ai'.uuv ~vivnti-'
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ighe New Mark Q;xnteS New Debate Over the Environment: Is U.S. Policy Misguided? A principal autibr of the Superfund law of 1980, Gnv. Jim Florio of New Jersey now says that resources are often devoted to making sites pristine.'9t doeen't make any senae to clean up a rail yard in downtown Newark so it can be a drinking water reservo'u;' he said, speaking rhetorically, referring to a site like the one afwve. A worker wearing protective clothing as he removed soil contaminated with toxic warte in Columbia. Miss., part of a S20 million Superfund cleanup project. Once completed a child could eat half a teaspoon of dirt every month for 70 years and not get cancer.
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i 0 MoKE •vXVOLx,':•` Sh.~.[Qt. ShO*l shut up ' are any other form of aconomic de- vclopmenl that the Fish and Wildlife Setvice secs as'•tht•eatening" to the species. In short, owners are do- prived of their livelihood from the development of their land. They be- come involuntary stevards, con• scripted into government sotvice without compensation. This imMun- , ; tarY servitude Is not at all uncomm T ite Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted into law in 1973 to protect the Eanh's diminishing biodivcrsity front estinction. Throush the ESA, nny eonpcrncd cititen with a 39-cent stamp and a postcard can petition •,he Intcrior Department's Fish and Ioildlife Scrviae to list any pop- ulntion of plant, animal or even „icroorganism under the 1SSA. arnended In 1979.1982 and 1988, the act promised to sava listed species ;hrouCh fedcral6overnmcnt protco- tion and recovery programs. Nine- :ccn ycars later, howcqcr, the ESA has failed, miserably, to live up to its potential. Of the 1,277 domestic and intcr• national species that have been listed undcr the ESA, only 17 have been "rescued•• from the list. Of .hesc, sevets were delisted due to cx- tinction, four t:rra removed as the result of ••oririnal data error," and three others rccovnred naturnily, ht- dcpendcnt of tbc act. Of the remain• ing three, there has only been one dclisting that ihe Fish and Wildlife Service holds up as a svccess story: :lte American alligator. Even this ase, though, requires further seru• tiny. The National Wildlifa Feder• atian, a preservation group weil- known for ita staunch protection of endangered species, reported in 1987 that "it now appears that the animal never should hava been placed pn the endangered species list." With such a dismal success rate, ~he inevitable question arises; "Why Isa't the ESA working?•' The answer is that the ESA ereates the wrong ;nc:ntiirs for small land otvners .pon u•hosc lands the endangered speciu exist. • lf your land is designated as erit• :rsl habitat fdr an endangered spo- cics, the land Is effectively taken from 1rou. Agricultural production, Mike Vivoli is a reseorch assis- 'mrt at Canpctith+e Er. terprise Insti- ~., i .-+.. . _ ~, ." . . resburceextractionareforbiddenas man nor is it restrtciad to a few goo- graphia areas. For example, smaii property owners in Eastern Mary- land cannot set foot on their land because of nesting bald eagles. Plroperty owners along the Neosho Rivcr in Kansas ran no longer pay tltcir property taxes with revenue rront river gravel because of the Mad 7bm catfish. And farmers In %tamath Falls havo been denied trri- Y ation water from privately owned acilitics because of the Lost River and sbormose sucker fish. Under the ESA, small property owners become andangered species and they are hardly ever noticed. One reason is that they havent the tima nor the financial resources to defend their riglt[s In court• Since very few takings cases are ever brought to court, small property owners are rarely compensated for their lossas. This leaves small prop- taxes u$h proceeds ft•om their iand, forftiturc of their property rights is an equally unbearable option. It is ' through this Catch 22 situation that the ESA craates pervcrse incentives. The dim prospect for cempensation leads many small property owners to pre-empt the problem. Or, as the sentiment is commonly cxpressed in' the Pacific Northwest, '•Stioot, Shovel, and Shut Up." It should therefore come as, no surprise that more than one tt•ce hugger has inad• venently embraced the corpse of a northern spotted owl staked to the object of his atfcctiott. . The covert destruction of endan- gared species is not the only pcr- vtrsa Incentive created by the FSA. In the Pacific Northwest, the ESA has prompted small tlmber'compa• nics to accelerate their timber har- vestingp rojeets for faarof losing the use of their lands and the value of their tmrstments to the ESA. This acceleration not only reduces habi• tat, but causes all the associated problems of clcareutting such as in- creased soil erosion and loss of aes• thotia value. Pittin6 propcrty owners against• species, by refusing to compensate the transfer of land from the owner . to the listed species, creates enemies of conservation instead of catscrva• . "I HOPE WCi LiNDERSTAND. 6ETORE I SW ptJ.l 1JdJD, I HAVE•SO NrV<E &t'a 'n1ERB AFENT •tAtV SiWREJ OCa1l5 AROOND." . ¢rty owners impaled on the borns of a dilemma: cither givsvp their prop• erty rights or violate the ESA out- right Since intentional violation of the E8A Is punishable by fines of up to 573,00D, outright violation is not a viable alternative to most small property ou•ners. Because most small property owners draw their r. .... r.,..., n•.a ~~. •i-,.......,..,.,., tionists, By doing this, the ESA has forced sem¢ property owners to make a conscious decision that cct•• tain species never appear on their land, and others to pursuc ecoloti• raily inferior harvesting metbods. Considerinf the incentives the ESA has created, it is little wonder that inclusion an the endangered species act has beeome a lifctinta appoint- ~1, ii e a M ~~ Y^t!t!w=~ti e N
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-26- t APRIL 1?, 1993 /NATIONAL REVIEW _ Junk Science L AST WEEK'S scare from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was radon in schools. It grabbed headlines with the claim that there are 73,000 classrooms in 15,000 schools where this radioactive gas is over the agency's "ac- tion level" of 4 pCi/L. This led Congressman Henry Waxman to say breathlessly that it is "more danger- ous to attend school than work in a nuclear-power plant." (He did not add that nuclear-power plants in the U.S. have proved among the safest places any- one could choose to work. Indeed, in decades'opera- tion of up to two hundred nuclear-power plants not a single worker has died of radiation.) Some months ago we asked the EPA for the scien- tific articles and reports justifying their radon action level, and after a month's delay, during which our interest ebbed, we received an intimidatingly thick package. Last week we took that EPA package off the shelf and spent some hours going through the studies. We were amazed to fmd.that they don't sup- the EPA position at all. lwey fail to find any statistically proven associa- tion between residential or school radon levels and lung cancer. They constantly emphasize the "uncer- tainty" surrounding the arithmetical extrapolation to residential radon levels of lung disease suffered by workers in mines with high radon concentrations- As one cancer scientist, Gio Gori, wrote recently, the official cancer risk assumptions are "poignantly out of step with the scientific evidence." (Regulatory Tox- icology and Pharmacology, 16, 10-20, 1992.) And the EPA omitted from its package the most da,,,.,ing set of radon/lung-cancer studies, from Ber- nard Cohen, professor of physics and radiation health at the University of Pittsburgh.. Cohen's group has measured radon levels in 350,000 homes across the U.S. and subjected the data to every con- ceivable statistical check. He finds no basis for con- cern about low-level radon-indeed, the reverse: "Me [EPA's] linear theory predicts that lung-cancer rates should increase by 7.3 per cent for each pCi/L of radon concentration in homes, whereas our stud- . ies indicate that lung cancer rates actually decrease by about 6 per cent pCi/L." How so? An eminent biochemist, T. D. Luckey, has experimentally shown the health benefits of low- •level radiation and called the process "hormesis." Cohen's statistics suggest that not only is the EPA radon scare phony, but it could deprive millions of people of the benefits of hormesis. After all, rich peo- MAR 31 1993, ~ ple have been seeking better health for centuries by going to spas whose sole distinguishing physical characteristic is that they have higher levels of radon and other sources of ionizing radiation. Another piece of junk science from the EPA is the notion that thousands of non-smokers die of lung cancer from the smoke of smokers-a/kla environ- mental tobacco smoke (ETS). Now, everyone accepts that smokers assume a major risk for themselves. They increase their risk of lung cancer at least ten- fold. But ETS is cigarette smoke diluted thousands of times compared to the smoke smokers inhale di- rectly into their lungs. And it is hard to distinguish chemically from cooking smokes and from boiler- flue, tailpipe, and industrial emissions. The closest thing to science in the debate over ETS is a slew of statistical studies of the incidence of dis- ease among couples where one partner smokes and the other doesn't. Some of the studies show a mild statistical association (risk ratios like 1-2, compared to ratios of 2.0 and more that are normally required to establish association and a ratio of over 10.0 for direct smoking). Most fail to meet the 95 per cent confidence level usually adopted by statisticians to exclude chance clustering. The EPA's recent declaration that ETS is a "Class A carcinogen" was achieved by a quite shameless abandonment of regular scientific procedures. Since the American studies don't prove the case, the EPA dragged in a large collection of studies from Asia and Europe. Though it claimed to have "proved" the asso- ciation by a "meta analysis" or combining of the ex- isting studies, the EPA simply abandoned the con- ventional 95 per cent confidence level and applied a 90 per cent test in order to claim the result was sta- tistically significant. Alvan Feinstein, professor of medicine and epi- demiology at Yale medical school, wrote recently in Toxicologic Pathology that the EPA study on envi- ronmental smoke "simply ignored the inconvenient results and emphasized those that are (in a memora- ble phrase) `helpful-"' He said he had been told by a colleague that the EPA report on ETS was "rotten science" in the worthy cause of getting a smoke-free society. Professor Feinstein observed that govern- ment agencies funding scientific research often be- come "mechanisms of advocacy." That used to be called "lying," and it still should be. CqAPAY7(5)
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levels: current IPCC estimates range from a three- to 11-inch rise, far short of'catastrophe. Levels of carbon dioxide have increased by 25 percent over the past 100 pears; and all green- Ambiguous conclusion The 1990 report qftke httergorerrunentaf Panel on Climate Change (LPCC) note.s that enhanced hunlan-induced global warminghas not yet been retiabtydetected: Because of the strong theoretical basis for enhanced greenhouse warming, there is considerable concern about the potential cli- matic effects that may result from increasing greenhouse gas con- centrations. Hoa-erer, because of the many significant uncertainties and inadequacies in the observational climate record, in our knowledge of the causes of natural climatic cariabil- itp and in current computer models, scientists working in this field cannot at this point in time make the definitive statement: "Yes, we have nowseen an enhanced greenhouse effect." It iz, accepted that global-mean temperatures have increased oeer the past 100 pems, and are now warmer than at an}'time in the period of instrumental record. This global warming is consis- tent ttith the results of;imple model predictions of greenhouse- gas-induced climate change. However, a number of other factors could hace contributed to this warming and it is impossible to prove a cause and effect relationship. Furthermore, when other details of the instrumental climate record are compared with model predictions, while there are some areas of agreement, there are man' v areas of disagreement. The main reasons for this are: 1. The inherent cariabilitc of'the climate system appears to be sufficient to obscure any enhanced greenhouse signal to date. Poor quantitative understanding of low-frequency climate cari- abilit}- (patticularly on the 10-100 pear time scale) leaves open the possibilitp that the observed warming is largely unrelated to the enhanced greenhouse effect. 2. The lack of'reliabilitY of models at the regional spatial scale means that the expected signal is not yet well defined. This pre- cludes an~fuTn conclusions being drawn from multivariate detec- tion .<tudie.<- :t The ideal model experiments required to define the signal have not yet been performed. What is requiretl at•e time-dependent sim- ulations using realistic time-dependent forcing carried out with fully coupled ocean-atmosphere GCMs [global climate models]. -1. Uncertainties in, and the shortness of available instrumental data records mean that the low-frequency characteristics of nat- ural cariabilitvare rirtuall ' ~ unknown for mam• climate elements. Thus. it is not possible at this time to attribute all, or even a large part. of the observed global-mean warming to the enhanced greenhouse effect on the basis of the observational clata cun•enth' available. Equally , however, tse have no observational evidence that conflicts nith the model-based estimates of climate sensitic- ity. Thus. because of model and other uncertainties we cannot preclude the possibilin• that the enhanced greenhouse effect has contributed substantially to past warming, nor even that the greenhouse-gas-induced warming has been greater than that obserred, but is partly offset by natural cariabilitY and, or other anthropogenic effects. .I. T HuuYhton, G.d. Jenltit, an~L7..I. Eptu mun . ed=. (7~~~~otr t'Oiurpe. Tfie (PC(' Sneitilir d.varn.=ruenL CamhiidQe: Cambddg Cnicetst.Y Pre~'.14ry p, :!A house gases tai<en together hace increa=ed car- bon-dioxide-equicalent levels bc anout.iu per- cent. In other i% rot•ds. " e have already gone I halN -aY towartis the greenhouse ga~ doubling ~chich is often taken as the benchmark for model ~ predictions. one would ha% e expected a warm- ing of at least U.76 degrees centigrade by now, and more likei}' a rise of 1.5 degrees centigrade, according to the predictions of manc models. The realitY is quite different. Since 1880. tem- perature has increased only 0.5 degrees centi- grade, and that primarily before 19-1C4-that is, before appreciable greenhouse gases «'ere added to the atmosphere. The global climate record during the last 50 peats sho%rs no appre- ciable temperature increase at all. In the United States. the warmest years were in the 1930s, not in the 1980s, based on the anal}•ses of the U.S. Climate Center in 1she~ille. North Carolina, which uses the U.S. observational network and also corrects for the "urban heat island" effect. Many climatologists identify the pre-1940 ts-atvnntgwith a recocet~v @nm an amomalous cool- ing of the precedingcentmiesg knoirn as the "Lit- tle Ice Age." Cetainl}'. the observed global cooling that inspired a fear of a coming ice age in the 1970s is not in accord ~cith greenhouse models. Adding to the problem. a\orember 1, 1991 S<d- etrce article bc Danish meteorologi~ts, E. Ftiis- Chtistensen and K. Lassen. shows that average tempet ature and solar actit-it' v ale closei}• cort•e- lated, as measured bY the length of the sunspot• c}~cle. If this is cotrect, then little or no ~carming can be ascribed to the greenhouse effect. The most appropriate data for validating cur- rent climate model: is the global temperature record from satellite microwave observations, which began in 197 9. This is the only nvl}-globai and continuous set of data acailable. with heat islands and other surface distortions of temper- atures eliminated. Contrary to an expected U: I degree centigrade rise per decade. based on cur- rent theorc, the satellite recortl shom s no sienif- icant temperature trend. Trend or fluctuation? Temperature observations geneal]r show large fluctuations from unknown causes. Some of the fluctuations maa be due to natural influences, such as volcanic acticitc. Other fluctuation., are a consequence of the chaotic behavior of the sys- tem itself, imoh-ing feedbacks. both positive and negative. on many different time scale~. These fluctuations make it difficult I ii not impos- sible) to identifY small long-term trends caused bv human ac*.icitie_. Interannual and longer- term fluctuations of global temperatnre exceed those predicted by many greenhouse model calculations. Disentangling natural changes from a green~ house effect enhanced by human activities will 38 The Hulletin nt':he Atumic icientirtr
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i9b E Xav I mck (Tx»u a 0 • i New View Calls Environmental Policy Misguided By KEITH SCHNEIDER , Specfal to iTe New York Timei WASHINGTON, March 20 - A gen- eration after the United States re- sponded to poisoned streams and filthy air with the world's first comprehen- sive strategy to protect the environ- ment, many scientists, economists and Government officials have reached the dismaying conclusion that much of America's environmental program has gone seriously awry. These experts say that in the last 15 years environmental policy has too often evolved largely in reaction to popular panics, not in response to sound scientific analyses of which envi- ronmental hazards present the great- est risks. As a result, many scientists and pub- lic health specialists say, bjllions of dollars are wasted each year in bat- tling problems that are no longer con- sidered especially dangerous, leaving little money for others that cause far more harm. At First, Clear Benefits In the first wave of the modern envi- ronmental movement, starting about 30 years ago, the focus was on broad efforts to eliminate the most visible pollution pouring from smokestacks and sewer pipes - programs with clear goals that had obvious benefits. But a second wave began in the late i 1Q70's, with a new strategy intended limit visible pollution further-and begin attacking invisible threats from toxic substances. To that end, state and Federal gov- ernments began writing sweeping envi- ronmental laws, some of which includ- ed strict regulations to insure that cer- tain toxic compotmds were not present . in air, water or the ground at levels that did not exceed a few parts per billion, concentrations that could be measuted with only the most sophisti- cated equipment. The result was a tangle of reguW- What Price Cleanup? First article o(a series. ~ 2M ` NO AiESPASSING-t.CMTERING YpLATqqa aHL aE P/k74CCUlFtt nv snr.r~n Y#iac em si Times Beach, Mo. w Yurk TI tions that the Environmental Proter tion Agency estimates cost more than $140 biilion a year, roughly $100 billion spent by industry and $40 billion by Government. But what is now becoming apparent, some scientists and public health spe- cialists say, is that some of these laws - written in reaction to popular con- cerns about toxic waste dumps or as- beston:]p the schools, as examples - kr• were based on little if any sound re- search about the true nature of the threat. Since 1980, for instance, thou- sands of regulations were written to restrict compounds that had caused cancer in rats or mice, even though these animal studies often fail to pre- dict how the compounds might affect humans. ' And with rare exceptions, Congres approved new laws without subjecting' them to even rudimentary cost-benefit analyses. One reason was that during the 1980's, when the economy seemed healthier, there was far less pressure on Congress to consider the cost of environmental policy. lNerpriced andMfsgttidedT Now a new Administration intent on strengthining environmental policy Is settling into office when competition for scarce financial resources is keen. At the same time, a wealth of new research shows that some of the na- tion's environmental protection efforts are excessively costly - though no one knows how much of this money is mis- spent - and devoted to the wrong problems. This view is the vanguard of a new, third wave of environmentalism that is sweeping across America. It began In ContftutCtf on PagtAnC0lumn I
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I -IV secomweek,n Ma¢h BySiaVwnCmk, tJSATOOAY COVER STORY 'Time to reinvest in forests' i, 2A • THURSDAY APRIL 1,',993 - USA TODAY _ Contlnued from lA __ Behind the spotted owl controversy The Clinton adnenistra6on is convening a sumrnh Friday to search for a compromise in the contenbous bat0e over protection of the endangered northern spotted owl. Where ine factions stand: R~ What enviranmentalists want I AII old growth forests on federal land off limits to further logging. Environmentalists calculate three million acres of ~ old growth forest are left What the indusiry wants ~ n would agree to protect some forest land but says the anvlronmentalists' demands would cripple the timber industry unless other protected forest land Is opened elsewhere for l d kgging. Industry also says there are 9 million acres of o gmw[h remaining. What Clinton adminishation could do Presarve much of the old growth forest but open other areas for logging. The administration eiso may offer funding to help retrain displaced Umber workers. ~~~~~flli • 4,600 owls vs. 32,100 jobs The plan would take about 5.4 million acres of federal land, an area about the size of Massachusetts, out of production to save 2,300 breeding pairs. In addition, 2.1 million acres of national paddand would be off limus. An esumated 32.100 jobs would be lost, acmniing to the Forest Service, although the Umber Industry puts job losses much hlgher. HOW MANY OWLS THERE ARE NUW in Oroyort 2,070 Mv,-,~ ~'Ss Breeding Sngle pairs birds In Caliromia In Washington 1r~ 816 739 Z L~ Breeding Single Breeding Sir~le peirs Uirds pairs blyds HOW MUCH LAND AN OWL NEEOS Owl's rlesBng uea: Cirde about 1.8 miles across Timber in nesting ama: Enough to build 4,1110 homes Economic situation in the Northwest UNEMPLOYMENT ON THE RISE... t ' ,1' LUMBER PRICES ~ 1 Aw0Wragbeo aMcepar • r r e112~itdl 1,t rgtnnm'6rar a 140 14 r-_•--1-t--i $.5a0 r---r- 9 tnnfnigiiMm ~ to~ !4T E • : . 0. .. . . . 05p'6a~ 7a 'an '90 Q87'98'89'90'91'92 'b9 '90 '91 '92 '93 aeum:0eperbnst ur IMener. wtlOemeAC SoBery. hoM1hweet Faeet Rsmwce Cn+c>t 2~ $200 c $100 1 -lor secawweex,n March UP - tloes he protect the spottetl owl amid demands of timber interests to har- vest the bird's old-growth habitat? For the adminicttation, the long mnning and bitter division dver the owl Ls but one of dosens of imminent clashes across the country pittingthe welfare of endangered species against human livelihoods. Clinton as mediator promises to "hanuner out a solution." The president will have his hands full with polariting goats:protecting owts, salmon and more than 600 spe cies dependent on oltl-growth_ forests while retairdng supplies of lumber, paper and other wood products that will put people back to work. And there is doubt about how much can be accomplished in the circus atmosphere developing in this city: 25.000 people are expected, all vying for Clinton's attention: • Four hundred timber businesses will shut down and give melLwork- ers Friday off with pay so they can come to Portland for a family day on the waterfront •Today, environmentalLSts step up with a pre-summit concert feamr- utg Bonnie Raitt. Nell Young, David Crosby and Kenny Logglnc. _ 11~ Frlday, a salmon-fishing flotilla rides the Witlamette River to a rally. Whatever solutions arise, Clinton mutions: "Everybody may be some- what disappointed. But the paralysis now gripping the lives of people mere Is totally unacceptable." I . Everyone agrees an that But the issues are as complex as the forests: haphazard patchworks of steep, scraped slopes, young planted seedlings, eroded roads, winding riv- ens, healthy stands of trees. Unlikely advocates for change have emerged. Take George Atiyeh. "Forest managers should look at this like a business," says the former logger from Mill Clty who now flies for me envrronmental group Light- hawk. "Now is the Ume to reinvest in forests, restore mem." Stan Shaufler, owner of Owl Lum- ber and Manufacturing in Bremer- ton. Wash., says national forest log- ging bans have cut his supply to trees cleared for urban development But he supports cutbacks-"We can scale back the volume of harvests in old-g[owm, take reduced cuts, with a plan to perpemate mese foresls." Few doubt there will be change. The question is, how much? "Timber interests ... ought to be quaking in their boots;" says Bill Ar- thur of theSlerra Club in Seattle, the By slephee OeMey. u5A TODAY 1 san of a logger. The initial skirmish will beover , how much "old-growth" forest - with trees dating to Columbui- will be set aside as wildernes9. No more than an esumated B million acres of vtrgin forest remain of the 21 million that once blanketed Ihe Northwest. Bottom line for many environ- mentaltsts: protect old-growlh areas. "Its a cnucal part of our herimge:' says Bob Chlopak ot Amenr.ans fnr dte Anctent Fores6. -- But Washington and Oregon's lush L national forests of unevenly aged trees - towering snag down to mossy undergrowth - provide 10% ; of US. limber supp8es "Environmentatists have got the public believing that we're ready to cut the last tree," says Chrns West of the Northwest Forestry Associatlon. "We have more forest land pre• served and protected in the Pacific Northwest than m any other repon." What companies want out of the summlt Ls "some assurance of a sta• ble supply of tSmber from the West- ern national forests," says Luke Po- povich of American Forest and Paper Associadon. That is likely to come from isolated, old-growth stands and non-ancient woods. The summit spotlight also will fall on the fishing industry, anotlier un• happy but critical component of Northwest forats. Nisqually Indian Billy Frank Jr. p1atLS to tell Clinton the problem: "Devastation of 909 of watersheds throughout the NorthwesL 2here is no home for salmon any more, no home for spotted owl, no home for old-growth forests." A rotting and patched dugaut ce- dar canoe lies on a grassy bank of Washington's Nisqually River out• side Olympia It's Frank's reminder , of his salmon-dshing days and the Northwest trlbes' battle to regain j treaty fishing rights - tlnally grant-'I ed in 1974 but worth UtUe now. Few coho, chinooki chum, steel- I head or sockeye return upnver to , spawn. Fishermen from 20 tribes don't catch enough to make a living their spawning grounds sil_ted over from eroding clear<ut fores6. "The forest summit will be an empty exercise if all they do is talk jobs and owls," says Charles Gauvin, president of Trout Unlimhed. About 60.000 flshmg-related jobs rely on Northwest stocks though 90 Lsh populations are at risk in owl ter- ritory and being considered for litt- ing as endangered species. But here Ls where Ctinton's eco- nomic plans mesh perfectly, Gauvin says. "Restoration- undoing the mess and stabuiang the forests, creates jobs. Thousands of miles of logging roads need to be redred." I Out of this surnnut could come, higher prices for federal umber an Id longer periods between harvesrs of , replanted trees. Timber flrms' pmc- I nce of expottung raw logs from pri- j vate foress could come under Ore, "You're exporting the jobs mat i would've been created to mill those I logs here," says Sami Yasa_of the - Natural Resouces Defense Council. And Clinton is sure to hear gripes. ~ about preservation for preserva-~ uon's sake. "We need to look at the .,I big picture," sa}s Fran Hunt of the ,~ National Wildlife Federauon. ,~ Argues Pem' Pendley of the con• .ii servative Mountain States Legal ,.p Foundauore "We"re deahn with an ® abyss that seuatztes environmental- N LStS from many people in the real f0 e'orld. We must use u:e IorPSt as aresource, not tust a place :n visC:' I
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• U.S. environmental policy is out of control, costing jobs, depressing living standards and being run by politicians, scheming business people and social extremists. Even one of the EPA's strongest supporters says bluntly ... "You can't get there from here" By Peter Brimelow and Leslie Spencer WHO PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT of the U.S. Environ- mental Protection Agency? Its nvin-towered, 3,100-per- son headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s bleak South West section is appalling even by the grim standards of govern- ment office buildings. Dirty, rain-stained, maze-like, its home is an aborted apartment complex remodeled for the agencv-according to rumors, at the behest of then Vice President Spiro Agnew, a friend of the developer. Ironically, given the EPA's recent drive to expand its grasp on indoor air regulation, its own HQ has "Sick Building Syn- drome," causing the general malaise apparently related to poor ventilation and assorted airborne contaminants. "I'm not supposed to talk about that!" quips EPA Administrator Wil- liam K. Reilly, rolling his eyes. The reason: liability. Some EPA employees are already suing. And the agency is embroiled in quite enough litigation. Reillv, 52, a suave, Harvard-edu- cated la«1•er, darts among his various contradictorv constituencies with the delicacy of a pond-skimmer on the surface of a swamp. In a Republican administration he is a career profes- sional from the Beltway cnvironmcn- talist lobby-formerly head of the World Wildlife Fund. Among (mild) conservatives, he is an erstwhile Rockefcller associate who once put out a report calling for more govertt- ment involvement in land use, weaker apparatus. The EPA's staff has quadrupled since 1970. Its in0ation-adjusted spending has gone up ten times. All federal regulation has surged under George Bush, over- whelming the brief respite of the early Reagan years. But the Bush-era burgeoning of the EPA, in the considered opinion of the Washington University in St. Louis' regula- tion-monitoring Center for the Study of American Busi- ness, has been "astounding" (rcc charr, p. 60). The impact of the EPA upon the U.S. economy is, of course, many times its own size. In 1990 the agcncv estimated that complying with its pol- lution-control regulations was cost- ing Americans 5115 billion a year, or a remarkable 2. 1 % of GNP, versus 0.9% in 1972. (And critics complain EPA estimates are typically too low.) Put it EPA headquarters in Washington Ae iraek twist to EPA Nilptles tro.s. property rights and a national land use act. In an agency that reckons it has imposed some $1.4 trillion in compli- ance costs (1990 dollars ) on industry since its founding in 1970, his cmphasis has been on voluntany agreements with business-mostly big business. The swamp upon which this agile pond-skimmer oper- ates is rising. And beginning to smell. The Ee.q now has 18,000 staff and an operating budget of S4.5 billion. That's about a seventh of the staff and a third of the spending of the entire federal regulatory Forbes a July 6, 1992 this way: Because of pollution con- trols, every American is paying on average about $450 more in taxes and higher prices. That's $1,800 for a familv of four-about half its average expenditure on clothing and shoes. In the 1990s the EPA projects that compliance costs will total another $1.6 trillion. And that's not counting the radical 1990 Clean Air Act amendments legislation. It could add $25 billion to $40 billion annually. Tellingly, the U.S. spends a larger share of its gross national product on pollution control than do most Westr ertt European countries. Yet they have far denser populations. France, for example, with 56 million people in rather less space than Texas, spends only two-thirds as much. Imposing costs at this level cannot but be a drag on the economy. Another EPA-funded study, by econometricians Michael Hazilla and Baymond J. Kopp, estimated that because of long-run distortions of saving and investment, real GNP in 1990 had alreadv been depressed by no less than 5.8%below where it would have been without federal clean air and clean water regulation. And it diverges more 59
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r • I EPA Administrator William Reilly taking a break from the Earth Summit in Rb 4hNt1nL ErA't focus ft0[O MMIh to [M gIObY MIHPonINntL helped block reform of Superfund. Significantly, two formcr EPA heads now run waste disposal companies. Business' ambivalent attitude to regulation perhaps explains the flower of Reilly's EPA tenure: the Pollution Prevention Program. In its most publicized aspect, he has persuaded many companies to curtail the use of various designated chemicals voluntarily. On closer inspection, however, the Pollution Preven- tion Program looks less voluntary-the companies are often being strong-armed by the EPA after technical filing violations. Some EPA staffers fear the "voluntary" ap- proach is illegal-it may violate the Administrative Proce- dures Act. The chemicals may not be a problem anyway- they are merely the object of one of those statutes. And by making expensive agreements, big companies raise the costs of entering their industrics--Icading to carteGzation. "It's a problem," Reilly concedes. What, then, is to be done about the EPA? Certainly the environment must be protected, even if we are now going about protecting it in the wrong ways. A comprehensive environmental bill, reconciling the present statutory con- fusion, seems a logical first step. But an EPA veteran flinches at the thought of the Washington warfare this would unleash. Instead, he looks wistfully at the environmental bureaucracies in Britain and Canada, able to go about their business efficiently without public interference. Such a solution, however, is precluded by the U.S. system's separation of powers. Lawsuits and troublemaking legislators cannot be avoided. There is an environmental policy ideally suited to the American way: the development ofpropetty rights and the common law of tort. The threat of litigation will discour- age pollution, with the details worked out between private parties. For example, neighbors could use "nuisance law" to suc a malodorous factory. Iaw students are taught in Environmental Law 101 that Ronald Coase, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Economics Prep.rty rlpMS off.r hat.r prot.atlon Uue r.pl.tlon.. Forbes a July 6, 1992 63
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0 0 M Environmental Protection Agency "Environmental Politics" editors Fred Smith and Michael Greve Ooarnoe law waked Ynql {ovetrmienk stNpped In. every ,vear. Compare that with the amount the economy seems likely to crawl upward in the four Bush years: 4.5%. And air and water are only part of er.4 activity. Thus the Superfund toxic waste program, which takes over 40% of the EPA's operating budget and 20% of staff time, isn't included. But hasti t all this spending brought economic benefits, too? Kopp and Hazilla's model could not pick up pre- sumed benefits from clean air and water-for example, fewer days lost through illness. "But these must be very small, much less than 1%ofc;,tP," says Brookings Institu- tion economist Robert Crandall. He points out that the model still probably underestimated regulation's depress- ing effect: It could not assess the impact of investments wholly forgone. For example, erp regulations discourage the replacement of old plants by holding them to lower pol/ution standards than new plants-irrational both eco- nomicallv and environmentally, but politically essential. What about environmental bcncfits? The agency claims that between 1970 and 1990 emissions of lead fell 97%, carbon monoxide 41% and sulfur oxides 25%. Perhaps the EPA is Bke the Soviet military complex: brutally effective, albeit bariltrupting. But even here the EPA may be claiming more than it is entitled to claim. Critics argue that post-1970 pollution reductions are often due to other factors, such as higher gas prices. Brookings' Cranda8 has found that the adjusted reduction rate for several pollutants since the EPA's fnund- ing has actually been slower than in the 1960s, when the environment was regulated primarily by state and local governments. And, lie adds, it is not clear that whatever overall reduction has occurred is actually the result of controls. "Assertions about the tremendous strides the EPA has made," he savs, "are mostly religious sentiment." Nor is it clear that these pollution reductions have improved human health. Surprised? That's because you 60 missed a little-publicized but dramatic shift in the public health field since the late 1970s. Tlu Grcat Canccr Scare- which was used to shift the eP.a's tikus from "bugs 'n' bunnies" to health-has been discredited. "kVhen looking at causes ofcancer. .. pollution is almost irrelevant," says Berkeley biochemist and cancer authority Bruce Ames. One thing, however, is absolutelv clear: The cost per life theoretically savcd-as measured by the F.rn itself; often under statutory requirement-is now verging on the fantastic. "I have never seen a single [proposed regulaton•] rule where we weren't paying at least $100 million per life for some portion of the rule, or very few," sa,vs Yale Law School Professor E. Donald Elliott, a Reillv allv and recent r.r.a general counsel. "I sawrules costing $30 billion." John Goodman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis reports a 1990 EPA regulation on wood preservatives that imposed costs at a rate of $5.7 trillion per life presumed savcd. This implies a willingness to spend the entire GNP to avoid a single hvpothetical premature death. Goodman also points out that regulating for health is a policy at war with itself: The reduction of living standards associated with a$5-million-to-$12-million increase in regulatory costs is estimated to cause one additional death. Granted the EPA's elaims to saving Gves are correct, the saving of one life may be purchased at the cost of many others dying from, for example, poorer diet. To put this in perspective: Practically everything in life involves risk at the infinitesimal level at which the EPA operates-crossing the street, for example, or eating seafood. But people are willing to bear the risks-indeed, positively eager. Many court risks knowingly--climbing mountains, hang gliding, smoking cigarettes. Others court risk for money-for example, high-rise construction workers. "According to some economists," admits Elliott, "the revealed preference for a life saved, the point at which you have to pay people to put themselves at risk, is in the $500,000 range." "Everybody at erA understands, and everyone who works in this business understands, that you could save many more lives if i 70 1 '72 '77 '74 '75 76 '77 '78 79 2074144089 Forbes . (ulv 6, 1992
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Restore Scientific Focus to EPA Policy I By Elizabeth Whelan ~ In one of her fust official acts as the new administrator of the Environ- mental Protection Agency, Carol Browner acted decisively to bring our antiquated food safetylaws up to speed with 1993 science. Specifically, she told the press in February that trace levels of pesticide residues in food pose no health hazard; that the Delaney Clause, which ab- solutely prohibits in the food supply the presence of any dose of synthetic chemicals that cause cancer in labo- ratory rodents, is a scientific anachro- nism; and that if we continue to ban pesticides under the 1958 science of • the Delaney Clause, the current abun- dance of our food supply will be in jeopardy. While scientists cheered this re- freshing; common-sense approach, en- vironmentalists fumed. "Say it ain'tso" cried Albert H. Meyerhoff, a seniorat- torney at the Natural Resources De- fense Council (the.group that brought us the now-debunked Alar apple scare of 1989), suggesting that Browner's move was somehow inconsistent with the Clinton-Gore admimiruation s com- mitment to enhanced protection of the environment and public health. Within hours of her announcement, Browner may have flinched from the pellets of wrath fired at her by the vocal environmental groups. Her office sent out a faxed press statement that ap- pears to back away from her coura- geous stand: "Contrary to the impres- sion left by published reports, . Administrator Browner has at no time said she wants to relax the Delaney Clause" But indeed that was the pre- cise thrust of what she originally had , said - and what she still should work actively to accomplish. In mindlessly defending the scien- tifically tifically obsolete Delaney Clause, self- appointed protectors of the envi- ronment base their concept of "dan- gerous" on the premises that (a) ex- posure to trace levels of chemicals play a role in causing human cancer; (b) a mouse is a little man; (c) if a huge amount of something causes cancer in a rodent then we must assume that mi- nuscule levels (which we could not even detect with the technology of five years ago) must pose a cancer hazard to humans; and (d) these "carcino- gens;' defined as chemicals that cause cancer, occurexclusively in man-made products. These premises may have squared with the science of 1958, when Con- gress wrote the Delaney Clause - but all of them are obsolete today. The Na- tional Cancer Institute confirms that pesticide residues play no known role in causing human cancer. The scien- tific community agrees that animal ex- periments, while useful in research, do not automatically predict cancer risk in humans; that risk is related to dose - only the dose makes the poison - and thus huge, almost-lethal doses of chemicals in animals have no rele- vance to human risk; and that chemi- cals which cause cancer in animals abound in nature. If we were to apply the Delaney Clause to nature, we would have to ban (INK 4 1,133 March 8, 1993 Insight coffee, table pepper, peanut butter, I mushrooms and more. , The question of the fate of the De- ; laney Clause has reached a crisis level ' because environmental groups last year sued to make the EPA follow the letter of the law - no trace levels, no ! further discussion - instead of ac- cepting what scientists call the concept of "negligible risk." A federal court in San Francisco this past spring sided with the envi- ronmentalists - not because it was agreeing that trace-level chemicals cause a health hazard but because it was interpreting the intent of Congress in passingthe Delaney Clause.It is now on to the Supreme Court - a decision is expected this spring - and again, because the court will be looking at congressional intent, not scientific merit, the nation's highest court may well uphold the Delaney principle. If this happens, the EPA could have to ban a full spectrum of agricultural chemicals - and that will translate to substantially fewer vegetables and fruits available for consumption in the United States. It is that food crisis that Browner was attempting to avert by setting the stage for new congressional action to repealthe Delaney Clause if indeed the Supreme Court throws the ball back to Congress. . Browner and the EPA now need support and encouragement. It takes a strong determination and commit- ment to do what is scientifically cor- rect, not politically correct, and to stand up to the environmentalists who feel that in a Democratic administra- j tiontheyshould call the shots. The new I EPA chief has shown her potential for putting environmental policy back on scientific track, but it ain't over until the Delaney Clause is repealed or re- vised. As we watch the final face-off be- tween Browner, Congress and the en- vironmentalists, keep in mind that what is being decided is whether we will continue to have the safest, least expensive, most plentiful and enviable food supply in the world - or whether we will abandon the tools of modern agricultural technology and watch pro- duce prices soar and food availability and quality diminish. • Elizabeth Whelan is president oJ the American Council on Science and Nealth. COMP A951'
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Bnvtrotnnental Protection Agency But the real reason EPA is such a swamp is hard for non- Washingtonians to understand: It is hopelessly trapped in its own ecocycle of conflicting, interacting elements (see diagram belutn). These are:  The Beltway environmentalist lobby. No longer just sandal-wearing ecofreaks, the 20 or so major env'vonmen- tal organizations are a formidable force in Washington, with perhaps 15 million members in total, budgets of about $600 million and top executives with six-figure salaries. (Reilly earned $111,000 at World Wildlife Fund in 1988.) Their main hold on the EPA: lawsuits-Of every five major decisions made by Reilly, four are litigated. And the suits name him personally. Policy ends up being made by judicial order and in settlement negotiations rather than by the Er-A itself. The Supreme Court just reduced environmentalists' ability to force their will on federal agencies but eertaud,v hasn't eliminated it.  Congress. The 535 members of the legislative branch micromanage EPA (and can sneak favors to their constitu- ents) through the 100 committees and subcommittees to which the agency is obliged to report. Even more impor- tant, the statutes under which the EPA operates are highly specific, and getting more so: The 1970 Clean Air Act had 50 pages; the 1990 Amendments, some 800. This cffec- tively deprives the EPA of discretion in key areas-Don Elliott could not Iegally implement his toxic substance EPA ecocycle O' _ . /II CY/~p ~-SrAnRES - . OEM•• .Nw. ;_-= WVa/IRCOIaRIR7. - I'Ifll~llll'I'I~I I~~~I~~ ~ I INEIYNY.......... IOt ILY_ ER ideas. Sometimes statutes conflict: Clean Air Act mandates have created hazardous solid waste, requiring further regulation. Sometimes they reflect opposing philosophies: Cost-benefit considerations are precluded under Super- fund, required under the EIFan pesticide legislation. And the way they are written, under environmentalist influ- ence, frequentl,v provides opportunities for litigation.  White House. The executive branch affects EPA through personnel nominations and reviews of its finances and regulatory efficacy conducted by the Office of Manage- ment & Budget (and recently by Vice President Quayle's Competitiveness Council). But usually this just means delaying regulations that are statute-driven. Evcntuallv lawsuits result in courrordered deadlines, cutting back White House influence.  Business. Business sues the EPA, too, often over the same decisions as the environmentalist lobby. And it lobbies Congress and the executive branch. But business is pro- foundly divided. Too frequently, it can't resist trying to use regulation to cripple competitors. Thus ethanol pro- ducers allied with environmentalists, and against the oil industry, to influence the Clean Air Act Amendments in a way that increased demand for their costly alternative fuel. A whole class ofcompanies has been created to meet EPA requiremcnts-and lobby for more. Thus the waste treat- ment industry's Hazardous Waste Treatment Council has "If you took out a(tha EM's watkload.rwytlft tlut I. MI/{ NIw.6y abttdary d.aNNu, eerrMaposM NadMee a ax.eWw Mttlatlw, thnN wotldM! M a Mok of a let Nft," s.ys fat.n EPA di.f l.. ihaetaa. . / / -9iY1'li'f CqM/pL ~ UM COaf/~IpOlN tt ana a rYl..mrt /x..wR 2074144091 62 Forbes s July 6, 1992
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t EPA WATCH PAGE 3 VOL I NUMBER 5 RELIEF SOUGHT FOR COMMUNITIES ~ BURDENED BY EPA REGULATIONS Faced with the mounting costs of implementing regulations issued by the EPA, a growing number of communities across the U.S. are seeking Federal help to alleviate the situation. • While community leaders as a rule do not object to the intent of such laws as the Safe Water Drinking Act or the Clean Air Act, many local governments simply cannot afford the measures needed to comply with the flood of environmental regulations mandated in Washington. This is particularly true when the health risks targeted for reduction by such measures are viewed as negligible by local officials on the scene. As recently pointed out by Senator Bob Kerrey, Democrat of Nebraska, many communities "do not have the financial base needed to construct and maintain the various infrastructure requirements" of EPA regulations. Burdick Bill Offers Relief ! 41 The plight of local governments strapped to come up with enough funds to satisfy EPA mandates has finally caught the attention of Congress. Senator Quentin Burdick, Democrat of North Dakota, has introduced legislation entitled "'fhe Small Community Environmental Infrastructure Assistance Act." Senator Burdick's bill would create a State loan and grant fund to help finance wastewater treatment, drinking water, and solid waste disposal facilities. The bill would also expand Federal programs to provide technical assistance and outreach to small communities. Finally, the legislation would direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct essential wastewater treatment, drinking water, and solid waste facilities in economically depressed areas. Growing Discontent Originally introduced in 1990, Senator Burdick's measure has gone virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media. But growing discontent over enormous economic burdens imposed on communities by Federal environmental laws can no longer be ignored. Led by city officials from Columbus, Ohio, representatives from 14 Ohio municipalities-- including Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Cincinnati, as well as smaller communities -- have undertaken a study detailing the costs of staying in compliance with EPA regulations. Not surprisingly, the study found that the EPA has consistently underestimated the costs of its mandates. The Ohio cities also called for regulations that address real rather than perceived risks to human health and the environment. The Ohio initiative is aimed at convincing Congress of the urgency of scaling back the wave of environmental regulations that has inundated local governments in the past few years. Like their counterparts in industry, the Ohio municipal leaders have found that far tuo little attention has been paid to the costs and benefits of such regulations, the setting of priorities among the various mandates, and the quality of the science underpinning the EPA's regulatory activity. For many local governments, the financial burdens have reached the crisis stage. Backlash Feared Aware that a voter backlash in a volatile election year could move Congress to ease up on environmental regulations, the EPA has shown concern for the growing anger at the local level. Officials from the EPA met May 12 with representatives of such organizations as National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and the American Waterworks Association to discuss what steps can be taken to lighten the regulatory burden on hardpressed local governments. A second meeting between EPA officials and representatives of local governments in Ohio, Texas, Maine, Colorado, and other states will take place on May 15. Sources close to both meetings agree that overcoming barriers of mistrust between the EPA and the municipal and community officials will be no easy task. However, an agency source confirmed that only through such pressure from the outside will the EPA be persuaded to ease up on local governments. "We often don't use the (regulatory) flexibility we have;'the source said. The Burdick bill is the clearest expression yet of local frustration over Federal environmental regulatory policy. Ironically, most of the blame rests with the very body now being asked to pare back environmental regulations, Congress. For it was Congress, in its rush to enact far-reaching environmental legislation, that paid such scant attention to the financial consequences of its actions. With President Bush's recently announced extension of his regulatory moratorium encountering little opposition outside the Washington Beltway, and with "the environment" relegated to a secondary role at best in this year's Presidential election, the political tide appears to be turning against proponents of environmental regulation at all cost. 2074144097
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Current models to not jibe with the climate history of the last 100 years. I"nion utcti% -elY invol~old in )rlobal climat,• reeearehi re, pon( la•, I t. ~ the , lue>tion: li„ }'" n think that ,elobal ucera¢e temperature" hace ittcrea' ed rhn•inc~ the pa, t luu }eae~ and, it,oi i, the c-urnline «'ithin the rtmee ut' natural, nuu- human-indueed t7uctuutiuu° The poll faund that nnl% Ill percent beliececl that human-Induced global warming has occurred. t;reenpeace International also sune}'ed : ci- entia, %\'ho worked on the I PCC report. A>ked whether bu,ine~s ~t:-u~ual-poticies might insti- gate a runa~caygreenhouse effect at some iunspeciiied i future time uulc 1:3 percent of the 113 respondents thought it "probable" and :iC'1 percent "po.aeible." But .}S percent said "proba- bl}- not"-far from a consensus. Jeremy Leg- gett. Director of Sciences in Greenpeace Inter- national's Atmosphere and Energ}' l ampaign. described this same ,tu•vey' as revealing "an as- ;: et poori}' expressed tear among a growing number of climate scientists that global ~carm- ing could lead not•iust to severe problems but complete ecological collap<e." These SurVeys all guaranteed respondents' anon}miq•. although >ome did ;ign their names. But this Febtuarc. SEPP «ent a step further and contacted some a00 atmospheric phcsicists and meteurulogist: tmost of them derving on technical committees of the American Meteoro- logical 5ociett•) and asked them to publicl}• endorse a strongh•-worded ~tatement (see the facing page) expressing concern that policy ini- tiatices being developed for the Earth Summit were being driven by "highlc uncertain scientif- ic theories." One of those «ho replied objected• [our wanted change:+, but more than 50 put their name; to the ~tatement. These surcey's all confirm that most climate scientists believe that some •lobal warming meic he uccurt•ing• but that eata±trophic prediction, are tmsupported by the scientific evidence, and that predictions of disaster are based on Yet-to- be % alidated climate mode<. But \chat do the ~url'e', 'I mean in terms of greenhouse «-atmina': Science is not democratic: truth is not at•t•iced ut ht• cote-The surcet•s tell un that there are still unans%cered questions that need to be settled by additional research before drastic and far-rettching policiee are undet•taken.And there i~ tinm fot• this re~earch. Model shortcomings Hu«' can we tell if' human activities are hacing a significant effect mt the gh,bal em'irontnent. eithm• good or had'.' There :ue reall}' onl}- t uo methods available: one is theorc-caicuiating the expected effect. baseii on some model of the earth's atnwsphere and at.<~oc•iated enciron- ments loceans• biosphere crcohphere or even litho: phere I. The other is entpit•ical-it t•equire: an eNamination or data based un actual obSer- % ationa of the anm,.pinere our =,,me utlter enri- rnmmental-parametern lilce >ea i<-rel ~ n. Ice "lke•r. If theoty antl ub<ercations the•n ue can he contident that the theurtt-; ali(l;mtl that it- ~ predictions are lilcelc Go he c~~rt'ect Ii tht• t%n~ metlmcls do not aerea. then trw th~rr\ tttiou- could he faultc, or the theot~incomptete, or both. This is the conclusiun that Iovic demant6 when lce are told that an e~rnt i~ ',~or=e than expected.•' After all. espectationn about the future ean onh' be based on theot~'. AV'hen ob,er- vations and theory cfi±avree• the theor•: cannot be uaed to forecast future ecent,. Any theory that attempt, a, explain the effectc of human intercention- and prelict future changea mult ine~itablv he hased un a model-a much sunpliiSed mathematical descrip- tion-uf the atmoaphere or other relecaurt enaironment. There is no ailte•natice. "llodeld are better than hancl-tcacing.•' ~avz, Stephen Schneider of the National C'enter ior dtm,l- spheria Rerearch. und an ardent proponent ~,[ globad-warming theories. But thuAc much better:' A good model uill incorporate tito'e teature"ot' the atmosphere that zu•e impurtaut, out lea~e uut those that are nut. Tlte model builder ha: tl~ decide what i= intportant arni \chat i> unimpor- tant-and therebc hane_ the tede. Ideally, one ~~rould like to ealctdate the charac- teri,tice of•the aanosphere at ell er}• point in space with the flne-t pod,ible re>olution. But computational limits prohibit thi~. Current cotn- ~ puters procide fairly cuarse reolution. Sam- p}ing points on the glube are t;.TicallYlIN i to ,5Oo kilometers apart, still nut cLu~e enough to dis- cern cloud s}stems, ur ecen such surtace t•ea- tures as the Florida pel A-ertical sampling of the atmo~pherr Grecmd unlc at a fe%L lecelz• n'pieall}' n tlozen. rmcing front thc earth's=urface to the: n•atu1l'ilen. ,. As computingput~er incrra>~>. finm• t,,,p a•aphie detail ~cill be ineorpoeated and cdimauc models will muce clu=er to rrtdit~..-1 rimilar argument appiies to time strp~: ~ampling at hourly intervals will giee Ln•eater precision than daily intetvals. Another difficult problem incohe, how much atmo~phetie phcsic, to pttt into the niodel-hrntto incorporate cloud=. ~matt-=cxle comectiun in the atmo.phere, transport "t' u'ater capor. effect_, oPaerosoL trum air pollut(un, and hoNc tu incot•porate and couple ucean circulatiun n'ith that of the atntoypiiere. Speciali,t~ ,u•~le etdle~sh' about the~e impor- tant yue<tion.v. It is clear thm uu:'rent mutlci, du notjibe with the climate hi,tol;t4 the pa,t lnn ceatx The challenge is tu imprl,ce the mudeL: o that thec t•epreSent the aunu~Unrrerucean cir- culattion sYstem more c•lo~elil llost models nlust he "tuned•'to c'iN 'e the richt mean tenr perattu•e and ;ea: unal temperattu-e % :nia[ion,• but thec often fall ~hort ot' accut•atelY repn1- 36 Tn, Bulletin ~4 lhe dtotnic <cienli~t
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~ EPA WATCH . • • A Mticnmomhlp sw.rj of+n.rrmuu«uaf nau/arary activino und.rtakrn by Ihe EPA. OSHA, the White Hou.er, ~eh t15. Cangrsar and frderu(, rrmr and local agsncia. VOL 1 NUMBER 5 EPA PETITIONED TO APPLY "GOOD SCIENCE" TO DIOXIN The Environmental Protection Agency's highly publicized efforts to improve the quality of its science will be put to a severe test soon when the EPA releases revised risk assessments on a number of key health-related issues. As the EPA prepares to issue updated risk assessments on such widely divergent subjects as dioxin, electromagnetic fields, and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), a cautious scientific community is waiting to see if the agency is serious about improving the quality of its science. Over the past several years, the EPA has been plagued by embarrassing revelations of shortcomings in the scientific evaluations underpinning its regulatory policies. Concerned that the EPA will come to be viewed as an agency of "eco-cowboys," Administrator William Reilly has committed the EPA to the highest standards of scientific excellence in evaluating the risks of environmental pollutants. The forthcoming release of the EPA's "Scientific Reassessment of Dioxin" will provide critics with their first glimpse at the agency's new approach to science. In an effort to encourage the agency to incorporate improved scientific methods into its risk assessments, Jim Toui, director of the Washington-based Multinational Business Services Inc. (MBS), has petitioned the EPA to apply its new approach to science to the problem of dioxin. Letter to Reilly In a letter to Administrator Reilly dated April 10, Mr. Toui noted that MBS, has for the past 18 months, been making recommendations to the EPA with respect to the development of risk assessment policy. Those recommendations have focused on two aspects of risk assessment at the EPA for which "significant policy voids exist": risk assessment guidelines for non-cancer health effects and criteria for inferring causation from epidemiologic data. 'To date," the letter states, "EPA has failed to fill these policy voids despite having worked on non-cancer risk assessment guidelines since 1983 and new epidemiology guidelines since 1989. Essentially, MBS believes that because there are significant gaps and uncertainties in the scientific knowledge base which is necessary to conduct non-cancer risk assessments and risk assessments based on epidemiology, sound risk assessment policy guidance is necessary to overcome these deficiencies in knowledge." Dioxin as a Vehicle for Risk Assessment Guidance Mr. Toui, whose firm represents a host of companies concerned with the risk assessment issue, said the EPA's forthcoming "Scientific Reassessment of Dioxin" presents the agency and the public with a "unique opportunity" to develop and implement risk assess- ment policy guidance for the use of epidemiulogy and non-cancer health effects." According to Mr. Tory: MAY 15, 1992 -- "Non-cancer health effects and epidemiology are key dioxin issues. At the April 7, 1991 meeting of the EPA's Science Advisory Board's Environmental Health Committee, EPA staff indicated that non-cancer health effects are a significant risk issue for dioxin -- even more significant than cancer." -- "Also, in the Background Document on EPA's Scientific Reassessment of Dioxin, EPA cited an epidemiologicstudy conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which failed to confirm prior beliefs concerning the carcinogenicity of dioxin, as one of two major events that prompted reassessment." -- ""Che reassessment is a highly visible EPA activity. Although virtually all EPA risk assessments involve either or both non-cancer health effects and epidemiology, the dioxin reassessment has high visibility within EPA, with the public, across Federal agencies, and departments, (e.g. NIOSH, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences), and Congress (i.e. the Agent Orange Act of 1991)." Improving the Role of Science at EPA The MBS petition pointed out that the recently released EPA report entitled "Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions," which evaluated the role of science at the EPA, focused on EPA policy shortcomings rather than 2074144095
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17 G q % ~ ` ~ ml ' 4 1 : 10 ~ dearing the Air What Really Pollutes? Study of a Refinery Proves an Eye-Opener i • An EPA-Amoco Test Finds That Costly Rules Focus On Wrong Part of Plant One Gigantic Culture Clash By CALEH SOtAMON $(rtJJ RPt1or[er UJ THE W ALL STREET JOURNAL Nowhere has animosity between regu- lator and regulated been more acrid than in environmentalism and pollution control. But now, some signs of change and prag- matism are in the air. "The adversarial relationship that now exists ignores the real complexities of environmental and business probletm;" said Carol Browner, head of the Envitnn- mental Protection Agency, at her cootlr mation hearings. Last week, she told the auto industry she favors flexibility ia meeting clean-air goals. As it happens, the EPA itself has been involved in a far-reaching experiment Is finding new approaches to pollution con- trol, one that has involved nothing ler than a full-bore study of how best to regulate an oil refinery. The study, launched four years ago as an unprecedented joint venture between the EPA and Amoco Corp., tested the goodwill of both sides. Enormous obstacles of mistrust had to be surmounted, as the two sides found that, in jargon and analysis, they literally didn't speak the same language. The study was almost doomed midway through when the EPA slapped a stem penalty on Amoco in an unrelated matter. Less for More Yet the project finallywas completed- with startling conclusions. Among them: The refinery could achieve greater pollu- tion reduction for about $11 million than it is getting for a $41 million expenditure re- quired by current EPA regulations. Equally unsettling: While that $41 mil- lion was spent to trap air pollution from the refinery's waste-water system, no con- trols at all were required-or yet exist-on a part of the plant that the study showed to emit five times as much pollution. It could be dealt with for a mere $6 million. Why such miscalculations? Because, it turns out, nobody had ever actually tested to see hnw'tmtQt air pothttlon the rntnety was emitnng- or where the pollution was coming from. The Clinton-administration EPA is just beginning to consider the refinery study, known as the Yorktown Project, which is now winding up with a multivolume report that will call for such changes as tailoring a solution to each industrial facility. ButMs. Browner indicates she is sympathetic to many of its ideas. "If we were starting out today to develop an environmental program with all the knowledge we have today, we'd probably do it quite ditfer ently:" she says in an interview. "What I'm absolutely committed to is tnatting ame we can do the job we need to do in thr:least costly,tooatexpeditious manner." Sere.dipity Aloft Tlte spark for the rare EPA-industry joint study was a chance meeting of oM acquaintances aboard a 1989 Chicago-b Washington flight. Debora Sparks grabbed the open seat next to James Lounsbury. They had been part of a Washington crowd that used to gather after work in the 1970s atbars alottg.Pennsylvania Avenue. After some catch- ing up, they began talking about their work: pollution, energy. regulatlen. Though both had worked in ttte enetsy industry in the old days- now much had changed. Mr. Lounsbury was at the EPA. Ms. Sparks worked for Atttoco. They talked about the com- plaints of each side about pollution con- trot, and hetw de- spite all the cost and effort much pollu- tion went uncon- trolled. The tenor of the in-flight conver- sation, recalls Mr. Debora Sparks Lounsbury, was, "If we could be king and queen for a day, wouldn't it be nice if we could restructure the world of environmen- tal analysis." They wondered if something mightcome of a joint look by regulator and regulatee at a particular pollution site. When the plane landed, the two re- turned to their offices full of enthusiasm but unsure how to channel it. To Mr. Lounshury at the EPA, the notion of work- ing with an oil company was dangerous heresy. But he knew a midlevel regulator whose job was to look at new ways to regulate, and who had mulled the idea of a joint venture with an energy company. Mr. Lounsbury said he had a candidate. As for Ms. Sparks of Amoco, "there was some part of me that worried about coming across as a flake." But she gently sug- gested an EPA joint venture. "It was a hard sell in Amoco: " recalls the company's vice president for environ- mental affairs, Walter Quanstrom. "fats of people thought that opening the gates was stupid." because the regulators would crawl around a plant and find problems. Yetwithln a few days, he told Ms. Sparks to begin developing a project to take a deep look, jointly with the EPA, at the pollutlon output and possible preventive Pk65e 7Lrn to Paqe A6, Lblumn 1
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'1 t ' NNI MI ~ bearing the Air W hat Really Pollutes? Study of a Refinery Proves an Eye-Opener An EPA-Amoco Test Finds That Costly Rules Focus On Wrong Part of Plant One Gigantic Culture Clash • . By CALEB SOtAMON St6fJ RPPOrIfr OJ THE W i1LL a'IM£CT JoURHAI. Nowhere has animosity between regu- lator and regulated been more acrid than in environmentalism and pollution control. But now, some signs of change and prag- matism are in the air. "The adversarial relationship that now exists ignores the real complexities of environmental and business problems." said Carol Browner, head of the Environ- mental Protection Agency, at her tbtVfr mation hearings. Last week, she told the auto industry she favors flexibility iat meeting clean-air goals. As it happens, the EPA itself has beeu involved in a far-reaching experiment is finding new approaches to pollution con- trol, one that has involved nothing bw than a full-bore study of how best 60 regulate an oil refinery. The study, launched four years ago as an unprecedented joint venture between the EPA and Amoco Corp., tested the goodwill of both sides. Enormous obstacles of mistrust had to be surmounted, as the two sides found that, in jargon and analysis, they literally didn't speak the same language. The study was almost doomed midway through when the EPA slapped a stern penalty on Atttaco in an unrelated matter. Less for More Yet the project finally was completed- with startling conclusions. Among them: The refinery could achieve greater pollu- tion reduction for about $11 million than it is getting for a 541 million expenditure re- quired by current EPA regulations. Equally unsettling: While that $41 mil- lion was spent to trap air pollution from the refinery's waste-water system, no con- trols at all were required-or yet exist-on a part of the plant that the study showed to emit five times as much pollution. It could be dealt with for a mere $6 miBion. Why such miscalculations? Because, it turns out, nobody had e.er actually tested to see hos'mttt.tl air pollution the retinetg was emitting, or where the pollution was coming from. The Clinton-administration EPA is just beginning to consider the refinery study, known as the Yorktown Project, which is now winding up with a mWtlvolume report that will call for such changes as tailoring a solution to each industrial facility. But Ms. Browner indicates she is sympathetic to many of its ideas. "If we were starting out today to develop an environmental program with all the knowledge we have today, we'd probably do it quite differ entty," she says in an interview. "What I'm absolutely committed to is tttakin=sto'e we can do the job we need to do in the least costly, ntost expeditious manner." Sere>tdiplty Aloft The spark for the rare EPA-industry joint study was a chance meeting of aN acquaintances aboard a 1989 Chicago-b Washington flight. Debora Sparks grabbed the open seat next to James Lounsbury. They had been part of a Washington crowd that used to gather after work in the 1970s at bars along Pennsylvania Avenue. After some catch- ing up, they began talking about theirwort: poBution,energy,regutation. Though both hai worked in the eeesTy industry In the old days, now much hed- changed. 6tr. Iamsbury was at the EPA. Ms. Sparks worked for Amoco. They talked about the com- plaints of each side about pollution con- trol, and how de- spite all the cost and effort much pollu- tian went uncon- troBed. The tenor of the in-flight conver- sation, recalls Mr. Debora Sparks a I Lounsbury, was, "If we could be king and queen for a day, wouldn't it be nice if we could resttucture the world of environmen- tal analysis." They wondered if something might come of a joint look by regulator and regulatee at a particular pollution site. When the plane landed, the two re- turned to their offices full of enthusiasm but unsure how to channel it. To Mr. Lounsbury at the EPA, the notion of work- ing with an oil company was dangerous heresy. Hut he knew a midlevel regulator whose job was to look at new ways to regulate, and who had mulled the idea of a joint venture with an energy company. Mr. Lounsbury said he had a candidate. As for Ms. Sparks of Amoco, "there was some part of me that worried about coming across as a flake." But she gently sug- gested an EPA joint venture. "It was a hard sell in Amoco," recalls the company's vice president for environ- mental affairs, Walter Quanstrom. 'Lots of people thought that opening the gates was stupid: ' because the regulators would crawl around a plant and find problems. Yet within a few days, he told Ms. Sparks to begin developing a project to take a deep look, jointly with the EPA, at the pollution output and possible preventive Pfeate 71" to Paye A6. t.bfwan f
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Environmental Protection Agency Much ado about very little A STEEPLED CHURCH and neurs, never actually con- a three-door fire station tributed to the pollution. mark the center of Ash- So what's the point? land, Mass. (pop. 13,000). From 1917 to 1970 Ash- On the edge of town, land was a dye manufac- Megunko Hill, once wood- turing center for New Eng- land, is now a vast, bald land's textile industry. It 20-acre concrete "cap," survived W WII by supply- cordoned off by a deep ing blue dye for Navy uni- moat and high steel fence. forms. Nyanza Inc. was the Red danger signs mark last of the local dve com- the N,vanza chemical waste panies. Over the decades Superfund site. they buried dye sludge, In 1983 the EPA pre- bad batches and solvents in cmpted the efforts of local trenches on the hill. landowners and the state The waste contained of Massachusetts to clean mercury, lead, arsenic and up an abandoned dump chromium. The brook on the hill. Since then the that ran from the dye plant Nyanza site has come to through town carried the Nyanza Superfund site 11M ""Swtlnpy r.qo.sw. MrtNs".r..'t epitomiu everything that liquid waste. It was noted its gold-plated solutions. is wrong with Superfund. for its stench. Locals still "It's like the Gestapo, the Roughly $25 million call it Chemical Brook. way these guys operate. has been spent so far, in- Lore holds that after play- They have been harassing a cluding costs of a ten-year ing there dogs would come bunch of innocent people study while things got home blue. to the point where we've worse. That's just earnest In the early 1970s the just had it " he wails. The money. Massachusetts Su- state, responding to local "potentially responsible perfund chief Richard complaints, told Nyanza parties" (P2rs in Super- Cavagnero plans to spend to clean up. But the decline fundese) arc a mixed crew another $8 million to fin- in New England's textile arbitrarily associated with ish and possibly "hundreds industry brought Nyanza the designated area. They of millions" to clean and down with it. The com- include Gayner, a small monitor the site's water pany dissolved in 1978. highway cleaning contrac- "forever." Local developer Rob- tor who happened to buy The payofl? Superfund ert Gayner agreed to clean a polluted acre nearby, and staffers acknowledge that up Megunko Hill when the nephew of Nyanza's the site's risk to human he bought the land in last chief executive officer. health is now negligiblc. 1980, hoping to develop They have been threat- But the rules say: Keep it. He figured he would cned with fines of $25,000 cleaning anyhow. Super- spend roughly the a day fbr failing to comply fund staffers also ac- amount estimated by state- with the stream of paper- knowledge that the 20-odd approved studies: at most work the EPA has de- people mugged to pay $300,000. manded. And they have no the tab, local small land- Gayner never bar- control over EPA spend- owners and entrepre- gained on Supcrfund and ing at the site, although this approach didn't work, just as economics students are told about "market failure"-the solution in both cases being government inten•ention. But modem scholarship suggests that the common law was indeed working, until governments intervened. And anyway government has its own problems. (One such study is Environmental Politics: Public Corts, Private Rewards, edited by Fred Smith and Michael Greve, and just published by Praeger.) And last year the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to the University of Chicago's Ronald Coase, 64 they are supposed to fi- nance it. Their only practi- cal defense: Find others who might, just as remote- ly, be considered habic. In the meantime, banks have refused loans to PRPs, and property values in the area have plunged. Is it fair to target peo- ple with only remote associ- ation with the site? "We identify people Congress says are liable, and we col- lect hundreds of millions in settlements," insists Su- pcrfund's Cavagnero. So far Superfund has spent $6.7 billion. It has cleaned up only 84 of some 1,250 identified sites. That's why estimates of what it will take to do the job top $1 trillion- much spent needlessly. -L.S. ~ whose seminal 1960 essay, The Problem of Social Costs, argued precisely that propem• rights could protect the environment better than a regulatorv bureaucracy. Of course, relying on common law to protect the environment would deprive Congress of some of its po« cr to grant and withhold favors, cost thousands of bureau- crats their jobs and power, and spoil the games plaved bv lots of business people. But isn't the limiting of govern- ment control over people's livcs an important part of what :lmerica is all about? M Forbes n lulv 6, 1992
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/U9 Tnrn.nss.d4ni'uil.f993 ...a EPA in Sad Ohape, New Boss Testifies 1loney Being Wasted, Browner Tells Hill , Aawcuted Prese Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol M. Browner said yesterday she is appalled at her agen- cy's "total lack of management, ac- countability and discipline," and vowed to straighten it out. "It goes to the very heart of how this agency operates," she told a House subcommittee. "Not only is taxpayers' money being wasted• the American people's faith in their gov- ernment is being undermined." E'?A inspector general John Mar- tin reported this week that agency contracts are riddled with massive cost overnum and are so poorly man- aged that highly paid professionals end up caring for animals and paint- ing furniture. Money earmarked for other pur- poses ended up in travel budgets. contracts have been awarded without he required competitive bids and in ne case, $30,000 in research and development funds were improperly spent on a plan for a day-caro center, Martin reported. The agency's problems go far be- yoad what the report covered, Brqwner told the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on over- sight and investigations. "It goes to all financial resources in ous agency," including grants, overall management and the financial oper- ations, she said, adding that EPA's base budget has not been thoroughly reviewed for more than 10 years. She cited "poor management prac- tices, serious violations of rules and intolerable waste of taxpayers' mon- ey." Foremost among the problems is management of the hundreds af mii- hons of dollars worth of EPA con- tracts at its laboratories throughout the country, she said. Subcommittee Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) called EPA "one of the worst cesspools" he had seen and harshly criticized Browner's kepub- Itcan predecessor, William K. ReJly. Reilly agreed that management problems existed in the agency but blamed them mostly on the nature of the Reagan-era staff curtailntents that required EPA to contract out for a significant portion of its work- $1.2 billion out of a$7 billion annual ~ budget during his tenure, ' ^[n my view that's a mistake, That mntes problems," Redly said in a telephone interview trom Cahinrn:a uhere he was on vacauon, He said hr twd given "a very high pnontc" io CAROL M.BROWNBR ... cites "total lack of maua6emenl" solving the problems, including launching a contracting overhaul last year after abuses came to light. Browner acknowledged that Re- illy's administration had begun to take corrective steps and noted "pockets of improvement," but she said much more needs to be done. Browner said she will designate 26 senior officials to take over all re- sponsibility for agency contracts. She said she will impose new discipWwry procedures that will make clear the penalties for violating rules on pro- cedures and waste. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CaliL) expressed concern that a potential I decrease in the amount of EPA con- tracts would leave more work for the agency itself at a time when Presi- dent Clinton is seeking a govern- ment-wide paring back of empbyees. Martin's report, summariang sur- veys of several EPA laboratories last year, details numerous managetnent problems, including work performed outside the contracts. ~ The contracts involve private firms as well as universities and other government agencies who do work for the environmental agency. [n the case of a $67.2 tnillion cun- tract at EPA's Health Effects Re- search Laboratory in Research Tri- angle Park, N.C., contractor Mantech Environmental Technology used en- gineers and computer programmers to care for test anvnals. "Therefore. EPA may have been ~, billed for higher classified and more I costly personnel to complete task !s originally intended for lower-level personnel;" the internal report said. I It did not Rive a dollar amount. Mantech also used technical lab contractors for "handyman duties," including painting and moving furni- ture,the report said. In another case, an EPA chemist assigned to monitor the work of a contractor at the Air and Energy En- gineering Research Laboratory, also in Research Tnangle Park• was ii working as a consultant for the same contractor. Before coming to work , bx the agrnrr. thr chemist had tt"nrked Ior tht' contractDr on the EPA lab pro)ecl Tiff V,11rI1SCT11s p0• r
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I • vou took the same amount ofmonev and devoted it to say, infant nutrition programs, or a whole range of public health services," says Elliott. Which perhaps explains why phoning the EPA almost at random invariabiv unearths a depressed and disillusioned bureaucrat. (And whv the agency now wants to retocus on vast, and conveniently vague, international issues like global warming. ) As Elliott puts it, reflecting on prospective costs and benefits: "I've come around to the viem that vou just can't get there from here using these kinds of techniques." What Elliott means by "here" is known in the trade as °command-and-control" bureaucracy-prescribing de- tailed rules attempting to cover even• possible circum- stance. The ErA's pervasive rules, some observers sav, amount to a national industrial policy ... or land use act. "[Command-and-control] is expensive, it has high transaction costs and it requires tremendous amounts of information," Elliott says. "There arc 70,000 chemicals on the EPA Toxic Substances Control Inventory. Of those, we have health effects information on about 9,600, or one in seven.... I mean, there just aren't enough rats around to test every single substance." What Elliott and Reilly say they want to do is regulate The agency that ate America . 0 ~ stafnnA /Full-time equnalent employmentu ~ Spending IMJlions of constant 1987 aouarsl more flexibly. For example, thcy want the freedom to assess the risks from toxicitv more realistically and to focus on the truly dangerous chemicals. But other EPA critics believe the agency can never get there from here even if it focuses its goals more narrowlv and precisely. "It's just another fundamentally flawed Nixon-era idea, like wage and price controls or racial quotas," says Fred L. Smith Jr., president of Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute. To some extent, the EPA's problems are those of manag- ing chaotic growth. The federal government's watchdog General Accounting Office has complained for years about lack of cost control over the outside contractors who do the bulk of EPA work: Representative John Dingell's (D-Mich.) oversight subcommittee has begun a noisy investigation. The EPA's ten regions reportedly pursue inconsistent policies-Region Five, in the Midwest, is said to be the most orrtery-with exceptional power in the hands of very junior staff. Many city and county govern- mcnts have recently rebelled against the complexity and COst of EPA directions. Within this chaos, fiefs can be carved out by strong (or savage) characters. In the Carter Administration, the EPA now accounts for a sswMh of the staH and a t1dN nf 1,2oa 6.000 the sp.nding of ths .MU. fadsral regulatory apparatus. And the sost of complying with snWromn.nW '--- r.ptlations is rlsing In stsp: At $1.4 trillidn ana tM flM ..._._. _.. ...~ _.. _.. a.666 20 years, the agency estimaaes its rulss will eost Americans atuNhar $1.8 trillion in the 1990s. Saorce: MeunCa Warren and James Lx Begwa,o. -:a~lsmr A-:,ssor 0a 1993 Federai fieauiamry ButlgeLCM/NfP-f/llSNP/O,Fme.KinBv4~re9 r'ra5hinafon,.-.er,rty,5t LomSMO. 1182 '83 '84 '85 .._ ' _ 88 '87 '88 es 92 8] e agency was essentially run by the Policy Office head, William Drayton, now in exile as head of Environmental Safety, a Washington, D.C. EPA monitoring group, and vengefully writing an environmental transition paper urging an increase in EPA spending. In the Bush Administration, former real estate developer William Ro- senberg, now Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, was key in burying the ten--vear, $500 million national acid pre- 'cipitation assessment program. It incon- venientl,v debunked the acid rain panic just when Congress and the agency were using it to extend the Clean Air Act. Then there's the Superfvnd catastro- phe. Reilly has reportedly described it as the worst piece of legislation ever passed by the U.S. Congress. He may be right. Reacting in 1980 to hvsteriaover the Love Canal toxic landfill leak, Congress in effect provided for the legal mugging of any passing deep pockets (or even shallow pockets-see box, p. 64) to finance a na- tionwide cleanup. But mainstream scientific opinion is now agreed that the danger from toxic waste was vastly exaggerated. Thus-an- other surprise?-healthwise, Love Canal was in the end harmless. And anyway the leak was basically caused by careless gov- ernment development after compulson, purchase. Nevertheless, estimates of fu- ture expenditures under the Superfund program now range from $125 billion to a stupendous $1.25 trillion. Much of it- sometimes 85%-is going in transaction costs like lawyers' fees. 0 Forbes e July 6, 1992 61
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0 • Public policy decisions that are based on bad science impose enonnous economic costs on all aspects of society. The costs of bad science are eventually borne by each individual taxpayer as they are passed down from federal regulations and mandates to state and local governments, consumers and businesses. Environmental regulation, in particular, costs a family of four an estimated $1,800 a year. N O ~ ~ 00 ~ P i 1 0
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• • • reyuit•e detailed examination and more refineci imiicatot•,, thtut ~impl}' acerave global tetn- perature. The climatoloaieal rec•urti may contain -pecitie "tingetlnint> ' t hat iu•e unique to ~pecitic mecham,snu otchanee. But• a~ pointetl out h' Hugh Elhae: ree neither the observed latitude. altitude. or hemi~pheric cariatiuns ni glohal ~.carmin~ in the I~ast centur}' are in cjet-eement ~cith U't-eenhou>e dtepr}. Ecen tite 19t>ti IF('C report on climate change affies on that is =ue. The report eaYs that the data are too ambigttous to fully atpport gt•een- house theor}'. \ecertheless,the data are not inconsistent tic-ith the greenhouee effect. See "~mbieuou? ~unclusion:' facing page.i l)ne re±ult ~,f detaiied climate studies was, the dkcove;t'that C.H. temperature records reflect a warmine trend mainlc for night-time temper- atm•es: that i~, there i:+ a dect•ease in the ilaY-t, .- nazht temperatw•c r:mL'e. Data )n the same effect.- in the hn'mer ~ociet Cnion and China ha% e nmc iieen puhli.heL If *reenhou<e ea, increa'e> n-e•e tht-cau,o ofthie increa~e in night n-mpet•aturNc<• dun't knottduu-then the ohtioua henetit, to am•iettlture tcotdd maln• thi~ climate chanee a plw rather than x ntinu>. This aitutunent is -tt•engthene.i bc the expecne tion that the pre•~ent interglac•ial itcauTni period• tt'hich stat2etl iu•ound 1] ,x N i}-etu^.+ ago, muat snnn cnme to an end. With n t•eneiceil ice a^e "on the hotizon: " t he po,sibilin- ot eneenhouee Wm-ming takes on a relaticel}' beneticial interpretation. What to do R"e can sum up pre1ent understanding of the enhancel inreenhouse effect as follmts: espe•t, Iseneralh' aeree that the expected doubling uf L-treenhwu~e vaye< in the nest centurc «-ill not cau<e a 1cere.,rextastrnl,hie ic:u-mine. Many <cienti,t-autd mo,t ac*ricultw'al experts «auld ut'eur that u hqttzcr tirntcin¢ ~ea=on and .1nhancul etu•hnn dioxlde let'el+ are. un the \cltole, beneficial to crnps, tchich require both warmth and carbon dioside to tiom•ish. It is also zgreed that it tcill take Yeat:l, maybe a decade ~n• more, hefure satellite data can e=tablish a definite climate treml and befm•e them•etical understandine ~~t the atmosphere is comprehen- rice enoueh t, ~ allow uccm•ate predictions. This uncertaint. rai~e= an important but cnntrucersial tlueetinn. Hotc long,hould goc- ernment= Vcait heDu'e taking drastic poliQ' action<-il'«'e cannot now identify a long-term climate n'end' And if a trend is e'entualh' iden- tified• hnttcan %ce he sure of its cause-nr tt-hether the cause is man-marle.' Answers to the:+e questions are cnmial if the pt•nposel polic.~ actiom hace :t negaice impact on nther human Nalue~-economie tcelfare, Itealth, and life expectanc}-. Em'irnnmental pre<stu•e gtroup- often~a}that "tce cannot afford to play Russian rualette with the planet's tuture." Put this 6an uppeal to emution, instead ofthe caretid mialy-.4i< that is called fur. Deaqine action i; not ml imitation to dintster. a, often claimed. C'ulculation, hY atnw-pheric >cienti<t Michael Schle<inger o[ the Cnirersit~~ o4' Illinois, a climate modeler, clearl}' dentmt- strate that po±tponing control:; on carbon clios- ide for eten a decade «-oultl have no noticeable impact ou the next centurc's temperature trends. Moreover even the most drastic limits on carbon dioxide emiesion, by indunttializecl cottn- a'ies «rould delac the doubling of green'nouse gases in the next century b}' onlr a few ~ears. A contributing factor to global warming i< thouKht to be popuLation growth and economic decelopment in Third li-ot•Id nations. tchich will ,oon determine the growth rate of greenhouSe ~tase. Carbon dioside will increase because ol fue[ burning and forest cieat•ing, and methane einittecl from rice padclier antl cattle rai%inll tcill increase. It is tcell t•ecngnizecl. but deldnnt+uidl that controlling tlte,e actititie< and titu- con- ilt-nmingLilllons tu continued p,eertn dtarc:r ti,,n anrl niieet'c-Or to dracnnian resn-ictinn~ nn population crmcth-c~rould rightly he regoudel uz immoral and as a form nt"'ero-imperiali~m." [t' greenhouse tcarming ahould bvcome a problem, two reports from the U.S. Satlonal Academy t,f Sciences during the past }ear han c- ~uggestecl that mitigation of the effect, Of cli- mate change. or atl•justment to the change, is quite pussible, and not prohibitivelp co~th-..a wide range ot technological options can be put'- sued. These include planting u•eea un e large ,cale tn replace Ing'ged or bmned fo1'ert>, and te-tilizing the ocean with trace mttrient= f,m plankton grotcth to Seluester and thu=reducaauno?pheric• carhon dioxide. Using satellites t~creen nut some incoming solar radiation al~- ha: been :uggeSted. Such schemea ma}' +otmci fm•fetchetl. but at one time so dicl manc other futuristic prr,iects that have since been realized. Drastic, precipitous, and eupeciallY unilateral :+tep, to roll back carbon dioxide emissions ;mm ply to delay an unlikelY greenhouae tcarming will imperil living etandards-and even poiitical Preedome-in the inclustrial tcorleL Yale economist 1Cilliam \rn•dhaus, who has been tr.N -- inz to deal quantitativel,c with the economfc> nf this issue, has pointed out that "those tchn ar2ve for ~trong measure> to slmc greenhou~e tcarttr in2 have reached their conclusimt nithout an.N cli?ce•nible analcsis of the costs and benetits." At this staee. there are ma,jor ttncertaintier about ereenhonse them-Nt about the effect~ oPa Itossihle tctu•mine, and about the economic and hoiitical impact ufha=t}-, ill-considered policie-. Does it make>ense to wa,te .~100 billion avear on tlhut i, still a phantom threat %chen there are so man}-pt•e<sing-and reatl-problem> in need ot're=owcec.  Drastic steps to roll back carbon dioxide emissions will imperil living standards. .R.m. t~.r~~ 39
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EPA WATCH PAGE 2 organizational or funding deficiencies. Composed by an expert panel of scientists named by Administrator Reilly, the report was highly critical of the EPA's use of science (See: EPA WATCH, March 31, 1992). Hoping to link the panel's findings on the problems besetting EPA science to the agency's ongoing risk assessment on dioxin, Mr. To1zi stressed that many of the EPA's deficiencies in science can be remedied in large part through the implementation of sound risk assessment policies: -- "Expert Panel Finding #1: 'EPA does not have a coherent science agenda and operational plan to guide scientific efforts throughout the agency and support its focus on relatively high-risk environmental problems.' Non-cancer risk assessment and epidemiologic guidelines would provide agency science with proper guidance to identify and prioritize significant environmental risks, thereby assuring that environmental hazards are addressed on a'worst- first' basis." -- "Expert Panel Finding #3: '['he science advise function -- that is, the process of ensuring that policy decisions are informed by a clear understanding of the relevant science -- is not well defined or coherently organized within the EPA.' Non-cancer risk assessment and epidemiologic guidelines would require agency scientists to identify, explain, and justify in a clear and concise manner for risk managers assumptions, inferences, policy and value judgments, and limitations in data and scientific understanding." -- "Expert Panel Finding #4: 'In many cases, appropriate science advice and information is not considered early or often enough in the decision-making process.' Non-cancer risk assessment and epidemiologic guidelines would provide logical frameworks within which scientific information is considered, thereby enabling risk assessors to identify the type of scientific and technical information needed to ensure scientifically credible decisions." -- "Expert Panel Finding #6: '(EPA) does not have a uniform process to ensure a minimum level of quality assurance and peer review for all the science developed in support of agency decision-making.' Non-cancer risk assessments and epidemiologic guidelines would provide standards against which risk assessments could be evaluated, thereby facilitating quality assurance and peer review." '[-he MBS petition concludes by saying that the adoption of the above proposals would provide EPA staff with a "road map for ensuring that relevant regulatory decisions are based on sound science." EPA's Response The LPA appears to have been impressed by the MBS proposals: copies of the Tovi letter were sent to department heads throughout the agency. Moreover, in a conversation with EPA WATCH on May 4, Bill Farland of the EPA's office of research and development confirmed that the agency is in the process of incorporating the science panel's recommendations into risk assessments already in progress, including the soon-to-be-released "Scientific Reassessment on Dioxin." Mr. Farland, the EPA's top risk assessment official, added that the panel's recommendations would not require "major changes" in the way the agency conducts its research. But he noted that the EPA would be reaching out to the greater scientific community for input into its ongoing and future risk assessments. Confirming that the dioxin risk assessment will serve as a model for other risk assessments in the pipeline, 1 VOL 1 NUMBER he said the EPA will increase its efforts to keep the public informe nn the status of the agency's findin This will include public meetings comments from outside the agency, particularly when "new data" warrant such participation. Administrator Reilly's warm reception of the petition on dioxin, together with Mr. Farland's comments, indicate that the agency is, in fact, in the initial stages of reforming the way it carries out its scientific research. However, it remains to be seen whether this approach will prevail when the agency's addresses more controversial issues such as electromagnetic fields and environmental tobacco smoke. The EPA's last risk assessment on dioxin was issued in 1988 and focused primarily on the cancer potency of 2,3,7,8 tetrachloro-p-dioxin. The revised risk assessment on dioxin and related compounds due out in June is expected to be broader in scope than any previous EPA risk assessment. a Era rpAZCx EPA. Watch is a twice- monthly publication of the American Policy Center, a non-profit foundation concerued with public regulatory policy. Subscriptions to EPA Watch are $89.00 per year. AmericaII Policy Center 1 t14fIL Parke Long, Court Chattttlly, Virginia 22021 (703) 968-9768 - Office (703) 968-9771 - FAX 17tomas A.11eWeese, President Elaine A. I4icCusker, Exr.eudve pirector L)r: Bonner R. Cohen, Editor 2074144096 :1
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~ EPA WATCH . .t n.a<.-moru7Jy a.nry af.nvimrwunfat rrgu7nrory arnviNa u,derukm by du EP.t, OSHA, dw WIuYr Haun, Ju U.S. Caigrar and Frdaal. Yab, md toeut oamc/u. Vol 1 Number 3 March 31 1992 EPA ADMITS ITS SCIENCE IS ON ttSHAKY GROUND" . • Under pressure from a growing number of critics within the scientific community, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a report admitting that many of its regulatory initiatives are on "shaky scientific ground." The report, "Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions," was distributed at a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on March 19. It further acknowledged that EPA studies are frequently carried out "without the benefit of peer review or quality assurance." Concerned that the poor reputation of its science could jeopardize the agency's high funding level, EPA Administrator William Reilly appointed a special advisory panel of prominent scientists last year to assess the work of the EPA's Office of Research and Development. The panel affirmed that the EPA needs its own strong science base to provide the background required for effective environmental protection programs. But it found that "Currently, EPA science is of uneven quality, and the agency's policies and regulations are frequently perceived as lacking in strong scientific foundation." Devastating Findings Among the advisory committee's most devastating findings are the following: 1.) "EPA should be a source of unbiased scientific information. However, EPA has not always ensured that contrasting, reputable scientific views are well-explored and well-documented from the beginning to the end of the regulatory process. In addition, the Agency is perceived to have a conflict of interest because it needs science to support its legal activities. The legal process fosters the presentation of the extremes of scientific opinion. This runs contrary to the preferred process of developing a consensus within the scientific community." 2.) "EPA science is perceived by many people, both inside and outside the agency, to be adjusted to fit policy. Such 'adjustments' could be made consciously or unconsciously by the scientist or the decisionmaker " 3.) "While the public frequently expects immediate'yes or no' answers to questions about environmental risks, scientific uncertainties often make such answers elusive. EPA has not been successful in communicating to Congress and the public about the nature of the uncertainties in science and how these uncertainties are handled when decisions are made." 4.) "EPA program offices often conduct scoping studies or other preliminary assessments in the early stages of regulatory development. These studies are frequently carried out without the benefit of peer review or quality assurance. They sometimes escalate into regulatory proposals with no further science input, leaving EPA initiatives on shaky scientific ground and affecting the credibility of the Agency." 5.) "EPA often does not scientifically evaluate the impact of its regulations." 6.) "The interpretation and use of science is uneven and haphazard across programs and issues at EPA. Conflicting science policies between EPA programs create confusion and a lack of credibility for EPA decisions." 7.) "Scientists at all levels at EPA believe that the Agency does not use their science effectiveiy." The EPA's mea culpa on the poor quality of its science comes on the heels of a series of well-publicized blunders on the part of the agency. In the 1980s, EPA "risk assessments' on the health dangers of radon, dioxin, and asbestos -- just to name a few -- proved to be grossly exaggerated. The resulting cost to taxpayers and to U.S. industry has amounted to billions of dollars. Currently, the EPA has over 9,000 regulations in effect, and the United States spends roughly $115 billion a year staying in compliance with those regulations. Yet many of those regulations are based on the same poor quality of science referred to in the advisory panel's report. However, if some were 2074144099
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• i THE WALL STREET- JOURNALL mgs out only modified them in same instanra and the project should pro- ceed. Even wtth that. there was frvstratbn at Amoco. Armed wun study data showmg Ihe was IPwater otam s benzene emissions were om, a tmv fraction of what the EPA had assumed mem :~ be, the company petnlonen in early 19m^'or an exemption to rutes reqwnn tt m complete Its masetve sewer system. EPA sald no - there was no procedure to waive exnttng environmental laws and regWations. even if they were contraNcted by an EPA-sanctioned study. Prescribed Remedy As for the loading area that the study had fingered as a worse cWpnt, the group decided that controlling Its benzene fumes would tate a special twonoule hose. The second noale would suck in escaping fumes. and plpes woWd carry them away. Cost of Ihe svstem: about $6 million. The eroup also aereed the refinery could stand about Si million of other modifications. Ilke new smokestacks. ex- Ira tan% seals and coaltng equipment for opena:r sludge qonds. One Yorktown sludee pand. the study showed, emitted twice as mucn hctlrocarbons as the EPA's rules assumed. The low-cost solution: low. enne tne oond's temoeratures. Late last year, Amoco completed its hlgh•tech waterireatment system. BuildIng that costly facmty ~something many Other reflnenes have had to do over the past two yearsl hrtngs Yorkmwn current with envitonmental laws. The plant now mntrols tbe modest output of betttene fW11M QOm fh AaN! water. Fqetlmea thtt mutls t1[aflOe atltt rbeg from the retlnery'a docfls. "It's not ts quired to be controlled, so It's not." saya Chris taasing, an Amoco manager. EPA officials concede the point. The Yorktown study points to "notential oppor lumttes' for better. cheaper poltutlon con. trol. says the agency's Mr. Potlar, but "we must confirm them before we make na- tlonal poltcy." EPA offictals say new regu- latfons to conttvl benzene at loading docks should be drafted by the mld-1990s. Winding Down The final Yorktown report is neanng completton. The volumes done so far make the baau: argument that each plant ts different, and each requires unique pollu- tion sotuttons. They say only exhaustive testing at each plant will accurately telt what needs to be cleaned up. Sttart of rewrtting laws like the Clean Air Act, there is little hope for immediate. far-reaching change - such as setting a txnune maximum and letting a plant mmt the goal any way it wlshes. If York- town cuts pollution at its loading dock ar the EPA requires it to do so, that doesn't mean the agency would let Yorktown out of any requuemenes at tta waste-water plant. even if they were based on faulty assump- ttans. Says Mr. Davles: "You invest so much in terms of ttme. money and political cnits in amving atone of these regulatory denslotlJ that to go back and change it 1s something nobody wants to do.' Still. there are slgns that EPA regulanon u evolving. The air, water and solid- waste offices talk more to each omer, as Yotttawn i report recommends. And EPA Mmmtstramr Browner says, '"che Idea that one adutlod works in evety sttttatlm b something we've probably Pwed be- ymd, and we need to rewgnise that. We need to bemme mote flexible." As the rare industry-agency joint ven- ture winds down, many of its participants have moved on. Amotro's Howard Klee and Debora Sparks both have new asstgm ments. as do the EPA's Jlm t.ounsbury and Mahesh Potlar. Summing up his expe- nence. Mr. Podar says, "Some of my culleagues may not agree, but Yorktown shows that EPA and industry can work together. You ca! find more effective ways to meet envrronmental objectives." Ms. Sparks, whose spatting of Mr. (.pmabury aboard the 1989 ntght led to the pmject, evm teela a certam emui, U d a perJar uaba hn ended. "YOU Imow:" she says, quietly. "I should catt Mahesh and Jim. I harm't even wished tnetn a happy New Year:' 3 n• ;
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• -2- "The United States is now spending about $115 billion a year on environmental protection. Simply for purposes of comparison, that's more than one-third of the defense budget. There are two differences between them. Defense spending is coming down, while pollution abatement costs are going up quite fast. And defense spending comes out of the government's pocket, while four-fifths of the cost of the environmental regulations falls on the private sector." The Washington Post, March 26, 1992 "In April 1992, 59 regulatory agencies with about 125,000 employees were at work on 4,186 pending regulations. The cost during 1991 of mandates already in place has been estimated at $542 billion. The fastest growing component of costs is environmental regulations, which amounted to $115 billion in 1991 but are stated to grow by more than 50 percent in constant dollars by the year 2000." Philip H. Abelson Science Magazine . "How much will the standards cost? It is currently estimated that the tailpipe emission standards alone will add $200 to $1,000 to the cost of a new car. According to one study, conducted by DRI/McGraw Hill, the standards could eliminate as many as 75,000 jobs in the [California] region." Jonathan Adler, Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, January 20, 1992 "Yet the cost of more regulation is more than a decline in corporate profits, these costs reverberate throughout the economy, and this in turn, affects the health and safety of society as a whole ... Because regulations impose significant costs on the economy, they have deleterious effects upon human welfare." Jonathan Adler, Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Tlmes, June 3, 1992 N - O 3 .(1 ~ i 3 G.1
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE ECONOMIC COST OF BAD SCIENCE ON ALL ASPECTS OF THE SOCIETY "Whether federal bureaucrats wish to recognize it or not, churning out page after page in the Federal Register without concern for the unintended consequences of regulatory activity can have a tremendous impact upon the public they purport to serve." Jonathan Adler, The Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, June 2, 1992 "Critics complain that, in spite of enormous resources given the agency, EPA staff still is not qualified to handle the scientific and technical aspects of regulations. As a local official put it, 'EPA has college graduates on staff who are smart as a whip, but they have no comprehension whatsoever about the practical application of regulations to utility operations. "' Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Paying for Federal Envtronmental Mandates: A Looming Crlsis for Cities and Counties "`Our society is being forced to make enormously costly decisions on a very small science base. "' William K. Reilly, former EPA administrator, in testimony to Congress The Washington Post, March 26, 1992 "Currently there are more than 9,000 EPA regulations, costing taxpayers and industry billions of dollars every year." -- Dwight R. Lee, University of Georgia Economist and author of a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis entitled "The Next Environmental Battleground: Indoor Air" N O A i ~ y ~ ~ ~ ~ N
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• -3- "...the regulations drafted by bureaucrats at agencies like the EPA, and defended by the traditional staple of big government public-interest groups, typically impose tremendous costs for benefits that are nominal, at best." Jonathan Adler, Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, June 3, 1992 "Regulation's effect on the economy can be every bit as damaging as the effect of taxes. Even though Americans have not seen it in their pay stubs, they have borne the equivalent of growing tax burdens." Robert Genetski, Robert Genetski & Associates The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 1992 r "The present economic situation strongly suggests that the push on higher tax and regulatory burdens has had much greater costs in terms of lost jobs and weaker productivity than most people had assumed." Robert Genetski, Robert Genetski & Associates The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 1992 "The impact of the EPA upon the U.S. economy is, of course, many times its own size. In 1990 the agency estimated that complying with its pollution-control standards was costing Americans $115 billion a year, or a remarkable 2.1 % of GNP, versus 0.9 % in 1972. (And critics complain EPA estimates are typically too low.) Put it this way: Because of pollution controls, every American is paying $450 more in taxes and higher prices. That's $1,800 for a family of four--about half its average expenditure on clothing and shoes. In the 1990s the EPA projects that compliance costs will total another $1.6 trillion. And that's not counting the radical 1990 Clean Air Act amendments legislation. It could add $25 billion to $40 billion annually." Peter Brimelow and Leslie Spencer Forbes, July 6, 1992 N O P ~ . y ~ ~ ~ ~
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F;YA W atob Yasc Z" hoping that the release of the EPA report was signaling the beginning of a new age of seriousness on the part of the EPA, they are in for a rude awakening. As fate would have it, the release of the report coincides with the revelation that the EPA is undertaking a risk assessment on the danger of taking showers (See EPA WATCH: March 16, 1992). At a time when the agency is requesting additional funding for its much-criticized Office of Research and Development, the revelation that the EPA is spending the money already at its disposal to launch a risk assessment on the dangers of taking showers is certain to undermine further the agency's credibility. NIH Not Consulted In fad, the EPA's concern about the health risks of an act which has been performed by tens of millions of Americans every day for decades is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that the EPA never consults the National Institutes of Health (NIH) when assessing the health effects of supposed pollutants. The EPA's refusal to consult the NII-I is revealing because, as Dr. Bernadine Healy, director of the NIH, told columnist Warren Brookes last year, the National Institutes of Health are "much more likely to develop an unbiased view of the real risk and hazard than the agencies that are established to regulate them." By avoiding sources of scientific analysis whose findings might not conform to its preconceived regulatory agenda, the EPA has systematically shut itself off from much of the scientific community. The result has been an endless list of costly errors based on questionable risk assessments which have reflected more the bureaucratic proclivities of the EPA than they have served the interest of the environment. Press Not Alerted Moreover, the expert panel's devastating findings are in sharp contrast to what the EPA would have the greater public believe is really going on at the agency. In a "Notes to Correspondenta" released on the same day the report was issued, Administrator Reilly admitted that the EPA needed to make "fundamental changes in the way the Agency does research and uses scientific informatiom" Vol 1 Number However, Mr. Reilly conspicuously avoided any reference to the critical findings of the ex panel. The panel's scathing indictment of the quality of the EPA's science was on page 36 of the EPA publication; the press was not alerted to the bombshell hidden deep in the report. This obfuscation was taken one step further when on March 26, one week after the release of the advisory panel's report, Mr. Reilly informed the Senate Appropriations Committee that "Increasingly, our decisions are grounded in sound science, as we target our resources to the areas of highest risk, even while we remain sensitive to the economv." Such statements have enabled Mr. Reilly to have relatively smooth sailing in Congress in his bid for increased funding for his agency. Indeed, there is little indication that Congress has yet to grasp the seriousness of the problem at the EPA. At the hearing, most members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Commit• were sympathetic to the EPA's argument that additional funding, as opposed to a radical reordering of priorities, would enable the EPA to improve the quality of its work, DINGELL CONTINUES ASSAULT ON EPA CONTRACTING PRACTICES Citing what he called "shoddy EPA contract and program management," Congressman John Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, has expanded his investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency's dealings with private contractors. Mr. Dingell's latest barrage against the EPA came at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on March 19. The hearing came just two weeks after the same panel bad grilled EPA officials for the agency's cozy ties with one of its management contractors, the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) (See EPA WATCH: March l6, 1992). This time the subcommittee's attention was focused on the billing practices and performance of CH2M Hill Inc. of Engelwood, Colorado, one of the EPA's largest Superfund contractors. Created to finance the cleanup of the nation's worst toxic waste sites, the Superfund has become one of the most important areas of EPA activity. 'he objective of the Superfund program," Chairman Dingell said, "has been to assure the cleanup of these sites in an efficient and timely manner, not to line the pockets of greedy coatractors." However, audits by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) and by the EPA's own Inspector General uncovered evidence that U.S. taxpayers have been billed for charges that were clearly "unallowable ari unreasonable. ~"
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EPA WATCH PAGE 4 VOL I NUMBER 5 OPPOSITION FORMS TO WAXMAN C02 BILL Fearing "economic turmoil and increased unemployment," a group of congressmen is seeking to block legislation that would stabilize carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. Last month, Representative Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia, circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter urging Members of Congress not to support the Global Climate Protection Act (H.R. 4750), sponsored by Congressman Henry Waxman, Democrat of California. Mr. Waxman plans to offer his controversial bill in the form of an amendment to the National Energy Strategy Act (H.R. 776), which is scheduled to be considered on the House floor this month (See: EPA WATCH, May 1. 1992). The Waxman bill is "fundamentally flawed," according to Mr. Boucher, who heads a bipartisan effort to torpedo what many observers believe is one of the most radical environmental proposals ever introduced in Congress. Not only does the Waxman legislation require the President to adopt regulations which will achieve stabilization of C02 emissions by January 1, 2000 at 1990 levels, it also would give all Federal agencies virtually unlimited ability to use their authority to achieve such stabilization. Blank Check "Since C02 is emitted by the combustion of all fossil fuels -- oil, coal, wood, etc. -- the Federal government would have a blank check in writing regulations that could affect emissions from a wide range of sources, including automobiles, farm equipment, coal fired power plants, industrial boilers, and wood burning stoves," Mr. Boucher told his colleagues. N "Many of the gut-wrenching economic issues which were hard- fought in the acid rain provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 resurface in the Global Climate Protection Act," the Virginia Democrat noted. "Areas of the country such as California, the Pacific Northwest, and New England which have relatively low C02 emissions because they have access to natural gas, hydro-electric and nuclear power will have a much greater economic advantage over the South, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions." As an alternative to the Waxman bill, the bipartisan group supports steps for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions internationally such as those recommended by the National Academy of Science (NAS) which can be taken without major economic dislocations. NAS Study In a recent study, the NAS reported that "(d)uring the last 100 years, the average global temperature has increased between 0.3 and 0.6 degrees Celsius (0.5 and 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature rise could be attributable to greenhouse warming or to natural climate variability; with today's limited understanding of the underlying phenomena, neither can be ruled out:" Congressman Boucher points out that the NAS report concludes that the state of the science is simply too uncertain to warrant drastic steps such as those proposed in the Global Climate Protection Act being taken at the present time. The Bouchcr group supports the NAS recommendation of pursuing options to lessen C02 emissions "which make sense regardless of the threat of global warming," such increasing energy efficiency, transferring technology to less developed nations, halting ~ as deforestation, rapidly eliminating chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and capturing methane fumes at coal mines and land fills. NASA's Disappearing Ozone Hole Congressman Boucher's concern about the uncertainties of environmental science has received an unexpected boost. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced that the dread "ozone hole" over the Northern Hemisphere it reported to have discovered last winter never materialized. The NASA scientists, reviewin results of seven months' observa said that after a record build-up of otnne-damaging chemicals last January, the amounts rapidly dissipated because of sudden warming in February and March. While tests continued to show a thinning of the ozone layer that protects the earth from ultraviolet rays, the sudden warming prevented any severe ozone depletion over the arctic region, the scientists said. NASA's highly publicized report of an "ozone hole" over North America unleashed a torrent of demands that drastic steps be taken to reduce greenhouse gases. The agency's revised findings, which were released with considerably less fanfare than the original, apocalyptic announcement, would appear to confirm Mr. Boucher's and the National Academ_v of Science's call for caution in assessing global climate change data. 2074144098
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• • • ,iuc•mc manc ~,1 hr•r atnu,<nhrric t,,trametet=. A nla,i"r eomponent of thr rle'nate incu:e: in t he que<ttnn ,I t «ater t'aput' anrl "teerlback." It ;s tenerallv airecd tllat nto-t •Ii the nattlrailc „cctu'rinc 8rrenlhnu,-e efeCt i> ~iue to tcatrr ca:nrn ruther thtan o; caronn ,lireci,Oe, metharte• nnd <2nt-r Ut•eenhuu-r ea=e: :~r,me e-tintntes ;,?cn-ihr',I' per~•rnt „t'the ereenh~n~e et'feot to ntlilu,t,ncl'lc tCatel' in iL~ t'al'IUtb ti,1'mr. ENacth' „-hnt h.q,pens t- 1 +cate• tat,nt•-uhich i- not un.ler ilurntm cnna•ol-a? carhon dioxide incren-e=7 ('w'rent climate mndel> demon- strate In;sitiN 'o t«•e,Ibac•k-that ir, water t'apnr reinforc•es and amplites the effect r,i increasing em'hna dinxi,le.l:lir teit h hiyher t.emper:tture "Imld~°',t-ater t-«pnr h<=tter than crol air.t But leadine atmn?pheric <cienti;t=, ?uch as Htt.eh Ell~ae~=er ~,f Lnu-rence Licermm-e National LNhorao,rr and MIT rele,ureher Richard Lindzc,n, haco urcued to the cnntrar}'• that the I'eelbuclk i> smaller and c•nuhl eten he neEn- tic.--it couhl npl,nse aml diminish the green- }lnu<e ~ iiectd nf inere•a-erl carbr•n ~lioxide. .an rxaml-dr•,d'=uch ne•gatite feedback mieht necur itincrea~ed ocean temheratm-e~ lead to incrc•a}erl ecapuratinn and inereased cloud cncer. .althnuch clouds induce cnnlinc' bc retlect- ine ~nniight hack into space, the* y can also increa?e tcat'ming h}' keeping heat in. On bal- ance, hon'etec anri a= shown Mactual nbaerca- tion. Iotcclnuds pt'mmnte cooline, In contrast, a clear eNample •,t u positive feedback is ice cot-e'. As it -hrink- ti'nln trarmine, lt--, llmlight is retlected hticB nut to :~pxce mld m, ne L, abaorheQ to tcarm the eardi further. Global observations fn thr };re:rnce nf hoth po.eititr and negatfte ieedhacks ni hnmende cnmpluxie}t hot,ean a uon--peciali't judce the ndequae}' nf0ohmJ climate morieiy.' t Ine methnd i, to examine their ero~> charaetet•i~tie=-e,~mi-[ene,r-zmrl •: tdhiathm. t'r,ndi?tene' reter= to the extent tn taltich ,lifferent ntndeler:+ uc•ree. and differ- rnce+urv rather I.u-ee in ereenhou:e wm-m- inE mr,rlyd~. ll;lrmint In'ediction: ran¢e from neL:Iir_rihh• ;n' ~mali icomluu'ed to naturxllc rIccurrin<_• }<•ur-o~-c~•;u' all the tcatt,. csuurtt•;~Ilhic-6•om LS ti. 5.1) rie,rees cr•ntii:i•wle in resl,nn,e to u dh,ublinll of car- hon di,~Xi,lo in thc atmo~l,hrrc. Ecem more In7m;;unc,•rl ;a•e the iliffere,ce, heticeen prC- aictinn-odreeionld tenl};rraturr chaneer aml prucll,itNti-m pattern'• 1'onsi:tencCaknretelx tnuon.istency-acer timc•. .an anah,q}' fnonl the related field nl' ~,zone-Iirl,irtiun re>e;nch is illustratit-e. In 1!1-,°, them'ir- I,rrdict,•,1 tlerrea,e, in sn'atn- ~phr•t'ic r,znne <~i up tu Tu pereent asa result of the pl.mne l u=e nt hie'h-t1rinE ?ttper nnic air- vratt•,\hich wnuH I n'„r luce nit rn*en nside~, A, Dissent on warming [rr (nrr• li+q1. i!u• $<i<•,rrvS' Grnvrnuri+[vNal Prdic'r! Pruirri rjg'j'prerrcnlntrd tL~..slrrtr~r.rurto.~nurrJ,nrrltrnu.e/tbrrir•"-:- rntr..v_I in fbr Cbited Sthb-s. TL,rs tnr• niurc tholt J0,<cirnil,L: rrr n rrirlr' rrn,r/r nri,lstitcrlinr, . i i rrr_iru/iurl •lIIT. S7rlr. Itrmd.+ F(„/n „rrd tl,r I r+irartcitrl u71 %rrrirrinr hnr, .~iqrrr'rl ,1. As independent sciettist, reearchine atmo,pheric:md climat~ problems. we are concerned b}the a¢enda for L-NCED. the L-.~. Conference on Environment antt Development. bein¢ deceloped hc environmental activist 2roup~ and certain political leader?. This so-called Earth Summit is scheduled to concene in Brazil in iune 1992 and aims to impose a s}-=tem of global environmental re,eulations, including onerous tases on energc ftiela, on the pop- ulatiml of the United States and other indusnialized nations. Such policy initiaticea derice from highly uncertain scientific theorie>. Tktec are based on the unsupported assumption that cata~trophic global tcarmine• follntt: from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action, We do not agree. A stu-vey-of C-S. atmospheric=cientists, conducted in the:<um- mer of 1991. conlitvtts that there is no con=ensus about the causr- ni the=li~,*ht «'al-min¢ obset't'ed during the pa<t centut^,: A trcent- Ic pubiished research pape'et'en stteeects that-ttnspot cariabilit,%', ratherthan tl lisein En'eenhouse gase<, is responsible i-or theglobai temperature incrett.=es and decrea>e, reeorder9 since about 18~iin. Fm'thermmre, the majority nf scientific patticipant= in the ?ur- ee}' agreed that the theoretical chmate model., used to predict a futtu'e warming cannot be relied upon and are not vafidated b~the existing climate record. Yet all predictions are based on such theoretical models. Finall}', apicultut•alists genertlh' agree that anY increase in car- bon dioxide levels from fossil fuel burning has beneticial effects on most crops antl nn trorld food suppl}-. We are disturbed that actic-ists, ansious to stop enerptyand ecn- namic grmcth-xre pushine ahead with drastic polieies without takne notice of recent chanees in t he unde'hvle =c ience. We feo-nthat the n1=h to impose elobul regulatinn> will have cataetrophic impacts on the anrld econom}t on iobs, <tandm-d= of licina, and healtlt care, ttith the most <eaere conserlut•nce, fallinoZ upnn rlecelaping coi and die poor. theori;t,i incor}loratecl more data. these predic- tions gradualh-climini~hed• Bc around 1977, them'ists suggested an increase in ozone. But after 1978, theorists predicted a modest ozone decrease. Current them-c, hotre~-er, holds dtat nitrogen nxirles ttnuld prntect ozone hc Cotm- teracting the ozone-de~n'nyinE* properties ,~t chlorof7uorocarbonr. The enncept of enhancecl!_-reenhoa e a'artnine has been unclergoing similar chwti,e- Aithoueh mndeler~' predictiun:; have necer c'haneerl from positive to nepxtiveh the maeni- turle ot'the predicted ch,me'e heetm to dro}1 a> gt'eenhotl+e tcatRnin,u: models itumimated nceau cu'culatinn. tile effects of sulfate pollutionI anti a better under~rmdin, ot' eloud formation. 1lost =taatlin- has been the <lotcnm'adine of the c'een- houde effect on sea let-el rise. tlnl}' a few cear~ an.>onle modelers ibrecu:t a So-tnot rise in>en Juoe LID? 37
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2
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s -4- "The total regulatory burden on the U.S. economy is as much as $4,000 per household per year. Clearly, if American households are, on average, $4,000 poorer, that is $4,000 less they have to spend on consumer goods that enhance their health and safety." Jonathan Adler, Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, June 3, 1992 "Over the past years, our nation's communities, large and small alike, have been inundated with environmental mandates emanating from the EPA which, for the most part, are accompanied by no Federal funding. This has forced financially strapped local community leaders to come up with the money themselves or face stiff fines and possibly imprisonment." EPA's Science Advisory Board, as quoted by Dr. Bonner Cohen, Editor EPA Watch, during remarks before the House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, March 4, 1993 • "The impact of regulatory activity imposes tremendous costs, well beyond those entered on an accountant's ledger. Compelling automakers to make more fuel-efficient vehicles forces individuals into lighter, less-safe cars; withholding potentially life-saving drugs and treatments pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration risks unnecessary deaths; failure to chlorinate water for fear of minuscule cancer risks from chlorination can cause thousands more deaths from outbreaks of cholera and other diseases. Contrary to what the EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and FDA would like people to believe, banning useful products and technologies can actually cause people to die. All of these examples have happened; the result of ill-conceived government policies. A death is a death, whether caused by workplace exposure to airborne toxins or by less-effective brake pads. When the policies of the federal government are directly responsible for the additional loss of life, these policies should be repealed " Jonathan Adler, The Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, June 2, 1992 4~- A a ~ GT
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• -6- "'What bothers me is that the new rules coming out of Washington are taking money from decent programs and making me waste them on less important problems. It kills you as a city official to see this kind of money being spent for nothing. "' Michael Pompii, Head of the Colombus Health Department's Environmental-Health Division The New York TYmes, March 23, 1993 40 "Money spent on cleanup is money diverted from other, possibly worthier, projects. Laurie Westley of the National Association of School Boards says: 'New computers, new books, another second-grade teacher? -- there's no way for the federal government to make those choices. That's why local school boards exist. But the EPA has eliminated their ability to make choices that make the most sense.' Radon, lead, underground storage tanks, pesticide control, drinking water, waste management--these concerns, the government says, come first. " William Murchison The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 1992 "`...state and local pollution-control officials suspect that they're wasting precious time and resources--while jeopardizing precarious public support--because federal mandates based on inconclusive or inaccurate studies force them to focus on the wrong environmental problems. "' Tom Arrandale, Governing Magazine, "`Junk Science' and Environmental Regulation," June 1992 N V A ~ A ~ ~ i y
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"r EPA Watch Page 4 Vol 1 Number 3j WHITE HOUSE, GORE AT ODDS OVER GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT ! As the debate heats up over American participation in the forthcoming Earth Summit in Brazil, the White House and one of its severest environmentalist critics are locked in a bitter feud over U.S. global warming policy. On March 24, the White House's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released its "22nd Annual Report" which underscored the Bush adntinistration'scontinued opposition to inclusion of any specific greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and timetables in the upcoming global climate treaty, scheduled to be signed in June at the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED). "An exclusive focus on targets and timetables for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is inadequate to address the complex dynamics of climate change," the report says. Emphasizing the administration's mistrust of an UNCED treaty that would go a long way toward mandating global emissions standards, the CEQ called instead for a country- specific approach to the problem. "Unlike emissions targets and timetables chosen arbitrarily by political leaders," the report goes on, "national climate action plans would be rooted in actual response measures." "Kick in the Knees" In a statement released the same day the White House report was issued, Senator Al Gore, Democrat of Tennessee and chairman of the U.S. Senate delegation to the Earth Summit, said the administration'spositioo was a "kick in the knees to every other nation seriously committed to the success of the Earth Summit and to all Americans who want a strong, international agreement to preserve the global environmenl." The outspoken advocate of strict environmental regulations added that "negotiations on an historic, international agreement are threatened with failure and if it happens, George Bush will be held accountable." Senator Gore said that, at a minimum, the United States should agree to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000, as other major industrialized nations have agreed to do and as the climate treaty proposes. "With nations from across the world agreeing to such specific limits, the United States increasingly is isolated as the obstacle to the climate change treaty and to the success of the Earth Summit which has this treaty as its centerpiece," the Tennessee Democrat added. "We do not have to choose between protecting the environment and rebuilding or . strengthening our economy. If we protect the environment, we strengthen our economy," he commented. More Research Needed For the moment, the White House is sticking with its cautious approach to the globalization of environmental regulation as embodied in the proposed UNCED treaty. Increasingly aware of the scientific uncertainties surrounding global climate change, the administration is focusing its attention on accelerated research efforts. The administration's fiscal 1993 budget calls for $1.37 billion for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a $262.6 milGon or 24 percent increase over FY 1992 levels. Ironically, the administration's go slow approach to the subject of global warming has been buttressed by findings from an unlikely source. The -'nited Nations Environmental Program and World Meteorological Organization recently found that chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) are not a major global warming gas as some scientists had suspected. In fact, there are plenty of reputable botanists who believe the Earth will ultimately benefit from rising CO2 levels because of the enhancement of plant growth. "From experiments in C02-rich glasshouses;' notes Paul Samuel of Greentrack International, an environmental news service, "they can give you impressi~e numbers on how trees, shrubs, and crops will thrive, and so too the insects, birds, and animals (including humans) that live off the plants." Mr. Samuel concludes that "the idea that increasing CO2 is associated with drought and spreading deserts~ environmental scare story." "Best Interest of this Country" The administration also is becoming cognizant of the enormous costs of the proposed UNCED treaty, According to the U.S. Department of Energy, taxes on carbon-based fuels such as coal, gasoline, natural gas, and other fossil fuels could cost American consumers an additional $95 billion a year. These costs notwithstanding, the EPA, with Administrator William Reilly in the lead, continues to pressure the White House to sign on the Rio agenda. But Clayton Yeutter, the new White House domestic policy chief, made the administration'scase with characteristic succinctness when he recently told reporters 'We have to make this judgement call on whether what is going to happen in Rio ' the best interest of this count Yeutter is convinced that it is . 2074144102
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0 • -7- "Non-regulatory actions have their effects on corporate profits and on local government revenues as well. Well-publicized warnings of cancer threats from coffee, dioxin, microwave ovens, showering, apples, hair dye, or the 'chemical of the week' can force a company to undertake emergency recalls, pull advertising, make costly equipment and production modifications, resort to less-effective substitutes or, worse, go out of business altogether." Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Paying for Federal Environmental Mandates: A Looming Crisis for Cities and Counties "...should not the scientists be admitting they don't know when they don't know, rather than compelling billions of dollars in expenditures on the basis of assumptions or uncertainty factors that Lhe believe are 'prudent' for protecting the public?" Bill Kelly, Institute for Regulatory Policy A report written by Michael Pompii, head of the Colombus, Ohio Health Department's environmental health division analyzed how much compliance with environmental regulations would cost the city. From 1991 to 2000, costs were estimated at between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion in new expenses. In 1991, $62 million or 11 percent of the budget went to environmental protection. The average Colombus household paid $160 for this. By the year 2000, compliance would cost $218 million, or 27 percent of the city's budget. This would mean that a household would be paying $856, more than it would for fire and police protection. The New York Times, March 24, 1992 .D. ? ~ ~ ~
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. -5- "Over the past two decades, environmental problems have been addressed in a vacuum, without carefully examining their impacts on personal incomes, private property rights, the economy, productivity or national competitiveness." Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Paying for Federal Environmental Mandates: A Looming Crisis for Cities and Counties . "Whether it be budgets for hazardous waste handling, asbestos abatement, clean water and air programs, land acquisitions for endangered species habitat, removal of underground storage tanks, or mitigation for wetlands development, municipalities are charged with fmancing and implementing scores of additional mandates yearly." Paula P. Easley, Director of Government Affairs, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Paying for Federal Environmental Mandates: A Looming C'risis for Cities and Counties "Frank Shafroth of the National League of Cities estimates that existing local resources cover only $1 of every $10 that the EPA orders local government to spend. We taxpayers, and our likely reactions, don't come into the discussion ... The utility and local government people recently told the EPA that financial meltdown impends." William Murchison The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 1992 "[Cities] complained about federal and state mandates imposed on them without any funding to enable them to comply. NLC [National League of Cities] Executive Director Donald J. Borut complained the feds were simply shifting their own costs onto local governments. 'It's what we call shift and shaft federalism,' he said." The Washington TYmes, July 27, 1992 N . O ti A ~ A P 3 3 a)
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• -9- The cost of complying with EPA radon water standards in California according to John Fraser, the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, is estimated to be between $520 million and $710 million. He also estimated that total capital costs for the construction of water-treatment facilities might reach $3.7 billion in California and $20 billion nationwide. Fraser contended, "The nation is being asked to spend over $20 billion to comply with one drinking water regulation ... and yet the public can look to very little in the way of improved public health as a result of it." San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 1992 • "Now industry reaps the whirlwind: excessive regulation and economic miasma, because we're about to centrally plan the world's energy economy based on the threat of global warming. This threat can rather easily be diminished by close inspection of the facts--something that all those agencies that are getting oh-so-fat are not about to trumpet and promote." Patrick J. Michaels, Science and Environmental Policy Project Roanoke Times & World-News, December 29, 1992 N ~ .~ ~ ~ ~ 0
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. -8- "By the time it was finished, the [Peni Central School District in New York] had spent $3.5 million -- more than 15 percent of its annual budget, on the removal of asbestos. Then the Environmental Protection Agency that had enacted the asbestos ban, was forced to acknowledge that the threat of asbestos had been overestimated, and the risks of improper removal were often greater than leaving it in place." Jonathan Adler, The Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, June 2, 1992 "Asbestos, a major environmental concern several years ago, no longer seems so major: not major enough anyway to justify the $64 billion spent on eliminating it over the past eight years." William Murchison The Dallas Morning News, July 15, 1992 i "CBS's claim [that Alas was 'the most potent cancer-causing agent in the food supply today'] stemmed from science that was supplied to the show by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Fenton Communications, its public relations firm. According to Fenton's battle plan, as published in The Wall Street Journal, 'the idea was for 'the story' to achieve a life of its own, and continue for weeks and months to affect policy and consumer behavior.' They sure did that... Consumers were scared... Apple sales plummeted. The USDA estimated growers lost $120 million just in 1989 from decreased sales. Many growers, their reputations trashed, lost their livelihood and their orchards." Dean Kleckner The Sacramento Bee, March 6, 1993 "National costs [of meeting the radon water standard] were estimated at $12 to $20 billion, and only 1 percent of the public radon exposure would be reduced." Philip H. Abelson Science Magazine N . O A i ~ ~ 3 i ~
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Composite Annualized Regulatory Cost in Billions of 1988 Dollars a 0 , [-,1 V-Z-Z V-/--z~7 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 Years 1992 El EnrironnuentalRyulal'wn 0 OthorSocialRsyulatian 0 EcononricRepulatianEffbiencyCosts 11 ProcmRuyulaton tiZ l.Vb 6tiLOZ Source: $p,ged on chart from Netional Chamber Foundation 0 1995 1998 ® EcononricRapulstionTnnsluCuats 9
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I • r -2- Environmental regulatory costs have been separated from other social costs because of its dominating size. By far, the fastest growing regulatory costs are for environmental protection. Overall, federally mandated environmental regulations cost Americans some $450 more annually in higher taxes and prices. That is $1,800 a year more for a family of four. The EPA estimated that in 1990, regulatory compliance expenditures by the private sector amounted to $99 billion, and that sharp increases lie ahead. Since the EPA completed its estimates prior to passage of the 1990 Clean Air Amendments, the projections do not include all costs of complying with this new legislation. Some estimates put the Clean Air Act compliance in the range of an additional $25-30 billion annually. Thus, environmental costs shown for years after 1992 are understated. In particular, the cases of Alar, dioxin, radon, asbestos, electric and magnetic fields, the Endangered Species Act, and Environmental Tobacco Smoke show just how costly a policy based on bad science can be. A J N W
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Composite Annualized Regulatory Costs Per Household in 1988 Dollars Ir 1977 n 1980 F. 1983 1 1986 1989 Years 1992 1995 1998 0 Environmental Regulation / Other Social Regulatron  Economic Regulation efficiency © Process Regulation ® Economic Regulation Transfer Costs Costs SUtiti4VLOZ Source: od on chart from National Chamber Foundation 0 •
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0 ! • EPA Watc Pa¢e 3 The Good Life "For example," Mr. Dingell noted, "Hill charged the taxpayers for rental of baby cribs, parking tickets, CPR classes, magicians, a rent-a- clown for a picnic, over 515,000 for an office bash at 'His Lordship' (restaurant), thousands of dollars of chocolates with CH2M Hill's logo for clients, a St0,000 catered lobbying cruise on the Potomac River, and $3,200 for (the rock band) 'Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts.'" Pointing out that Hill employees "appear to have been too preoccupied with the good life at taxpayers' expense to perform their Superfund obligations satisfactorily," the Michigan Democrat said CH2M Hill was engaged "in what appears to be a double-billing scheme when it generously distributed to its key employees profits which were generated, in part, from EPA's contracts, and then turned around and billed the government for this bonus by putting it back into its overhead charge." Growing Ties CH2M Hill has provided consulting engineering services to the EPA for many years. Those services include such activities as documenting conditions at hazardous waste sites, defining hazardous waste problems, and evaluating alternative cleanup methods. In 1988 and 1989, the EPA's ties with CH2M Hill increased dramatically. During these two years, the number of contracts more than doubled, and the maximum potential contract value increased by approximately 275 percent. As of February 1992, the EPA had obligated $427 million on open CH2M Hill contracts with a maximum potential value of 51.4 billion. Virtually all of this work is in the Superfund program. As the relationship between the EPA and CH2M Hill expanded, the audit workload for the EPA's iG and the GAO grew accordingly. Those audits reveal a pattern of behavior on the part of the EPA and CH2M Hill which allowed the Colorado company to bill the EPA for a host of expenses that are clearly not allowed under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Most of these abuses involved so- called indirect costs, or those contractor costs which cannot be directly related to a particular contract. Patrick Martin, the EPA's Inspector General, told the subcommittee that CH2M Hill's indirect cost pools for 1987-1989 "included costs of $16.4 million for employee bonuses which we believe are ineligible; 51.4 million for travel and entertainment costs in excess of the Federal Travel Regulations and ineligible costs such as first-class air fare and travel for employee spouses; 5429,000 for deferred state income taxes, an entirely unallowable item; and 5587,L00 in relocation costs in excess of amounts actually incurred by employees." Lack of EPA Oversight Inspector General Martin, whose comprehensive audit led to the disclosure of irregularities in the EPA's relations with CSC, sharply criticized CH2M's "serious weakness in internal controls" which led to the company's "poor contract performance." He likewise cited "the lack of effective administration by EPA" as a major contributing factor in the debacle. Speaking on behalf of the GAO, J. Dexter Peach underscored "the lack of adequate oversight and follow-up by EPA." "Although EPA has been aware of deficiencies in CH2M Hill's procedures -- in some cases as far back as 1984 --," he went on, "it has not seen to it that corrective actions were taken." Mr. Peach added that "EPA's management performance in this area has simply not been acceptable." Vol I Number 3 Underscoring the necessity of administrative improvements on the part of the EPA, Mr. Peach said that "without these efforts, no assurances can be given that the federal government will continue to be billed for unallowable costs associated with the Superfund program." Put into the unenviable position of having to defend his agency's contract mismanagement for the second time in two weeks, Christian Holmes of the EPA's office of administration and resources management assured the subcommittee that "CH2M Hill had agreed to reimburse the EPA for excessive costs and to account properly for travel in the future." Dingell Plans More Investigations Unfortunately for Mr. Holmes, he could be making many more appearances before Mr. Dingell's panel in the weeks and months to come. Congressman Dingell has announced that his subcommittee will continue its investigations into improprieties involving "a number of other EPA contractors." EPA WATCH EPA Watch ii a twice-monthly publitatitinp oftltE Ameritaie Pol(cy Center, a non•prvfit, puNic inicrest OtgauSzatiott, dedicated to the promotion of free eRter~tlse,priv3tC:properiy .nd iadividualffierty. Subaxijttiont to EPA~.Witch art Sui.95 per year.. tSmetican. t'olicy Center 1414itL Petkc Long Court C7t.ntilly, uirgiaia 22Q2t . (103) 90i£,9768............ . Thomaa A, DetYee.se, Prcadent LtaineA. MnCtieker, FxeattiverDirector Dr. Hurwcc R. Cabcis; Editor
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• Asbestos ... regulations and removal have been economically damaging. • It is estimated that EPA-mandated asbestos removal programs have cost between $150 billion and $200 billion. • EPA banned the use of asbestos for most applications in order to protect public health, but one would not know it from an examination of the regulation and its effects. The regulation would have prevented three premature deaths, over a period of 13 years, at a cost of between $43 million and $76 million per life saved. Electric & Magnetic Fields (EIiF)...the economic impact to date. • In 1992, concern over the unproven health effects of EWIF exposure led to a $65 million, five-year federal government program to fund continuing research into the issue. • Since 1975, the electric industry has been forced to spend another $65 million on research to defend against premature and possibly unnecessary regulation. • • The industry is spending over $1 billion each year for the purpose of reducing exposure to E1VIF, even though that exposure may eventually prove harmiess. • Private businesses and individuals have also incurred costs as a result of the persisting EMF hysteria. For example, the Boston Globe spent $75,000 to reduce its employees' exposure to EMF, and one couple spent nearly $500 to reduce exposure in their own home. The cost of regulating EIvIP in individual businesses and households alone would, therefore, be a significant burden. N O . V P ~ P ~ i N 00
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! The Costs of Bad Science The Impact on the Economy and You Alar... the scare of 1989 resulted in: • losses of $250 million to apple growers; • losses of $125 million to apple processors; • losses of $15 million to the government which bought unwanted apples; • scores of bankruptcies for small growers of apples; • potentially enormous economic losses depending on how current lawsuits brought against CBS and the Natural Resource Defense Council are resolved; • estimated total losses of over half a billion dollars; and 0 • failure of apple growers to regain their pre-Alar scare markets, even three years later. Dioxin...EPA's position has had economic and social costs. ~ During 1982 and 1983, the federal government spent $33 million to buy the town of Times Beach, Missouri, and relocate its 2,240 residents, because the streets of the town had been contaminated with dioxin. • In late 1990, a jury awarded Wesley Simmons, a retired Gulf Coast fisherman living in southeast Mississippi, $1.04 million of Georgia-Pacific Corporation's money because he was exposed to dioxin from eating fish that swam in the water downriver from the company's mill. Simmons never alleged to be in anything other than good health. N O A ~ ~ ~ s N O1
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T N . . -3- It doesn't take a fertile imagination to see how ETS could end up as another economic horror story like Alar -- except far more expensive to society as a whole. Regulations based on faulty science and politics have a history of forcing businesses and government to spend money needlessly that instead could be applied to creating jobs, training a workforce and reviving the economy. It is hard to believe that this is what President Clinton had in mind when he asked us to sacrifice so that our economy could thrive again. N O ~ ~ ? A ..a W W
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. • The Costs of Bad Science Regulations, the Economy and You Government works best with the consent of the governed, and this is achieved in large measure when the people have confidence in their government. Contemporary society is increasingly affected by government policies which rely upon technology, and government turns to science to establish the basic framework of facts upon which laws and regulations are based. Science plays an ever-larger role in the daily lives of every American: determining progress in human healthcare; evaluating man's effect upon the environment; calculating the risks and benefits inherent in the construction of highways, bridges, space shuttles and aircraft; assuring the safety of our food supply and assessing the effectiveness of public education, to name just a few. Science, therefore, carries an enormous burden of responsibility to society. The fundamental purpose of good science is to determine truth and to provide facts upon which sound public policy can be based. Bad science can take many forms, and scientific data can be twisted to achieve pre-determined political objectives. When this happens, while political motives may be satisfied, society and science suffers, and the bond of confidence between the two is further eroded. One of the greatest costs imposed upon society by "bad" science is the cost of unnecessary or misguided legislation and regulation. Such costs are eventually borne by each individual taxpayer as they trickle down from federal laws and regulations to state and local enforcement and compliance by businesses and communities. The most respected research on the cost of total federal regulation to American consumers is $400 billion annually. That breaks down to $4,000 per household. Some of this regulation is based upon bad science, and the effect is to cripple our ability to apply available resources to creating jobs and reviving the economy. Regulation is an essential but costly tool of government policy. In April 1992, 59 regulatory agencies with about 125,000 employees were at work on 4,186 pending regulations. Complying with federal regulatory requirements, however, well-designed they may be, creates costs that go far beyond the simple outlays to run federal regulatory agencies. Compliance is where the true costs exist, and consumers ultimately pay these costs, mainly in the form of higher prices for products and services. Figures 1 and 2 on the following pages portray the overall regulatory cost pattern. The five components of regulatory costs include environmental regulation, other social regulation, economic regulation efficiency costs, process regulation, and economic regulation transfer costs. o ~ ~ 4 s A P 3 N N
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• • As of April 1991, lawyers had brought over $5 billion in suits in the State of Tennessee against two paper companies, the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and the International Paper Company, alleging that they had threatened the health of those coming into contact with downstream water and fish that had been in that water. • During the height of the Agent Orange story, manufacturers of Agent Orange were forced to settle out of court for $180 million because public perceptions and opinions were so intense that notwithstanding the scientific evidence and facts, a fair trail was impossible. Radon...EPA's rules will cost even more than dioxin did. • California public water agencies have estimated that it would cost the state more than $3.7 billion to comply with the EPA's proposed regulation regarding radon levels in drinking water. • • National costs of compliance with the proposed regulations have been estimated at between $12 billion and $20 billion. • It has been estimated that though the radon testing and mitigation bills in Congress would only cost about $20 million a year to fund, the overall costs to taxpayers and consumers of radon testing and mitigation are expected to be at least $100 million a year. With only $15 million being funded by Congress, local governments and schools will have to find other ways, including taxes, to meet the shortfalls. • To meet Congress's mandate on reducing indoor radon levels to outdoor levels, almost $1 trillion would have to be spent (estimated as $10,000 to $16,000 per household for 70 million households). s N V
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, • -6- Environmental Tobacco Smoke...EPA's bad science and the economic fallout in California. • A study by Price Waterhouse shows that the proposed smoking ban would cost San Diego, California more than 6,000 jobs, close more than 400 businesses and cost the city millions. • Because of the average loss of 25 percent of local retailers and restaurants, Beverly Hills, California repealed the smoking ban ordinance. • Since the San Luis Obispo, California smoking ban has been in effect, Laurel Bowling Lanes has lost 685 bowlers and nearly one half of its income from the cocktail lounge -- a loss of $200,000. That was devastating for a small business with a gross income of $700,000 annually. • A 100 percent smoking ban in Beliflower, California enacted March 1991, has caused a decline in restaurant traffic by over 30 percent. • EPA is a regulatory machine in need of repairs. • EPA has a staff of 18,000, about one-seventh of the staff of the regulatory system. • Its operating budget is $4.5 billion, one third of the spending of the entire federal regulatory system. • Complying with EPA regulations costs Americans $115 billion a year, or 2.196 of GNP. • The costs of regulations are passed on to consumers and taxpayers, costing an additional $4,000 per household. • During the 1990's, it will cost some $1.6 trillion to comply with EPA regulations. This does not include the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments which could add on another $25 billion to $40 billion a year. • Superfund clean-up alone consumes 40% of the EPA's operating budget and 20 4b of its staff time. o • 4 ~ • EPA regulations impose heavy costs on cities. Local resources ~ only meet $1 for every $10 of EPA mandated regulations. ~ N iD
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0 • • / Though Risk Falls, Removing Asbestos Doesn't Guarantee Substance Is Gone By DAVID STIPP Staff Reporter of Txe W nLe STREET JOURNAL A lot of money goes toward removing asbestos -an estimated f3 billion last year in the U.S.-but at least it is saving lives. Or is it? The levels of airborne asbestos fibers in buildings after removal of materials con- taining the substance don't necessarily drop - in many cases they rise, suggest recent studies. Moreover, the type of as- bestos mostly present in U.S. buildings poses little cancer risk in the first place, say many scientists. Indeed, scientific thinking about as- bestos has undergone a dramatic reversal from the view that a tiny whiff can cause cancer. The shift was underscored by an article, published in the journal Science in early 1990, that concluded asbestos risks have been exaggerated. After it appeared, former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Reilly acknowl- edged that many asbestos-removal proj- ects were unnecessary. In 1991, the Ameri- can Medical Association recommended worrying less about asbestos and more about "far greater causes" of prema- ture death, such as smoking. Some 95%of the asbestos in U.S. build- ings is a form called "chrysotile," which many scientists now say is relatively harmless. Its curly strands are readily dissolved in the lungs by immune cens. By contrast, rarer "amphibole" types of as- bestos - which can occur in small amounts along with chrysotile - form long, thin strands that can penetrate and remain deep in the lungs. Studies indicate the amphibole forms have been the culprits in most asbestos-cancer cases. Lower Levels It takes long, heavy exposure to as- bestos-probably coupled with smoking- to cause significant risk of lung cancer, say scientists. Airborne asbestos levels in buildings containing the material, on average, are about 50,000 times lower than the levels that asbestos workers who got cancer were exposed to in the past, accord- ing to a 1991 report by the Health Effects Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Even after "quite heavy" asbestos ex- posure, lung cancer among nonsmokers is so rare that the added risk from asbestos can't be precisely estimated, the report stated. In the largest study of chrysotile exposure, scientists found that 11,000 Que- bec asbestos miners and others with "high" exposures for as long as 20 years actually had less risk of lung cancer than the general population. Heavy asbestos exposure also can cause mesothelioma, a cancer that rarely occurs without such exposure. But mesoth- eiioma rates among people under age 55 have dropped since the 1970s, suggesting that low, "nonoccupational" exposure to asbestos in buildings poses little, if any, risk of the cancer. Even if the entire U.S. population worked for 20 years in buildings containing the most dangerous forms of asbestos, the mesothelloma rate would rise to, at most, about 410 cases annually from . 400 cases, says the Health Effects Insti- tute's report. Currently, asbestos in buildings often is "managed in place" without removal. But many building owners still opt for removal, largely to avoid the risk of lawsuits. Some asbestos experts assert that such removals are needed to prevent cancer among main- tenance workers, who often come into contact with the substance. But removal workers probably face a greater risk of exposures high enough to cause cancer. In any case, removals often don't seem to do much good. In one high school, airborne asbestos levels rose tenfold after a removal that "was as well run and controlled as is feasible," according to a preliminary report on the project compiled by Gerard Ryan, an official with the Occupational Safety and Health Adrnlnis- tration in Denver. ii "We spend an awful lot of taxpayer money [on asbestos removais] without decreasing risk," says Mr. Ryan. Escaping Removal His preliminary data show that the school's asbestos levels rose 1,160% after a 5250,000 removal of insulation, ceiling tiles and other materials. More than a year after removal, levels had risen turther. The higher levels probably reflect partlcu- larly short asbestos fibers that escaped '~ during abatement, says Mr. Ryan. He won't name the school pending a complete report on the case. , Other studies have found similar re- sults. The EPA reported last year that average asbestos levels had risen two years after abatement projects at nine of 17 New Jersey schools, with statistically higher levels at two sites. There was a statistically significant decrease in levels at only six of the schools. Steve Hays, president of the Envhnn- mental Information Association, a trade group representing the abatement indus- try, calls such findings "amazing," and says that "there is a large body of data" showing removals generally cut levels to "background" levels found outdoors. But the continuing New Jersey study suggests much industry data are inaccu- rate - half of 20 school-abatement projects that monitoring firms had rated as reduc- ing fibers to federally required levels flunked more stringent testinQ. Problems within the asbestos-abate- ment industry aren't limited to dubious practices by small-time operators. The EPA has charged in an administrative action that the industry's largest consult- ant, Hall-Eimbrell Environmental Serv- ices Inc., a unit of Professional Service Industries Inc. of Lombard, Bl., conducted faulty inspections at more than 100 schools nationwide. An attorney for the company declined to comment. Though spending on asbestos abate- ments in the U.S. has dropped - largely because the recession has slowed renova- tions - industry consultant Olin Jennings estimates some $80 billion will be spent over the next 20 years or so. I ra,. ~/~~.~1'3
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Draft-Opinion Editorial ECONObIIC IMPACT i In his state of the union address, President Clinton encouraged us to focus our attention on the economy because "more than anything else, our task ... is to make our economy thrive again." He exhorted us not to just "consume the bounty of today, but to invest for a much greater one tomorrow." And, he especially stressed the role that businesses would have in our economic revival. Political persuasions notwithstanding, the President's call was welcomed by many business leaders who are eagerly awaiting economic revival. However, many businesses are unable to actively participate in this economic resurgence due to the costs of running a business today, especially in terms of remaining competitive and complying with government regulations. For example, government regulations force businesses to spend more on compliance than on investment and job creation. A substantial portion of these regulations are environmental regulations imposed not only on businesses, but on local governments and on you by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But who m.ally pays for these EPA regulations? You do. The costs of complying with federally mandated regulations are passed on to you, the consumer and taxpayer, in the form of higher prices and taxes. And, according to a July 6, 1992, Forbes article entitled "You Can't Get There From Here," it is estimated that overall each American -- child, adult and senior citizen alike -- ends up paying some $450 more in higher taxes and prices because of EPA regulations. That is $1,800 a year more for a family of four. Furthermore, we are now spending over $115 billion a year to clean up the environment, which will probably increase to more than $170 billion by the year 2000. No one disputes the need for the regulation of substances proven to be hazardous to the environment and our health. Clean air and clean water are fundamental to a livable world. However, when the EPA imposes regulations based on inconclusive scientific studies and when politics and political correctness drive science instead of science driving policy, the economic costs far exceed the health benefits that might be attained. The case of Alar, a chemical growth regulator used on apples, demonstrates the economic fallout that can occur when politics and faulty science drive policy. Media attention and preliminary studies brought the issue of Alar to the forefront of public attention in 1989. Hollywood celebrities got involved, and it soon became politically correct to oppose the use of Alar on apples. The EPA quickly bowed to political pressure and using only the flimsiest of
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-2- ! 0 data linking Alar to cancer, it banned Alar. Later - much later - EPA's own final reports disproved its anti-Alar position. Even though Alar was proven to be non-carcinogenic, it was too late. The damage had already been done. Apple growers lost $250 million, and apple processors lost $125 million. Many smaller growers were forced to declare bankruptcy. The U.S. Agriculture Department had to purchase some $15 million worth of leftover, unwanted apples. And even today, the apple market has not fully recovered consumer confidence disrupted by EPA's hasty, yet "politically correct" behavior. When magnified by EPA's other major miscues in recent years, this situation is not just an idle question for policy makers. Can society really afford the economic consequences of regulations based on faulty research, hasty regulatory judgment and politically correct motives? Though we may not be ready for the economic consequences, once again the EPA seems ready to use questionable studies to impose regulations with high economic costs. This time the issue is environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). In 1992, the EPA conducted an internal study on the alleged effects of ETS and came to the conclusion that it poses a health risk to non-smokers. How did the EPA come to this determination? Did it seek out the nation's leading scientists and conduct a peer-reviewed study whose findings could stand the scrutiny of the science and health establishment? The answer is No. EPA simply conducted an evaluation of 30 existing studies, many admittedly flawed or biased. Even among these, 24 showed no statistically significant correlation between ETS and cancer. The remaining 6 showed a correlation so small that researchers had to acknowledge that other factors, such as outdoor air pollution, could also be factors in disease promotion. Scientists such as Dr. Gary Huber, a specialist on respiratory diseases from the University of Texas Health Center, dispute the EPA fmdings. "No matter how you adjust the data," he says, "the risk relationship for ETS and lung cancer remains very weak." The inconclusive nature of EPA's own evidence and the cost that could result from new regulations suggest that a different approach to ETS and indoor air quality is badly needed. What government should do is conduct a more comprehensive evaluation of the issue of indoor air quality, one that is strictly based on sound science and economically feasible. The government should hold off on costly regulations until a total approach to indoor air quality can be developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Once these standards are set, individual businesses should be allowed to meet them in ways that best suit their particular situations. Studies show that allowing flexibility to improve general air quality in a variety of ways is far less costly than having somebody in Washington impose strict technological standards.
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i Draft-Opinion Editorial IMPACT OF EXCESSIVE REGULATION • Recently, President Clinton charged Vice President Gore to investigate ways to eliminate waste and abuse in the government. The administration's goal is "to make the entire Federal Government both less expensive and more efficient and to change the culture of our national bureaucracy away from complacency and entitlement toward initiative and empowerment." Though no one is sure exactly what programs and departments will be affected, none will be protected from scrutiny. President Clinton himself has already moved in the right direction by consolidating or eliminating several departments and councils under his control and by promising a 20 percent cutback in White House staff. While these moves are promising, they will be meaningless unless the President and the Vice President take a hard and long overdue look at some sacred cows of the Federal bureaucracy. If the Administration really wants to eliminate waste and abuse in government, it's time to examine the cumbersome regulatory process which has raised the cost of doing business, forced higher prices, limited job creation, and forced local governments to cut services and raise taxes in order to comply with regulation that has almost permanently crippled American competitiveness in world markets. We fmd these problems throughout the U.S. regulatory system, but especially in the area of environmental administration. While no one really disputes the need to achieve reasonable environmental goals -- such as limiting human exposure to hazardous materials -- a lot of our regulation has simply gotten out of control, and many responsible environmentalists know it. The money to pay for compliance with environmental regulation does not simply materialize or grow on trees. Such costs are botne most significantly by local governments, businesses and by those who ultimately pay all bills -- the consumer and taxpayer. Though local governments and businesses are the most regulated, costs are passed on to the consumer and taxpayer in the form of higher prices and increased taxes. A July 6, 1992 Forbes article entitled "You Can't Get There From Here" estimated that overall each American -- child, adult and senior citizen alike -- ends up paying some $450 more in higher taxes and prices solely due to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. That means that a family of four will pay $1,800 more a year. W A
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! a7 Years oi Servtce to the HOSPITALITY CVDUSTRY NLBA SAN OIEGO ~~t e R~St~,c V ASSOCIATION v STAFF 9USINESS MANAf.EP ANO aDMUSTPATrvE PEP~ESENrA H FLOFENTINE OFFIfE MANAGER UlSf.l -S Memeer PHONE 233-6351 OM1ces. EMchnge a SUITE 308 SPRECKELS BUILDING 4 12L BROADWAY Sr I SAN OIEGO. CALIFORNIA 92101 `SrrO 1`~` Tho ~J(mrt¢IOrmrr-.::a.r .r rht Duatl,d .Spmr. , ~i.;u;:n October 23, 1992 PRESS RELEASE PRICE WATERHOUSE STUDY SHOWS BUSINESSES WOULD BE HURT BY A SMOKING BAN 0 A study by the internationally renowned accounting firm Price Waterhouse shows that the proposed smoking ban would cost San Diego more than 6,000 )obs, close more then 400 buslnesses and cost the city millions in tax revenues If smoking is banned (page 111-3 of the study). Jay Tansing -- (202) 828-9066 days, (301) 469-6095 evenings -- of Price Waterhouse conducted the study on behalf of the San Diego Restaurant & Tavern Association (233-6351), which has provided 47 years of service to San Diego's taverns and restaurants. The projected loss of Jobs, businesses and tax revenues could be much higher if area businesses lose more the 17 percent of their business, the study showed. If the actual losses are 30 percent, the city would experience a loss of more than 11,000 Jobs, 776 businesses (exhibit 111-1) and a decline of millions in tourists to the city. - END -
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The Memphis Commercial-Appeal (and other U.S. newspapers) Sunday, November 15, 1992 Great hoax on asbestos finally ends  Key originator of infamous 1978 'estimates document' acknowledges report's fun(lamental mistakes. By Michael J. Bennett "We did what scientists so often do, which was to use ... estimates without questioning them." -Marvin Schneiderman, statistician National Cancer Institute T HERE'S one thing wrong with that statement: It should read, "We did what government regu- latory scientists do...." And it illus- trates why NBC commentator John Chancellor is underscoring a disturb- ing reality when he wistfully recalls, "I can remember when you could win an argument by citing government statis- tics." Government statistics are no longer trustworthy in such sensitive and sig- nificant matters as human health, can- cer and the environment. For almost a generation, the American public has been the victim of a hoax, perpetrated by its own government, that cancer is caused by environmental factors, and particularly industry, and not by per- senal habits, primarily smoking. Rut now the myth of environmental cancer caused by industry has been fi- nslly laid to rest, among scientists at least, by perhaps its most important ori- p,inator. Marvin Schneiderntan, cited above, was one of nine contributors to what is known as "the estimales document," the report, prepared in 1978 for the Oc- cupational Health and Safety Adminis- tration (OSHA), that launched Ameri- ca's great asbestos hoax. This docu- ment, using figures originally devel- oped by the late Dr. Irving Selikoff, projected that 58,000 to 75,000 people would die each year front asbestos-re- lated cancer-aoout 17 percent of all cancer fatalities. Based on that projection, the U.S. gov= ernment tipped the number of cancers presumably caused by industrial expo- sure from 2 percent to as much as 40 r rcent. The Age of the Environment d dawned; the United States was in the middle of a cancer "epidemic" caused, Schneiderman told OSHA, by its own industrial civilization. TEN YEARS LATER, Schneiderman was the Environmental Protection Agency's principal scientific authority in what the agency hoped would be a precedent-setting ban on asbestos, which is used primarily as fire protec- tion in buildings and in brake linings. Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the ban when the EPA failed to make a case for even 13 to 15 asbestos-related cancer deaths a year, among heavily exposed brake workers. EPA administrator William Reilly, in the words of the National Association of School Boards, had provided Congress with "a broad indictment of the EPA's lack of scientific basis for its policy pro- nouncements." EPA's own science advi- sory board asked Reilly why the scien- tific basis for the government's asbes- tos policy had ever had "the benefit of review" by the board. W hy? And why did 58,000 to 75.000 as- bestos-related cancer deathseventually fall to 13 to 15-and those unprovable in court? The answer lies in environmental ideology, not in science- Real scienlists - thosc prmah, and government researchers who stdrmit their work topeer review in prulcssiou- al journals - can't be blamed. '1'he "es- timates document" was never submit- ted for peer review, and the "contribu- tors" have never admitted actual au- thorship. Immediately denounced by the jour- nals Science and Lancet, the document was castigated by Sir Richard f)oR of Oxford, the epidemiologist who conclu- sively proved the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, in lus defini- tive study, "The Causes of Cancer." "No arguments based, even loosely, upon (these estimates) should he taken seriously," Doll wrote. "It seems likely that whoever wrote the OSHA paper did so for political rather than scientific reasons... by t hose who wish to empha- size the importance of occupational fac- tors ... in newspaper articles and ... journalism." NOT ALI. JOURNALISTS were conned. In 1984, Edith Elron published The Apocalyptics: Cancer' and the Big Lie, which was hailed by Dr. Bruce Ames of the University of California at Berkeley, the nation's leading author- ity on carcinogenesis, as the "Silent Springof the couwrterrevolution." By 1985, when I published a series of articles on asbestos in the Detroit News (later nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), it had become obvious, largely through the work of Dr- Malcohn Ross of t he U.S- GeologicalSurvey,that only heavy as- hestos exposure among workers - with risks multiplied some 80-90 times over by smoking - was dangerous. Further, those dangers were largely limited to the past, primarily the World War 11 era, when exposure was coln- plelely llltfeglllatell. Rosti %t'onl'lltsionls were atlnmcd by the Al11. I I,..., ,!..li ral Assnrlation and by a sludv. <otnmis- siotled by Congress, Irom 1hv Ilcalth NI- lects Institute in Cambridge. Mas,., headed by former Waterg.ue proseru- 2074144105 tor Archibald Cox. "We made the inappropriate estinlate that short-term exposures were just as nasty, as carcinogenic and deadly as long-term exposures:" Schneiderman told the Aournal of the National Cancer Institute in April. "Now it looksas if you have to have fairly continuous expo- sure to cause the worst effects." So the great industrial cancer epi- demic is over, ht fact, it never was, as conununities with the financial and in- tellectual resources to study the issue catne to realize. Newton, Mass., with two biologists on its town board, reject- ed a $3.5 billion asbestos removal pro- posal last winter. An $8.5 million ashes- tus removal referendum was rejected in Canaan. Conn., in June by a vote of 2 to 1. But to date, casualties of the "esti- mntes document" include more than a dozen corporations in bankruptcy, thnusandsthrown out of work, and well over 150,000 asbestos tort cases clog- ging the courts. Schools and private- pfoperty owners have already spent some $27 billion of an estimated $150 billion for asbestos removal, although an EPA guidance document, released almost surreptitiously two years ago, advised that removal is "often not (em- phasls EPA's) a building owner's best course of action" and that improper re- moval could "create a dangerous sittm- tion where none existed before." The Ilnited States has paid an enor- mous price because questions weren't asked earlier. There is no excuse for not ask i ng them now - particu larly on behalLnl puorer cnmmtmities, where scarce financial resources would he hrltrr ~prnt fnr virtually any nther pur- pose. M1firhuel.l Uerulrtl, jr~ut'ntdist nnd nu- thor of'I'he Asbeslos Racket: An Envir- onmental Parable, is at'filiared with the Washington-based Science & Environ- ulrn tal Pulir)' Pn grrt. The Science & Environmental Policy Project, 2101 Wilson Blvd., #1003, Arlington, VA 22201 •(703) 527-0130 • .
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0 0 0 S£MWOZ f~ • ~f a~ ~ i .S 33II!•• ~ g - ~ ~ f ~ 0 u S o i ' ~ o :Ll
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• • -3- Putting aside the sheer cost of EPA, there is also the question of the basis of its EPA regulations. There are many reasons for regulating genuine hazards to health. But when regulations are based on faulty science they cost society far more than the health benefits they are designed to achieve. Many examples can be culled from EPA files, but the one that is currently affecting our lives both at home and in the work place is a once obscure environmental issue known as indoor air quality (IAQ). EPA and its political support structure have now determined that indoor air quality is important. So much so that we are evaluating the impact it has on human health in our businesses and our homes. We are studying ways to improve IAQ so that we can enhance our productivity, improve our health and eliminate a score of illnesses allegedly caused by unhealthy indoor environments. Its most recent report about IAQ concerned tobacco smoke. The EPA report concluded that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) poses a serious health risk to non-smokers. But, first, let's see how EPA reached their startling conclusion. The agency did not conduct any new clinical studies, carefully reviewed by independent and impartial scientists whose judgment could be trusted. Instead, EPA reviewed 30 existing reports, 24 of which showed no statistically significant correlation between tobacco smoke in the air and regulatory disease. The other 6 showed only a vague correlation. Researchers were unable to rule out other factors that might cause cancer such as outdoor air pollution. Scientists such as Dr. Gary Huber, a specialist on respiratory diseases at the University of Texas Health Center, dispute the EPA findings. "No matter how you adjust the data, the risk relationship for ETS and lung cancer remains very weak." Nevertheless, despite the paucity of data to substantiate regulations, the EPA would have us believe that it is necessary to clamp controls on ETS. This may be the issue which causes sensible people to stand up and say, "enough!" Where do we draw the regulatory line? If EPA forces us to regulate overall IAQ, why not mandate ventilation systems that reduce our exposure to ~ll airborne chemicals? Obviously, the cost of such regulation would be staggering. And the issue should raise serious concern about why society would impose such unnecessary regulatory costs upon itself. It is time to take a hard look at our nation's priorities, and start investing in our future by eliminating waste and abuse. Let's free our businesses and local governments to create jobs, restore our economy and world competitiveness instead of tying their hands with costly, needless and scientifically unsupportable regulations. N V ~ • o ~ ~ t,S 01
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, . -2- Right now California is trying to cope with the costs of its own economic downturn. Just last month, members of the California Assembly and Senate convened an Economic Summit in Los Angeles to discuss the critical issues of improving California's business climate and reducing job loss within the state. One of the biggest deterrents to business activity and job creation is burdensome regulations advocated by the EPA and other federal agencies. In other words, the goals of boosting California's economy and creating jobs simply cannot be met in the face of costs resulting from uncontrolled over- regulation of our state's businesses. Overall, EPA regulations cost over $115 billion a year. Local governments are particularly victimized, according to Frank Shafroth of the National League of Cities, because local resources only cover $1 of every $10 of regulations mandated by the EPA. And, the high costs to small businesses have been escalating annually or companies are forced to comply with contradicting, ill-conceived and often unnecessary regulation. At the local level, citizens have become polarized over virtually every conceivable environmental issue, and the EPA inevitably is persuaded to oppose and deny useful projects by imposing every-increasing costs and burdensome compliance upon businesses. And what about the EPA itself? EPA fields an army of 18,000 on an operating budget of $4.5 billion. The agency that was created in 1969 by President Nixon as a response to genuine environmental concern has become an all-powerful, litigious, command-and-control bureaucracy that accounts for one seventh of the federal regulatory staff and its budget for one-third of the spending of the entire federal regulatory system. Its power reaches well beyond the borders of the agency; EPA policy guides regulatory initiatives of the Justice Department, Agriculture, Commerce, State, Department of Defense and all 50 states. EPA regulations and their administration cost billions of dollars, but almost no one has the political courage to ask if we should be spending so much of our money this way. Isn't it a legitimate question to ask whether it might be better to invest some of these billions in education, worker training programs, and health care programs? Business has made enormous gains in the past 25 years, and America is admittedly a cleaner, more healthy place to live. Given the fact that non-compliance usually carries such high penalties, most businesses can be trusted to act in their own best interests by obeying air, water, solid waste, toxic substance and other anti-pollution laws. N O A ~ . ~ ~ s W . ~
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ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF SMOKING BANS IN CALIFORNIA • Within the last year, local smoking bans have been passed in several cities and counties. The negative economic impact on local businesses in these cities has been pronounced. • BEVERLY HILLS o In the four months the Beverly Hills ban was in effect, two restaurants, (La Famiglia and The Bistro) were forced to cut back hours and layoff staff. Because of the average business loss of 25 % of revenues on local retailers and restaurants, Beverly Hills repealed the ordinance. SAN LUIS OBISPO o Since the San Luis Obispo smoking ban has been in effect, Pete Colombo of Laurel Lanes bowling center has lost 685 bowlers and nearly half of his income from the cocktail lounge. That adds up to a loss of over $200,000. "For a small business that only does a gross figure of $700,000 per year," Colombo says, "that's devastating." Several bars in San Luis Obispo have been cited repeatedly since the ban went into effect. LODI o Last New Year's Eve, Croce's restaurant in Lodi served 60-80 fewer dinners than usual. This amounted to a loss of $2,000 for that evening alone. Chris and Diana Manos say that this is just one example of the loss of business Croce's has suffered since Lodi's smoking ban has been in effect. Smokers apparently prefer to go out of town to eat rather than put out their cigarettes. "All the other towns are profiting from our misfortune," writes Manos, "and they love it!" o Jeanette Kulp, also from Lodi, owns Jeanette's Restaurant. Her business has decreased by 75 percent since the smoking ban has been in effect. Her "out-of-town customers" have stopped coming altogether. As a result, she has been forced to layoff five employees and, if she "closes the door, there will be nine more." o One restaurant, the Red Flame has closed due to losses suffered since the ordinance passed. The bowling alley in town has also suffered losses. Many of the league bowlers have quit bowling in Lodi and have begun their leagues in a bowling alley in Stockton. BELLFLOWER o A 100 percent smoking ban in Beilflower, enacted in March, 1991, has caused a decline in restaurant traffic by over 30%, according to an economic study undertaken two months after the ordinance went into effect. Two restaurants have already closed--The Cherokee Cafe and Joey La Brique's -- and others have cut back hours and staff, and may soon be forced to close. o As soon as state tax receipt figures have been released, the restaurant owners will be submitting them to the city council to show the economic hardships they have suffered since the ban went into effect. 0 y A i ~ ~ i ~ J
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1 l ~ a v A A A 1 ~ A
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0 . • Like many studies before it, EPA's recent report concerning environmental tobacco smoke allows political objectives to overwhelm scient{fically objective research. The EPA report is filled with unsubstantiated claims, lowered standards and statistically questionable devices. Never before has EPA proposed to classify a substance as a Group A carcinogen on the basis of such weak and inconclusive data. EPA's methodology on ETS sets a precedent that could threaten the use of such common products as chlorinated water, diesel fuel, numerous pesticides and more. You do not have to approve of smoking to reject to the EPA's decision to misuse scientific data in order to support predetermined conclusions.
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e • WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE EPA AND ITS FLAWED REPORT ON ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE (ETS) "The EPA was not unaware of the fact that the tobacco industry is an extremely appealing target with few allies in the public arena." Bonner Cohen, Editor EPA Watch Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 "But the EPA's preemptory attitude notwithstanding, its study is hardly unassailable. In fact, it appears that the EPA manipulated the study and lowered scientific standards to reach a politically desirable conclusion. The implications for both smokers and nonsmokers could be devastating." Matthew C. Hoffman, The Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, January 25, 1993 • Regarding the EPA's lowering the confidence internal from 95 to 90 percent, James Enstrom says "that doubles the chance of being wrong." He adds that "in most cases, a scientist would never do this sort of thing... It's surprising that they (EPA) would try to get away with it " James Enstrom, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 "When it discovered that ETS could not be classified as a carcinogen under long-standing scientific accuracy guidelines, the guidelines were changed. Bothersome data were averaged away through a questionable statistical averaging technique employed by the EPA for the first time on ETS. The National Cancer Institute Study simply was ignored altogether. Even with all this fudging, the EPA cannot explain why its claim that ETS causes as many as 3,800 lung cancer deaths per year, which would be a large percentage of lung cancers among non- smokers, is not supported by real case histories.... The implications of the EPA ruling go far beyond tobacco. If it can skew science on ETS and get away with it, then what happens when another substance is deemed politically incorrect?" o • V Rtchmond Times-Dispatch, January 11, 1993 a A A 3 ~ Cn
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~ NEwYORKLAw1OURNAL NEW YORK, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER la, 1991 • OUTSIDE COUNSEL By C.Jaye BerBer Legal Aspects Of Sick Building Syndrome 0 M OST OF US spend a large part of our day inside build- ings. In the case of most office buildings, we are in an enclosed structure which contains a variety of chemicals and sub- stances. some of which may be hazardous to our health. Industrial sites may be manufacturing hazardous sub- stances. At home, we may be exposed to potentially harmtul substances via the furniture we own or the location of the building. Indoor air pollution can occur as a result of the presence of statutorily defined "haurdous substances" or from the accumulation of unaccept- able levels of varfous pollutants such as gases, vapors, radon and bacteria due to inadequate fresh air ventita- tion. Such pollution can also be gener- ated by asbestos, formaldehyde foam insulation used in building materials, fiberglass duct lining; radon from granite building materials; pentachlo- rophenol from logs; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBa) from electrical transformers; and diisocyanate insula- tion, wail fabrics and pressed wood furniture, plastcizers in rugs, paint, tobacco smoke and microbes in the ventilation system. Copy machines generate ozone. Furnishings such as earpet, drapea, chairs, and aofas may absorb taoo- ics from the indoor air that came from other somres. These pollutants aceu- mulate because buildings are de- signed with sealed windows and insulated walls so as not to allow heat to escape. Consequently, not enough fresh air may come in. Their heatfng, ventilating and air conditioning systems may be made- quate to clean out these pollutants and recycle in sufficient quantities of outdoor air. Maintenance problems may prevent the building equipment irom functioning property. Building occupants may develop eye irritation, nausea and headaches, heart problems and rancer, called sich building syndrome," which may provide a basis for litigation against building ownera, managers, contru- ton, architects, HVAC Installers, man- Caaa.ed os p.ge 2, cotsusn!
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Qlhe VPAU Mark Q1i=14 Continued F}m he lalc 190e's amonF farmers, ~ ~owners and mhers who were upset largely by the growing cosl of regulauons that didn't appear to bring any measurable benefns. Corporate execuhves had long Er'en making similar argumems but had gone unheedeQ even during 12 years of Republican rule, because often they were seen as interested only in saving money. Richard J, Mahoney, chairman and chief executive of Monsanto, the chem- ical company, sald the nation may stat listening m Industry now. "People want to know, even with the envi. ronment, what we are getting for our man- ey;" he sxid. "The most positive thing since the election ts that we are beginning to recog. mre Ihal we do have flmte resaurces,and one must make chmces." But leaders of the nation's conservation organnahons believe the new view is mis- Fmded. "We don't need a new paradtgm." said David D. Duniger, a senior lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, "For 35 ycars, the policy of Ih< Government hes beeo that when there is uncertainty about a tisreet n is beuer to bc safe than sarry. When you are operating at the limus of what acsence knows, the big mistake would be to underesU- mate the real danger and leave people unpro- tected,'• Stlll, in Ihe laat few years the wave has moved into universities,city halla, state capb sab and eren W the highest ievels of the E.P.A., whose Science Advrsory Board in I990 concluded Hlat envlmemenml laws "are more reflective of public perceptions of risk than of scientific understanding of risk." Law Follows Panic Wtlliam K. Redk, the E.P.A. Admtmstrm mr at the time, aRreed. And In a recent mrv,ew in his office at the World Wildfire und, hc argued"People have a right to pect that Wblic officials are making the ight choices for the right reasons. We need to develop a new system for taking action on the environment thal isn't based an respond- ing to the nightly news, What we have had in the United States Is envlronmental agerda- setting by episodic panle." " Richard D, Morgenstern, the acting admin- utramr for policy planning and eveluatbn at Ihe E.P.A., explains the problem this wayl "Gur society ia very reactive, and wheri concerns are raised people want acbon. The problem in a democracy is you can't euily sit idly back and tell people it would be better to leam more" The result, he added, ra that "we're naw in the Posttton of saying In quite a few of nur programs,'tJops, we made a mistake."' President Clinton is clearly aware of this vrew, As Governor of Arkansas, he mntinual- ly complained as a Federal toxic waste cleanup prolect In Jacksonville devoured f25 mdhon In stale. Federal and private money, State offtetais saw nearly a decade of work has produced bttic more than ptles of mchnicai documents. exorbitant legal bills and public discord. To be sure, some of the g1/0 billion the nation Is spending this year pays farenVimn- mentai programs that are indisputably use- ful. As an example, few experts questtan the valueaf spending roughly $3 billion each year on new sewage treatment plants. Many ex. perts, however. question the wisdom of spendsng billions of dollars to protect people from traces of toxic cnmpounds. The new school of thought has blossomed as pollcy makers coniront planetary threats like global warming, ornne depletinn and deforestation in which the consequences of wrong action are much greater. Unless the nation rethmks its approach to envtronmen- tal protectton, some experts say, the Umted Slales could repext its mistakes. "The President is aware of this dilemma, ndlherelsleadershiplnthlsAdmtntstrauon r trying to change the way we do business millgrin every aspeat of governing, including envc ronmevtal promcuon," said Carol M. Browner, the Administrator of the Envrron- mental Protection Ag9nCy. "We have to al- low for change to uccur as new information becomes available This is nol an area where a soluuon wtll fit lorever" Policy Now Costly Solutions Seeking Problems Almost everyane involved, including com- mumty and local envnonmental groups, grees that the toxtc waste program stands as the most wasteful effort of all. Il began IS years ago when the nation rose In revulsion over the dlscovery, of seeptng chemicals at Lore Canal in New York. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes. In response, Cungress passed two laws: the Superfund law of 1960 and amendments tn the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1984, A decade later, (hose laws have driven fhe Government to spend almost $2 billion a year for the Superfund, which cleans up toxic waste sues, arxi more than ig bHlion more a year on similar programs in mher agencres, even though many of the mtes pose I/tlk if any danger. "Ibes it make sense to spend miliions of dollars cleaning up a site that osrly has a tenlh of an ounce of contaminatmn?" asked Dr. Richard Goodwin, s pHVate environmen- tal engineer in Upper Saddle River, N.J., who has overseen more than 20 toxic waste cleam ups. "I say no. All we're doing in most cases is throwing moncy at a problem without improving public health or the envtron- mem." Hugh B, Kaufman, a hazardous waste spe. cmlist at the E.P A. who helped u er the problem at Love Canal,said that in the few cases in which a sne is near populated areas. "the best thing we can do is evacuate people if they want, then put up a fence and a/lag that says stay away." Mr. Kaufman aaid he knows that his idea repreaenss a marked dtarya In the tnditkn- al viaw tl haw the natbn slsould care for Its land. Bu he and other aaperts qys it does rat mae sense to ckse uplLese wastes at ruats that frequently exceed $10 mlllJan an acre. Even a prlncipal author ol the Superfund ' law, Gov. Jim Florio of New Jerxy, who was chairman of a House environmental subcom. mluee in the 1970 s. 'now argues that the mflextblr mies na.,n that Superfund re are mo often devoted to making sites prtstine. "It doesn't make any sense to clean up a rail yard in downtown Newark so it can be a drinking water reservmr," he said, speaking rhetorically, Toxic waste cleanups are one example of a program gone awry. Here are others: 9Early in the 19g0's, Govemment acien- tists argued that exposure m asbestos could cause thousands of cancer deatha Since as- besms was used as insulatson in schools and public buildings, parents reacted with alarm. So in 1905 Congress approved a sweeping law that led cities and stales to spend between $15 billion and $211 billion to remove asbestos Irnm public buddings. But three years ago, the E.P.A. completed research that promptcd officials to admit that ripping out the nsbcstus had been an expensrve mistake: lhe removal often sent tiny asbestos fibers imo IIIC air. NVN', except in CJSe> when the asbe5 los Is damaged ur crumbling, the Gavern menl's official advice is: Don't touch tt. U In 1982, hhigh concentrations of dtoxin re discovered In the din roads of Times Beach, Mo, near St. Louls Residents were alarmed; the Government had designated dioxln as ose of the mast rmdc subtastces known. The furar nme In the middle of a scandal at the E,P.A.; the a`ency'a chief, Anrx Gorsuch Burford, was eccused of not enforcing environmental law and being too close lo iMustry, And as that scandal domi- naled the news, the Reagan Administration dendcd io ovaruate all 2,24n residents of 1 imvs BcarR a prolect that rost the Govern- inent $37 mllhnn. but new research Indlcales ih,e dioxin mav mn be so dangerous after zll. None of the former resWents of Times Beach have been found to be harmed by dioxtn, and two years ago, Dr. Vernon N, Houk, the Federal official who urged the evacuation, declared that he had made a mistake, Yet even as enormous sums of money were being spent on these problems, Washmgton was doing little about others. Here are two: 9Mercury, a highly toxic metal, has eml- taminated thousands of lakes across the na. tlon, polsonmg wildlife and threatening hu- man health, state environmental officsals say. Twenty states, including New York, have posted warnings at lakes urging people not la eat ihe f¢h because they are tatnled by mercury, which can cause nervaus systum drsordera But dunng debate on the Cleun Alr Act. in 1990, Congress considered limiting mercury emtssrons from roahburntnF elec lnr planls. The lawmakers derided not to an because they beilmyed utilmes had already bcen asked to spend enough to control and ratn. Senate and House leaders said, qln the last two years, several Federal agencles have called exposure to lead the largest environmental threat to the nation's children. Although some scientists dispute that, sevenl studies have shown that lead poisasing N children leads to reduced intevi- gence, karning disabllities and hyperactivi- ty. The mvhlem Is that most houses built before the I9"/0's could have some lead-based pains. and the fear is that children are eaung paint chtps or inhaling lead-laden dust. Some experts have satd removmR the IeaJ paml will cosl at least $YOU bilhon Thts year, the Government wdi spend 5234 million on the problem, far less than it spends on cleaning up towc wastes,
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0 -4- "It is a crusade I well understand. As a nonsmoker who intensely dislikes the smell of other people's fumes, and as a father of a newborn daughter, I have strong personal objections to having my family subjected to secondary smoke. Yet, ironically, I cannot in good conscience condone EPA's crusade:" John Shanahan, The Heritage Foundation The Washington 7Fmes, Dec. 6, 1992 "No matter how you adjust the data, the risk relationship for ETS and lung cancer remains very weak. I am a non-smoker and I sometimes find smoke of others annoying. But that is different from saying it is a health hazard to non-smokers." Dr. Gary Huber, Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Center • N O A i .P A ~ G7 00
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r • • • -3- Regarding the EPA's decision to exclude the National Cancer Institute study released in November that would have resulted in no statistically significant findings, Alan Gross, professor of biostatistics the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston says, "when one new study can throw it from nonsignificant to significant and another can throw it back again, you're not demonstrating a clear trend." Alan Gross, a professor of biostatistics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 "Problems with the EPA ETS assessment include: (i) over-reliance on exposure data drawn from people's recollection of their exposure to other people's smoke over many decades; (ii) bias in the data, due to a failure to properly account for dietary factors that affect cancer rates." John Shanahan, The Heritage Foundation The Washington Times, Dec. 6, 1992 "The possibility of cancer from secondhand smoke is a small added risk, probably much less than you took to get here through Washington traffic." Dr. Morton Lippmann, Chairman of the EPA SAB Committee at news conference discussing the EPA report on ETS "The EPA's disregard for scientific standards threatens to open up American homes and offices to costly and intrusive regulations, and creates a precedent that might be used to indict other aspects of our living environment. For example, the EPA has investigated Electromagnetic Fields (EMF), which are produced by many household applications, to determine if they cause cancer. Also under investigation is shower-taking; the EPA fears that harmful carcinogens are released as a gas by shower water. If such phenomena are classified as cancer-causing, Americans could find their homes regulated by the EPA bureaucracy." Matthew C. Hoffman, the Competitive Enterprise Institute The Washington Times, January 23, 1993
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0 -2- The EPA's use of a "one-tailed" analysis as opposed to a "two-tailed" one, is more like going to an 85 percent level, "which would triple the chance of a mistake due to chance." Joel Hay, a health economist at the University of Southern California who teaches statistics Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 Regarding the EPA's lowering the confidence interval from 95 to 90 percent [in the report regarding ETS], Michael Gough says, "You cannot run science with the government changing the rules all the time:' Michael Gough, program manager for biological applications for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 0 "Let me remind you that the relative risk we are talking about here [for chlorinated water] is higher than the relative risk for ETS. The difference is that nobody likes ETS. It's easy for people to say "Oh, let's get rid of that smoke; it's really nasty and horrible," but in fact, the relative risk we are talking about here in the highest exposed group in [Ken Cantor's study] was higher than the relative risk, for the average, for lung cancer for someone married to a smoker." Dr. Devra Lee Davis scholar in residence, National Research Council of the National Academy of Science Disinfection by products Technical Workshop, The Resolve Center for Environmental Dispute Resolution, November 4-5, 1992, Washington, DC. 'To me, it's frightening that they could make such a case out of such a small risk factor when you've got so many variables." James Enstrom, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles Investor's Business Daily, January 28, 1993 N O • V P ~ A ? ~ CTt O
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EPA WATCH PAGE 3 Lewiston, Maine held May 15. "We ten't even invited to that meeting," oted. The gathering storm over unfunded Federal environmental mandates has at last caught the EPA's attention. Some in the agency are acutely aware that unless the problem is dealt with seriously and expeditiously, the EPA will be facing a nationwide backlash such that it has never experienced. Indeed, for many local jurisdictions, the issue has already reached critical proportions. On top of their financial woes, their non-compliance with VOL 1 NUMBER 6 Federal environmental regulations makes them liable for suit by their own citizens. In this connection, the comment of one agency official to EPA WATCH bears repeating. "Nothing changes here without pressure from the outside." CONCERN MOUNTS OVER INTERSTATE TRASH DUMPING As more and more American communities find that they have become the dumping ground for out- of-state trash, support is growing in both Houses of Congress for legislation that would place severe restrictions on the interstate transfer of solid waste. The Environmental Protection ncy estimates that Americans rate 180 million tons of trash every year, or about 4 pounds per person daily. That amount is expected to reach 216 million tons by the year 2000. About 80 percent of today's solid waste is disposed in landfills. But, as the amount of trash grows, the number of landfills is rapidly decreasing. Disappearing Landfflls In 1960, approximately 30,000 landfills or open dumps existed in the United States. By 1979, this number had declined to 20,000, and today there are only 6,000 still in operation. An October 1989 report by the Office of Technology Assessment estimates that 80 percent of existing landfills will close within 20 years. New regulations for landfills, promulgated by the EPA in October 1991, are expected to further reduce the 0 ber of operating sites. As a result of this decline in disposal capacity, many states in the Northeast, particularly New York and New Jersey, and the West Coast are experiencing a widening gap between the available disposal capacity and the amount of waste being generated. The gap is being filled by long-haul waste transport to disposal sites in the nation's midsection. Currently, the favorite dumping sites are in Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, and Montana, with other states fearing that they, too, will soon be added to the list. Coats Bill Presently, local communities have virtually no means at their disposal to combat the dumping of interstate trash in landfills in or near their jurisdictions. A bill recently introduced by Senator Dan Coats, Republican of Indiana, is designed to give individual communities the right to say "no" to out-of-state trash. The measure (S. 2384) would make it unlawful for a landfill to receive out- of-state trash without permission of the local governing authority. It allows local communities to negotiate host fees that would directly benefit their communities should they choose to allow out-of-state trash to be dumped in their landfills. In addition, the affected local government has to notify the Governor of its decision to receive out-of-state waste. Although the state would not be involved in the decision of each community, the Governor would be allowed to disapprove any authorization that would cause the total volume of out-of-state trash to exceed 30 percent of the total volume disposed in the state during the previous year. The Coats bill does foresee some exceptions to the overall prohibition. To qualify for an exemption, the landfill must be designed and operated in accordance with the recently promulgated Federal landfill regulations as well as comply with all state laws and regulations. Furthermore, it must have received out-of-state garbage during the month of February 1992 pursuant to a written contractual agreement. Landfills qualifying for this exemption could not receive any more out-of- state trash than they received in 1991. The exception would be phased out as of 1997. The bill would also provide for states to develop a 10-year municipal solid waste state management plan which would be reviewed by the Governor every five years. The EPA would be given six months to approve or disapprove of the state plan. If there is no action during that time, the plan is deemed approved. States would also be authorized to impose a flat fee on all out-of-state trash of up to S 10 a ton to be used to implement state solid waste management programs. In addition, 36 months after enactment of this bill, it would become unlawful for a landfill to receive out-of-state waste if the exporting state does not have a solid waste management plan of its own.
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A Case History: EPA's Flawed Study on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) In its December 1992 report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders," the EPA claimed that "secondary smoke" is responsible for as many as 3,0001ung cancer deaths in the United States each year. The much-criticized report has considerable flaws. 0 24 of the 30 studies reviewed by the EPA showed no statistically significant correlation between secondary smoke and cancer, and the remaining six showed a correlation too small to rule out other factors affecting the incidence of cancer. o One of the largest and most well-regarded studies in history, published in the November 1992 issue of American Journal of Public Health, showed no statistically significant increase in lung cancer risk for non-smokers and was ignored by the EPA. • o The EPA changed the confidence interval for these studies from 95 to 90 percent -- thereby doubling the margin for error while also satisfying the agency's desire to demonstrate increased risk. o The EPA conducted no new or original research. o The EPA's data consists of a compilation of existing studies of the recollections of non-smokers married to smokers. o The EPA itself admits that an estimated 80 percent of lung cancer is caused by factors other than ETS. o The EPA report relies only upon studies in the homes of smokers, and cannot legitimately be used to support smoking bans outside the home. o Cigarettes are not the only source of environmental smoke, which is also produced by things such as fireplaces and cooking equipment and processes. o The EPA h4Ld a contract with an anti-smoking firm to produce the ETS workplace policy guide, which was written before the EPA's risk assessment for ETS,was finished, implying that the EPA didn't even use bad science -- it used no science. The EPA's risk assessment for ETS once again calls into question the Agency's scientific methods and its use of science to promote "politically n~ • correct" policy. y ~ ~ .p A 3 QY b
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r i r c a
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A ~ a • 0 THE EPA RISK ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE EPA's Risk Assessment of Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A Critique • The EPA ETS risk assessment is not original research or a new study. It is a review of existing studies on ETS and two health endpoints: lung cancer in adults and respiratory effects in children. • The ETS risk assessment reaches its conclusions through a selective and statistically flawed analysis of the available research, ignoring the fact that some 80 percent of the ETS studies fail to support the claim that ETS increases the risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. The EPA ETS Risk Assessment: Implications for the Workplace and Social Settings • The ETS risk assessment is not a workplace study, but is based instead solely on studies of nonsmokers assumed to be exposed in the home. Accordingly, claims that the report supports smoking bans in public places are totally without scientific foundation. Of 14 studies which specifically examined ETS exposure in the workplace, 12 report no statistically significant increase in risk. • EPA has no regulatory authority over workplace exposures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which does have jurisdiction over worker exposures, currently is considering the ETS issue along with a general review of indoor air quality in the workplace. OSHA has made no decision on ETS regulation in the workplace, but has on two prior occasions specifically declined to regulate workplace smoking based on the inadequacy of available data on ETS in the workplace. EPA Group A Carcinogen Classification: Practical Implications • EPA's determination to classify ETS as a Group A carcinogen generates no general duty to eliminate ETS exposure. A number of common substances designated by EPA as Group A carcinogens, such as benzene, are not
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(the 1~rew H,ark Qlintts • National Research Counml of the tvattona! Acartemy of SoMtces. 0 t The Path to Po/icy W hen Politics Mixes With Fear I:vc•n tne adeot:nos nt cbangc acknoui, edge rhat ar xnence e'mlves, experts may change m^.tr vtews agaln on the dangers pnsed by Ihese anu other subtlances. 6ut at the least, "sound s'ctence shou!d be our compass;' as Mr. Reilly put it two yem's ago. Alter all, it was pohUC> mrsmteprelea or waeeurate sctenlffr< luldmgs and A newly mfluenttal natwnal environmental muve ment that combined to eet America down tts present pam. Ourtng the 1970's, the United States had succCssfully dealt with many abvtous envl- ronmantat problems, When the Cuyahoga Rtver /n Cleve/and cauglit fire in 190, as an exampfe, Conpress passed the Ctean Water Act. About tRe same trme came the Clean Air Act,the En6zngeretl Species Act and olher latldmark envtronmental natules - laws that am now widely acclaimed, By the Iate 1976's, many Democrats to COngrMS beltevtd the pebli0 wanted even stnetcr envtronmental )aw. But wlten Roneld Reapan was etected tn 19&0, he promised m mdutt reRulattoa Whde tht White House and Cungre.v batffid m'er tbts. the naUOnal envvonmenla! movemcnL w^th heip trorn the ncws medm, uwk on nce 7ab of warnrng the ItUbt1C about new thre'6la 8nd CrYattng Cam- patgns to enlht popular support for new rogulanans.'fhey were spectacularly effec~ tive at thls, and Cangresx qsxed two dwea 6itts rhhat laid dowwn e welter of mandata, in the 1970's, environmehlfil statutes nM 11 ran mom than 50 yages, tntha 1980's, thde bills seldom numbered fewer than SW pagea The nsson was that Congress wanted tu mandate safety ltmlts so specific that the AEmmiffiratwn eould nnt tgnore ur <vade Shem. Mr. Redly, ttM former E.P,A- chief, csrd he was largety unable to change the c'an'ernmcnt's tmnkmp, deNpttC his strong uprmon thur envrrnnmeatul Fahey was on me wrung caursq beeause "thts represented a prnty srFmfwnat change of d!reetmn •' Legitlmiains Pollution? At the leadmg <nvtrnnmental groups. staff members dispute the davatopeng vrew that envvonmental policy rs off trark, "It's an effort io legdtmtu pollution:'saio Danicl F, 8ecker, dittctor of the Global Warmtng and Energy Program at the Sterta Ch+d "There ate powerful torccs who have an Kanomk stake in detmphaslaing ami- ronmentet damage:" But others who analyze envrmnntenial is. sues said these groups are in danger of becom/ng the green equivalent of the miti- tary lobby, more interested in suwmg tear and protecting wasteful programs than in devising a new course. "we are in danger of losing credibility and thus tozrng public suppart if we don't modify the whole way we go about protecttng pubtic heetllr and the envtronment!'said Dr, bevrs Lce Davte, a s<mor research feltew at the A Case Study Making Dirt Safe to Eat Parhaps no onvrratmenlal prngram has romc under more <rwuam mun thc Super- fand and nz progeny-The Federal programs to clear loutc m' ratltaaarve wastes w/!1 can- sume more than oneyaarter ot the roughly i98 bnipon that the Fedaral Government spends for envrronmental protecuon this year, Experts m and out of tno Gnvernment assnrt,thoug.h,thatmetustlf!ca0ontorthese expen&tures rs oRen quesuanabk. Ginsider the case of Columbia, Miss. The E.P.AA is oversecmg the last phasea ot a $20 mtlhon Superfund cleanup project tDere. LiRe rnany others around the country, this ane was gulded by the Guvernment's as.' sumptton ttwe children wtlleat dirt. LWS o! It. MN from that dirt, the Government fhea rtACd that they cW Id develop canCer, Some evidence suggested that thrs was an caeggerated tancem. In 1931, a study for the Congresstanal Office of Techno!ogy Assess• mant, which has been eadarsed by the Na= nonal Canccr tnstnutc, found that on!y I to a pcnantni all cancers m people arecaused by exposum to toxto chemtea!s tn the envirom ment. Thts findtng, however, has had ttufe mfinen" en Fedoral policy. 1LC qrnblem in Columbia was an 91,a6re atte that over tts long hfe had been home to a lumber nulf, a naval turpentine and plne tar Ptant and a chemical manufaeturen gmt tests taken rn 19gs showed cractx of campamde the Gnvernment defines as haa. ardwa. Ttn; concentrations rarely exacade.l 50 parts per mtiliaq or abmh two ounces of chemicats mixed in a ton of soit, But that level eaceeded the Federal timit, and tbe E,PA• placed the land an as tiat ofdangerous taxle waste siles. Some expertx told the H.P-A. that such ttny amounu of tamammauon were harmless. Thrv sard 1he .r,tfeat and most e,conomeal wav or sotve mc problem wouid be to spread a Iuycr nt elesnet se9 entl rall rt a day. The Cnsc atputal mbhon. But Iwo years ago, the E.P•A. settled on the moat eapensrve possible so/utlon. The Gov. ernMem ordered Reichhold Chemical, the plant's former owner, lo dig up more Nanm II,500 tons nf sod and haul most of /t to a: tGmmerCtal dump in (Anlslana- t$p dJmQr' truck loads, eaeb one cosung $7,=0D. E.P A, officials sId they wanted to make, the site safe enough to be used for any. purposa, including houses - thuugh uo uk" was pn>1losing to buitd anyth{ng there. With" that as the goel, the agency wanted to me$et sure children could play in the dirt, even eat it, wnhout nsk. And since a chemical m tha: dtrt had been shown to cause fancer In refs„ the agancy eet a hmit low enough that a ehildv could eat half a teaspoon of dirt every mnniA fm' 70 years and not get cancer, ' I,ast month, the E.P,A officials acklrow6i edged that at feast half of the $14 b111Hm 014 . nation nas spent on Superfund cleanups was used In comply wdh similar ^dv4eating rulas," as Lhty call them"1 don't thrnk any way yuu laok at this it emtttl bc seen as a pracncat saluuon;'saitl W. Seml Pbinrps, an engineer with Malcolm pvnm, an enwronmenta! planning company that manaFes thu cleanup "It's a.lot af mpmy to spend moving dm:" Ne%t: 7 he dabnlc nver nCmn dumptng.
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-a- . banned, but, rather, are subject to permissible exposure levels set by OSHA. • Additionally, elimination of ETS will not prevent exposure to the substances that make up ETS, which have a variety of indoor sources -- including fireplaces and cooking equipment and processes. Legal Significance of EPA's Classification of ETS as a Group A Carcinogen • The EPA risk assessment is not substantively different from previous reviews of ETS by the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Academy of Sciences, so it does not significantly alter the legal landscape under state workmen's compensation and common-law liability theories. The risk assessment is simply one more report; it has no legal significance in itself. • Claimants' chances of prevailing in ETS litigation are not substantially enhanced by EPA's designation of ETS as a Group A carcinogen. Claimants still will have to demonstrate that ETS is the specific substance that caused their illness -- a difficult undertaking, since even EPA estimates that 80 percent of lung cancers are caused by other substances -- and that the illness was caused specifically by workplace exposure, rather than exposures in other settings. The ADA and Emolover Liability • • Claims that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires employers to ban or severely restrict workplace smoking based on employee sensitivity are unsupported. Nothing in the Act itself mandates the imposition of any smoking policy whatsoever. Further, even if an individual could establish a disabling "hypersensitivity" to tobacco smoke, covered entities simply would be required to make "reasonable accommodation" of the individual's needs. Such accommodation does not require a complete ban or severe restrictions.
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• EPA's treatment of environmental tobacco smoke - the smoke to which a nonsmoker may be exposed - Is without Agency precedent. EPA uses a questionable approach to reach its conclusions. The document suggests the plausibility of its conclusions by pointing to an assumed similarity between ETS and mainstream smoke - that which the smoker inhales - even though the report Indicates they are different. . The draft report concedes substantial physical and chemical differences between the mainstream tobacco smoke to which smokers are exposed and the ETS to which nonsmokers may be exposed. The draft also concedes enormous differences in the levels and routes of exposure. Never before has EPA ignored such differences in proposing to classify a substance as a Group A carcinogen. • An untenable precedent will be set if ETS is classified as a Group A carcinogen based on comparisons of the smoke to which a smoker is exposed and nonsmoker ETS exposure. If containing any of the same substances as mainstream smoke is a sufficient basis for such a classification, then the air in every building and home might qualify as a Group A carcinogen. Water, hamburgers, peanut butter and many other everyday products and foods also could quaiify. The majority of the lung cancer studies, including the most recently published ETS/lung cancer study - one of the largest ever conducted - report no statistically significant Increase In risk. • • If the most recent studies are added to EPA's lung cancer data base, the risk assessment's overall risk for EPA's report would be statistically nonsignificant. • Over two-thirds of the studies reviewed in the EPA document do not report a statistically significant association between exposure to ETS and lung cancer among nonsmokers. Never before has EPA proposed to classify a substance as a Group A carcinogen on the basis of such weak and inconclusive data. • EPA acknowledged earlier that the U.S. studies do not convincingly support the contention that ETS exposure increases nonsmoker lung cancer risk. To reach a contrary conclusion, this report adopts changed standards and statistical devices to reach a contrary - and scientifically questionable -- conclusion. • The report ignores workplace and male exposure data -- data that do not indicate an association between exposure to ETS and lung cancer -- apparently because the majority of these data do not fit the report's conclusion. The EPA report also discusses respiratory disorders in children. The first draft document acknowledged that the pertinent studies were too equivocal to support a causal Inference. in contrast, the revised report selectively reviews the studies and falls to account for many of the flaws and inconsistencies it had earlier acknowledged. ~, ~ o . V ~ ~ A 0. i 0) 00
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9Pd, WA'I`CH PAGE 2 issue of Georgia Counry Government Magazine points out that "there is not a single case recorded in Georgia of someone dying or becoming ill from drinking water from a public system that met the old standards before the new act (Clean Water Act) came along." This notwithstanding, the EPA has proposed a new standard for radon in drinking water that officials in California estimate will cost that state at least $3.7 billion (See related story on p. 4). Underestimating the Cost Local governments also complain that the EPA's estimates of the final cost of implementing environmental regulations are notoriously inaccurate. The city of Colorado Springs, Colorado was told by EPA officials that it would have to spend approximately $49,000 to obtain a stormwater permit. To date, Colorado Springs has spent over $1 million on the permit and is still not yet in compliance with EPA requirements. The agency's estimate was off by a factor of 20. Colorado Springs' experience is by no means unique. Columbus, Ohio has been so overwhelmed by unfunded Federal mandates that the city sent a report to the EPA last year outlining the extent of the problem it faces. The report, "Environmental Legislation: the Increasing Cost of Regulatory Compliance to the City of Columbus," notes that, over the next decade, Columbus will spend $1.3 to $1.6 billion to comply with EPA mandates already in place, not to mention those still in the EPA pipeline. Like Colorado Springs, Columbus has had to wrestle with the consequences of the EPA's inaccurate cost projections. In 1990, the EPA estimated the cost of a stormwater permit for a city the size of Columbus at $76,681, but the lowest bid Columbus received from contractors to implement its stormwater permit was $1.779 million. The EPA miscalculated by a factor of 25. According to EPA Administrator William Reilly, the United States currently spends $115 billion annually on environmental issues, a figure that is expected to rise to at least $171 billion by the year 2000. Since most of the money to be spent has not been appropriated by Congress, and will not be, it will have to be raised at the local level. There, with tax dollars earmarked for environmental cleanup having to compete with education, transportation, hospitals, nutrition programs, and a host of other public expenditures, local officials are demanding that the EPA issue rules that address real rather than "perceived" risks to human health. "We must be able to justify what we do," Tom Curtis of the National Governors' Association told the gathering. As financial pressure mounts on local governments, elected officials can no longer justify taking money away from other health-related programs and spending it on EPA- mandated regulations for the sake of "protecting the eco-systent," he added. Negligeable Effect on Human Health Indeed, one of the greatest frustrations faced by local officials is that most of the unfunded environmental mandates they must implement will have at most only a negligeable effect on human health. That those regulations are based on EPA science which the agency's own internal review released in March found to be "uneven and haphazard" calls into question the scientific basis of those mandates. In fact, the agency's review noted that "EPA often does not scientifically evaluate the impact of its regulations" (See EPA WATCH: March 31, 1992). In Gght of the overwhelming problems they face, the representatives of the local governments made several recommendations to the EPA: -- Write dear regulations that set priorities among those rules which are essential to human health and those which are not; -- issue regulations which allow for site-specific differences in the lV 0 V ~ ~ ~P ..a da tn VOL 1 NUMBIJZ environmental problems to be addressed; ` - make sure that EPA health-rZRRf mandates are based on sound sciene something that has been lacking in e much of EPA's rule-making, -- learn how utilities operate and learn how to differentiate between tf problems faced by large and small utilities; -- work closely with local governments in formulating regulations and developing realistic timetables for their implementation; and -- stop treating local governments ae "just another interest group." Many participants emphasized that the EPA is prone to blame Congress for the regulations it must enforce. "Our people like to hide behind Congress' skirts," an agency source told EPA WATCH. "Sometimes the bills passed by Congress are so II worded that we have plenty of ~ flexibilitywhen it comes to implementation, but we don't use tha flexibility," the source added. "First of Many Steps" Most participants in the meeting were pleased that EPA officials at least agreed to meet with them to discuss what is rapidly becoming an explosive issue. 'his is a critical first step, but many more steps must follow," commented Laurie Westley ol the National School Boards Association. She told EPA WATCH that the agency must stop "dictating to us" and try instead to work with local governments to resolve environmental issues. Mr. Shafroth of the National League of Cities said he was not encouraged by the meeting. Based oe his 8-years experience in dealing with the EPA, Mr. Shafroth believes agency must "change the whol ~~~~~~"'e does business" before any progre can be made. He also was skeptical about the ultimate outcome of a follow-up meeting between EPA officials and representatives of such cities as Columbus; Ohio and
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EPA WATCH i A ,wic..,nond* .dmry o f .ovownpMd ",u/atary•.un;na und.takai by flw EPA. OSAAA tlu n'tiee IfauK rhe U.S. Cagvsr and l#dev4 tare and loeal aa~ VOL 1 NUMBER 6 JUNE 1.1992 LOCAL GOVERNMENTS REELING FROM COSTS OF EPA REGULATIONS The staggering cost of implementing Federal environmental regulations threatens to lead to a "revolt" by hard-pressed local governments. This was the blunt message delivered to high-level EPA officials on May 12 who met with representatives of governments and utilities directly affected by un- funded Federal environmental mandates. The meeting, which had been in the planning stages for months, came 0t as a result of mounting ration on the part of local officials at Washington's apparent indifference to the plight of communities unable to finance the growing list of environmental regulations emanating from the EPA. "Congress provides no financing for the statutes it passes and the regulations the EPA issues," commented Ralph Tabor of the National Association of Counties, whose organization represents over 3,000 counties across the U.S. He added that Congress and the EPA develop implementation schedules for environmental statutes, such as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which have no basis in reality. Mr. Tabor said the timetables put together in Washington are arbitrary and ignore the financial constraints y~r which local governments ~te. He warned that the EPA facing a revolt" at the local level unless the agency took the concerns of taxpayers and ratepayers into account. "Written in Latin with Greek Footnotes" Speaking on behalf of the National League of Cities, Frank Shafroth pointed out that for every $10 of Federally-mandated environmental cost there is $1 available at the local level to implement the regulations. Not only do local governments not have the money to carry out environmental mandates, they frequently do not know what it is they are supposed to implement. "EPA rules are written in Latin with Greek footnotes," he commented. Mr. Shafroth told the EPA officials to "write rules that human beings can read." In an effort to simplify matters for local communities, the EPA recently issued a scaled-down list of 419 "essentiaf' regulations the agency expects local governments to put into effect. While appreciative of the EPA's move to reduce the number of regulations with which they must comply, most participants in the meeting echoed Mr. Shafroth's opinion that the rules are still "written with the attitude that U.S. municipal officials are stupid." So confusing are the regulations and so burdensome are the costs that many local governments are consciously violating Federal law, according to Jack Sullivan of the American Water Works Association. Because the cost of implementing the regulations are ultimately passed on to ratepayers, many local governments are reluctant to keep asking citizens to pay higher utility rates, Mr. Sullivan explained. 'The public does not understand it," he told the gathering. Rate Shock Warning that the U.S. public was facing "rate shock" as a consequence of unfunded environmental mandates, Mr. Sullivan pointed out that over the next few years the average cost of waste water per thousand gallons will rise from $1.06 to 54.50. The public also will see the average cost of drinking water per thousand gallons go from $1.27 to $3.50. In the case of solid waste, the average cost per ton will rise from $27 to $50. Mr. Suliivan's figures are borne out by similar projections made by city officials in Pboenuc, Arizona. There, according to the Arimna ReeubGci a typical family living in a 1,600 square- foot home would be billed $34.76 monthly this year for water, sewage, and sanitation. In 1996, new Federal requirements would raise the bill to $61.26, "this for the most marginal environmental enhancements," the newspaper noted Many of the skyrocketing costs can be attributed to major capital investments local governments will have to make to stay in compliance with Federal mandates. For instance, the EPA has proposed halving the standard for the suspected carcinogen trihalomethane -- from 100 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm. Phoenix would have to install $174 million worth of carbon absorbtion fifters, at an annual operating cost of $25 mil6on. In a similar vein, the March 1992 2074144145
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! 0 . - 3 - EPA Risk Assessment: The Credibility Gap • The ETS risk assessment is the latest in a long line of alarmist health reports from an Agency that has been heavily criticized for poor science and for science driven by policy considerations. An expert panel convened by the EPA Administrator concluded just last year that EPA science is "of uneven quality," and that it is frequently perceived as "adjusted to fit policy." The Agency's dioxin risk assessment and its treatment of Alar, chlorinated water, and a host of other substances are all recent examples. • EPA's scientific procedures, including the procedures followed in its treatment of the ETS issue, are under investigation by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress. • The EPA Inspector General also is reviewing EPA's contract with a well-known anti-smoking firm to produce the ETS workplace policy guide, which apparently was issued on a sole-source basis in violation of federal contracting requirements. The policy guide, which recommends workplace smoking bans, was inappropriately prepared before the risk assessment was completed, strongly suggesting that EPA's policy was set before any scientific rationale for it had been established. CDC's ETS Media Campaign • The ETS advertising campaign developed by the Centers for Disease Control in response to the ETS risk assessment is false and misleading propaganda. The claims made in the CDC campaign are scientifically indefensible.
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EPA WATCH PAGE 4 Taking Responsibility for Waste With over 15 million tons of garbage crossing state lines annually, and with the number of landfills steadily shrinking, the bill's supporters stress the urgency of the situation. "In the future," notes Senator Charles Grassley, Democrat of Iowa, "states can no longer expect to be able to transport their waste half-way across the country to a landfill site in Iowa or Nebraska... They are going to have to make accommodations to deal with their waste themselves. They are going to have to make these accommodations beginning now, not ten years from now when the landfill sites will not be available to them." Saying the bill will "force the producers of waste in our nation to be responsible for administering the proper disposal of that trash," Senator Grassley added that "sending it from New York to Iowa is not dealing with it. It is avoidance of responsibility on the part of the waste producer." Senator Coats' bill is presently before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee where final VO_L_ 1 IYUMBER 6 language is being hammered ou~ this writing, the committee has d that four states -- Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia -- will be covered by the community right-to- say-no provisions of the bill. However, Senator Coats' office is still trying to see to it that the other 46 states are also included in the measure's final language, otherwise they run the risk of becoming prime dumping targets for out-of-state trash. In the House, Congressman Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, has introduced a bill (H.R. 5089) that also aims to put curbs on interstate transport of solid waste. LEGISLATORS CALL ON BUSH TO INTERVENE IN PROPOSED EPA RADON RULE Twenty-seven Members of Congress have called on President Bush to intervene in the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to regulate radon in drinking water. The appeal comes at a time when the EPA is already under fire by local communities for the exorbitant cost of its unfunded environmental mandates. The May 18 letter from a bipartisan group of legislators was made public by the Alliance for Radon Reduction, a Washington-based organization that is opposed to the proposed radon rule. The letter states in part,'The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a very stringent and costly standard for radon in drinking water that will reduce, on average, only about 1 percent of the public's total exposure to radon, according the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB)•" Very Small Risk In a January 29 letter to EPA Administrator William Reilly, the SAB questioned the appropriateness of EPA's Drinking Water Proposal because drinking water "is a very small contributor to radon risk." With this in mind, the lawmakers asked the President to direct EPA Administrator William Reilly to: 1.) promptly address the issue raised in the SAB's January 29 letter and consider more thoroughly the uncertainties in the parameters and models employed by EPA in these risk assessments; 2.) conduct a full multi-media risk assessment to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective program to reduce radon risk; and 3.) direct the EPA to adopt a radon standard in drinking water that is consistent with the goals of the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988. Intolerable Costs Underscoring the intolerable cost of the proposed regulatory standard, the Congressmen noted that a detailed study by public water agencies in California found that implementation of the rule, as proposed, could cost the state more than $3.7 billion. National costs have been estimated at between $12 billioa and $20 billion. a Among those signing the lette were Republicans Christopher Cox (California), Guy Vander Jagt (Michigan), and Don Schaefer (Colorado), as well as Democrats Robert Matsui, Vic Fazio, and Leon Panetta (all of California). FA WATCH cfi 1s a twlcc-nqnth)y ~ of the Americin Centar, a vwn-prafit OnnCerned with~ tolY PAcy. krns to EPA Wat~;L .04 per yw. P~Gl1cy Ccoter ka Lonj Court Virg(nla 22021 9768 - OfHoe 968-9771 - hAX 'Iloatss al. DcWeax, Pr PiLd he~ct~ he ,l. McC'ulca ~, Eiccetive Dircaor 1?r. $onner R. Cobca, Pdittv
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• 1 . a a ~ 69 MMOZ x 0 A; a,> i_a ~ g~ `BQQ €~ ~"R rE~C ryF~ $;~i ¢=ix r5 •~ ~l ~~# o ~E ~l f ~'~,~ p~ ;S yF cR ~~~ ~~ N F if fit tj ~~ = ~r~~~~ _t gig ~e~ ~_~~'•~~p. (.g~° ~%I~~~~2G~~a~`~~ ~~ ~'I~@ ¢~~~ $~ gt ~~11~51 a~~9=E~.~~~~~=E~.~~~~.~~~ ;1611€~4 fill . ' ~~.... m *"w d N
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- -r • • • THESACRAMENTO 'UESDAYYrara+, twt r. Politicians bowing to environmentalists 0 ar eLWirr ywCaip I 14aWa/w. Yr ~ _:. 'anqu.w.n1.a.~._.. '2 L/MrtaOCaaaalteaaea /S. ncena YM urMry fa~lua Twne L.r amMWm awlra y- ~ / _. ~. - -.. . ~ G11KaN I/Yt M'f4,iMtr. yM~tr maYCea ' I eal. r.u.a w,.. ~~u,.,l/ 4 ralruwNeN IM~ NarW t:pt.W.TnN . TW fn4hWpr!r NIhals rn~~w411f ~ N ~ ~_~ ~ !M rMr'M~M.M Mrt M he+LN+y M. Nw eo an~ w,ar R.ans ~'.WOd tluomsn.. .;z. ' eenlumaf nuyy nM I fmtunna fYIMJ eMM~p Mt1/1f .v .1rYMUy Y (ov<m,acv un~rt~ra1larroruru 'n u+neo" ulY. wt aYUat IM" la /WW .o.miti. ur. yryyww., a~M. Yotin. ~ert~uapuhlfetW~~. I Mvnaarunuf tYym amWy, ea.mf• I TM e.NMLnn .a. .y.rroeN bY I 6us tfie eWefwn. rwry fre. : e.+4 q t7d. ary tWl RrYlllr fpM ! CMyumOf awpqhLN Ybilli~.n~ anaOnwrnr anenlµL Jr. IIE!. Tne eMHMns. nuG 4y M wamM ~ yrri i Ilµ~r. Na~LfMr N rMwpr Mtvr4c. I 44Miywwn N•hr rw.t uo pnt( . Y..~ro. rulY.hw N(lmuaarY li. / tyn ~ wtn~un.wt, .M d..rqnoY.y U,. o: :e.rfn nmr .1 a q~npnyum 11nIfaY ,U tM esMw.nis un "~tih,p yM ( Yuwenyf rMaer IaaUlaftyd {M ' . a.. a.y..., y.A a Science . bMn.ae..t ly pnf>tteired risk of caneaf (rom fueda. lit said thal ordinary prod• ueta such as Lroftae, earn and peanuu ali cntuatnM nalural onrcRlr4etp. "Ttere are a lot of eardno• jena in taad if you take the traY- bla to took:' be satd. IIut nerte of tttese thinp, he charged. are that mtteh of a danpr. Ha said the mars c.iuSaf a( lan0er ata totfaRt/ and improper diet. He said the puttbc and media tetd to (aetw on the preadnca of chemteUa ta food. Dr. Schetrp7efa wa itrU4 dueed by Dantd Olivar. fata.w ch.irmaa of the Fadaral Trade Commisbh, . nho accused a tnaler aaaranae.al graty6 tho Natural Raaauraa Dataw Cauhot, of 'YeadYtg att faaY' f(t prauwtlrl~ the lM aeata avar traea el tha etrnMat Atfr a. appta attd appb pradlrcta awa wtd the dwr{w that Aar was a earetna{aa "-ntaa+e exeeUeat COpy on tha evenitt( newa pyerrama" but tr.ro nat tcwttlfially baad. The NRDC add the tatlfa (ore.d Aqr, uaN as a preaarva• tive, to be takes oQ lla marltat by its anakar. Uatroyal. The controwny reportadly adaed Jw1a (I(aacal taaaas ftw apple vaWar.. While Or. Sehaapiela waa Wartttly ruuived at the fYmaF tachon namcy Was ttronpy attackad (er misiMVpretin{ set- ana/ic data and bowing to prar • sure groups. Dapne a tap EPA aommit- tee'f raeatlt conehnion that sae- ondhana smoke. or anvrranmental tobacco smaka. causes cancer. Dr. Gnry Huher of Iha Univenlty at Texas Health Canrer suggested that such a view repraaatts eapitula- tian ta tha anti-smaklng movatant and ia not based on seieaee. Dr. NIdMr. a na0-llttoker. aaid he daesa't Ifka to be arm:ml 7ttakMf because ttle amola tiathera his sy'a. lut be said ttte , avidattea derta't jurtJy thO ean• ChMldO Iblt it raprtleata a/t adverse ewatt>t tlfeet. He aaY thfs laeaedkaed ssneka ia dfRf- a4 to naasan aM fs much dH• teraat than that itthal.d by aaaakars. , Dr. L.ar Gw. pNwee ef ansutaeriry at Carnqla atau. UnNetatq. saaepd prapaais akpprtad by ttw tT?A a ruM tha c.rperaa awrap (wl aeea• atny !CATtI araNarat t. • m(laa par P110n. N/hila they an pnaoted as saviy ftyl, be NY they wiU adwqy laad be 6yhar ear pekaa, mrw fa{uetes aM death on tIN hfgh.aya aed graatar vWhkY emUafau. If aw sand.rds ars nata/N. he ratd, they ahwlN be INt up a tlx ataua. )k ttaad that Catl, farnta'a CATS ataad.rda an at. ready tottµer tkan federal propoab. Dr. faw ataa nwtwnd Wav altaeaad, Whlle power tWa(a Ond recreational vehtcles `ettinG lwo or three mit4 per gallon M psWtne are spared (rmn t.aat ytaadarda. He said a better way of (nrr. ia{ the manutacwre of morw rtte(cffieient vehicks is ratsW: the price of fuel by taatnd tt. Dr S. Fred Singer o( tlfe Lnt- Hraity ot Ytrttnia chargy that SrA-supported tbeorin nt (lobal Warming and global oane depletion artt oet backed up by tttd ovidettca. lla said tne theery of global warming has been popular slntt a Rovern- tttaht scientist presented it tu a Settate commBted led by Sen Albert Gore. D•Tenn.. threv yean ap. tat the evidence. he raid, e/ly dYttenatratp "natural (hfaaatioha" in tempenture. Ht taY ehanpe In the amewu d paa .re alae nnurat. Dr. 71npr afd 6rA d(recter N99lae aNlty's neent daclare- ttaa that araw araa declining t.Na as taat as antwpated .n •'Oned at mtsMetdrpretati.n of d.t..•' He said that a tna* iovan- inest-hmdd sady ftrkin{ that oaM rnin .U a "relatively sinar" proldea Wea simply iShard by polUefana ea{er to par Ihe CWn Air Act. He c0arge4 It loaf "7 O(Utan dalsr wkttton ta a millian do+• Il - I., Dr. ltspr atett.n.d dvt '•akrtWta„ to ear anvirm- tnrMd prablatna may also be ospwtrtva. ••CaeqLnen had hn• tar prHY 11Y./ Mn4wNNy. "
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MY AWCAtvORw'A 0 i • Tough Measure On Smoking Iri Berkeley . ftr. ia~- ,+im, a~&Cwr"Pff*,4w Berkeley Is set to join a{rowa i+u number of East Bay cities that have taken ton{Y stands against emekfag with e proposed ordinance ypearln; before tYe City Council tenf`6t that bna lighting ap la rirtuatly e.er7 aitybuNnen. The ordlnaa~cg em:p1Yecrted to other to be ~ ~L 1y in several otac F' smoking ia, Including one 1n Oakland that. Thursday. ~e.~ctt./e~d~"w7u~led to go lnto effect . lY~u. - 0 lt the meaeurlVarw, smoking would be banneed in all.mkplacea and restaurants In the city except for ban and bingo pados. Vlola• tore would face finea of aa much u i10p. 'Th4 8 a health lrua, not a ri®hts fsub." said Karen Young, the city'a tobacco education cooo- dinator. "Numerous audiee have found that tobacco smoke Y a ma• )or contributor to Indoor air paDu• tlon and that breathing aetwnd• band smoke Y a cause of dYeue." Sndners Wat would be hurt by tbe ban could apply for an ex• emptton. Otherwise, the only smoking allowaQ fndpur public bufld• w~ID have to take place in epecW designed areea with ventilation systems separate from the rst of the buUdln`. The ordinance .trengtheoa an e>iating city law that bana amok, ft In public places and requWe restaurants to set aside 60 percent of their "for nonsmokers. everyone L happy w/W the propaaL More than 80 city em, ptoYea signed a Detl~aatlnu uhe baaw re4ueatlnl d ttat the city construct a eQeclal tncot for those who want to anoRe. '9Ye aee comcyentioue smokers and donYwant to infrln`e on aW one's rlqtt to breath clean ah'," Wd Dana Cotemaor-henalf a amoka adtt pr4lident of the Backetey clerlGl Morkea' labor nAWn, local 400. 'Hw City Council wlit tla oon. }1fir tonidht a eontrownW mw. sure to!f~e 6~eler to waah cae ~fddo.wa ti ' e1tyY _ naraas lets for ep.n eh~ .
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i 0 . q ~;I l~~jj! ~ '. I ~ ~ =; ~ ~i~; r ~ 1 ~ii'ef~~i~i.~il, O Q. tii# fil3=3 ~,il, I ~ r lialiffili ~fill 11, ~~ ~ 'tta#.;.~ r~ ~i .el~i~~'~s~~ iiii'iUhI'I, cu `.= ~ ~ 1s ;~~ E~ i E~~i i ,~: 1 0 !'III ~'`ll I ~i ~I s ~1; ~ y ~s =1a?tI ~ 1`~1s31E ~~ : . ~ `i1~ll 1. I
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SDecial ReQorti Passive Smoking: How Great A Hazard? By Gary L. Huber, MD, Robert E. Brockie, MD, and Vijay K. Mahajan, MD . Reports from medical journals, the popular media, and federal regulatory agencies about the adverse health effects of passive smoking have convinced many jurisdictions to ban smok- ing in public places. What is often missing from such discussions is the scientific basis for the health-related claims. The following article examines the scientific data concerning the ascertainable risk from inhalation of enoiron- mental tobacco smoke. One of its authors, Dr. Gary Huber, spoke at a recent CR symposium on "Science and Regulation" (see article on page 35).-Ed. © bout 50 million or so Americans are active smokers, consuming well over 500 billion tobacco cigarettes each year. The "secondhand" smoke-usually called "environ- mental tobacco smoke," or more simply "ETS"-that is generated is released into their surroundings, where it potentially is inhaled passively and retained by nonsmokers. Or is it? Literally thousands of ETS-related state- ments now have appeared in the lay press or in the scientific literature. Many of these have been published, and accepted as fact, without adequate critical questioning. Based on the belief that these publications are accurate, numerous public policies, regulations, and laws have been implemented to segregate or restrict active smokers, on the assertion that ETS is a health hazard to those who do not smoke. What quantity of smoke really is released into the environment of the nonsmoker? What is the chemical and physical quality, or nature, of ETS remnants in our environment? Is there a health risk to the nonsmoker? In concentra- Drs. Huber, Brockie, and Mahajan are with, respect- ively, the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, and St. Vincent's Hospital-Medical College of Ohio. 0 10 Consumers' Research tions as low as one part in a billion or even in a trillion parts of clean air, some of the highly- diluted constituents in ETS are irritating to the membranes of the eyes and nose of the non- smoker. Cigarette smoking is offensive to many nonsmokers and some of these highly-diluted constituents can trigger adverse emotional responses, but do these levels of exposure really represent a legitimate health hazard? "Cigarette smoking is offensive to many nonsmokers and some of these highly-diluted con- stituents can trigger adverse emotional responses, but do these levels of exposure really represent a legitimate health hazard?" Clear answers to these questions are difficult to find. The generation, interpretation, and use of scientific and medical information about ETS has been influenced, and probably distort- ed, by a "social movement" to shift the empha- sis on the adverse health effects of smoking in the active smoker to an implied health risk for the nonsmoker. The focus of this movement, initiated by Sir George Godber of the World Health Organization 15 years ago, was and is to emphasize that active cigarette smokers injure those around them, including their families and, especially, any infants that might be exposed involuntarily to ETS. By fostering the perception that secondhand smoke is unhealthy for nonsmokers, active smoking has become an undesirable and an antisocial behavior. The cigarette smoker has become ever more segregated and isolated. This ETS social movement has been successful in
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0 "Of the 30 ETS-lung cancer stud- ies, 6 reported a statistically significant association... and 24 of those studies reported no statistically significant effect." tion of epidemiology is the identification of pop- ulations at high risk for a given disease, so that the cause may be identified and preventative measures implemented. Epidemiologic studies are most effective when they can assess a well-defined risk. Because ETS-exposure levels cannot be mea- sured or in any other way quantified directly, even by representative markers, epidemiolo- gists have had to use indirect estimates, or sur- rogates, of ETS exposure. For nonsmoking adults, the number of active smokers that are present in the household has been used as a surrogate for ETS exposure. Usually the active smoking household member has been the non- smoker's spouse. With a few limited exceptions, disease rates in nonsmokers exposed to a spouse who smokes have been the basis for all epidemiologic assessments. Almost all of these studies have evaluated nonsmoking females married to a husband who smokes. For children, the surrogate for ETS exposure has been the number of parents in the household who smoke. Estimates of ETS expo- sure based on spousal or parental surrogates have been derived by various questionnaires; no study employs any direct quantification of ETS or of ETS remnant constituents in the actual environment of the nonsmoker. Questionnaires of smoking habits are notori- ously limited and often inaccurate, in part because of the "social taboo" that smoking has become and, in part, for other reasons related to the ETS social movement. Nevertheless, data from questionnaires about smoking behavior in spouses or in parents are the only estimates of ETS exposure available. Rates for three dis- eases in nonsmokers exposed (via surrogates) to ETS have been assessed: lung cancer, coro- nary heart disease, and respiratory illness in infants and small children. Only lung cancer will be discussed in this article. ETS and Lung Cancer What is the state of evidence on ETS and lung cancer? Almost all of the epidemiologic studies that are available to answer that ques- 14 Consumers' Research tion are based on the concept of some measure- ment of relative risk. None of the studies actu- ally has measured exposure to ETS or to any of its residual constituents directly. Relative risk is a relationship of the rate of the development of a disease (such as lung cancer) within a group of individuals exposed to some variable in the population studied (such as ETS) divided by the rate of the same disease in those not exposed to this variable. Relative risk is most frequently expressed as a"risk ratio," which is a calculated comparison of the rate of the disease studied in the exposed population divided by the rate of that disease in some control population not exposed to the variable studied. The terms "risk ratio" and "relative risk" are often used synonymously. Thus, the relative risk in all epidemiologic E'1'S studies on lung cancer is expressed as the rate of lung cancer in the ETS-exposed group (indi- viduals married to a household smoker) divided by the rate of lung cancer where there was no ETS exposure (no household smokers). If the disease rates were exactly the same in these two groups, the risk ratio would be 1.0. There have been 30 epidemiologic studies on spousal smoking and lung cancer published in the scientific literature. Twenty-seven of these epidemiological studies were case control stud- ies, where the effect of exposure to spousal smoking was evaluated retrospectively on data that had already been available for review. The "cases" in these case-control studies were non- smoking individuals with lung cancer married to smokers. The rate of lung cancer in these "cases" was compared, by the derived risk ratio, to the rate of lung cancer in "control" or nonsmoking individuals who were married to nonsmokers. Three of the studies followed cohort popula- tions of individuals exposed to spousal smoking prospectively over the course of time. A "cohort" is any designated group of people. A "cohort study" identifies a group of people that will be exposed to a risk and a group that will not be exposed to that risk, and then follows these groups over time to compare the rate of disease development as a function of exposure or no exposure. The first studies were published in 1982 and the last studies were published in 1990. The studies originate broadly from different parts of the world and, for the most part, involve evalu- ations of lung cancer in nonsmoking females married to a smoking male partner; eight of the studies have limited data on nonsmoking males married to smoking females. Some of the stud- 2074144182
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• reducing tobacco cigarette consumption, per- haps more than other measures, including mandatory health warnings, advertising bans on radio and television, and innumerable other efforts instituted by public health and medical professional organizations- But, has the ETS social movement been based on scientific truth and on reproducible data and sound scientific principles? At times, not surprisingly, the ETS social movement and scientific objectivity have been in conflict. To start with, much of the research on ETS has been shoddy and poorly conceived. Editorial boards of scientific journals have selectively accepted or excluded contributions not always on the basis of inherent scientific merit but, in part, because of these social pres- sures and that, in turn, has affected and biased the data that are available for further analyses by professional organizations and governmen- tal agencies.-In addition, "negative" studies, even if valid, usually are not published, espe- cially if they involve tobacco smoke, and thus they do not become part of the whole body of literature ultimately available for analysis. Negative results on ETS and health can be found in the scientific literature, but only with great difficulty in that they are mentioned in passing as a secondary variable in a "positive" study reporting some other finding unrelated to ETS. To evaluate critically any potential adverse health effects of ETS, it must first be appreciat- ed that not all tobacco smoke is the same, and thus the risk for exposure to the different kinds of tobacco smoke must be considered indepen- dently.1 What Is ETS? The three most important forms of tobacco smoke are depicted in Figure 1. Mainstream smoke is the tobacco smoke that is drawn through the butt end of a cigarette during active smoking; this is the tobacco smoke that the active smoker inhales into his or her lungs. The distribution of mainstream smoke is sum- marized in Table 1 (page 12). Sidestream smoke is the tobacco smoke that is released in the sur- rounding environment of the burning cigarette from its smoldering tip between active puffs. Many publications have treated sidestream smoke and ETS as if they were one and the same, but sidestream smoke and ETS are clear- ly not the same thing. Sidestream smoke and ETS have different physical properties and they rA burning cigarette has been described as 'a miniature chemicalfaclory ' producing numerous new components from its raw materials. When a cigarette is smoked, the burning cone has a temperature of about 860 to 900°C during active puffing, and smolders at 500 to 800`C between pulfs. When tobacco burns at these temperatures. the products of pyrolyzation are all vapors. As the vapors cool in passage away from the burmng cane. they cpndense into minute liquid droplets, initially about two ten-millionths af a meter in size. Generally, then, all forms ot smoke are mucroaerosols of very small liquid droplets of particulate matter suspended in their surrounding vapars or gases. Thus, all smoke has a-particulate phase" and a"gas phase." Figure 1: Particulate Phase and Gas Phase of Tobacco Smoke* 0 I 0 o e o o e e e e e o 0 0 o a o 0 e oo e e eae a e o 0 0 ooooeaooeeeooosoaeoae aaeeeeeooeooeceeeoo eooaoooeooeoeeooooe oeoo oeoo 0 0 0 0 0 0 eo eaoeeooooooooeoooaaoe 000000 00 o e e o eoeeooooooooeoeeooaoe eeeoooo eee e o 0 00oooooeeooeeoeoooeae ooaueooeeeeaooooaaeoe oeooooo00 oe e 0 Mainstream Smoke Sidestream Smoke Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) - Schematic representation of the particulate phase and the gas phase of tobacco smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke Is nut smoke in the conventional sense, but rather a very limded number ol pi9hly-difuted remnants or residual constltusnfs at mainstream smoke and skfestrwn smoke. July 1991 11
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Eq)9'taOR9A9ea®PINB®N . , TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER E, 1992 ~ Hidden Risks of Pestz:.cid-e -Bld.n's'' _ ' FJy JONATHAN H- ADLER -_' gaale Yy lhe Erwlnnnralal l!roteclloOAga.ey In~ ~.'-'Ad.ucates of lkc uport haw cialai U be serr-- • Roodproduc1ioa In the 1Srird World Is at an 190y- -- -- `rog lke Inhetals ol iarmcss in dc.cloping naUaus all.lime •)rgh, Iniced, incrcases is 'niiry Word • YeLFMC would have to spend another 420 .: by Rotecl.ing tlrerU agabnt 1_Ire dana:ers af p°sll- food proiuclion are even out~pa.cing pqlulatiwr mUllon to satisfy Ike LrpA"s remaildng teali.g - ad¢s. While A is true Ibat Lhe niishanrlUrrl: of growth. ' - reqrriremmis. Civen that earlrosWla, has~wider pesticFies can nose kcaDb Inabinns. limlliak Inatrunscaal in Ihe rapid Incteasein agricot- applicatlwe for use In Ihe'L'bRd World lhar In- IJw rrse of Amaicaa•nwda pesticides hardly pr°- larat dlkiency has bem the dcveloluucnl of safe the Unital Statq sack re proleetiag cucalyrrlus varls foreign pesLicGl° rne. -, - - ard effective pesliddri Wilhoat the conthwing "/rcc* ased Wrreforealalion,It wa.rrol eortdkc--. The t/nlled States pradoees approainalcly. .derelopneaL ol these agricull°ral chea,icat°, five to seek donreslic approval. . L"A ol lke vmrldY padicWea, so lhere would be many of these Ralas weuld havo been IrnpasslMe. . Aecaase the appiLeahllUy o( varioas eomu-_ -IRDe dillicWty, in /twling aebslll.lcs. Morcoverr ' What is more, conywo.ds such as eartaunlfan po>ris rleptads an clirrmalieaid other envirnr _ lhis' al•grwrenl is preurised an US& cerii(ieallon ~aro also contributln(S lo relarestallon efforls rne°lal factors, nwny esporled prstitiles pave staagaYds bcift moreslrnrent lhan Ikom In While flaNllaaeoaaly displa6tyg, the morC baaard- little, H any, eSa a1 ll•$. eraM •. fa1CMn r1atlNli As already Iroted, [kie 11 iMnldy ous chenieak used In the luaL . It aiso rn.sL be redvr,{oud tkal petLleWrs are aol 1k.erae .. , ... - ., Despite the importarrl rok of pesUcldrs iu not lorporled lulo other .atiors for aco frr api- ,, Dupile the hysterical elakrss of nlany nvi- wur]d food produetion and dµcise centrol, mvi- culture withwl that nUOa's corucnl. Mod derrJ-' and cwxrawY adv°cates, there Is - roanenial adrocate° aml Ilwir conFracsla,al aF oped naUona have their own pesticide'- StUe, Y aay, eaoale N he ceaces+a:d about Ike .lia arc dc/crmlucd to Urait the avaDahiliLy of cerlificalten procedures. 'ykae' are ollen snorc ,prcxcme ol ptalhWc resHacs on unpocled pro- US.yrodaced pest-widec la the Third WarH by slrlnRent Lh:m Ilwse in the Uoiled Stalu. -. I -~ duce, ar far lhal aaaltor, ua oay prudeee. --- prak141ling the export of peslie'vlcs nut rcp4ternf ' As fer dcvelepi.g ceunlrks, they Vpically ~• ~ . ' . for sse in the United Slatrs. - . wiU-rcqrlrc lbal prrife{dee have been eerliltdl ti ~° Pr°lidde reslWe risk is so low.as to be 7Lis ban waeld af/ecl soure live dozes cam. -. clserkere be[ore they ara used ri°rnestic.ally.. .. nwardagtrR" aoles Dr. Sanford Mi1kr. d°ae of, • - - - ' the Graduate SL•koN ot Diom°dicat Sci°nces al ~ ~ ~ - ~ ~ a a ar a1 1w0 4 l c m„ a a po cr , /o s In ° leat lWOStry. khoreaver. I1,-weald bar owr 4451 nd111o. In arwal esparls. ' - 'Che argwnesrl lor banning these pcsticide ea' parb is prennced oa Ute'clrele of paison" theory. The idn la that wbeu varepqered peslicidea ace eapertd to other counlrin, Uay are arcd oe enrps Ihat •w turn arc Imported by Ihc Uuited Stalrs. As haAbworts la..dcr John Javaa elrara- es, •allhorgh the pesticides arc llk.gal, Me eo,. •sunw llcm" IWt the mer° fact Ihal a peslicW° is encegis- rleral in the U.iled SlaLes has Illlk, U anyLdircrA fclalion t. the salely .f that pestielde Moreover. banoirC Ibe export n( a°registervsl 'peslicides wiU ollen increase health threals by /orciap tarmcrs to s.islilale nwre hiyWy losk - .arW tesss eDicienL ekemicalx. . COtttider that a pcslieide producer typically banasl sperel bclwec. }Y+ million and 150 tuilPwrr, orer a period ol eiLhL to 10 ycars, to register a rde lor domestic use. i~Tlirsw is in addiUoa to the ecronornic cmis o( ~discaverMg and d"evcloping a° effecUYe eern- _paw,d. FMC Corp.'s carhosallan, for caample, was declared lo have no adverse elfeets on re• pradfclive pertarmaaca or ncorolopnt activity, and was dcemed aeither carciwoCenic nec mula- ' L4e UnWcrsl4y a( Tesas 11ca1th Seience CeuUS at San Ant.nlo. 9Lve is na avldence to support Ika • coalcalion that anyone dias,lroar peaticule rest-. '. rlurz br Uae UA& twlay-- - .. • _ • 6[oreo.e , Dr. tir°ee Auxs af Ibe Unlverslly . u1 CaMlornia aL Uerteley b~ anclnded Wahlhe ~raducUoa in csop yiekk Irom rimHinng peNidde . use would likely pos° a greater ccaNk risk Iban • the cwlli.eed Qe N ap-inlbrral elremicals. - "As Ca•ald Prael ol F1NC CorpL natcd in a neceol irsue of 1lrCtdaUOe nwgasufe, tis•bea /h°. -worldwille tasses of (oad before i.irvest ara esii-maled to be as hlgh as 35%, aial when orer 11 . million people will die fronr searvalioa Uds ycar,, it is prmimplauas lur /ke IMiled States la dk-, . tale Third World.ras al n19'ieullural h.~clruloLSy. that mighl °ava MvarL or improve Mcal rmvirMr mcaal catulitions." ' - • Flat ordy rrill barrin0 the caporl of wn.gis-: lered pesticides (aU lo kuprovu foarl safety, ib could have disa:troas cauerpwacvs bnleed, by Iryind to rnake Ik° world a sakr hlace, Ik° barr~ • advocates woald actually make it rwN•° rishy. - Joaathan /L Adl,er is an ntrlnmrncalaf pufrc-i,~ anafyst wllh the GSarlPclifiva JArtcr)xir•o Jnslr- lnte In dasA(ngteu . .. 0 904tifttiL0Z 0 0
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Table 1: Distribution of Mainstream Smoke Total Mainstream Smoke ' Wet Total Particulate Manor Nicotine :~ Water 500* 22 1.3 3.7 "Tar" . 17 Aerosol Gas Phase Water 478 Air Components 50 Carbon Monoxide 350 Carbon Dioxide 50 Other Components 8 •AII data expressed in milligrams fura 500 ms deliver clgarette, as dear- mined by redenl Trade Commisslan criteria. SCtIFlCE: Adapted trum Nubor,19E9. have different chemical properties. Environ- mental tobacco smoke is usually defined as a combination of highly diluted sidestream smoke plus a smaller amount of that residual main- stream smoke that is exhaled and not retained by the active smoker. What really is ETS? In comparisonto mainstream smoke and side- stream smoke, ETS is so highly diluted that it is not even appropriate to call it smoke, in the conventional sense. Indeed, the term "environ- mental tobacco smoke" is a misnomer. Why is ETS a misnomer? Several reports on smoking and health from the Surgeon General's Office, a National Research Council review of ETS in 1986, the more recent Environmental Protection Agency's risk assess- ment of ETS, and several review articles all have provided a long list of chemical con- stituents derived from analyses of mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke, with the implica- tion that because they are demonstrable in mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke these same constituents must, by inference, also be present in ETS. No one really knows if they are present or not. In fact, most are not so present or, if they are, they are present only in very dilute concentrations that are well below the level of detection by conventional technologies available today. Only 14 of the 50 biologically active "proba- ble constituents" of ETS listed by the Surgeon General, for instance, actually have been mea- sured or demonstrated at any level in ETS. The others are there essentially by inference, not by actual detection or measurement. Thus, there are 36 constituents in these lists that are in- ferred to be present in ETS, but their presence has not been confirmed by actual detection or measurement. In this sense, then, ETS is really not smoke in the conventional sense of its defi- nition, but rather consists of only a limited number of "remnants" or residual constituents present in highly dilute concentrations. Because the levels of ETS cannot be quanti- fied accurately as such in the environment, some investigators have attempted to measure one or more constituent parts of ETS as a "sub- stitute marker" for ETS as a whole. The most frequently employed such "marker" has been nicotine or its first metabolically stable break- down product, cotinine. Nicotine was consid- ered an "ideal marker" because it is more or less unique to tobacco, although small amounts can be found in some tomatoes and in other food sources. In the mainstream tobacco smoke that is inhaled by the active smoker, nicotine starts out almost exclusively in the tiny liquid droplets of the particulate phase of the smoke. Because the smoke particles of ETS become so quickly and so highly diluted, however, nicotine very rapidly vaporizes from the liquid suspend- ed particulates and enters the surrounding gas. In technical terms, the process by which nico- tine leaves the suspended aerosol particle to enter the surrounding gas phase is called "denudation." As a vapor or gas, nicotine reacts with or adsorbs onto almost everything in the environ- ment with which it comes into contact. Thus, nicotine is not a representative or even a good surrogate marker for the particulate phase, or even the gas-vapor phase, of ETS. In fact, there are no reliable or established markers for ETS. The remnant or residual constituents of ETS each have their own ahemical and physical behavior characteristics in the environment and none is present in a concentration in our environment that reaches an established threshold for toxicity.z Measuring Health Risks Because the level of exposure to ETS or the dose of ETS retained cannot be quantified under every-day, real-life conditions, the health effects following exposure to residual con- 2A Ihreshold fimil value (usually expressed as milligrams of a substance per cubic meter of air ar as parts ol a substance present per million oarts of res- pirable clean air) is the recommended concentration of a substance as the maximal level that should not be exceeded to prevent occupational disease through exposure in the workplace. Threshold limrt values have not been established tnr our general, every-day environment outside ol industrial expo. sure. Threshold limit values are determined by toxicologists. epidemiologists, and hygienists through their interpretation of literature, and usually are sanc tioned by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists No constituent of ETS has been measured in our every-day environment at levels that exceed the threshold limifvalues permitted in the norkplace. 12 Consumers' Research
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stituents of ETS have been impossible to evalu- ate directly. In broad terma, two different approaches have been employed in an attempt to assess indirectly the health risks for expo- sure of the nonsmoker to the environmental remnants of ETS. The first of these involves a theoretical concept that is called "linear risk extrapolation." Linear risk extrapolation has been employed extensively in attempts to deter- mine the risk for lung cancer in nonsmokers exposed to ETS? This concept of linear risk assumes that if there is a definable health risk for the active smoker, then there also must be a projected lower health risk for the nonsmoker exposed to ETS. This is represented schematically in Figure 2. The risk has been presumed to be lin- ear from the active smoker to the nonsmoker exposed to ETS, based proportionately on the relative exposure levels and retained doses of smoke; it thus requires some measurement of tobacco smoke exposure for both groups. This is fairly easy to achieve in the active smoker, in part because mainstream smoke has been so well-characterized and it is delivered directly from the butt-end of the cigarette into the smoker. Such is obviously not the case, howev- er for the nonsmoker exposed to ETS. Most projections of linear risk for ETS-expo- sure have been based on the use of nicotine as a representative marker of exposure. A few pro- jections have been based an carbon monoxide levels or amounts of respirable suspended par- ticulates in the environment, but these approaches are fraught with even greater error. Since nicotine initially is in the particulate phase of the mainstream smoke inhaled by the active smoker and it is present primarily as a highly diluted gas-phase remnant or residual vapor-phase con- stituent in the nonsmoker's environment, the concept of a linear health risk from the active smoker to the nonsmok- er is based on rather shaky scientific-reasoning. That is to say, it is not valid to estimate a health risk for exposure to the particulate phase in the active smoker and then compare it with the health risk for exposures to the gas phase in the ETS- exposed nonsmoker. Simply stated, "like" is not being com- pared to "like." Mainstream smoke and the residual constituents of ETS represent very dif- ferent exposure conditions. Whether present in mainstream smoke or in ETS, particulate phase and gas phase constituents have very different biological properties, as well as different physi- cal and chemical characteristics, and any asso- ciated health risks are also very different. The concept of linear risk extrapolation for ETS is based on a theory that when applied to ETS incorporates unsound assumptions that are not valid. There is no way, as yet, to evaluate or compare the levels of exposure in active smok- ers and nonsmokers exposed to ETS. The second approach used to evaluate health risks for nonsmokers exposed to ETS has employed epidemiologic studies. Epidemiology is a branch of medical science that studies the distribution of disease in human populations and the factors determining that distribution, chiefly by the use of statistics. The chief func- 3The concept is based on a theoretical extrapolation of the risk for lung cancer in the active smoker to the risk for lung cancer in the passive smoker on the basis ot a 'representative marker" for both smoke exposures. This'9inear risk extrapolation' trom one to the other is a model that is hasen on mathematical theory and on several assumptions. The theory assumes that the risk applies to all exposure levels, even if they are very low. Some advocates of the model even assume a"one molecule, one hi1" mechanism, where exposures so low that they cannot be detected or measured can still cause disease if only a sin- gle molecule reaches a vulnerable body tissue. The linear risk theory also assumes that the risk for accumulative exposure remains constant and, thus, that the exposed individual has no capacity to adapt or develop tolerance mechanisms for the exposure. Since active smokers readily and rapidly devel- op tolerance through a variety of defense mechanisms. it seems illogical to assume those repeatedly exposed to ETS would not do the same, The linear risk model assumes that the risk tor exposure to ETS is independent of any confounding factors. Finally, for this theory to be valid, it must be assumed that the risk is linear for duration of exposure and that it is linear for concen- lratlon of exposure. None of these assumptions holds true on scientific testing for comparative projections ot mainstream smoke to ETS. Figure 2: Linear Risk Extrapolation* 5.0 _ Z 0 40 ~ No Threshold ~ One Molecule Theory s3.0 d w a 2.0 m 0.0 0 2"0 4"0 8.0 8,0 10 Relative Environmental Exposure Level "The concept of linear risk extrapolation. In this theory, Me heatth response (expressed as a rela- tive risk) is dlrectly or lineady related to the relative environmental exposure level. This theory sug- gests that there Is no 'safe" threshold below which there is no response, and that exposure to as little as one molecule of the envlronmenul substance can uuse an adverse response. July 1991 13
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F O v S -G -.C ~
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ies are quite small, listing fewer than 20 sub- jects; others are based on larger populations, with four studies reporting between 129 and 189 cancer cases. Of the 30 studies, six reported a statistically significant association (identified by a positive relative risk ratio in the spousally- exposed to the non-exposed population) and 24 of the studies reported no statistically signifi- cant effect. The average esti- mated relative risk ratio for each study and each sex is list- ed in Table 2, as are the confi- dence intervals reported by the authors or, where not reported, calculated by others in pub- lished review articles * Some of the negative studies- that is, some of the 24 studies that did not show a statistically significant association between the development of lung cancer and exposure to spousal smok- ing-contained data that sug- gested to the authors or to other reviewers a "positive trend." In most of science, "trends" do not count; data stand as either sta- tistically significant or not sta- tistically significant, with sig- nificance determined by specif- ic accepted rules of biostatis- tics. New rules should not be "made to fit" an otherwise unproved hypotheses, just because the subject is tobacco and the observed results do not support the hypothesis investi- gated. ETS Risk Weak A relative risk is called strong or it is called weak, depending on the degree of association, or the magnitude of the risk ratio. A strong relative risk would be reflected by a risk ratio o£ 5 to 20 or greater. Weak relative risks, by conventional defini- tion, have risk ratios in the range of 1 to 3 or so. Within 4A confidence interval is a range of values that has a specdiad probability of including the true value (as opposed to the estimated average value) within that ranqe. In the data presented in Table 2, the confidence intervals are set such that there is a 95% probability that the true value will tall within the range ot values listed. the 30 epidemiologic studies on ETS and lung cancer, there are 37 different total reported sets of risk ratios for male or female nonsmok- ers. None of the studies reports a strong rela- tive risk. Nine of the studies report risk ratios of less than 1.0. Thus, the results from all epidemio- (See SMOKE, page 33.) Table 2: Studies of ETS and Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers 95% Study Sex Number af Cases Relative Risk• Confidence Interval Case Control Studies Chan and Fung,1982 F 34 0.75 (0.43. 1.30) Trichopoulos at a1.,1983 F 38 2.13•' (1.18, 3.83) Correa et a1.,1983 F 14 2.07 (0.81, 5.26) M 2 1.97 (0.38, 10.29) Kabat and Wynder,1984 F 13 0.79 (0.25, 2.45) M 5 1.00 (0.20, 5.07) Bufiler et al., 1984 F 33 0.80 (0.34, 1.81) M 5 0.51 (0.15, 1.74) Garfinkel eta1.,1985 F 92 1.12 (0.94, 1.60) Wu et al., 1985 F 29 1.20 (0.50, 3.30) Akiba et at.,1986 F 73 1.52 (1.00, 2.5) M 3 2.10 (0.5, 5.6) Lee et a1.,1986 F 22 1.03 (0.37, 2.71) M 8 1.31 (0.38, 4.59) Brownson et a1.,1987 F 19 1.68 (0.39, 2.97) Gao et a1.,1987 F 189 1.19 (0.6, 1.4) Humble et al., 1987 F 14 1.78 (0.6, 5.4) Koo et al., 1987 F 51 1.55 (0.87, 3.09) Lam et a1.,1987 F 115 1.65" (1.16, 2.35) Pershagen et al.,1987 F 33 1.20 (0.70, 2.10) Geng et a).,1988 F 34 2.16" (1.03, 4.53) Inoue and Hirayama,1988 F 18 2.55 (0.91, 7.10) Katada et a1.,1988 F 17 - (NS;p=0.23) Lam and Cheng,1988 F 37 2.01•• (1.12, 1.83) Shimizu at al., 1988 F 90 1.10 N/A He,1990 F 45 0.74 (0.32, 1.68) Janerich at a1.,1990 F 129 0.93 (0.55, 1.57) Kabat, 1990 M 13 1.20 (0.54, 2.68) F 35 0.90 (0.46, 1.76) Kalandidi et a).,1990 F 91 2.11 (1.09, 4.08) Sobue et a1.,1990 F 64 0,94 (0.62, 1.40) Svensson, 1990 F 17 1.20 (0.40, 2.90) Wu-Williams et a1.,1990 F 205 0.7 (0.6, 0.9) Cohort Studies Garfinke1,1981 F 88 1.17 (0.85, 1.89) (0.77, 1.61) Gillis at al., 1984 F 6 1.00 (0.59, 17.85) M 4 3.25 Hirayama, 1984h F 163 1.45 (1.04 2.02) 1984a 7 2.28" (1.19 4.22) 'Weak relative nsks have tlsk ratios at between 1 and 3, or sa. My risk raeo below i represents a neea- tive rtWnonship. Note that none of the studfes show a atrnnp relative risk " StatisGczlly slqnifkant at the 5% Ievei. July 1991 15
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2074144191
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Proposals that seek to improve indoor air quality by singling out tobacco smoke only enable bad science to become a poor excuse for enacting new laws and jeopardizing individual liberties. • ® Banning smoking to improve indoor air does not change the frequency. of complaints or resolve the problem. Even within the EPA, which mandates a smoke-free environment, many employees complain about poor indoor air quality. Anything other than a holistic approach to improving the indoor environment threatens the health of employees and opens employers to new workers compensation claims. Moreover, these misguided regulations intrude upon the personal liberties of individual workers and create enormous and unnecessary economic costs.
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......................................... Christopher Caldwtll Smoke Gets in Your Eyes But it probably doesn't give you cancer, despite what the EPA says. . weed to dust, and most people wou1Q psnt to pwtts. not the statt, the responsibility to keep than away frorn ponu- mnta. Aucrnpts to link bean diseau to ETS have not bdme frvit. And in 1996. a Yale University medical school study of asihmatics eapoaed to ETS showed thu not only did the smoke not cause any acuto rttp'uatory risit-it actually de- creuod bronchial eortstrietion. "Even with the 'rigged jury of standard sutistical proce• durca,' wrort Dr. Kevin Do 'n the lune 1991 issue orthe Briush joum ononur atrs,'-it turns out, contrary to {wpular myth, that thcm is still no convincing evidence in favour of the advcrse cffocts of passive smokin:.' Yet, a yaar previous to that, the EPA, having failed in its attcmpts to esnblish clear<ut and readily cottfumabk proof of the P roving dangers to non-smokcrs from "cnvironmental to- bacco smoke' (ETS, or "passive smoke") has not bettt escy for anu-smoking activists. While every nag in every airport waiting room complains about her '-smokc allergy,' no study has cver establiahcd aller- gonic propcrtics in tobacco smoke. While children have bcen shown to be sen- ;itlve to F.TS. it has long bccn knov,n thut chtldren arc more :ansutvc to any- Ikat in the air, from rag- Chrisropher Catdwdll is msisraer nmrtaglRl editor of The Amerinn speetttor. harms of ETS. had used a complicated and incgular scientific mute to clatm a minimal link. Patching to- getfKr spousal studies. the EPA claimed that womon marTied to smokers were 1.23 tlmes as likely to con- ¢act lung canca-and that ETS was to blame, The EPA teaked a draft risk as- sessmens describing emi- ronmental tobacco smoke as a "known human cu- cinogen.' The months since have sccn anu-smok- tnf activists catling for ntore legislation in public places, atd mbaem intarscs ard Gbertsriam poindng out gaps in what tAsy say is dishonest and politicized science. E spoatue to envitonmenral toh.cso smoke is dii}icult to measue by incsrments. Fuu of all, although im- sponsible scientiw have vied, one can't extrapolate lung eancu risk from dte dosagss aetlve smokers take into their lungs. For one, the substances are chemically and Quantitatively diRerent: "active" tobaao smoke is made up of sttoke psnicles-and pknty of them-while 'pastive' smoke is highly diluted, with a partiilIy vaporous content. In addition,'activ.' smokers take deep breaths through their mouths and hold the sRtoke in their tungs. 'Rauive' smokers breathe 4r=ely tht0qlt the nose, which filten out impurities. While blood tatu and tuine samples do show that non- smokers absorb nicaine from the smokets atound them, it 0 t1n Neerv,w spee+mr rd.y tysl s
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......................................... Christopher Caldwell Smoke Gets in Your Eyes But it probably doesn't give you cancer, despite what the EPA says. 0 P roving dangers to non-smokers from "environmental to- bacco smoke" (ETS. or "passive smoke") has not been easy for and-smoking activists. While every nag in every airport waiting room complains about her "smoke allergy," no study has ever established aller- genic properties in tobacco smoke. While children have been shown to be sen- sitive to ETS. it has long been known that children are more sensitive to any- thing in the air, from rag- weed to dust, and most people would grant to parents, not the state, the responsibility to keep them away from pollu- tanrs. Attempts to Link heart disease to ETS have not bonx fruit. And in 1986. a Yale University medical school smdy of asthmatics exposed to ETS showed that not only did the smoke not cause any acute respiratory risk-it actually de- creased bronchial constriction. "Even with the 'rigged jury' of standard statistical proce- dures." wrote Dr. Kevin Dowd in the June 1991 issue of the British journal Economic Affairs, "it turns out. contrary to popular myth. that there is still no convincing evidence in favour of the adverse effects of passive smoking:" Yet. a year previous to that the EPA. having failed in its attempts to establish clear-cut and readily confirmable proof of the Christopher Caldwell is assistant managing editor of The American Spectator. The Amencan Spectater May 1992 harms of ETS. had used a complicated and irregular scientific route to claim a minimal Link. Patching to- getber spousal studies, the EPA claimed that women married to smokers were 1.28 times as likely to con- tract lung cancer-and that ETS was to blame. The EPA leaked a draft risk as- sessment describing envi- ronmental tobacco smoke as a "known human car- cinogen." The months since have seen anti-smok- ing activists calling for more legislation in public places. and tobacco interests and libertarians pointing out gaps in what they say is dishonest and politicized science. xposure to environmental tobacco smoke is difficult to measure by increments. F'irst of all, although irte- sponsible scientists have tried, one caa t extrapolate Lung cancer risk from the dosages active smokers rake into their Lungs. For one, the substances are chemically and quantitatively different; "active" tobacco smoke is made up of smoke particles-and plenty of them-while "passive" smoke is highly diluted. with a partially vaporous content- In addition. "active" smokers take deep breaths through their mouths and hold the smoke in their lungs. "Passive" smokers breathe largely through the nose, which filters out impurides. While blood tests and urine samples do show that non- smokers absorb nicotine from the smokers around them, it 25 2074144184
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I • • OUTSIDE COUNSEL Legal Aspects of Sick Building Syndrome Continued erom page l, column 2 involved with the building can be- come a party to the lawsuit and it may ufacturers and others who have worked on the btulding. Certain substances are clearly toxic and have been acknowledged as such in federal. state- and local legislation. Others, such as tobacco smoke, are arguably so and have been regulated only at the local level in some areu. I Asbestos, in particular. is a hazardous substance which has received a tre- mendous amount of attention and will continue to In the funtre. Most sick building cases seem to settle. Qafl a Prudemia4 for example, brought last fa6 in southern CaWor- nia. was'settled one month into the trial with the dollar amount kept se- cret by a cotdidentiality agreement. making dissemination of infortnation diltiatlts The most interesting aspect of the case is the suggestion that strict Uabil. Ity law could prevail in simisar uses. The judge ruled that If the jury were to find the hesting, ventilation, and'air conditioning (HVAC) system in the building to be defective, then the de- signer and contractor of the building could be subject to liability under a strict IiabBlty theory of law. Using this approach, the ttullding would be like a sold ptoditct. Presumably anyone in the chain of people who designed, manufactured and installed the HVAC system or Its components (architects, engineers, designers, retailers, ttanu- facturers. distributors-contracton, in- staflers, and subcontractors) could conceivably be potentially liable. In this particular lawsuh, the gener- al contractor ls likely to pay the settle- occur years after the building was constructed. Indemnification clauses in contracts and insurance coverage should all be carefully reviewed be- fore starting on a new project since they can be invoked years after the work is done. Most sick building cases have their origin in HYAC problems - either bad design or maintenance. Since so many people contribute to the work done on HVAC systems and so many people are affected by it. there are many possible defendants. Buitding owners can be sued by tenants. Ten- ants can be sued by employees. Build- ing managers may be liable for maintenance problems. Designers and consultants may be liable for HVAC designs. Intenor designers conceiv- ably may be sued for Boor plans which do not take into account the combination of air supply and smok- ing areas. Lsgislation Despite all the controversy about indoor air pollution. it still remains a very unregulated area. There are no real governmental standards for con- duct However. it should be noted that certain problems may be violations of current building codes and can be handled through those agendes. The American Society of Heating. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning En- gineers (ASHRAE) has issued Stan- dard 62-1989 in which it recommends ment because he constructed the wmu~ shell and core of the office building and agreed in his contract to indemni- fy the owner, even though this oo- atrred yela after the imiiding was constritcrcd. As would be expected In such eases, everyone ia the chain couid be atted evebhWly, either di- rectiy or for todemnifieation - sub- contractors, architects, designers and engineers. The caae arae in 1985 when con- tractors were renovating the interior of an office suite The plaintiffs were two erms .ud their employees who occupied one halt of the Boor and shared the HVAC system. ABer work began, employees experienced diai- ness. nausea, nosebleeds, headerhes, disorientation and.respiratory prob- lems allegedly due to toxic fumes dritting to their side of the floor trom new carpets, turniture and paint on Despite all the controversy about fndoor air pollution, it still remains a oery unregulated area. . . . However, it should be noted that certain problems may be violations of current building codes and can be handled through those agencies. to prepare "health advisories" that I assess the health risks posed by spe- ~ cific indoor air contaminants. The act ~ includes 12 specific pollutants for which the agencies must write health advisories - benzene, biological con- taminants, carbon monoxide, environ- mental tobacco smoke, formaldehyde, lead, methylene chloride, nitrogen di- oxide, particulate matter, asbestos, polycyclic aromatic hydrooarbon and radon. The 12 advisories must be complet- ed no later than three years atter the act becomes law. The EPA can choose for health advisories any other indoor , air pollutants that could have an ad- .. verse effect on human heaith. The Act estabfishes a Council on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ) to oversee . and coordinate federal indoor air ac- . tivities. There would also be an In- door Air Quality Information ~ Clearinghouse to distribute building technology and management practice i building technology and management . practice bulletins and other informa- ~ tion. There would be an Office of In- I, door Quality within the agency's I Office of Air and Radiation. Both the Mitchell and Kennedy bills would provide funding for research on indoor air contaminants: create a federal office of Indoor Air Qtnliry; set up a grant system for states to devel- , op IAQ programs and establish advi- sories for hazardous indoor air~ pollutants. Kennedy's bill was re- ferred to the House Science. Space and Technology Committee- as well as the Education and Labor Committee because of its proposed expansion of the Department of hbor's regulatory authority. Mitchell's bill passed the Senate last year and was referred to the Environment and Public Works Committee. The EPA would be required to issue a building ventilation standard to be enforced by OSHA. New buildings would have to comply with American Society of Heating. Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers' reyuire- ments.* In an unusual move, the State of Washington's Department of General Administration has issued design re- quirements for hs new buildings in response to sick building syndrome issites." The requirements include an air distribution system that will assure a constant volume of circulating air once the building is occupied; tem- peramre and humidity to be con- trolled by direct digital controls: and ventilation systems to operate at w 2074144150
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• WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE NEED FOR A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO INDOOR AIR QUALITY "American adults spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, where concentrations of some contaminants have been found to be two to five times higher than outdoors. Experts estimate that between 800,000 and 1.2 million commercial buildings have deficiencies in indoor air quality." Occupational Hazards, August 1992 "The EPA reports that poor indoor air quality can result in a three percent drop in worker productivity -- a decrease that equates to an economic loss of $60 billion each year." Healthy Buildings International Magazine, July/August 1991 i When asked about the EPA's own HQ which has "Sick Building Syndrome," William K. Reilly, then EPA administrator, quipped, "I'm not supposed to talk about that!" The reason: liability. Some EPA employees are already suing. Forbes, July 6, 1992 In 1991, the state of California checked into 740 complaints about building conditions and indoor air quality. Daily News of Los Angeles, March 15, 1992 A 1992 Harris poll of workers in the San Francisco area found that workers said they became sick because of bad air and other unsatisfactory office conditions, that they took time off to get over ailments and that their work rate could improve with cleaner and fresher air in the workplace. Sixty-three percent said that their office air is sometime or often stuffy or stale despite the fact that only eight percent report smokers in their immediate work area. San Francisco Examiner, February 25, 1992 ® i ~ , ~ ~ ~
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• 0 -4- A total ban against smoking in the workplace and in restaurants was considered last year in Berkeley. Opposition to it was voiced by city employees who wanted the city to construct special smoking rooms and not legislate a total ban. "We are conscientious of non-smokers and don't want to infringe on anyone's right to breath clean air," said Dana Coleman, herself a smoker and president of the Berkeley clerical workers' labor union, local 790. "If you smoke and that's what you want to do, you should have a place to do it " San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 1992 "Thousand Oaks Councilman Frank Schillo said he would like to discuss the proposal [for smoking restrictions] at a public hearing, but he doubts the council will alter the current ordinance. 'I just don't feel local government should be in the business of telling people it can and can't smoke,' said Schillo." Daily News of Los Angeles, January 8, 1993 "'To me it's [a ban on smoking in public places] Prohibition all over again,' said a Menlo Park restaurant owner who asked not to be identified. 'It should be up to the business owners. That's what we're supposed to be about, the right to choose."' San Jose Mercury News, March 20, 1993 "'I believe it's [a ban on smoking in public places] infringing on my constitutional rights... (the right to) life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,' June Hanebury said as she puffed on a cigarette at Chili's on Fremont Boulevard. 'And my pursuit of happiness is to smoke when I choose... There are so few of us (smokers) left, why not just let us be."' San Jose Mercury News, March 2, 1993 t.a tD t7e
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• • • Sef!tenre Fir:st, IQv-dict.1./fenrard BANKRUPTED BY EPA Think the FBI ls tough'? These guys make tht Il2S [ook kind Mttl gentlc. pR[R SAMUEL L hC.T MONTfi the Snvimn 3,100 pwecutimu, M1:1) millivn u. pau- menhl 7Yon.•u'wu AtLenay riltias, and Add months of inearnm- 11SPA) put out a thtck "Np/C to tion tor the prollumrn. GrrmpoadMq" and tweed a prase 'Thw 1491 nnmha.c E•~f proeseutionai mnfwen•" nn ehat it celled ita '4ee- ure more chan ull pre+Law y.ara u>m- md hrrniun( atfau.ment accaupliah- butdd;' said the CPA. nul: dd18 this menu Nr rl.ur watar tn 1991." It waa mean ,7ustice in hei nq dutw4 a-hanner year for enforcement' with Take thd r.nv of Lmlc 'Y'huth" ' tau•, 13d. nP Charlnsran, Wcst Virpnia. - Mr. Ln. w.n. sw:ntenad in u.1i. nte- ' tnet l;ourt to 5160A00 in fines and two ,rean in jail fnr bnwchee of t.h. faderal Claun Watcr Act. Mr, l.+a: uiphtrrtat< CIIDVUMer with the envuonmental ecalp-hnnt brtp.in with h'tf purcharA nf tha nrrfar. rilfhls tn 241 aoroi: ncur thc tm+n of Eummerln: in Fayette Quunty, wcat VSrytnia. ifs bought thu land in ltpril 1980 fnr;160,000 from the New River f,el !,'.rmpany, whieh had dacid.d m elose an old conf-e-asltura yLwL wr U.. , sita. Mr. Uw, a htBtWy rNlt, wanted m rr:ntnra the old comPany atore. and tlhnnaht he miqbt 5e hle m devdnp nnme of tho taud fnr mnhiic lwmea tu ttn industrtal perh. He ka<w nothinc of anv water pollu• tinn prrddema whcn iv. bought the property, but eoon aftar f'nund eh.1t ruutu sprtn®s tnere af.charp woter Iltut is acidic and contuins suspended irnn and mnnl Ph+ eNElry hwe tastOd ut about the Icvd ofCune-Cole; it ie uot wrhenithy to drink. The sna- peneea Iron uud mantaneae sre nm Mrt Semw:! .,rn.. C.~ .a..'4/cwrm<licaruf. m-,t .<ya XYVLS tMu Wyvn, enutmnnwmPL 4Wee pUnt a ekep/i- cal ponpsaux. ,1a NATIfJNAL REtlaw I MARI:rI IC, t%yl udmdthy fir i.umene uititaY, dtuuO tlury hpk aw!ttl-they y,•IVe [he water u dirty reddish color-and rnuld be hurtine s,tneNn N6 no-ndtrenm, in Fa9etta.ill. (pop. 3,0001, pcapld statted complaining about tdr, Lavs watu (lowinc into their ry•terunir. Th.ir herhtnbr .nd luilete .nen elelnnd +Nt u f e red aedimeut ahat muld have ram, from Iha epnnlpr on Mr. Leru's property. The town ltss since 9aed tha pmhlem hy di7ulina the ru.,.mir water aLth wdI .eater, but Iw:ei eu+ironmunwl- Istr ref.ently r!nlwM the ]ttatlt on Mr. Law when trouna &h wcrc found dMd in ch. rr»tr d•.,,.-aetreem of hic pinperty. Mn t+w han w.it,u;na ~Iw say that the Ifah-from a state hntch- ery-wen uhaadv dead from noali- gent handlina when thu atato dumped thcm in thc au]c Esprrb Say... A T IIIS TRIA(. in the UE. Dte- arllt t-NYCt !a Ittakley, West vlrglnm, Mr. Lau• did not dony that the water comina n(f hi. Vmpnx.y ,.ee polluted udur the tcrmn of the feder,tl Ci.wu waler Ara. Hls deMae wa. that his property wea mtt the souree M the pollution. He had the nTtniene of two leadind oxpurtc ia +abr pnlluticn Wul Ihe avid nnd metal R]npmiunUOn orl!(lnated in old coat minea higher up the watershed. and thnt the palluted a-.te, ran t,nder c,raund to emerae in the epAi.rp uu it!a property. The aovornment maitrtained instead thxt tha pnllntinn enmc fnum a nos- o.-erarawn d<pueit on his propeay of urd rNUSU motterial (enrtmmnnly culied -gub") left by the old coul-washina plant Onu of Lada upcrt •~itncssus, Dr. Oewae Hall, puinu out that the two cnat vams above Lavs prnperty are "nuurciously andir.' and otndndee that. •aeid minq Wulur ic eeepinR dn,.-,t tltu t..o l.ullu.a Leueaur ule gub pita to emerpa penesth tfu< me of the gob pila.' He says ha has reen many such nvld sprinas /n ehe ermu thut ucet without the prtmm"u uf puL y'tlen. The Marlje un which Mr. Law wna tried was failure "ta eh.micallr treet thc nnid wsr.r AivharSes from the eoal retune ple.." Ca+ernment inspee- urr. hed dnmundod that he treac the water wlt!1 eCda as(1 to neurdllLa it and Dreripitate the un>;ehtiy imn ea!rd, a prnceas that would cnAt A5,fi(nl a weuk to rurt and wotild havm m rm indNfnitely. Mr. La.w•e ouly preacot luwtua rcuru the yuryetty i> ;]1J prx montn tor leaslnq the old company ntorc- tu tha U.S. Postal S.rvice. Thn au.ommenf. charaee heoe pra.onted him 1row urv.ul( ehood .-ith Ili,. uLhcr plons (or development of tne sttc. The proucution did not arl:ue that rhe dischurycs from the eprinnt concti tutsd an; health hazard. Thv: just didnt meet EPA clean-wutcr stana- arda. Md in what aoneers to be a enmpln.le pervnxinn of rh. prin•iplec of rumman Im., tho Ltf.. Atmnrnr-y prvnecul.(uy thu casu eraued thut it tr rmmatarial under the laean Water Act whether the pmperty nwnor it the cawe uf L)m pollution. Itc argucd that uuddt the xt .Ite defendunt c.onld hx roand guilty aimply nn tba baete that pelluted wstar wu emereinB from his propcrty, naardleee uf its eouree. dud'r Rli+.abcth Ilullorr.u u.plkd t)va tetrmrdtnary proposttton. 5he tn- BKUcted the IurY: "The oRense cnndMlt nt'fh. knnwinq dbrhnr6n of a ponre. ont from u p.ilnt aoutca int. a-.t,ar of the United Snve. For xne purpose or the Cleaa WotOr Acl, all the Y.v"rrrt mr•,nt muat pmvn ie ehat tha dnfnnd. anto )utc.• the general ohoroamr ond nswre uf the rru4rialn Wy .ere Mr. L.e<w now has a civil action :oin: a¢ain<t tlw ruininy enmpan e rhat u.u llre p,uperty where la Lhiulu ll. pnllotrorl onelnatoa. in any case. there Nnnld !1/f.m IO be dlt argumenf, in na4 ur.) lee that if one has only b:.vgM ihr-xufer.e elue 4t a ptece nf land and has no rights ur the minerals unaer- around• then one has no rtrapunsibllity (er Whsl hvUblet up fram IvJnw nut the U.E. ao.eroment, and na, a dle[rirt ludg, esy me source of pnl- lution u immatertal. Dy thuir n;awn- ina, yr,n mill M..armneiMe for trwat- ins uny mutamiautal -uror rhnt nn.ry oSyour iand, regardless of who ir r,o- ,tpnnsihle. fhr it. If a truck comes off ihn nmd :md dumpn a Ined or ehe.nri- eolo on ycur land, you will bu wilty of n ndnrp under U.. Clemr Watct AcL if you don't treat uny pullutton thul, rune off. And what about water wmins u(f your property frnm acid rain7 Mr. r.nw hne errinualy eried m 5i•s )HX tYnd uway eiAO: envrnrnYYldrllal Muw+' turnud it fmm a smu11 ueearL inm n di.ecrmna li.hility, Inn. of rnurcn shcre ore no taken. a
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k . • -3- "We're getting away from using the term indoor air quality because what we've found is you can solve the indoor air problem and not eliminate the symptoms. A lot of consequences of psychological stress are the same as what we might expect from poor air quality. We don't know if these effects are additive, synergetic, or separate, but we can't look at indoor air without looking at other issues." Philip J. Bierbaum, Director of Physical Sciences and Engineering for NIOSH Occupational Hazards, August 1992 "Total indoor air quality is a better, more inclusive term for dealing with the concerns of white-collar workers. When you look at the irritant-level health effects people are alleging in most cases, I think it's questionable that they could be occurring only because of the indoor air. But if you add some stress and ergonomic concerns, perhaps that's when the problems start to show up. Psychological factors [how people interact] also appear to be a factor, but we don't know how important they are." Al Miller, AT&T Industrial Hygienist and Chairman of the National Environmental Development Association's Total Indoor Environmental Quality Coalition Occupational Hazards, August 1992 "The strongest argument against giving an agency such as the EPA the authority to regulate indoor air is that it would be like giving a machine gun to a child. The EPA has imposed huge costs on the private sector to eliminate trivial risks and make infinitesimal improvements in the health and safety of Americans. If a federal agency were to apply comparable standards to indoor air, the effect on the economy would be worse than the Great Depression." Dwight R. Lee, University of Georgia Economist and author of a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis entitled "The Next Environmental Battleground: Indoor Air" A .P i ~ ~
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k • -2- "What's difficult are the links between pollutants and the health problems that people report... More often than not, the sick-building syndrome involves non-specific symptoms that don't lend themselves to any known cause..:" Robert B. Axelrad, Director of the Indoor Air Division at the EPA Sacramento Bee, August 23, 1992 • "There are at least trace amounts of hundreds of chemicals in many buildings. The EPA wants to analyze every chemical or combination of chemicals, and then write regulations based in these analyses. The question is, why waste all that money when all you need to do most of the time is open windows or improve the building's ventilation system." Dwight R. Lee, University of Georgia Economist and author of a study for the National Center for Policy Analysis entitled "The Next Environmental Battleground: Indoor Air" "Correcting ventilation problems... can reduce indoor air problems more quickly and extensively than trying to identify and control individual indoor pollutants." U.S. General Accounting Office Report, October 1991 "In most of the cases I've seen, banning smoking has not changed the frequency of the complaints. What that suggests is that complaints about smoking are a symptom of a much larger indoor air problem of that psychological factors do play a very large role. People want to know that their needs are being addressed." Sheldon H. Rabinowitz, Director of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology for Sandler Occupational Medicine Associates Occupational Hazards, August 1992 N O .P ~ A i ~ (A~
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, fkHn_J>U _tftj ptTTSBURGH POST GAZETTE, Friday, March 26, 1993, Smoke si~nals The rnessage fi-orn tFfe ami-smoking lobbv is irItolerarlce n the continuing battle over smoker.c' )7espite this progress in dealing with a T pr,;tlege ts. non-smokers' nghts. the ;otown health hazard some members of ~~~, tyramtv oi the growtng smoke-free societv, in their zeal to eradicate smolanSY majmm' is beutg felt in numerous have show•n a mean streak of intolerance wa}s. and self-righteousness. (Just to clear the Building owners. rather than provide air, this editorial was written bc a non- lintited and dignified smolang areas, force smoker and rep.'esents t!e view of a r.earlv workers onto the curb to catch a few smokerless editorial board.t desnerate puffs at L•nch or during breaks. While heart disease, stress ana lack of The same nolicw was recently introduced at exerci.se also take their toll on the popula. Pittsburgh lnternattoaal A tport. and now tion, some law•makers and lobbyists are the inevitable cloud of smoke greets incom- obsessed with designing statutes that would ing patrons at the sidewalk. outlau• smoiong - and not merely restrict . [.egtslation, much of it ill-advtsed. tries to go aftcr a smoker's unhealthful habit in places or ways that the 'aw can't reach. State Rep. Peter Daley of Washington Countv, for i.tistance, has introduced an unenforceable biil that would outlaw smok- ing in 2ne's car when children are present. Ivo- the other chamber weit,*as in with an equally misgutded proposal fron. Sen Stew•• art Greenleaf of Montgomery Ctunty. This one would ban smoking from bars, theaters, museums, otfices, factories and aotels. It's not that we doubt the Enviro.mental Protection Agency's numbers on tte haz- ards of secrond hand smoke. It's not tlat we or regulate it - in restaurants, utfices. hote! rooms, stadiums and. now, cars and bars. Obvicuste, there is no such thing as second-hand heart discase, while there is second-hand smoke. But anti-smoldng cru- saders aren't content to k-p smoking confuted to designated areas, auac from nonsmokers (who are, ot cour:,e. the picture of heaitht They want it out on the cttrb As for the specifie.s oi the Grecnlenf bill, its one thing to require a restaurant to ofter a non-smoking section, but quite another to force a bar owner to ban smoking in hts establishment, particularly wfien dnnktng and smoktng, for much of his c•lten:eie, go hend in hand, dispute the surgeon general's desire tor a Why should a Holiday Inc rsl: losmg the smoke-free wortiplace. Smokzng ts un• patror.agc of smokers when it has worked healthful - and not just to those doing the out:ts own smokittg eonfllct by offering both puffing. snioking and non-smoh:ng rooms? Our point is that there are other, better W'h} shotild Heitu Hall be forced to go ways to combat smoldng iwhich for many .;moke fre, when the ventilation system has people is an addictioni. One is education, seen to it that not a wisp of smoke intrudes which should be early and intense. The from the iounges into the concert hall? other is taxation, at both the federal and Why shouidn't the cn'ners of these busi- state levels Combined w'lth the growing resses be frea to manage the tensions social sanction against smoldne. these hetweet smokers and non-smokec in their strategies are working. In 1965. ihe year matidual e.stab!tshments, and tt.ce the after the V S. surgeon general's historic contequences as they w•ou'.d witL+ any' other report lin}ang smoking to canc•e;,-]2 percent business decision? of Amen^_an adults smoked, compared to 26 0 pertent in 1990 Last w•eek, a nationwide Associated Press study. reported that taa revenues from toaacco products are down in 20 ,tates, u rre down in S t others before those states raised taces and are generallc static in the rematning states A West Virgima tax official told the .1P "Every time the ciga rette tax is increased, a few more xople say. 'It's tune to quit."' if the anti-smoldng lobby feels tobacco has bent;: e so harmful to tne general populabo;t that no accommodation should be allowed, it should make a case tcr outright ptoh:bitior.. t,s tt is, the Greetdeai measure is an overreaching plan that tram- pies personal frecdom and the autoi-arn)' of b sin_°ss frwnecs - and in a cause that it cn ita way to tiictory anyway. COMP A93(5
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Investor's Business D • i • Clrculation 155,000 r,,.,„,„,.w„„aw,T NATtONAL 1SSU E IS EPA BLOWING ITS OWN SMOKE? How Much Science Is Behind Its Tobacco Finding? By Michael Fumeato !n Los Angeles "Taken together, the total weight of evidence is conclusive that environmental tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers." So declared Environmental Protec- tion Agency Administmtor William Reilly at a news conference earlier thu month, announcing the impending re- lease of an EPA report attributing approximately 3,000 deaths a year to passive smoking, or environmental tobacco smoke. Yet many in the scientific and mcdi- caI community say the data the EPA cites does not bear out its conclusion. While virtually all scsentists agree that smoking is unhcalthful - both for smokers and those around them - it's the degree to which smoking is an- healthful, and the way the government musters its scientific case, that raises questions. Some scientists and policy analysts who say they couldn't care less about tobacco company profits or even the rights of smokers are worrying aloud that the EPA report is paving the way forjusuifying new health-based govern- ment regulations and programs without any real science behind them. Said Banner Cohen, editor of EPA Smoking Gun? Relative rlsk of lung cartcer 100 General population 2,200 WhHa male F; - , smakers I+ .~ 1,200 Whitelemale i smokers '~ Colorado miners -i exposedto radon gas 119 Passive smokers 6aaM: EPA nKa~ nwrN CaM, rm.,amc.caes.q Watch based in Chantilly, Va., "It's now open season on whatever contami- nant the EPA chooses to label the killer contaminant of the week, with the etTect that once again, Americans are going to be stampeded into fearing a substance for reasons which upon close inspection are scientifically indefensible," Yale University epidemiologist Alvan Feinstein, writing in thejoumal Tosico- logical Pathology, said he recently heard a prominent leader in epidemio- logy admit of the EPA's work on passive smoking: "Yes. it's rotten sci- ence, but it's in a worthy cause, It will help us to get rid of cigarettes and to become a smoke-free society." "TBe Newspaper For lrnportanr Decision Makers" Thureday, January 28, 1993 Another critic, Alfred P. Wehner, president of Biomedical and Environ- mental Consultants Inc, in Richland. Wash., said: "1 did work for the EPA in the past and thought of them rea- sonably w'ell, but when I saw that report. I was reall_v embarrassed, It was a bad document." One thing both sides ngree on is that the direct policy ramifications of the EPA report could be tremendous. "You can bet your next paycheck that OSHA nhe Occupational Safety and Health Administrationl will ban alI smoking in the workplace," said John Shanahan, the enviroomental policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. Although. in unveiling the report. Reilly expressly referred to cancer in children and in the workplace, the statistical analysis in the EPA report actually ignored the studies that looked for such links. Rather, the EPA survey is based on 1I American studies of spouses of smokers. The report discussed, bur did not put into its statistical analysis. the results of 19 other studies done outside the U.S. In its analysis of those I I studies, the EPA found that there was z"statisti- ca(ly significani' difference in the num- ber of lung cancers suffered by non- moking spouses of smokers. equal to 119 such cancers in nonsmoking spouses of smokers compared to 100 lung cancers in nonsmoking spouses of non- smokers. This finding of statistical significance allowed it to rank passive smoking as a Class A carcinogen, the highest risk ranking possible. Statistkal slgni6cance, while saund- ing like arcane academic talk, is actually quite important. It Is used to account for the possibility that something happened - in this case the 19 additional lung cancers-bychance. But critics say that, using its own previous statistical standards, the EPA report shows no such signif~cance. "Frankly, I was embarrassed as a scientlst with what they came up with, The main problem was the statistical handling of the data;" said Wehner, who headed a panel of scientists and doctors that analyzed rhe draft version of the EPA report for the tobacco industry. '.Yteta-Analysu' One aspect of this problem, say crltlcs. Involves the combmation of the II studies into one big group - what the EPA called a "meta-anxlvsis," The EPA has never before done this. Critics say such combinations may be valid. but if the studies weren't done in the same way, the results will be like comparing apples and oranges and pears, Not everyone agrees. "Metaanalysis is totally fair; ' said Stanton Glantz of the Institutc of Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, "I review reports like that for the State of Califor- nia, and the work the EPA did is absolutely first rate, onc of the bcat pieces of science I've seen about any- thing." But W'ehner said the study was faulty. "To get scientifically valid data, there are very strict rules and requirements on how and when you can apply meta- analysis, and virtually all of them were violated in the EPA analysis." he said. 'Confidence Intervals' The II studies together actually reflected 10 studies that showed no statistically significant increases in can- cer and only one that did. When the EPA says that the weight of II studies showed harm from passive smoking, it really meant one positive combined with 10 neutrals, More important than the use of the meta-analysis, say critics, is the EPA's use, also for the first time, of a less rigorous statistical analysis. Epidemiologists - those who study disease and accident patterns to estab- lish why they oa;ur-calculate "confi- dence intervals" to express the likelihood that a result could have happened strictly by chance. A 95% confidence interval means that A re is a 95% possibility that the result n't happen from chance. or a 5% possibility that it did. Until the passive smoking report, the EPA has always used a 95% confidence interval. as have most researchers doing epidemiological studtes. Indeed, all of the individual ETS studies were pub- lished with 95:'a confidence Ntervals. Yet, in its averaging of those ETS studies, the EPA decided to go with a 90°Po confidence interval. "That doubles the chance of being wrang;" explained James Enstrom, a professor of epidemiology at the Uni- versity of California, Los Angeles. Reilly said simply: "With repect to the confidence interval, we have here a 90% confidence level, And that was- in fact, what was recommended to us by the scientific community as appropriate to this data." Repeated calls to the EPA to find out who in the scienti6c commu- nity had done so went unanswered. 'Hairsplitting' Factor Glamz said the criticism of the change in the confidence level is a kind of "hatrsplitting that only professors care about." Many epidemiologists. however, dis- agrtt. "In most cases, a scientist would never do this sort of thing;" Enstrom said. "IYs surprising that they would try to get away with it." The bottom line is that such "hairs- plitting" allowed the EPA to come to a totally different conclusion than it would have using its normal method. It could now de- ctare that the m- sults of the American studies, when lumped to- gether. we 'sta- listicaIIy significant," a term of great impor- tance to the medi- cal community. At a 95 % confidence William N.Illy ]5e
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interval, the result would not have been statistically significant and the EPA could not have labeled passive smoking a type A carcinogen. only one major newspaper or tele- vision news show covering the EPA announcement made any reference to this sudden change of policy. Critics say this statistical maneuver- ing amounts to little other than moving the goal posts to ensure that a football that landed on the two-yard line would countasatouchdown. "They're using it so they can get an effect," Enstrom said.'"They're going all out to get something they an call signitiant" Glantx responds, "There is nothing magical about (the 959.). I know that scientifically it's widely used, but there is a strong body of thought that people are too slavishly tied to 95°G." But critics say that noting that the original selection of 95% was arbitrary misses the point. It was arbitrary to make a football field 100 yerda long, but once that's the standard, you an't change the length in the middle of a game. "You cannot nm scieva with the government changing the rules all the time," said Michael Gough, program manager for biological applications for the congressional Offta of Technology Assessment. 'Oue-TaBei' AndyW Glantx said that anather statistical reporting change, using what is known as e"one-miled" analysis as opposed to a two-tailed one, compematee for lower- ing the statistical confrdance. In fact, it actually reduoes the conft- dence level even further, providing a greater chance of labeling something carcinogenic when it uv 't. Said loe] Hay, a health economist at the University of Southern California who teaches statistics, "In essence, that's more like going to an 85%" level, which would triple the chance of n mistake due tochance. "If they've done both, then they're obviously reaching for results," he said. Thetobaccoindustrycharyedthatthe EPA left out of its analysis a recent major study, released in the November American 7ournal of Public Health, which, if combined with the other I I American studies, would have resulted in no statistically significant fmdings even using the moved goalposra. Reilly responded to the charge by saying that the EPA report was too far along to include these latest Bndings. But, "When one new study an throw it from nonsignificant to significant and another can throw it back again, you're not demonstrating a clear trend," said Alan Gross, a professor of biostatistics At the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Enstrom notes that substances prc- viously labeled carcinogens normally have been found to have a much greater difference between levels of cancer in those exposed and in those nct exposed. With lung cancer caused by direct or active cigarette smoking, for example, there may be 1,000 cancers compared to 100 for nonsmokers, as compared to the I19 per passive smoker the EPA found per 100 for nonsmokers. Enstrom said, "For a heavy smoker exposed to asbestos, you an get up in the range of a relative risk of a hundred or more,' meaning that for every (00 unexposed persons with lung cancer you find 10,000 exposed ones. "With a disease like lung cancer and finding excess risk of only two or less, you really have to think about what you'rc doing with the data," he said. "To me, ie's frightening that they could make such a case out of such a small risk factor when you've got so many varia- bles " Inexnct9clence One problem with slicing the data so thinly as the EPA passive smoke study does is that epidemiology is not an exact science. A single variable unaccounted foran destroy a whole study According to Gary Huber, a doctor with the University of Texas Health Center in Tyler- "At least 20 confound- ing factors have been identified as important to the development of lung cancer. These include nutrition and dietary prevention, exposure to occupa- fional arcinogens, exposure to various air pollution contaminants, genetic pre- dispostion and family prevalence," amongotherfactors. "You're going to see huge lifestyle differences lxtween tfamilies with smok- ers and families with no smokers) generally," said Gross. One of the 19 non-U.S. epidemiologi- cnl studies that the EPA did not put into its data base, conducted by American and Chinese researchers in China, actu- ally found a statistically significant deureasetnrisk. "When you change just one of the assumptions EPA madc." said Wehner. "just one parameler, you can prove ETS saves lives -- and, of course, thai s just nonsense. But it demonstrates how easily results can vary when assump- tions arc changed only slightly." EPA Watch's Cohen and other EPA critics think that the passive smoking report isjust the latest in a litany of EPA abvses of science to achieve political ends - most promtnently that of enlarging its own authority, especially to gain more control over indoor air regulation. Cohen notes that while the EPA has attributed 5.000 lung cancer deaths a year lo radioactive radon gas seeping up from the earth into houses, the epide- miologicai studies on household radon tend to show that houses with higher levels of the gas have lower levels of lung cancer. Outside EPA Repnrt's W+ming "The science of which EPA avails itself is that which happens to Gt the political agenda of the moment," Cohen said. "Epidemiology didn't support its position on radon, so they ignored it:' Cohen notes that an outside report commissioned by the EPA released last year found that there was a wide perception that the agency's science was "adjusted to fit policy." He says that clearly, the EPA did not heed the report's warning. "The EPA was not unaware of the fact that the tobacco industry is an extremely appeahng target with few allies in the public arena:" Cohen said. "Furtheq the tobacco industry has cried wolf so many times that it doesn't have any credibility anymore." But Enstrom says that "politically correct" science isn't science at all, and that regardless of how one feets about smoking and passive smoking, the EPA's tack is simply wrong. '9 don't think it bodes we11 For the field," Enstrom said. It's going to make it hard to distinguish a real (problem) from a manufactured one using statisti- cal manipulation:' • . Reprinfed oourfesy oF Irtveslor's Bnsiness DaiH.
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Tjington (Ttinee JUNATHAN ADLER DriVing costs of oxy-fuel fakery taca Nott 1. residents of the District of Columbia and many other major metropol- kan areas have been paying more for gasoline. In some areas, as • much as 10 cents more per gallon. In addition, many cars are begin- ning to expeticnce a 2 percent to 4 percent decline in the mileage trav clcd with each gallon of gas. This is a result of the Clean Air Act Amend- ments of 1990 that requircthe exctu- sivc sale or oxygenated fuels in the 39 citios with the worst carbon man- oxido (CO) pollution In the nation. The fourmontit oxygenatcd fuels prvgram Is designed to reduce CO pollution during the winter months, when CO levels are at their peak. The Idca Is that by increasing the oxygon level In gasoline - through the addition or either cthanel or MTBE (mcUtyl tcrtiary butyl ether) • - cngittes will burn "lancr." result• ing in more complete combustion and lower cmissions of CO. blowever, because the proeesa of producing and blending these additives in- crascs the costs of refining gas- oline. ilte costs to the consumer hava increased.Withreportsofapossibte shortage in supplies of MTISE, prices could climb still higher. While the Environmcntal Protac- tlon Agency Is very proud of its oxy- getuted fuet program and the reg- ulatory process that brought it about, fesidcnts of theaffected cities should not be so happS As with many . of EPAS programs, thc oxyfuels mandate is an overly expenaiva "drift uct" approach to a highly lo- alixad problem that can be ad• dressod in a more efficient, not to mention tquitable, manner. More- tnret; therc are serious doubts that the oxy-(ue/s program will bring any air quality benefit at all! DECEAlBER 16, 1992 Oxygennted Nds were first used to conibat high CO amissions in Den- vet; Cnln, Since their introduction, Colorado regulatory officials have trumpetad the program's success, claiming that ambient levels of CO are on the decline. Some critics, such as farry Anderson of the Uni- versity at' Colorado at Denver, charge that the "oxy-fuols program has had no statistiwlty sitptificant offecc on I CDj concentrations in the atmosphcro." What supportersof the program typically fail to mention Is that CU levels were declining woll before the program was In plact Aa newer, and cleancr, cars have re- placed thelr older, dirticr counter• parrs. CO emissions decreased and overail levcls or pollution declined. Moreover, due to the adaptive la'trn- ing technology in the engines of these new vehicles, the use of oxy fuels will have virtually no effect on the emissions of most late model se- hicles. What EPA would like to ignore is that only a smaii fraction of vehicles produce the vast majority of CO emissiona, Indeed, only 20 percent of the vehicles on the road are ra sponsible for 80 percent of the uc- hicular emissions of CO. Cleaning up or retiring only half of these ve- hicles would result in greater pollu• tion reduction than the use of oxy- gcnated fuels by the entire fleet. Moreover, where oxy-fuels only help reduceamissions of C0, retiring and repairlna dirty vehicles tends to re- dua emissions of other pollutants is well. . The vehicles Inspection and maintenance program was designed by EPA to identify these dirty vr hleles for repairs. Howevcr, because many of these vehicles are not reg- istered, temporarily malfuncdon- ing, or deliberately tampered with, a large proportion of the most pollut- Ing vehicles escape deteetion. With an annual or biennial testing pro- gram, It Is t:asy for automobile own- erstoprepareAorthetestandensure passage, and then readjust The vehi- elc engine to imprma vehicle per• formance and increase emissions. A method of addressing this problem was developed at the Uni• versity of Denver, and is now being marketed by a subsidiary of Ham-. Ilton Yl•st Systems. It is a remate sensing device that an detect the emissions of moving vehicles on the twd, record the license plate, and thus enable officials to require that the ofiending vehicle be repaired orr tuned up. lt is the vehicular emis• afons equivalent of using radar to atGhAAe4ders. .; Critics at EPA charge the test is noCperfect, citing that cars oca- sionally escape detection. But then nather is the EPA's program pcrfect. The' existing inspection system is easily avoided and a large number of offending vchic7es are ncvcr identl- fied. Moreover, oxygenated fucls, far (rom being "clcae;' merely sub- ititutc one form of pollution for an- othcn While reducing CO cmissions in some vehicles, oxygenated fuels increase emissions of nitrogon ox- ide, one or the components of urban smog, and aldehydes, classified by the EPA as a potential carcinogen. Indeed.aldchydc lcvals have risen In both Denver and Phoenix sincc-the beginning of their oxygenated fuels programs several years ago. This from a program that Is 5 to 10 times as expensive in terms or CO onus• slons reduced. Far from a rational approach to concerns about air quality the oxy- fucls program represents much that Is wrong with environmental policy today Rather than identifying the polluters and forcing them to clean up, bureaucrats instead prefcr to im- pose costs on all drivers, irrespec- tive of their contribution to the cur- rent problem. This type of "drift-net" strategy is preferred by regulatory agenc!es bccause it maximizes the «ope of regulatory authority and is less complicated to implement than a more targetcd (and equitable) program. • Moreover, there are powerful eco- nomic interests that stand to gain from the mandated use of oxygen- Ared fuels. Archer Daniels Midland- -for one, is the largest producer of ,ethanol and the single largest con- •tributor of "soft money" for the first three quarters of 1992. Because eth- anol Is significantly more expensive than gasolinc, it would never have a shot in the marketplace for fuel ad- ditives absent a government man- date. It Is no wonder that, when the oxydUels program was threatened during the debate on the 1990 law, !nfluentialsenatorsleapttotheaddi- tiv.'s defense. Unfortunatelx thore was no one around to protect the average American eonsumer. ~ O A ~ Jonathan H. Adler Is an environ- ~ menral policy analyst at The Com• -L pethiveEnterpriscdnstitute.Hecon- ,p tribtaed the chapter "Clean Fuels, t,l Dirry Air" to "Environmental Poli- ties: Public Costs, PJivate Rewards" (Proeter).
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A Case History: ~ The Impact of EPA's Flawed Study on the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Issue Based on a"politically correct" decision to eliminate environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produced a scientifically-flawed report, which has lead to a piecemeal approach to the problem of indoor air quality. Once again, this is an example of how EPA's political agenda has negatively impacted our health and well-being. • o The EPA has not conducted a comprehensive, peer-reviewed study on the entire range of indoor air pollutants -- chemicals, fibers, smoke and dust, to name but a few. o The Total Indoor Environmental Quality Coalition (TIEQ) found only a few cases in which scientific evidence was even capable of isolating a single causal agent for health problems resulting from indoor air pollution. o The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examined 203 air quality investigations of schools, health facilities and government and business offices, and found that the largest source of complaints about the quality of indoor air was poor ventilation. o NIOSH also reported that, in buildings where adverse health effects were reported, tobacco smoke was a factor in only two percent of the complaints, calling into question the EPA's apparent belief that smoking bans will significantly reduce indoor air pollution. o The NIOSH study found that in most of the buildings inadequate ventilation, unsanitary heating and air conditioning systems, and fumes from other sources were the real problem. o A Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) survey found that nearly 85 percent of employers have already implemented a workplace smoking policy. The fact that an independent solution to the problem exists calls into question the EPA's motivation for concentrating on ETS in the first place. o Smoke-free buildings are not necessarily healthy buildings, a fact proven by the EPA's own Washington headquarters. In spite of the smoking ban imposed inside the building, EPA employees have complained of illnesses, and the building is considered "sick" due to a lack of adequate ventilation or filtration to deal with such common air pollutants as chemicals, fibers and gases. o The EPA's perceived conclusion that eliminating ETS leaves a building healthy opens the door to exorbitant worker's compensation claims for employers n~ _ whose employees contract illnesses despite the ban. v i o Only a comprehensive approach will solve the problem of IAQ. A i ~ V
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. 0 -2- Instead of using its own experiences with indoor air quality to initiate a comprehensive scientific study of the problem, the agency seems intent on bowing to political pressure to seek a quick fix. On the surface it might appear that the only losers are smokers and tobacco companies. In fact, the greatest threat is to the health and safety of g„il workers. Unless the EPA engages in a thorough study of indoor air pollution, we will never be able to improve job conditions for American workers. By taking the easy way out, the Agency is creating the false sense of security that smoke-free buildings are healthy buildings. That logic did not hold up for the two workers at the Social Security Administration office in Richmond, California, who died after they were exposed to deadly micro-organisms which cause Legionnaire's Disease. The outbreak left 13 others infected and forced the government to close the building for three months. Already in this country Americans spend $115 billion annually complying with pollution control regulations. And, it is estimated that overall each American pays some $450 more in higher taxes and prices because of EPA regulations. That is $1,800 a year more for a family of four. work. We don't need more regulations. What we need are regulations that In order to improve this country's indoor air quality, the EPA needs to conduct thorough and impartial scientific studies that examine the various forms of pollution -- chemical, fiber, smoke, dust, etc. -- and to consider how best to reduce the pollutants. Once such a study is completed, standards can be set for total indoor air quality. Then, individual businesses should be allowed to meet them in ways that best suit their particular situations. Studies show that allowing flexibility to improve general air quality in a variety of ways is far less costly than having remote authorities impose uniform responses to particular pollutants. Without a comprehensive approach to total indoor air quality, the EPA is not in a position to do more than blow smoke at the American people. N O ~ a • y ~ P N O N
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SOZbti6bLOZ
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. -2- Let's not let policy makers use a piecemeal approach and the public's general distaste for tobacco smoke as a justification for backing away from their original commitment to examine the problem of indoor air quality in its entirety. How can we develop a comprehensive solution to the problem of indoor air quality, and what should the solution be? 1) Undertake more studies to determine the effect of the full range of indoor pollutants on our health. Current information is limited and research is made difficult by the number of factors -- the pollutants themselves, the ventilation of buildings, and each individual's different reaction to indoor environmental conditions that must be studied. Without more intense scientific research, any solution that limits or bans a certain pollutant is of questionable effectiveness and may cost companies millions of dollars of unnecessary expense. • 2) Encourage business and industry to be concerned with their sick buildings' ventilation systems and the impact on their workers' health. New buildings and their heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be constructed that take environmental and indoor air quality into account with the assistance of new proven, low cost technologies. 3) Insist that government hold off costly regulations until a total approach can be developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set standards for total indoor air quality. Once these standards are set, individual businesses should be allowed to meet them in ways that best suit their particular situations. Studies show that allowing flexibility to improve general air quality in a variety of ways is far less costly than having remote authorities impose uniform responses to particular pollutants. At this time when we are all focusing on improving our outdoor environment, let's remember that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. Let's make sure that public policy for improving our indoor environment is as efficient as possible. ~ O • V ~ ~ A T1 N O O
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0 Draft-Opinion Editorial INDOOR AIR QUALITY . i Taking showers and baths every day is a good way to keep your entire body clean and healthy. But what if someone told you that on Sundays you could only wash your face, and on Mondays your arms, and on Tuesdays your back, and on Wednesdays your legs, and on Thursdays your chest, and on Fridays your stomach and on Saturdays your hair. This is not a very efficient way of keeping clean and healthy. Yet such a piecemeal approach is exactly how the EPA is choosing to address the disturbing problem of cleaning up indoor air and protecting our health. Many of us work -- or knows someone who works -- in a "sick building," a building where the combination of poor air circulation, germs and chemicals cause illness. Many of us are all too familiar with the litany of symptoms -- eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; lethargy; occasional dizziness; fatigue; nausea; and the inability to concentrate. And we have speculated, with curiosity and at least a tinge of panic, about whether an acute or chronic illness -- our own or that of a co-worker -- might be due to a sick building. Sick buildings pose a real and growing health problem. And curing them effectively requires a comprehensive solution. Unfortunately, the EPA continues to approach the problem of sick buildings on a piecemeal basis, concentrating on particular pollutants rather than the overall problem. It is surprising that the EPA adopted this strategy since groups such as the Total Indoor Environmental Quality Coalition (TIEQ) have discovered that in only a few cases has scientific evidence identified a single causal agent linking adverse health effects to poor indoor air quality. Now the California legislature is following the misguided lead of EPA in its consideration of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Other state legislatures could follow. Currently, the EPA is focusing on the issue of the day, environmental tobacco smoke. While politically appealing as a target, the focus on environmental tobacco smoke diverts attention from solving the more significant and potentially dangerous problems of indoor air quality. A review of 203 air quality investigations of schools, health care facilities, and government and business offices conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), revealed that inadequate ventilation was the major source of complaints about air quality. This was confirmed by an October 1991 General Account Office (GAO) report that stated, "Correcting ventilation problems ... can reduce indoor air problems more quickly and extensively than trying to identify and control individual indoor pollutants."
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. Draft-Opinion Editorial WHEN ONE + ONE DOES NOT EQUAL TWO • If not for the serious economic and health impacts its actions will have on workers and businesses across the country, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent attempt to solve indoor air pollution could be lightly dismissed as another example of the cliche: 'Tm from the government, and I'm here to help. " The more sobering view of EPA's proposed actions will lead this country in a direction that is both expensive and dangerous to all Americans' health. The EPA began its program to solve indoor air pollution -- and the numerous illnesses thought to be related to it -- by issuing an unsubstantiated report that claimed second-hand tobacco smoke causes cancer. While the report was totally without scientific foundation -- credible scientists have publicly debunked it -- EPA's initiative was "politically correct" and found widespread acceptance in the media and among the agency's adoring or beholden constituency. With its false report in hand, EPA then set out to convince the public and other governmental agencies that by removing environmental tobacco smoke, we could eliminate the health effects of indoor air pollution. Case closed, problem solved. If only it were that simple. The EPA has made a major scientific blunder by failing to conduct a serious, peer-reviewed study of indoor air pollution. By relying on its own flawed report, it is giving millions of Americans the false conviction that there is a simple solution to improving indoor air quality. What EPA hasn't addressed is what happens when businesses ban smoking and workers still get sick. As a matter of fact, in a review of 203 air quality investigations at schools, health facilities, and government and business offices, the National Institute of Safety and Health concluded that tobacco smoke had a contributing role in only two percent of the complaints. One place where the EPA's thesis falls apart is in its own Washington headquarters. The Agency's building is considered "sick" because it lacks adequate ventilation or filtration to deal with such common air pollutants as chemicals, fibers and gases. EPA employees have contracted serious illnesses despite a smoking ban in virtually the entire complex. N O ~ . ~ ~ A N O i
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I -2- f To start with, EPA carried out its study without seeking the cooperation and sound scientific credentials of OSHA, where the jurisdiction for this issue rightly exists. More important, however, EPA's approach is based on a shoddy document that ignored the results of two dozen scientific studies and failed to take a comprehensive view of the issue. The agency -- clearly bowing to political pressures -- ignored NIOSH's study of 203 air quality reports from research at schools, health facilities and offices. NIOSH found that only in two percent of the buildings where health complaints were registered did tobacco smoke play a contributing role. Unfortunately, EPA seems intent upon working from a mind-set that if tobacco smoke is eliminated from buildings and the workplace the indoor-air pollution problem is solved. Because the agency failed to work with OSHA to conduct a comprehensive scientific study of g_ll the factors contributing to indoor-air pollution, its recent report ignores the multitude of airborne factors which are likely to have harmful health effects, including chemicals, fibers and gases and trace elements commonly found in the air of office buildings and manufacturing facilities. Clearly, the ability of the government to regulate is not at issue; this country spends $115 billion annually on pollution control regulations. The question is whether these regulations are properly coordinated among responsible agencies and lead to a desired result. In the case of indoor-air pollution, the answer is a resounding NO. EPA needs to back off and let OSHA and NIOSH take the lead, since it is their responsibility and jurisdiction. What we need is a thorough study of the issue. Without it, politics and "politically correct" responses will effectively condemn American workers to prolonged exposure to dangerous pollutants. It could be a real tragedy if workers and businesses conclude that by banning tobacco smoke, they are significantly lessening the probability of work-place illness. Instead of continuing to court disaster, our responsible federal and state agencies should be working together with business and labor to launch a comprehensive scientific study of indoor pollutants. Let's get the facts on the table first, then decide how to take steps that will result in honest improvements in the American work-place. N O V ,A A . ~ N O A
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t • • -3- U.S. businesses are having enough trouble trying to compete in the global marketplace and do not need this type of counterproductive regulatory zeal. Business wants good, sound and comprehensive thinking from the government. Imagine the justifiable public outcry if the base-closing commission made its recent recommendations without conducting a comprehensive study of the broad social and economic implications of its action. While painful to many communities and to the businesses which served these facilities, Americans have reacted with general respect for the fair and even-handed approach taken by the Commission. We should demand no less from the EPA. If there is evidence of significant risk associated with indoor air pollution, then it should be studied rigorously -- but honestly. Based on sound scientific data, a total approach can be developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set standards for total indoor air quality. Once these standards are set, individual businesses should be allowed to meet them in ways that best suit their particular situations. Research on compliance with air and water pollution regulations clearly show that allowing flexibility is far less costly and more effective than having remote authorities impose cookie-cutter responses to each particular pollutant. More than ever, Americans want to have confidence in their institutions of government. President Clinton made this a cornerstone of his campaign. Environmental policy is a good place to start. no d V ~ ~ t+7 O 4
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• A6 MONDAY, JA.YG;4RY 11. 199J RICHMOND Tl3tES-DlSPATC'H EDITORIAL PAGE EPAs Smokescreen • Last year a blue-ribbon scientific panel warned EPA Administrator tV'illiam Reilly that much of the agency's science was "unsound" because the EPA lacked adequate safeguards to prevent its scientific fmdingrfrom being "adjusted to frt policy-" The EPA's report on passive tobacco smoke - bureaucratically known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) - is a case of fudgiag science to fit a politically correct, pre-detennined policy result Since the Iinlc between smoking and lung cancer is well-known, many people naturaAy believe that ETS also must be linked to cancer. But the scientifk evidence does not support that view. Some may dislt7cethe sight and staell of tobacco smoke, but offensive does not necessarily equal hazardous. A recent study by the National Cancer Ltsttute-no tobacco industry lackey - reluctantly concluded there is "no elevated lung cancer risk associated with passive smoke exposure in the warkplace." "no increased risk" from childhood exposure, and no itureased risk among most non-smoking spouses of smoken. Spouses exposed to more thaa 40 pack-yeIIS (f.., a pack per day for a year) of passive smoke showed a statistically iasignifinet 30 percent relative risic of lung pncer. That is less than the risk of miscarriage or cancer associated with drinking ordinary tap water. Epidemiologists generally do not worry about relative risks until they double or triple. In pursuit of greater regulatory authority over indoa air quality, the EPA skewed its assessment of E?S. F'uu, it induded nteer anti-smoiting activiets on its ETS pand. while excluding some scientists who had published research question- ing the risk of ETS. Then the agency started fudging. When it.ves discovered that ETS could not be classified as a arcinogen under loag-}tanding scientific accuracy guidelines, the guidelines .ere changed. Bothezsame data were averaged sway through a questionable statistiol averaging technique - employed by the EPA for the Brst time ora ETS. The National Cancer Institute study simply was ignored altogether. Even with all this fudging, the EPA caoaot explain why its claim that ETS causes as many as 3.gOf1 lungsancer deatbs per yea - which would be a large percentage of lung cancers among non-smokers - is not supported by reol aae histories. Such shoddy science raised eyebrows on Capitol Htll. When Congressman John Dinge3l. a Detroit Democrat known for his taltt-no-p:isoners investigations, challenged EPA officials, they essentially answered that the agency ruedn't be sctentifinlly nreful because the subject is tobaxo The implications of the EPA's ruling go far beyond tobaceo. If it can skew science on ETS and get away with it, then what happens when another substance is deemed Folitieal(q incorze_cf,?
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t • • -2- So in a stroke of "scientific" editing, the EPA simply revised its own standards and flatly distorted the available data in producing its now famous report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders," which claimed that "secondary smoke" is responsible for as many as 3,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. Rather than seek more comprehensive research, EPA then bowed to the politics of the issue and announced that it would establish regulations on environmental tobacco smoke. By taking such action, said EPA officials, the "danger" of the health risks associated with indoor air pollution would henceforth be eliminated. But what really happened here? Did the EPA, without conducting a single scientifically and peer-reviewed acceptable study, simply determine that someone else's tobacco smoke is the major cause of indoor air pollution? How could they do that? And what kinds of other questions does this raise about the Agency's real commitment to protecting the health of America's workers? My interpretation is that the agency has, in essence, told business that if it bans tobacco smoke from the workplace, the health effects of indoor air pollution will hugely disappear. There is an irrefutable problem associated with this simplistic action: it is not based on science and it does not lessen the real health risks to workers. As a matter of fact, in a review of 203 air quality investigations of schools, health facilities and government and business offices, another federal agency, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), officially concluded that tobacco smoke played a contributing role in only two percent of the building complaints investigated. (NIOSH has principal federal responsibility for assuring worker health and has a highly qualified staff of scientific experts.) This situation raises an important question of employer liability. What if smoking is eliminated from the workplace and employees still experience illnesses associated with indoor air pollution? Who gets blamed then? The employer, that's who. While the EPA may issue regulations based purely on pseudo-science and the current direction of political winds, the liability for worker illnesses can fall squarely on the shoulders of business. So despite all the EPA hoopla about a progressive government action, imposed without benefit of scientific evidence, the initiative fails because its premise was grounded in quicksand, while business is left holding the bag. tv 0 V ~ ? N O 0)
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i Draft-Opinion Editorial A NEED FOR MORE SOLUTIONS, NOT MORE PROBLEMS i President Clinton's new Administration is sending critically mixed signals to Americans at a time when most people are encouraging him to bring about much-needed change. While on one hand, we hear that the federal government is trying to reshape itself to improve the economic future of the country, we also learn that powerful forces are pushing for new regulations that could severely undercut the fmancial stability of business and jeopardize the health of American workers. We see this policy contradiction starkly represented by actions of the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency. When faced by the urgent need to down-size the military and close U.S. bases around the world, our government created a non-partisan commission called the Defense Base Closure and Re-alignment Commission, which spent several years making a comprehensive evaluation of the military's future needs and preparing its recommendations. These recommendations, while controversial, were based upon a thorough and detailed non-political study of each military facility and its prospective role in meeting our nation's defense needs. In short, while those affected may be grumbling, the country as a whole can have confidence that the commission based its findings on real facts and hard data -- and that no recommendation had a specific "politically correct" motive. And the use of comprehensive assessment in the political process can also be seen elsewhere. Congress and the President are examining the details much more closely as they evaluate issues such as healthcare reform and modifying the space program -- issues which are of great concern and have a vast economic impact upon our lives. Contrast this performance with the EPA in its role on the potential health threats posed by a relatively new environmental issue which has come to be known as indoor air pollution. Ever-zealous to find new problems to solve, even while old and acknowledged conditions remain unresolved, EPA launched an internal study to seek data which would justify the agency's determination to further regulate the conditions in which we live. Unfortunately for us all, the EPA report was inconclusive. EPA scientists, using a scientifically acceptable methodology, could not provide clear evidence (statistical or otherwise) to prove the agency's primary regulatory objective -- the banning of indoor tobacco smoke.
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0 is in such small doses that this can be seen as a triumph more for modem scientific calibration than for any cause- and-effect relationship. It's rather like remarking that every cubic foot of ocean water contains ash from Mount Pinatubo. or that almost all of the paper money in Miami contains traces of cocaine-it's true- impressive, and mean- ingless. In real-life settings, the dangers of particulates are even less impressive. A 1978 study in the International Archives of Occupational Environmental Health claimed that it would take 1I to 50 hours in an extremely smoke- polluted environment to absorb as much nicotine as a smok- er takes in from one cigarette. In Britain. where smoking was legal on subway trains until the mid-1980s and was un- til recently permitted on buses, the Freedom Organization for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco estimated that one would have to ride in the smoking section of a bus for four- and-a-half weeks to be exposed to one cigarette's worth of nicotine. ' It's possible to measure the "respirable suspended parti- cles" that surround a smoker. but very difficult to distin- guish them from other particles that may be in the air from cooking, rug fibers, car ex- haust. air-conditioning, etc. Pro-smoking activists like to mention "sick building syn- drome" as an major contrib- utor. At first glance. calling poor ventilation a "syn- drome" and a health threat appears as hysterical as us- ing the word "choc-a-holic" to claim that the science-fic- searchers have sought a link in epidemiological studies. i.e. studies based on the incidence of affliction across large pop- ulations. Here is what the thirtv studies that have been con- ducted to date report: twent,v-four show no statistically sig- niticant link at all; six show a weak link: nine show that being married to a smoker actually decreases one's chance of contracting lung cancer. One would think that a combined study-showing ETS exposure from atl sources- including the work environmenL and including other smoking family members-would show a clearer relationship. Yet no combined study has ever shown a statistically significant association. Even shoddier is the failure of most of the luna cancer tests to probe cancers histo- logically-that is. by sampling for oncogens in cells of the in- fected organs. Only limited histology was done even in the large and influential 1981 Hirayama study from Japan, which is the cornerstone of the ETS/cancer scare. As everyone knows, cancer metastasius, and failure to distinguish be- tween cancers that originated in the lungs and those that moved there from another organ makes the figures consider- ably "softer." The Hirayama study also relied on question- naires, which made no at- tempt to determine which non-smokers were u-smok- ers. Then there is the ques- tion of confounding factors. like Dr. Gao's rapeseed oil. Confounding factors in smoking are so numerous and unpredictable that it is almost impossible to unrav- "Active" smokers take deep breaths through their mouths and hold the smoke in their Iungs."'Passive" smokers breathe largely through the nose, which filters out impurities. tionesque terrors that afflict the true addict apply to some- one who is basically a glutton. But the 1976 LLegionnaires' disease outbteak is a sick-building incident that cost twenty- nine lives- and occupational studies tend to bear the pro- smokers out: in only 2 to 4 percent of indoor air quality problems is tobacco smoke the major culprit. H ow much particulate matter enters the air due to smoking? Anti-smoking activists would have us believe a tremendous amount. Dr. David Bums, testifying before the Los Angeles City Council Health Committee, argued that particulates, "when smoking is al- lowed. [increase) about ten-fold from the background lev- els." This is simply falsehood in the service of anti-smok- ing propaganda-a 1990 study of smoking sections in forty-one restaurants showed that only half of the particu- lates were from smoke; another study, from 1988, put the figure at 28 percent. As far as eating in restaurants is con- cerned, the cuisine might be as much of a risk as the smoke; a 1987 Shanghai study by Dr. Y.T. Gao and three researchers.from the National Cancer Institute found that nonsmoking women who cooked with rapeseed oil had an incidence of lung cancer 2.5 times as high as those who cooked with soybean oil. Given the ineffectiveness of exposure measurements, re- 26 ~ el smoking as a cause from a welter of non-smoking behav- iors that smokers engage in with shocking disproportion. ~~ Stanley Coren, a Canadian expert on "handedness." writes that a study in Michigan has shown that left-handers smoke i considerably more than right-handers.1 (They also die nine years earlier-and not due to smoking.) In 1990, two papers published in the !ou»sal of the American Medical Associa- tion by stop-smoking researchers Alexander Glassman and Robert Anda showed that smokers were six times as likely as nonsmokers to suffer from major depression and twice as likely to suffer from chronic depression. David Krogh, an anti-smoker, remarked on the smoking personality in one of the most fascinating btsoks of 19912: Does being a Rotarian or a scuba diver make a person more or less likely to be a smoker? ... Does being in group A make you any ttton: likely to be a smoker than being in group B? The answer to this is clearly yes. You are more likely (and increas- ingly likely) to be a smoker if you are poor, for example. or if you are poorly educated. No surprise dtere. But what about tThe Lsft-Hander Syndrvmev rha Causes and Consequences of frf7-Handedness. New York: The Free Press. 308 pa{es. 524.95. =SmolLq: rhe Amficid Parsinn. New York: W H. Freeman and Company. 176 pages. S 17.95. TLe Ameriraa Spmrar May 1992 2074144185
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! Draft-Opinion Editorial WORKER'S COMPENSATION i Sach year, businesses of all sizes contribute millions of dollars to state worker compensation funds in order to provide a financial safety net for employees unable to work due to job-related accidents or ailments. The compensation programs, while sometimes controversial, have effectively served to protect businesses from numerous lengthy and expensive lawsuits while providing injured employees with immediate financial support. In recent years, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its state counterparts have established rules and acceptable work-place practices that are intended to protect workers. If well- conceived and effectively implemented, these new regulations also aid companies by increasing worker productivity and reducing job site injuries. Among federal agencies, OSHA has won respect from the business community by using sound, peer-reviewed science as the foundation for regulations affecting conditions in the workplace. Moreover, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), our repository of scientific data and epidemiology on workplace issues, has made great strides over the past decade in developing credible information to guide government and business. Which makes all the more surprising -- and dismaying -- the latest twist in the politics of regulatory agency science. In this case, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to create an end run on OSHA, and those who are likely to suffer the effects of this power play will be American workers. There's always the danger to a good program when somebody in the government tries to impose regulations that not only don't improve working conditions, but actually encourage the continuation of practices that jeopardize employee health and increase compensation claims. Such is the case with a new initiative from the EPA to "cure" the effects of indoor-air pollution. EPA has issued a report which concludes that people can get sick, even contract cancer, from other people's cigarette smoke. The implication of EPA's report is that tobacco smoke in the work-place be banned, thereby dramatically improving the air employees breathe. N O A ~ ~ J ? P N O W
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CONTENTS ! • Occupational Hazards The Magaine of 5afety, Health and Envimnmental Managemenl j FEATURES 23 THE LEGACY OF LITTLE BOY The bomb dropped on Hiroshima helped build Oak Ridge, Tenn. In the first of our two-part series, we examine whether the environmental fallout from Little Boy could also destroy it. 28 REINVENTING INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE At an Occupational Hazards/American Industrial Hygiene Association roundtable, leading industrial hygiene managers examined the issues facing a profession immersed in change. 32 WHY EMPLOYEES ARE SICK OF INDOOR AIR Contaminants in building air can harm your workers' health, productivity, and morale. Our experts outline strategies for clearing the air of this $60 billion health problem. 37 BLOWING IN THE WIND? Protecting employees who complain about dangerous working conditions moves center stage in the OSHA reform debate. 41 TIPS FOR TERMINAL VISION Optometrist Edward Godnig explains how to avoid visual stress at computer VDTs. DEPARTMENTS 6 EDITORIAL Why the OSH Act - and OSHA - need revision. 8 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR A second opinion on workers' comp. 11 OSHA PEL rule struck down...N.C. reprieve. 17 EPA Air permit rule issued...Contracts overhaul promised. MARKETPLACE 21 SAFETY & HEALTH ACGIH adopts new cancer ratings. 44 CONTESTED CASES General duty and contractors' obligations. 47 WORKERS' COMP UPDATE Texas implements Extra Hazardous Employer Program. 50 PEOPtiE & PLACES Swanson named OSHA deputy assistant secretary. 58 ADVERTISERS' INDEX 53 PRODUCT SHOWCASE Safety signs and labels mustprovide information to a diverse workforce. 54 FREE LITERATURE COVER: Photograph by S.L. Smtlh. A LIG UST 1992 page 28 k, August 1992/Occupational Hazards 5 2074144212
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r +,~d A 'J080g R1i-20L
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14 9 I these things: You are more likely to be a stneker if you are di- vorced: you am far less likely to wear a seat belt if you are a smoker, young white women who smoke are much more likely to be binge drinkers than ate ttieir nonsmoking counterparts tal- ntost half are, a rate two to three times higher than that of non- smoking women): men who are downwardly mobile relative to their parents are mote likely to be smokers. while men who are upwardly tnobile aro less likely.... As a group they « nd to tank higher than nonsmokers on scales that measure risk-taking and sensauon-seeking.... Smokers tend to tank high in a constellation of characterisdes that collectively are referred to in the now quaintly old-fash- ioned tertn "anti-social" ... They tend to be mote tebellious. be morc defiant, and have higher levels of misconduct. The correlations in this category are very saong... . Smoken seem to have what can only be called a higher sex drive-or perhaps a lower sex inhibition-than nonsmokers.. . . Smokers rank high in impulsiveness. . . . Finally, we have reason to believe that smokers are more honest than nonsmok- ers in the view of themselves that they present to others. Hans Jurgen Eysenck. whom Krogh describes as "perhaps the best known psychologist in Britain and certainly one of the most influential psycholo- gists in the world in the area of personality theory," has at- tempted to taxonondu smok- ers' confounding factors, and considers them so extensive as to undertnine, fot the ptrs- ent time, attempts to use smoking as an etiologicai fac- tor in disease. I t is easy to see how a study such as Hiraya- ma's could be drastically wrong: if his subjects came disproportionately from working-class industrial areas (they did), and if smoking is more prevalent among the Japanese working classes (it is), Hitayatna's wives of smokers would have a higher rate of lung cancer than wives of non-smok- ers, regardless of smoking behavior. Finally, rates of lung cancer infection vary drastically according to race and na- tionality: British epidemiologist P.R.J. Burch showed in the 1970s that Finns, who smoke only half as much as Ameri- cans. are twice as likely to develop lung cancer. Using for- eign studies to arrive at cancer links is like using African numbers to measure the threat of !dD5 in North America- the entire mechanism of infection may be different. [t's sig- nificant that the EPA did not cite a single U.S. study show- ing an ETSlcancer link in its risk assessment-in fact- no U.S. study has ever found such a link. A particularly weak aspect of the 1990 EPA report is that The Mtencan Spectator May 1992 it relied on meta-analysis, or weighting different studies to arrive at an aggregate figure-i.e.. not attalyzing data but analyzing analyses. It's very useful in narrowing down con- clusions from a battery of similar experiments with similar controls. but irresponsible when used-as it is here-to draw common assumptions about disparate populations. es- pecially when those populations have been established as having vastly varying rates of affliction. There was obvious selective bias at work in the 1990 EPA risk assessment. Three of the most comprehensive studies of passive strtoke ever undertaken were inexplicably excluded from the risk assessment: the so-called Shimizu and Sobue studies from Japan. and the largest American case-control study ever conducted, by Luis Varela of Yale University, which was later published in the New England Journal of Medicine. None of the three studies showed any statistical link between spousal smok- ing and lung cancer. Publica- tion bias. though not the EPA's fauit, is also a factor- studies showing no link be- tween ETS and lung cancer have tended not to be pub- lished. as they were non-news until the Hirayanv study. As Michael Fumento has written of Ams in these pages. "Oc- casionai heterosexual cases will make news for the same reason that planes that crash make news while planes that land safely do noc° The EPA went out on a limb to classify passive smoke as "Group A: Known Human Carcinogen;' even though most of the studies showed no significant risk, some showed a negative risk. and the final risk ratio, after meta-analysis. was a slim 1.28. (The highest ever recorded for ETS was another Hirayama study, the so-called "In- ouye/Hirayama." at 2.55.) When a sitnilar assessment was made of diesel emissions in 1989, the risk ratio was 2.6 and all the animal laboratory tests came out positive (all were negative for ETS). Despite the seemingly graver threat the EPA rated diesel only as "Group B: Probable Human Car- cinogen." An EPA review of the carcinogenic properties of etectromagnetic fields in 1990 found several risk ratios over 3.0- as well as a "consistently repeated pattern of lym- phoma. leukemiL nervous system cancer and lymphoma in childhood studies." But electromagnetic fields were not deemed suRciently perilous even to classify. The ETS risk assesstrtent is the only one the EPA has ever based solely on epidert»ological evidence. The fact that it failed to meet the EPA's own seven-point guidelines for epidemiological smd- 20741441g6 :7
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0 0 WHY EMPL4YEES ARE OF INDOOR AIR Contaminants in building air can harm your worken' health, productivity, and morale. Our experts outline strategies for clearing the air of this $60 billion health problem. By Gregg LaBar I n indoor air qual- ity lingo, a major national commu- nications company had a "crisis building" on its hands, according to researcher Stephen J. Reynolds. Employees were complaining about the air quality and nearly all of them were exhibit- ing at least one adverse health effect, including coughing, throat irrita- tion, and disorientation, explained Reynolds, as- sistant professor in the Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Environ- mental Health at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. In the course of events, the company did not docu- ment or investigate the problems. But when 31 employees sought emergency medical care, the company de- cided to evacuate the building and have tion than a dramatic example of what is a team of experts investigate. occurring in varying degrees through- The team uncovered problems with out the country. "Nearly all employers the heating, ventilation, and air condi- will end up with questions about indoor tioning (HVAC) system; improper air eventually," warns Henry B. Lick, chemical use throughout the facility;' -manager of industrial hygiene for Ford and microbial contamination. They also Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., which op- concluded that had the company ad- erates some 2,000 facilities nationwide. dressed employee concerns sooner, American adults spend about 90 per- many of the problems could have been cent of their time indoors, where con- avoided. According to Reynolds, the centrations of some contaminants have episodecostthecompanyasmuchas$1 been found to be two to five times million to shut down operations, hire higher than outdoors. Experts estimate the necessary consultants, and renovate that between 800,000 and 1.2 million the HVAC system. commercial buildings have deficiencies Reynolds'case study is less an aberra- in indoor air quality. The Em ironmen- 32 Occupational Hazards/August 1992 tat Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that IAQ problems cost American business some $60 billion annu- ally, most of it the result of lost productivity. Workers' compensation and health care costs ac- count for several billion dollars of the total, ex- perts said. Healthy Buildings In- ternational Inc. (HBI), a Fairfax, Va., IAQ con- sulting firm, estimates that an employer with 667 employees in a "sick" office building can expect to suffer pro- ductivity losses of about $200,000 annually ($300 per employee) due to employee absenteeism, assuming an IAQ-re- lated absenteeism rate ~ of 1 percent. ~ "The majority of the f costs are hard to see be- cause they're related to absenteeism, morale, and quality of work," Iowa's Reynolds said. "Medical costs are probably less than 10 percent of the total loss. There just aren't a lot of cases where there is a physician-diag- nosable illness." Sheldon H. Rabinovitz, director of industrial hygiene and toxicology for Sandler Occupational Medicine Asso- ciates, a Melville, N.Y., consulting firm, notes that while few indoor air situations are life-threatening, em- ployers still need to address IAQ con- cerns for health and economic rea- sons. "If there are complaints, the employer must do what he can to 2074144213
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t i the other side. The problem was alleg- edly.intenaftied-duea to leaha in the ducts in the FIVAC system. The corpo- raNons aiteged••buamess interruption losses and lack of productivity. One solution might have been to ptunP fresh air in to flush out the can- taminants, but the building's outside damPers were not big enough to cir- cutate 100 percent fresh air. The HVAC system was capped so that only 10 percent Outside air could be brought in. As with many such rases. the prob- lems may have been caused by a mm- bination of elements: tight construction of the building shell.• in- adequate HVAC system: untrained building managers; extensive interior renovations by tenants; and the use of synthetic materia4 and furnishings containing volatile organic com- pounds such as formaldehyde, mlu- ene and methyl ethyl ketone. This is the type of ease we will see more of in the near future. lo Perklnt a. Maromic Operating Company,nine women filed suit against a building landlord and the management company that main- tained the strtttAm's heating and ventilation dttcts, when they became asthmatic shortly after the'v jobs re- quired them to move Into a new build- btg in downtown Washington. D.C.' The plaintiffs claimed that their iR- ness resulted • from an unspecified bacteria or mold that contaminated the air they breathed. The we was settled. In a suit against Burlington lndus- tries, a jury found in favor of 9arBng- ton, a carpet manufacturer, when a Cincinnati couple sued claimiug ill- neu bom fumes ernitted from a new carpet in their o(tka4 Chemicals Misappii.d Illness and litigation can also result from hazardous chemicals which are misapplied. In Houston. Teras, a jury awarded $10.5 million to residents of several apartment complexes over ex- posure to allegedly misapplied chlor dane.s The pWmiBs were a test we stJeOed to repnxnt a total of 311 Plabiliths-.. The owners and manager of the apartment campksrs terminated or limited the services of a licensed pest control operator In April 1985 and in- stead used three maintenance men employed by the manager of the com- plex to apply termiticides. They sprayed chlordane above ground, using sprayers, rather than by trench- ing, drilling or sub-slab injection. There was no notice to tenants. It was sprayed on the buildings themselves and on common areas and near open windows and air conditioning vents. Compensatory and Pmitive damages were awarded. This case and others like it, usually rely on negligence theories. In a sick buildin nxs. everyone that HVAC systems be designed to de- liver at least 15 cubic feet per minute per person (cfm/p) of outdoor air in mechanically ventilated buildings. The standard applies to hotel lobbies and certain retail shops. Higher mini- mum rates are recommended for most buildings, such as 20 cfm/p for office buildings. This standard is not a legal requirement. however, should it be adopted by national model and local building cades, it would be. However. It is widely adhered to at the present time. In 1988 the U.S. Senate's Committee on Environmental and Public Works recommended to the full Senate the passage of Senate Bill 1629. known as the "Indoor Air Quality Act of 190g." The bill was not enacted in 1988, bbut was reintroduced in substantially identical form in March•19g9 as Sen- ate Bi11657,10 I st Cong., 1st Sess.,175 Cong. Rec. i30g1 (1989) and again in subsequent yeara and is now known as the "Indoor Air Quality Act of 1991 " There are currently two pro- posed indoor air quality bills with the same title. One bill was introduced by Rep. Jo- seph P. Kennedy (D. Mass.)' It pro- poses that sny public or commercial building which receives a permit for construction or for significant renova- tion must have an HVAC system de- signed to provide a minimum of 20 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per occupant to all occupied space and a minimum of 60 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per smoking oc- tatpant where smoking Is pertnitted. Exhaust air from a room where smok- . Ing is permitted shall not be returned to the general ventilation syatem.r OSHA would have the power to fine and imprison offenders. In its current proposed form it provfdes for re- search. model building management practices, training and programs and sets ventilation standards for new public or commercial buildings. It is nonregulatory. The bill also clarifies that any IAQ research, standards, regulations, or enforcement carried out by the EPA that would affect worker safety and health must be done in consultation with officials of OSHA. It would autho- rize funds for indoor air quality re- search, grams to the states and a program to asseas problem buildings. A simitar bill in the Senate, intro- duced by Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine),s does not create any new authorities to regulate indoor air pollution. It directs EPA to develop a"national response plan" to direct existing authorities to "identity contaminants of concern and specify actions to reduce esposures. EPA in coordination with other federal agen- cies would make recommendations concerning the establishment of ven- tilation standards to protect public and worker health. Senator MRchell's bill requires EPA capulty dttring-iee 90 day "nush.ari ~ period" and for an additiona/ 90 days ~ after employees move in. There are also requirements for testing of furni- mre and carpets for contaminattts. Washington state has specified the following emission limits tor fumimre ' ordered for new buildings: (a) Formaldehyde emissions may not exceed 0.05 parts per million part of air, (b) Total VOC emissions may not e:ceed 0.5 micrograms per cubic me- ter of air, (c) 4-phenylcyclohesene emissions may not exceed I part per billion parts of air (4-PC is a chemical by- product in carpet adhesive); (d) Pollutants not specifically men- tioned may not produce emission lev- els greater than one-tenth of the threshold limit values recognized for industrial wottplaees; (e) Total partindates may not ex- ceed 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, and (p Manufacmrers must Identtfy any toxins, mutagens, or carcinogens that are off-gassed from their products. Conclusion This is a rapldly gtvwing area of the 4w. tt is fraught with tremendous po- tenttal for liability siace strict liability standards may be used and everyone in the chain of people involved with the building may be included in a law- suit Everyone in this chain should have legal counsel on the potential risks so that they can adequately plan in their contracts to minimize liability or seek indemniBution from others in -the chain. Those affected by the air quality in buildings should be aware of the law in this area so that they too can be protected. .s.---.-.. (1) t.kKMner's. PuWir fta.Hn taw. M 1] 99-n a .eq. (t) Caa a A+tlaapi (NO. SWC 909 13. hld, SePr+ Ct. aenkd 10/ tSNe). (3) hntwU a Malomic GMr{y Conwmry. No. ussOD7s7. (4) ar6e a ea/rypn LYUps, No. A s 101 mr. Ha.wen ca.. oltlo, (5) ibar a Wnqra6 Nn ar-2a3 4 5-B. Teru o{u. a Harw lTry. (6) H.R 1666. 102d Coaare., 1a lerfon (1991). (7) tpa N..paeim Itaae .ed wrtWqmn have ispab ooaMna modwN tnr raee d- nce dYWiep uny. See Are•er Aaimanev e. core. No.. Ix I95o. µ a. (6)3.461. (9) AN9RAL 9and.nl 6l-19D ir a raaa6ary YandaW wr MdYten., amgoetr., and building Gwners anC aperaton nnlar pre¢nEe. 0Ni- n.mr rentWnan nua Inr raps .aWq., wch u oHkea aaea meeU~ rvam..od ana ryper a ea.s. (10) "ladoor Aft Qullly Sped6olbu For w.drenen 91are Naenaf ° - BNWinr aad taCnr a IMwMp tailUNa:' w.MmpM state Uepe ol GenerY AdatMMOanoo. Fyt Cam- nus tTn Nqr.a. oe- tM9. O. .laqn 1111.61..rr, of C. Jaye Ber- Lam ONioes in New York City sp isa in building convmction, real a and enaronmental law. .
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. • • ies of potential carcinogens lissued in 19891 makes it seem even more like advocacy. Radical anti-smokers claim they have to act as advocates to counter the advocacy of tobacco compantes, and tobacco interests do indeed have major budgets for their own inde- pendent research into smoking hazards. But the industry has no monopoly on the profit motive. The EPA even commis- sioned and-smoking activist Stanton Glantz to write a chap- ter in its draft report on ETS hazards. Glantz. who runs cigarette-quitting seminars and develops anti-smoking regu- lations for profit, had this to say, at the 1990 World Confer- ence on Tobacco and Health in Australia. about his motives for opposing environmental smoke: The main thing the science has done on the issue of ETS. in ad- dition to help people like me pay monga¢es. is it has legit- Inuzed the concerns that people have that they don't like cigarette smoke. And that is a strong emotional force that needs to be harnessed and used. We're on a roll. and the bastards are on the run. Others may be motivated to push bad science not out of avarice but ignorance. There are even those who muddy the water out of a genuine social concern. Michael Gough, program manager of the Biological Applications Program of the Office of Technology As- sessment, chooses to ignore an's annual risk of contracting lung cancer-48 per IO0.000-and see what danger he poses to her. If we ac- cept, arguendo, the 1.28 risk ratio. the smoker's wife's risk nses to 61 per 100.000. That's 13 extra cases per 100.000. Put simply: maximizing in every way possible the most ex- treme scenario painted by the EPA study, a smoking hus- band has a 1-in-7,700 chance of giving his wife lung cancer in a given year in the future. How reasonable is it to torture him with the prospect that he is slowly knocking off his loved ones? inally, F it goes without saying that science suffers for the cause of smoking prevention. But what if the cause itself suffers? It is not uncommon that when bad sci- ence is introduced into the structure of social policy, the en- tire edifice of proscription and caution collapses. In 1985 the British government sent a hysterical mailing on AlnS to ev- ery household in the country. Making dire predictions of an epidemic. it warned that AIDS was an equal opportunity dis- ease from which no one was safe, and urged extreme cau- tion for all. The result? Old ladies in provincial towns were petrified. Non-monoga- mous homosexuals and in- travenous drug users, if con- vinced by the packet that their risk was no different from that of the rest of the country, now saw less reason "The main thing the science has done on the issue of ETS, in addition to help people like me pay mortgages, is it has legitimized the concerns that people have that they don't like cigarette smoke." the science of ETS in the interest of reducing smoking, as he indicated in an October 29. 1990 letter to Thomas Bore1- li, manager for scientific issues at Philip Morris: Without careful reading of the thesis (by Luis Varela- finding au link between ETS and lung cancerl or careful attention to rhe ETS issue. I tend to agree with the thests and the general con- clusions of your letter. On the other hand. I probably profoundly disagree with any use that might be made of those conclusions by Philip Monis or any other tobacco company. Anything that reduces smoking has substanttal health bene5ts, and making smokers into padahs, for whatever teasons. does just that. T T Ttto loses from willingness to accept bad science W as a basis policy? Citizens wishing to exercise their libetties, of course, and not just smokers. As Dr. Jasnes Le Fanu put it in Britain's Sunday Telegraph last May, "We could reach a situation where health activists- us- ing dubious scientific evidence. will be in a position to blackmail us into behaving the way they think we should. It is not an attractive prospect." Second. on a more personal level, the smoking widower who has lost his wife to lung cancer-and whose being fur- ther stigmatized as a murderer and a'-pariah" is the goal of the EPA report-loses again. For a closer examination of the grounds on which the husband is made a pariah. let's take the highest available estimate of a non-smoking wom- 2t . than ever to modify their be- havior. Within a year. the London Spectator was suggesting that this "public service" was actually spreading AIDS. Closer to home- paranoid anti-dntg organizanons like Part- nership for a Drug-Free America may be exacerbating the drug problem by demonizing drugs like marijuana-mild compared to the President's Halcion, and quite innocuous compared to aicohol. It is a point starkly made by Dr. Lester Grinspoon. a Harvard psychiatrist and drug specialist as writ- ten up by Richard Blow in an excellent exposE of Parmership that appeared in Washington's Ciry Paper last Dettmber. Partnership ads about marijuana "scare the hell" out of a high- school seniar. This student then goes off to collegeq where his roommate smokes ttuuijuana, with no apparent adverse effects and without going on to shoot heroin. He begins to wonder if he's been lied to. and winds up trying pot for himself. He lives. Having rejected Partnership warnings about marijuana. he might subsequendy reject more important warnings about riski- er drugs such as cocaine or hemin. Such a backlash could result if people consider the ques- tionable science of environmental tobacco smoke reason to ignore the surgeon general's and other warnings on the hazards of tobacco smoking itseif. If so. the EPA's hasty risk assessment could create more than inconvenience. raneor, and diminished personal liberty-it could create smoken. 0 The Amencw St>ectator May 1992 2074144187
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tbeae ehinv You ae mQe litsly to he a smoker J you re di- veee.4 yeu ~e t~e 1~e',itisiy u rase a sea Selt if yeu re a snwak.r: youn( whY wnsas ww Molte ue musE mon Iiksly to he binae drotken tha sre thair neesnek.nj counrrpeu (Y- meu haU as.6 a nsa twa so thtee dmw higMr Nae that of noa- fmokina wma): mrt who es dowrowardly mobitc mlaova'o theu parena sse reon likely to be rrokan, whJs man who se upwarAly moblle .e les loit.)y.. .. M a fyoup Ufey iatd to rank hiiha eha nmvnolters oe scalas dus mnsure risk-ukina efd unaeoe-ssekina. ... Smokes mnd to rank hiah in a masielktios of chracteruda Oat mllacti.dy ee refined b in the now quindy old-fash• iatd iam'aui•soeial." ... They W ro 6e nwn mbel)ioua" be n+crs dsfi.u, asd have higJter levels ef mismnduct. TLs mrrelaians fn Ns cateaory us vey smena. ... fmoYvs ss.n to have wha can atly be caUed a hiaAer ses deiv.-w pshe" • a lovra sac uNitztias--has tupumckas.... Smoka*s rank hi{h in impulsiveneu. . . . Fwlty, w have reuas to eelNM that imokY7 W mae henst than natsmok• tss ut the view of Qumrlvea dtss ihay Reaens to othrs. Hans Iurgen Eysessck whom Krogh describes as 'berhaps the best known psychologist in Britnitt atd crltainiy ane of the most iMuential psyeholo- gists in the world in the araa of persottality Uaory: has at- temple4 to tasonamiaa smok- ats' catfounding facsors, and considers Ihem so extensive as to undem,itse, rar the ptes- eat time, attempts to use smoking as an cdolejieol fae• tor in disesse ma's could be drauica)ly wmtsj: if his subjects ane disptoportiostatety ham workitsgelass itttfasvial ateu (Ney did), and ff smoking is mate peevaleat among the Japastese working classa (it is). lfsrayama's wives of smokcn would have a higher fafe df lung anca thaa wives of aon•smok- ers, regardtess of winklng behavior. FinaBy. ratos of lung cancer infection vary deutieally atzard'ag to ta[s and na• lionaliry: British epidaniologist P1tJ. Euteh showed in the 1970a that Fbw, who smoke only halt as much as Ameri- c.ans, are twice u likely to develop lung cancer. Using for• eign sotdics to atyiw at cancer links is like using AQican numbers to measure the thseu of ama in Nonh AmeAea- the entire m¢hanism of inreetioa may be ditfetent. !t's sigt nificant that the EPA did not cite a single U.S. study show- ing rs ETSkancer link in its risk asxssmettt.-in fant no U.S. study has ever found such a Gnh. A puticularly weak aspect of the 1990 EPA repon is that Jt is easy to see how a study such as Hiraya- I 4 naiad on meta-analysis. or weighting tlilferent mrd~ to arrive at an ag,peesee :ieure•-i.e., not analyxirtg data Sut atu/yztng arolyses. Ft's very useful in rortowins dovn con- ctusans from a bnmry of similar espenments with ssnular conryols, but inesponsible whea used-as it is herc-tu draw common asstunptiotts about dispsraro popu)ations. es. pedaJly when those populatiom have been establishcd as having vastly varying tates of aAlieticts. Thete wa obvious sclective bias u wor(t in the 1990 EPA risk ancsvnens Tltree of Ihe most comptshestsive studies of pssan smoke ever undertaken were irroxplinbly ezcludod &ete the risk as•^s^^ent: the so-citlltd Shitnizu and Sobue studies from Japan. and the latgest American case.,:onvol study ever condueted, by Luis Varela of Yale Univenny, which was later publisherd in the New EAalmd /ournd o/ MedIcine. None of the three studies showed any stausucal link between spousalsmak- ing aod lung cancer. Publica• tion bias, though not the EPA's hult is also a facux- studies showing no link be- tween ETS and lung cancer have tended not to be pub- lished, as they wcre non•news until the Hirayama study. As Michael Fumento has wnum of Ama in these pagas. 'Oc- easional heterose:ual cases will make news for the same reason that planes that crash make news while pWtes that lasd safety do nat' The EPA went out on a limb to classify passive smolx aa "Group A: Known Human Cueinogen,' even though most of the studios showed no signiricant nsk. some showad a negative tisk, and the dnal dsk ratio, after meta-analysis• was a slim 1.2g. (The highest ever recordcd for ETS was anothes Hlayama study, Ne sotalled "In• auYNHinyame." at 2.55.) whtn a similar assessment was made of ditael etnistions in 1989. the risk ratio was 2.6 and all die animal lab>raaxy tests wne out positive (a0 were negative for E75). Despite the soemingly gnvu thma4 d e EPA rated dicsel only as "Group B: PtobaEie Human Car- citsogen." An EPA teview of the ott:inogenic ptdperna of elecuwnagnede fiesds in 1990 found several risk ntios over 3.0, as weU u a"consistentiy repeated pattem of lym- phoma, leukemia, netvous system cancer and lymphoma in childhood studiu.' Bu eleetromagnetic fields were not deemed suffkienay perilous even to clasfity. The ETS risk assessment is the only one 1!u EPA has ever based solely on epidemiologieal evidwce.llte tact that it faIIed to meet the EPA's own seven•pofnt guidelines fix epidemioloQical stud- 0 na A.,,aSPMU, Ma,t>'a n
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0..~,....I~ 'Mammograms ue eHecav., safe and ucurate,' Dr. Franck said. 'By bringing the ~ R mobile tenin= unit to employee work locations, we're ilso making the procedure quick and convenient. We hope that ui women wao are eligible will take advanuge of this oppcetunity' . 0 Wuhinaton. D.C. EXPERTS QUESTION SCIENCE BEHIND HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS Govesrunent regulatory poliry and scientific research on many health and safety questions seem to be bedin= in opposite directions, according to a panel of experts at a Conaumas' Research conference held in Washington D.C. Scientists speaking at the conference included experts in the fields of atmospheric pollution, eevi,ronmennl lnbac:co smoke, pesticides and automotive safery. The common rheme emerging was that official regulations frequently have linls baiis in scientific fact, being driven instead by political/social hcrors. Aeearding to Dr. S. Fred Singer, aa umospheric sciontist and professor u the University of Virginia, 'the tendency not only to misase science but to ignore it is very stron=' in policy decisions concerning global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain. Singer, who served in key scientific posts et the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said computer models thu predict huge inersass in global temperatures 'uv not validated by the actual observations' of the temperature record. He addd that the theory's predictioas 'should not be ralied on for major policy decisions.' Conearnin5 tLs oaane layv. Singer said 'you cannot conclude that there is a downward tread' based on current scientific evidence. He also said policy makers had ignored a SS00 million, l0•yar U.S. government study showing damage from acid rain to be relatively minor, foryiag ahead with stringent regulations. In like fashion, Dr. Gary Huber, professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Ctater. said the 'social movement' to ban environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) as an all" hraard to non-smokers is Iarieiy unsupported by scientific data. Hufaa•, a specialist on respiratory diseases and author of numerous studies on the health r'W of smoking, said that of the 30 studies conducted to measure lung cancer ratet from parzive smoking, only six showed any relationship. Of those, the link was in the lowest category of measurable risk. 'No matter how you adjust the dua,' Huba said, 'the risk relationship for ETS and lung tanoa remains very weak.' '1 am a non-smoker,' Huber added, 'and I sometlmsc find the smoke of others annoying. But that is di!lereot from saying it is a health huard to non-smokers.' According to Dr. Lestar Lave, an authority on automobile regulation, attempts to force corparaos awrap 14e1 economy (CAFE) standards m 10 miles per gallon, in the absence of petrolsum price hikes, wouW be 'an absolute disastar.' Lave, professor of seoaomies and en=Gsesrin= at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University end former senior fellow at the Brookings institutba, said them is an engineering tradeoff between siss and satsry: et any given Iwd of technolofy, a small car will be more thel efftciam but less safe than a latp one. Hs added that increased pricei of new an stemming hom torced technobgy dtanga also cause consumen to keep their old wts loag.r, comributin= to emission and safety problems. If higher CAFE saadatds us mforesd, Lavs said, 'It's not clear that you will decrease fuet consumption; it is clear that consumers won't like what they'rs gecting, there wiU be las sataty and grsaar emissions.' In ths area of food satsty, Dr. Robsrt Scheuplein, head of ths Food and Drug Administration's Office of foxicolofy, noted that despite popular and media coacern about paticide reeidues on Qood, they pose an extnmely, small risk to food consumen. Of the tonl lbod-borne risk for diseas.. Sehouplein said, pesticides and additives fall u the bottom.
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Thnndry, FeairBy 27, T9fi 10-CLASSIFIED 40 TYl~eu-rOY Poll links indoor air to office workers' ills Hy Paut Schnitt ie. 5uff w'rher Two a.t of frve downtown Sacra- nrenro office wvricers queanoned in an informal poll say their work would improve if the air they breathed on the ph was ckanr and fresher According to the survey, rdeased Wednesday, many conpWned of symptoms such as drednass (30 paromr ot tho.e poYadt, he.d.cM RS percent), wnary or Ydry.ya R I petarq and ffwhk. diacosfart al p«nenn. Nan t6.n haft d tlw apperaF. snatdy 200 oMc. +rort.n pollb ridtlh.ymokaf M.wasrdqoQg y..r dttp b tlma o00.fallad .L OWA>• Aairw--~~--. !I[tlrddhYke Of tlM a9iYN'dfJt 11ddw4 W* dror; wlkA syalMfan at8e.Will" Typicalty. the symptoms go away after workers lave the butldoK The Sacramento survey was done Wr fa0 for Heahhy Buildinp Inrernaoorul, the cwntry's lartest udoor .ir quaiity cnrruhinj firm. which conducted similar polls in Los Angeles. San Franctsco Md three otlter West Cosst aues. The offia workern were qua- tiomd raMomly on the stroes As a toBow-up, oampany o![Sdalf held a free half•day senisto WatYraBay in Sacranento on irr door bsaYh problems for pnqarty eanaprs, bnldtnt d~4saaa. on afwaa a,d Iu,e ernpioyaea 'Wt make no 6ow Noat 4, nw'n a pmAt-motlvawN aa.y.rty and we're doisg 1t to h. tnaw our husi iisow Nid qmy AoAafboa. presid„t of Nyrlq . *Ad.ih a V'uptr.mwasxq. 9t wt dun ohNay 61111111111 .he afb.dad the a.aiy-IM& ~WE
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eliminate the problem. He cannot live with the problem," Rabinovitz said. Wide Range of Effects The variety of maladies associated with poor indoor air ranges from an- noyances and comfort concerns to seri- ous infections and even death. The more serious problems have sparked interest in indoor air quality, but the less severe problems are far more common. The case that probably did more than any other to alert Americans to "build- ing-related illness" occurred in Philadel- phia in 1976, with the outbreak of Le- gionnaires' disease (an example of microbial contamination) among guests at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Twenty- nine people ultimately died after breath- ing bacteria-contaminated air that was disseminated through the hotel's duct- work systems. Since then, several other outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease have been reported, as well as deaths result- ing from inhalation of fungi. In addition to the severe acute effects, a number of chronic effects can also have fatal consequences. For example, according to EPA, chronic exposure to asbestos and radon in the indoor envi- ronment is responsible for thousands of cancer deaths a year. Regular exposure to environmental tobacco smoke has been linked to thousands of excess can- cer and heart disease cases annually. At the less severe end of the spec- trum, the most common complaints in- clude eye irritation, dry throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, skin irritation, shortness of breath, cough, dizziness, and nausea. There is no one-to-one cor- respondence between cause and effect, and in manycases, it is difficult to iso- late a specific cause or causes. According to Healthy Buildings tech- nician Michael A. Price, allergenic fungi, dusts, low relative humidity, bacteria, and chemical off-gassing from carpeting and furniture are the most common causes of IAQ problems. The pollutants remain in the air, Price said, due to poor maintenance, inefficient air filtration, poor ventilation in tltiF inter- est of conserving energy, or changes in the design and use of a building. What makes indoor air quality issues especially difficult to manage is that ef- fects can vary widely among people. For example, workers with allergies or weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to indoor air maladies than other employees. In addition, many experts believe that ergonomics and work area lighting can affect worker perceptions of the quality of the breathing air and worker comfort. Therefore, they recommend consider- ing those issues along with indoor air - a strategy of addressing the more inclu- sive concept of "indoor environmental quality" (see sidebar on these pages). There are also theories that psychqso- cial factors - stress, job satisfaction, and labor-management relations - may impact who will complain about problems they associate with poor in- door air quality. Some experts believe that generally unhappy and/or lower- paid workers are more likely to com- plain of IAQ-associated health effects. Ford's Lick estimated that psychoso- cial factors are present in about 60 per- cent of the indoor air complaints Ford receives. However, he noted that work- ers at all different levels - general man- agers to entry-level clerks - have been known to voice their concerns. He said, "In some instances, we've had every- body asking us to please do something. We knew we had a problem then." Preventing Problems Ideally, experts said, employers should be thinking about indoor air quality before their employees do. This would include, they said, making good indoor air a contractually binding re- quirement in the lease signed with the building manager. The incentive is there for both em- ployers and building managers. There have been several cases, for example, INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Just when employers, employees, and govern- ment officials were be- coming comfortable with the idea of addressing in- door air quality (IAQ), a new, more comprehen- sive concept is coming into vogue: "indoor envi- ronmental quality" (IEQ). According to Philip J. Bierbaum, director of physical sciences and en- gineering for NIOSH, IAQ-associated com- AT3T's Mitler. •Total Indoor enelranmental quality Is a better, monr arate, but we can't look at indoor air without con- sidering the other issues." "Total indoor environ- mental quality is a better, more inclusive term for dealing with the concerns of white-collar workers," added AT&T industrial hygienist Al Miller, who serves as chairman of the National Environmental Development Assn.'s To- tal Indoor Environmental Inclusive term...• Q I' TIEQ C 1'ti ua tt ( ) oa t on plaints of eye, nose, and throat irrita- tion, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea cannot always be explained by indoor air factors (chemical and micro- biological contaminants, inadequate ventilation, and environmental tobacco smoke) alone. He said NIOSH, which is pushing the IEQ concept, has found that these symptoms are a result of multiple factors, with indoor air, er- gonomics, workplace stress, worksta- tion lighting, and other concerns proba- bly playing a role. "We're getting away from using the term indoor air quality because what we've found is you can solve the indoor air problem and not eliminate the symptoms," Bierbaum said. "A lot of consequences of psychosocial stress are the same as what we might expect from poor air quality. We don't know if these effects are additive, synergistic, or sep- y , a Washington, D.C., nonprofit business group formed earlier this year. "When you look at the irritant-level health ef- fects people are alleging in most cases, I think it's questionable that they could be occurring only because of the indoor air. But if you add some stress and er- gonomic concerns, perhaps that's when the problems start to show up. Psy- chosocial factors [how people interact] also appear to be a factor, but we don't know how important they are." Experts predicted that we'll be hearing much more about indoor environmental quality, which they said will focus on en- suring that employees are comfortable and productive, as well as free from ill- ness and disease - a kind of worksite- specific wellness program. Look for EPA and OSHA to take a similar tack in future research, rulemaking, and enforcement activities, experts advised. Aueu,t 1992 /Occupational Hazards 33
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. 0 0 I where building owners have been sued by a tenant company's employees al- leging adverse health effects. Employ- ees have also sought, and won, work- ers' compensation benefits for IAQ health effects. As a preventive measu re, experts rec- ommend that the minimum airflow in buildings from the outside be main- tained at 20 cubic feet per minute per person, as suggested by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, son employers and building owners be- go in and start monitoring or do a me- come interested in indoor air quality. chanical evaluation," Reynolds said. "I For example, a couple of years ago, after really believe in talking to the people receiving a number of IAQ complaints, first, especially if psychosocial factors AT&T Senior Industrial Hygiene Engi- appear to be involved. Generally, the neer Al Miller assembled a task force things people are complaining about and convened a two-day conference for should get first priority." key company managers on indoor air Some individual worker problems are quality. These events ultimately led tott not difficult to resolve and can be solved the drafting of the company's 88-page of without additional investigation. But book of IAQ guidelines. It includes ad- in a lot of other cases, Reynolds said, in- vice on investigating IAQ concerns and vestigators should take the next step and WHAT 00 THESE SYMPTOMS SUGGEST? Thermal discamfort Check HVAC condition and measure temperature and humitlity. Also check for drafts and stagnant areas. Headache, lethargy, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness Congestion; swelling, itching, or irritatlon of eyes, nose, or throat; dry throat; or nonspecific symptoms Cough; shortness of hreath; lever, chills, and/or fatigue Diagnosed infection If onset was acute, arrange tor medical evaluation, because carbon monoxide poisoning may be the problem. Check combustion sources and overall ventilation. May be allergic il small number of people allecled. II many people affecled look for sources of irritating chemicals such as folmaldehyde, Check for gross microbial canlaminalion due lo sanilalion problems, waier damage, or contaminated HVAC system. May be Legionnaire's disease or hisloplasmosis, related to hactelia or fungi. Contact the state or local health depadmeni. Sourm "euiltlingAirGualilyAGuidefareuitdingownersantlFacililyManagers; EPAMIDSN.Decembert991. and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) voluntary consensus stan- dard 62-1989. ASHRAE standard 55- 1981 on "Thermal Environmental Con- ditions for Human Occupancy" recommends that office buildings have a temperature of between 68.5-76.0 F in winter'and 73-79 F in summer for maxi- mum worker comfort. Employers should also be aware of potential IAQ problems during times of renovation and maintenance, advised Randall J. Dean, a building contractor defense attorney with the Los Angeles law firm of Chapman & Glucksman. "If there is a red flag for indoor air, it's, the impact that renovation can have," Dean said. "What was adequate for nor- mal operations may not be adequate during renovation or after it's been done." Dean noted that many experts recommend that the main H V AC system be isolated from the areas being reno- vated and that redesigned work areas be closely monitored for changes in airflow. Employee complaints are a major rea- 34 Occupational Hazards/August 1992 diagnosing IAQ health effects. The AT&T guidelines, which are sim- ilar to those in the EPA/NIOSH publi- cation "Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Man- agers," stress the need for a multidisci- plinary approach to investigating IAQ complaints, involving occupational health professionals, engineers, physi- cians, facilities experts, and human re- sources staff. Consultants are useful, Ford's Lick said, when a facility lacks in-house expertise or when there needs to be a third-party "tiebreaker" be- tween the building owner and tenant or between employees and the employer. Most experts say employee complaints are enough to spark indoor air quality in- vestigations and should be the basis of those investigations. Professor Reynolds recommends starting with people who have seen a doctor for their problems, have taken other documented action (i.e. left work early), or are complaining of some type of unique symptom. "The temptation of many people is to determine the extent of the problem by talking to people in other work areas and on other floors. "Indoor air is an area where if you do something for some people and not for others, people could feel slighted," HBPs Price said. Getting Feedback Experts differ on the best way to eval- uate overall worker perceptions of the indoor air quality. Some people, inctud- ing consultant Rabinovitz, advocate the use of surveys to target problem areas. "If management is thinking about do- ing something, you've already reached the stage where everybody assumes there's a problem. Employees are prob- ably upset and think management is hiding something. You may as well get the issue out in the open and get the employees involved," Rabinovitz said. Though supporting employee in- volvement, other experts don't neces- sarily like the idea of doing broad- based surveys. Ford's Lick, for example, uses focus groups as an alter- native way to gain employee input. "The one thing we definitely don't recommend is doing a buildingwide questionnaire," HBI's Price said. "Some percentage of people are going to say they have a problem just because you asked them," "If you do a survey, you have to re- member what you're getting," attomey Dean said. "Solicited complaints have to be looked at svith a greater degree of skepticism than unsolicited complaints. If you do a survey and 20 percent of the people say they have problems, that may not be significant. But if 20 percent of the people come forward on their own, that is significant." Walk-throughs, visual inspection of the ventilation system, and analyzing employee complaints will usually tell you if you have IAQ problems and where the hot spots are. Sampling for individual contaminants, i.e. formalde- rownlnn paYr 36 2074144215
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0 • ~~~,~ POLI SUES United States Moves Toward IAQ Regulations The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in September 1991, began the ambitious task of obtain- ing information on indoor air quality. Their goal is to determine whether regulatory action is appropriate and. if so, the extent to which it is feasible to address issues rela- tive to poor indoor air quality.'Ihe OSHA request for information specifically tzr- geted five broad areas: the definition of and the health affects pertaining to indoor air quality; monitoring and exposure assess- ment; control mechanisms including ven- tilation, filtration and source management; local policies and practices and the sug- gested content of potential regulations. Health complaints related to indoor air quality have increased significantly follow- ing energy conservation measures insti- tuted in the early 1970's. These measures reduced the levels of outside air entering the newly-designed airtight buildings, re sulting in the accumulations of all forms of airborne pollution inside the buildings. OSHA pointed out that during the past decade, the National Institute for Occupa- tional Safety and Health (NIOSH) has con- ducted over 500 health hazard evaluations for indoor air quality. These studies were workplace investigations conducted at the invita- tion of the employers to determine the presence of health hazards and to recommend measures to remove them. The main types of problems encountered in these investigations involved contamination both inside and outside the buildings. Inadequate venti- lation was a major culprit, but the con- taminants included microbes, emissions from building materials and furnishings, chemicals used inside the buildings and some contamination from unknown sources. Specifically, OSHA requested informa- tion on carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, bioaerosols, radon, tobacco smoke and volatile organic compounds. With ten years of practical experience in the field of indoor air quality, HBI responded to OSHA's request for information and fo- cused on several important themes. 6 iuNiius\in,,,..N ~~,i.2 n, ,.-~ Building Systems Approach The building systems approach to in- door air quality is the most effective, prac- tical and economic path to improved in- door air quality in all types of buildings. Adupting this approach begins with adopt- ing a ventilation standard similar to that established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Condition- ing Engineers Standard 62-89,"/entilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality." This standard was developed and based on "real-life" feedback from architects, engi- neers, consumer organizations, health of- ficials, medical researchers, building own- ers and operators, and consumers. Their experience showed that 20 cubic feet per minute (10 f/sec) of outside air per per- son in an office setting was effective in con- trolling indoor pollutants. This standard did away with the old two-tier standard which differentiated between smoking and non-smoking environments, Another aspect of the building sys- tems approach to indoor air quality is the proper maintenance and selection of air filters in commercial buildings. To main- tain the proper maintenance and selection of these filters, specific standards must be developed for commercial offices. Un- til then, however, the ASHRAE-recom- mended 35 to 60 percent efficiency stan- dard (by the ASHRAE 52-76 dust spot test) should be adopted for commercial buildings. These filters should also be carefully fitted and routinely sen-iced. Our research found that in more than 700 buildings examined over the past ten years, 43 percent did not meet the ASHRAI: filter recommendations and a
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: s I ' When Your Offk Feeling woozy and'don't know why? It may be tht RYKAiHERINEGRIFFIN "tight" building, where occupants are completely dependent on a central vem t looked to be a good year far tilatiou system for the air they breathe James Miles. The software - and whatever gets into the ventilating company he'd started five system gets into the workers' lungs as years earlier. Phoenix Cnm- well. puters, had just moved into TheEnvironmentalProtectionAgen- fancy quarters on the 12th cy ranks indoor alr pollution - in both floor of a new highrise in El Se. homes and offices - as one of the five gundo. Callfornia most urgent environmental Issues fn the C ) It was an absolutely gor- I.nstedStates.Theagencyestmtatesthat ~geous building," Miles recalls. 30 to 75 million workers are at risk of get- "tt had all the amenities." Elegant mar ting sick because of the buildings they blelobby,plushcarpeting•LuxuriantpoP w'orkink ted plants. windows that sealed out not.se ome builtltngborne ailments can but let in plenty of natural Gght - evSeven be fatal.ln 1991, at lheSoctet enahtng that an entrepreneur on the Security Administration building way up could want Miles and his em~ in Richmond, an outbreak of Legiom p(oyees. the building's first tenanrs, seD naires' disease thought to be caused by a tled right in. buildup of bacteria ln the ventilanun But one Friday morning a few weeks s_vstem killed two worketss after the move. accountants Louise Other forms of indoor air pollution Aldrich and Pam Connollp were workcan cause asthma and a severe lung ming m,17drlch's office when suddenly flamma[ion called hypersensitivity they began gasping for breztn. They fled the raom. coughing and ehoking, eyes pneutnonitts. A small percentage of peo- burningandtearsstreamingdowntheir Ple exposed to contsminants in office cheeks. buildings develop multiple chemical sen. Over a three-day w'eekend. the two sitivity. a heightened vulnerability W aB kinds of chemical substances. a~omen recovered enough to return to Far more often. though, workers in work on Tuesday. But withm the next tw'oweeks•almos[everyoneintheoffice sealed structures suffer from the hard. began to feel sick. -People were getting topindown but debilitating symptams headaches," Miles recalls. "They were knownassickbuildingsyndrome.[none nauseated, losing coordination. The office, workers may experience dizzi- longer you stayed in the building, the ness. headaches, nausea, burning eyes worse y'ou d feel." and nosebteeds In another. people may Miles complained to the buildin s find themselves unusually tired. coughmarmgement. `dt first the5 thought we 1Dg and sneezing, with itchy skin and thraats. Contact lens w'earers may suffer were crazy;' he says. "To prove there severe eye iMtation. w'as nothing wrong one of the managers set up shop in our offices. You know how But here's the ruh: People every- long he tasted? One day." where occasionaily come down with The problem, Miles soon learned, was these ailments and eomplaincs. So when that construction crews working in an do you blame the building, instead of unoccupied area of the same ftour were hay fever, a cold or too many nights an using strong, solventbased adhesives to the town? One tipoft tt symptoms get seal holes in the ah' ducts. And. because worse as the workday wears on and then ofadefect,thebuilding'sventilattonsys~ Impraveatnightandonw'eekendswhen tem was pumping the toxic vapors into People are home, take a closer took at Phoenix's office suite, the building. Milesconvmcedthebuilding'sowner Since the late 1979s. indoorair spe- to cut holes in the glass of some of the clahsts from the National Institute for windows in Phoenix's offlces and install Occupational Safety and Health ~NIOSHI fans to pull in more fresh air. "But even have been called in to investigate more with that." he says, "there were dead than 1,000 instances of buildingrelated zunes where no matter what you did, tllness. [n more than 50 percent of the you couldn't stay there." Several em. cases, the institute has fingered mado- ployces quit rather than work in the 4uate ventllation, followed by chemical building, and after 18 months, Miles contamination and problenus traced to gave up and moved the company out. microbiological agents such as mold; The year was 1985, and in bacteria and fungi. door air pol. lutionwasn'tsomethingJtites-ormos[ 'EVerything contrihutes" says other employers or employees - had Richard Shaughnessy, a chemical engi- thought much about. But in moving to neerwhudirectstheindoonairresearch that brandnew 24stnry highrise, program at the University of Tulsa in PhoenixComputershadsetupshapina Oklahoma. `Copiers, ventilation sys. tems, the air brought in /rom outdoors, the number of people in a work space." e 199JHeolfhMogazfne Whenworkersaresneezing,poppmg aspirin, or walking around In a daae. it's then delivers it to the occupants Adm~ time for the builtlin doctors to examine throu h a ri f d t O g g se es o uc s nce . the causes. the air has evculated, return That's ducts channel some of it out- he Bu din s Lun T g g one way to think of the ventilation system, says James Cone, an occupational health physician at the University of Catifornu at San Francisco. The unit sucks in air from outside, runs it through a bank of fil. / ' t ters, warms it or cools it. and
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,4. JONAITiAN ADLER • • - : Deadly fallout of too many 1 rulNJ ! nnlq(1WpGrt6 he thraat from asbtitas Soemed bkoa 90d rpwn to nmpunrfly shut davn adwola in Pau, IV.Y. Af+v all, aeeordint a ttw mod4+ and the redenl tevernment, erbeatex poscd an vaaeeeptnhle uUeor risk when tlfed otinnr, So the fwu Cen(oimast tral aea pplihnW fNatrkR daxed .' sa7enl achrot bddhn(a kr a m enth. ,.hlk Junler nnd ambr h)ph school ' uudmn not a dasses to mtles away in PlaurturaA, cbwa thaterW<dnt:]datntpkulythe dmeit raa (fn3shcd, thedtstrla hed aPent s7s mU7kn - mnre than IS pereen~a hsaab~fWt' bcIIln Lmh•le• ranmental PrmeeUon Aien<y. the aame stcney that had enscld the aabnta ban.+'u ferced in sekno+A- adn that the threai af asneatas had beenetcreattmaled.nndtheristuof Itnprofwr aemnral wts erten Weat- ar than irarhtt it In plaea l4hik more mq kavt heen spenr in Penr than In most other «hm! dlserhxa, theatary Is much dte samo. Ansas the smmarftpa Neked par• •• enta and sehnal adminiatrawn 2drastleaeebntnpnteettheit ' dren rrmn tM threat ataabeaWt ; s ehrnt that had been r+osdyatr• ' swad. Kouthdass. FMt defendsn and mmwlrku eteUnue to Nalat that such plkks are juat3nd as t"htatnnea' pdteta. After all, they n~crhatlssetmrollheunnd,uwni . miltlon, cr.xrt aannt bAUad tbi. Ln wMa Tou an aeeMina m)voleet hnman 11te1 When put In urms Of dolNn.a. JeatM, thore is as mn- urt.YalutheUS.Ahpreulteoun of is tecendy mkA in over. turntnt the ntuLticn, EIMY rct• Ylsliana en a1beH4 CaR mu rh marc than ewna} YPA barvwd the, use of asbertas fortnartnppItmllunstneNertovro xet pubtfe bcahh, W t ane wwlQ nae hm.r A(nm an ¢samhutkn of the xauUlkn and its artwti The nt• ubthuuwevld hmw prn<nteJ threa brarruwte deaths, eter a period of Ilyn rs.alaaMOfbmxecntel iniUion end f76 mlllhm per fi(a Lted, What Is mata, the kfll had Mn tOmmitlkaid a atudy that In- di4led that letlstas Wb)titutea miaht et<n htotaru the numMr d fatafidee.5bt dupin this evfdenee, the abancy, enaetM ehe bemc at lhe liltely npensc a human halllu 7anutxtsl• the Sih Citsuia rcc. ohn1W a pErnkfaua reculattan who it sar ona. and ruled Our the r a1nt111S nCNnc M. "Tha ClM. in adlla baesabcska, nnnatatr ku1t,.Nh only su.wrY stuJX artJi- bla eamchlinns that whslhrteprod• e t JerrySmNh r Ialhies; te <NJuJF ie his pinkn Ibr the cnurL'yhis Were I. eumine the ifkdy wnew aaonn a( tho IAAY retubdon ren- ders tha ban af ashesmi rrlaion. pnaJuaa unrcasauble.' Whila this tetulatian .vs over. tumd, there rcmains a host of nt- utatlons, from those ra{ubdnt risk to thore mandatlnt minimum auto• mothsfuat teenomy rtandards, ehal are rupeNihtc for Increasing mah talit% M9uther federal bureauerats with to reeo{nlae It ernol, chumint . out te aftar pata in the Fed7N, ite xat• wltheut eaneern far ntended consequences of rat• utamry aeuvity can haFS a tremon. dous impact upon the bubtie they rurperl to eerve. The itnpact of regulatory activity Impscs ucmrndoua were, well ba yend dwst antered en an aecount- ant's ladter. Compollnp outamakers in maiu more fY<l-oll ictml ~ehklus farees IndirWunis Into tithter. Iesa- stfe can;'vlthheldint pottntially 71fe•aar7nt dtuts and treatmants pendhy apprwm, l by the raoJ and Drug Administrathat risks vnnoera• anry dothse fSilun to chlorinate EPA banned the use of asbestos for most applications in order to protect publfc ' health, but one would not knowit from an eanmination of the reguiatfon and its e,~''ects. The rP.$ulatroas would have prevented tluee premature deaths, oVer a period of .13 )"rs, at a cost of between $43 million and $76 million per life sa-rd. waler for INrul' mfnvscule raneer risks from d+larfnaQon can ouse thausands more dcaths rram cut•, breahs or ehoier, and ether dts• aaaet Cmltmy le what the EPA, the Oceuyaelwl W<ty and Heohh Aa tNnbnntion and FDA .eutd Ilke ywn7s to bellas. hannint ustful- praJuets and teehnafoytes can nem• alry•eaux-ro plomdia.Altartheia' eaampks Iww happaned: the resolt of I-•ceeeatued pavcnmcm poli•' eles, A death is it death. whcther e]YSd by MerkpWp estasure to airboma latsea of by fesa-etTceUw bphe eada. When the ydkin of At, R menl en JiraetlY re• for tha addlrienal teo ,d rsa yelkfq ahould be re• paled. )it, while the asbntp ban is an rxaaapk or direct doath by nt- ulatkm.the fedvai yorernmtntis in• crpstn ly musint dasth by rtt- ulatkht~an indirect mannentvett, Whlleratuhtkn ad.roestes Insist that the hurd<na af tcdanl ret• utotknsbromer~~hancanh<Mat<d . • for by the lena(hi thH prat~Jt thara Is ana ttem that they We niemly lcave out of the equatfen: Jemihun N. Adler IS an enairerw mcnlat pai14 unalyst at the Ceno- pcthinc LnkyrGc htldtuft and r [anrnhamr ar'em~lnmmcmto7 pn11• P - 1 Rererda, ~r that bvrdmseme ra ~•relatixta eause an htwaae k manallry acrNSSU<i• atzl'ath4[sahttthatantoafi to •Jmh. ~P'ne^'°'r, Ktiyilhlerl+hV.lthlct. pu674hcdbrP CQ c
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• roMinurd jronr lagN1 hyde, and comparing the results with established industrial standards i5 sel- dom warranted. "Air sampling is a last resort because it really doesn't tell you anything," Ford's Lick said. "We have our own lab that can analyze 150,000 different chemicals, but we know the levels we're dealing with will be way below the permissible exposure limits." Monitoring for carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide can be useful, how- ever. High levels of carbon dioxide, AT&T's Miller said, would indicate that not enough outdoor air is getting inside. According to Price, levels of carbon monoxide should not exceed 9 ppm, the maximum outdoor concentration rec- ommended by EPA, and be nowhere near the 35 ppm permissible exposure limit set by OSHA. "If you had a level of 35 ppm of carbon monoxide in the office environment, you'd be taking workers out on stretchers," he said. Controls According to HBI research, the most common solutions to indoor air prob- chemical'orp Tomakeweldin ..., g product created ~umes andodors disappear quickly Coppus offers: industrial quality super strong •"~ portable ventilators - air, eledrij, lems are improving maintenance of the HVAC system and ensuring that the system is meeting ASHRAE's rec- ommendations. In case after case, these simple measures have substan- tially reduced complaints about a vari- ety of health effects, according to Bill Borwegen, director of health and safety, Service Employees Interna- tional Union, which gets more com- plaints from its members on indoor air quality than any other health and safety issue. Another option is to simply ban cer- tain activities that are likely contribu- tors to indoor air problems. This could include, Reynolds said, banning the use of certain chemicals, renovation and maintenance activities during the workday, and workplace smoking. If smoking is permitted, Reynolds said, certain areas should be set aside for this purpose and should be separately ven- tilated to the outdoors. "You could do nothing else but ban smoking, and I think that would have a noticeable impact," Reynolds said. However, he noted that complaints about a smoky environment are proba- steam, water, gas models. AII excelRent for fume removal, confined space, 1 product and people cooling. Don't Gamble with the Health and Safety of Your Employees. WRITE OR FAX FOR CATALOG. r~ l.q'S..lri1 Asr'M6ia ~t ENGINEERING CORP. Box Number 15003 Warcester, MA 01615-0003 USA Tel: (508) 756-8393 Fax: (508) 799-9531 Also Zurich, Switzerland; Singapore e 1991 Coppus Eng. Corp. Circle no, 100 on reader service card 30 ttuaupatianal Haaard./Auguat 100 bly an indicator of poor ventilation - a more pervasive problem. "In most of the cases I've seen, ban- ning smoking has not changed the fre- quency of complaints," Rabinovitz said. "What that suggests is that com- r4aints about smoking are a symptom of a much larger indoor air problem or that psychosocial factors do play a very large role. People want to know that their needs are being addressed." HBI's Price said the goal of indoor air quality programs should be to make at least 80 percent of the people feel healthy and comfortable, and move to- ward accommodating everyone. To ac- complish this, he said, the more the em- ployer or building manager believes psychosocial factors are impacting worker perceptions about indoor air quality, the more important it is to in- volve workers in the program. Price's advice to employers: "If there was a problem, admit it, fix it, and be glad the employee pointed it out because, otherwise, your people costs are going to continue to go up and your productivity is going to con- tinue to go down." YOV'VE NEVER I3AD IT SO GOOD . . . TheYdZS Whole HouseAlrQeanerfram TRION now comes with the exclusive A7C sensor. The A7C is an advancGd electronic sensor capable of detecting air movement 10 trmes mo re eff e ctively tha n conventional mechanical switches, found in other air cleaners. The YAS g isup to95Xeffictentinremov- Ing airborne pollutants such as particu- late tobacco smoke, animal dander, crook- ing grease, dust, mold, and pollen. The advanced duct-mounted MAX 5 air cleaner comes with these feamres: • Inpl aua auroul -li.e. LEn Indlnw,. • aVP,Beqi,m6'pW.epm.er^,pp1Y • on. pMuvrt.pncund.W ubietup.Lle nf.uppnrtlna a 1UU TA aun.o • 'Iw4, pe,m.nenl ayLwnclmer wn.cen( m. • opacaridWmJwrtor.. The YAIg tseasfly tnsta9edand requires minimal matntenance. Several siu opp tlons make the at.1Z a Ideal for any cen- tral heating or cooling system. For reliability, performance, value, and the latest technology ... TRUST TRIONt Trion Incorporated P.O. Box 760 Sanford, NC 27330 Phone (919) 775-2201 Fax:(919)7748771 Circle no. 101 on reader service card
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. • is in such smatl doses tAat this can dt seen as a ttiumplt mete for modem sienafic :.ali`xacon Wn for any cause• andsifoct relationship. It's rstiw LiYt remarldn; tMt every cubic foot of ocean water contains ash from Mount Pinatubo. or that almost aU of the paper money in Miami eontains traea of conina-it's true, impressive, and mean- in;less. In teal•iik seu/n`s. tha dangers of pwculatrs are even Iess impressive. A 1918 study in the Inrernarional A.chives of Occupationaf Enviroeetteraf /Irat7h claimed that it would tike I i to 10 hours in an extremely smoka poUuted environment to absorb as much nieotine as a smoic• Cr takas in from ana cigarette. In Britain, whese smoking was legal on subway ttuns unul the mid-1980s and was un- lit recently permitscd on buses, the Freedom Organization (or the Riqht to Enjoy Smoking Tobacca admated that ene would have to ride in the smoking ss«on of a bus for four- and-a•half woeks to be exposed to one ciQuette's wonh of nicotine. It's poesible to meuure de'•respir7ble suspended parB• cles' that surround a smoker, but very difficult to disun- guish ham from other partictes that may be in the air 6om cookin=, rug fibers, car et- haust, atr-condicionin, ete. Pro-smoking activists like to menuon "sick buildin6 syn- drome- as an major cantrib• utor. At firnt {lAnce, callins poor ventilation a "syn- drome' and a health thrcat appears as hysterical as us- ing the word "choc•a'holic" to claim that tha scionce-fa- I seuches have sought s link in epidemiological st>,d;es '. sutdia based on the trsndars of aftliction acroes larse ;.c: tdatiotu. Here is what dse thirty midie that have been mn- dlrred to date teport: Iwenty-fasr show no snusr-lly sla- mricam link at all; sia show a weak link; nine show vst beinj maftied to a smoker acn+ally deenraur one's chance of c4ncactint; lung atscsl One would think that a combimd sotdy--showiny ETS exposure fram all nwca, inctudin` the work mviraimcnc and including oditr snsokinf family membors-would show a eleafer Rlatiaasltip Yet no cambiral study has ever show n a statistically si;niftcant assocution. Even shoddier is the hilutt of mos af ths lunt careu wts to probe cancsrs hisu} lositatly-dnt is-by funpling for onco=ens in cells of the in- tacted orpns. Only limited histokspr was done even mthe laqe and inAwntial 1961 Hirayama study from Japan. wh ch is the comentona of the ETS/nncer scare. As everyone knows, carwr metastasius, and failure to distinguish be- tween cancers ehat originated in the lunis and chose ;hai moved then lFem artaha orfan makes the fiDues considrs- ably "sotae- Tha Ff,eayama sntdy aLm tetied on qucsuon• naires, which made no at• tempt to determine whidt noeamokers were es-smok- ets. Than there is the qucs- don of contoundinz factors. like Dr. Gao's rapesced eil. Confounding factors in smoking are so numerous and unpredictable that it Ss almost impossible to unnv- "Active" smokers take deep breaths through their mouths and hold the smoke in their lungs. "Passive" smokers breathe largely through the nose, rvhich fflters out impurities. uonrsque u:nors that afi)Ics the true addict apply to soms- one who is basically a;luuon. But the 1916 Ccdionnaires' disease outbreak is a sick•buddinj; incident that cost twenty- nine lives, and occupauonal studies tend to bear the pro- smokers out: in only 2 to 4 percent of indoor air quality problems is tobacco smoke the major culprit. H ow much particulate mwer enten the air due to smaking? Anti-smokinS aetivists would have us believe a tremendous amount. Dr. David Burns. testifying before the Los Anplas City Council Health Commiuee, argued that particulues.'*rhen smoking is al- lowed. Iincreasel about ten-fold from the background lov- els.' This is simply falaebtsod in the serviea of anti-smok- int propapnda-a 1990 study of smoking sections in forty.one restaurants showed that only halt ot the paticu- lates wen from smoka: another study. from 1983, put the fi;ure at 2111 percent. As tar as eatind in resuurants is con- cemed, the cuisine might be as much of a risk as tlu smoke: a 1987 Shanghai study by Dr. Y.T. Gao and three resaarchen from the National Cancer Institute found that nonsmoking woman who cooked with rapeseed oil had an incidence o( lung cancer 2.5 times as high as those who cooked with soybean o[1. Given ths inefreetivenas of espostue measurements. re• 24 el smottini; as a eawe ftorn a welter of non-smokinQ bchsv• ias that smokers engage in with shoclrin` disproponion. Stanley Coten, a Canadian expett on "handedness,' wnus that a Study in lf•iettigan has shown ths left-handers smoke cansiderabty mon than rijht-handers.t ('fhey also die nine yeats esrtia-and na dtae to smohin=,) In 1990. two pspea published in tha lounrot of rJte Mterisan Medical Assoc a• tiat by ste¢stnoidn= raenrehers Alexander Glatsman and Rabns Anda sltowed dsat smokas wre sis times as ukcly as sqnsmotas to sttCer from ttsajor depression and twice as likely n suSa t)'om chronic deptnsion. David Krogh, an and-smoker, rensarked on the smoking personality in one of the maut fascinatini bootcs ot 1991 s: LMet being a ifaltiaa cr a xouha diver meke a person more or lw likNy ro te a smokwt ... Dew being in group A maYs )w my npre u'kdy te be a smatra than bNna in yeup 57 The .rwrr te Oir is elaeAY ye. You we more 1&ely (aid 'v+creu- alJy bYdy) r ba a srokar if you ee peer, for uInpat or if you aw pmrly edueatd. No ntrprisn there. But whu rbcut tThe f.Qt-ffae(er fyn/reAU: IfU CeYfd OI/ Con#qY(Ker a/ ft)t•Kanf.tnas. New Yark: 7)r hes hara. 3" peaes. SZt9J aSoo": TlleArrijteie/ laaia. N.w York: W.H. Freatnm rid carepany- 176 paps, $17. 91 T4 Arnon spWwar Mn 1991 2074144171
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v~t~c k~ct~lingtau gancu JONATHAN ADLE R Last q(iwn p_ wts. o the typical health and safety burea.crat, too much 'of a good thing is never cnough. If he can mandate scat belts, then why aot passcnger s(deafrbys and pcrlwps esen craah . hdntetsiueNltIf canerrrtsltsrnn • be reduced to anc-ina~iUion, why ' not anc4m2-IniOirm. S nstBimi, or L perhaps a Mllion? Of course,these I mandales eostmoncit but that rarely ~ caneernstheadsvealesoflncreased ~ federal regulation ~ Yct the cost of nare stgukaian is . mare Outs a decline in casporatc profits, fhrse cosls rererberatc Ihrougbu111te cconomy, and lhis in tusq dfeets the health and safcly or society an a whole. 1Veallhier soci- ct(es ara hcillhler societies, as lhey have ntnrc wivkit lo spend an Ihose tMgs that improvc ihe qualHy of Bfe, (tom nutrition and health cara to bicycle helmek and auontobilc chiW-ssfety seals. By the same b- ken, those societies and cammuni- tks with lesa resources to spend are less safe tbatf they could otherwise be. Civen these faas, it is tsndcr- standable thal'decreasing the ability of people to pay for such benefits, tltrouds resqScting the acanwn); i necessasily ]iinits lbe alsNily of fans- ( ilies and indivWuals to pursue hcahhlcrand liappler lin•s.llecausc I regulations Imptumsignifkonl cosis un the ecotantk they havc delcteri- ous effects npnn hunwn welfare. - • Jonahon X. Adler ir nn cnsiron- mentd pnficy analysl el tl,e Cano- pelifiR F:n(erprise InilitmC mid a contrlMdor to "Emiranmcnfat Poli- lics: Pablic Costs, Prisae Rewards; pubfished by Pracacc SYEDNgSDAY, JUN, E J,149Z I PAGG G3' ated. ... out of tllis:;.world..: . ~ - .. - . . <~ '~ ~COSTS~~MI'tOSEDA BY+.SE tA S ~; ~ REGU ~ TI0N FEDERAL ,-~ ~..~s,u~r "-Oaspl{A/ellsi%~ . "'~~-~r~IVsir;. .:, ~^Reydtlim ..4s ...'.ytr ~..,ryeary Bwrkd.. SIIIIINitcil!!g/+~- _ Nsenic mnissbn stardards n4 tor9lossplanls EPA 1986 13.5 F~ .t . orra~f ' gn ~ ~ , y.x . , ng"_ iexpostre k -s ' - `isHasardous waste isting br ;j polroteum mhYg sludge EPA 1990 • 27.6 opmfa. drid4,:. _~'~~` ~ [?~ walerslalWaN. ~it ,~s'. !??y'[" . :EPf{!r.., g91: ' f~ l~~ t _ imi O51-IA 1987 02,201.8 ;~Aftnaln.ralaihdfA :~' ".:~ -r - F?hgwatei ~ jc fHratdous waale 1sWq t - (orwood-peservklgdheaicals EPA 1990 5,700,000.0 ~Naa.,isrms: EPA : Pickk7o+iApe+s.y' ±saletyrW,R,etalNMrM,~or . ;awwe/~:rlw`eryNyrrcirllHW'sulr..p."~"w,If1, 1 ~ -•abM\veywr,luMa.Ip/,wMeaq.IMEiq,M.Y,ae1" - . ~ . 1 In Oght of-this fact, the 0ffice of Mcmagemonl and WdgdY (/11ee of Infonantian and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has sought to anaiyse rcg- ulatians based upon their net effect on hmnan healllt and safety. This fowm of "net-bencfit'analysis is ncc- essarx according to acting-0IIM Administrator James MxCrae, bo- cause "when national income fatls, there is oftan a significant increase in mortality and a decline in health slatus:" Fbrcxnmplc,a 1984 sludy by Congress' Joint Eeunootie Commit• tce found tlnt declines in real per nomicrclalionship that is learned in ererbc enshrined at OVd6; k would 1% Fconoaics 101: Oppottuaity cosls," earlail the ab(lity to regulate. .d srotedthe0iMt6'YlohnMbrtall.lron- Consider that eurrent eslimate.s ; ically enough, pointing out that pub• plaee the amut.l regulatory burden • Bc hcalth it a funclion of lho stan- on the coonumy, as lifgls as te00 bil- : dord of livi.` has traditionally been lion tn tSOO biRion. Aastaninr the ; an arautsaM forwuded by the do• sasne regulatory eosVprcmoture • faakrs of big gosermncnt to justify death ratio eited abo.c, this would : a host of social rrJfare prvgrams mean federal regulations are ro• ' aimedatbe.eflllts6lhepoor.None• spansibfeford0,000toS0,000prana-.~ tlteltss, tke reaction fram the adoo• ture deaths each year.It dtould also , eates of regufatios an C.apI1W f1i11 benosurprisethatthevastnrajority ; has branded "nel•Iwnefil" analysis oftlscsedealhsttoaldocaarlnt_fian• • asabsohttehererl: . . .. . . , cially alrapped cottsmuNtles, sueh : This should not bewrpriain., as asSoulkCealra)LoaAnqela,where ; the so.rlations drafled by burcau- •. there Is lta butButbnal ab(1(ty.lo ts~ nts at agencies like the f:IM, and '. ~+Wcn+~ for eeotsrMtie lotau-In . a n ; defcndctl by the traditioeaf stapla or a sk,u'lar fashion, paarri countries . big government public-Interest ?rcless .ablo to milisate ihe impaG ! gteups, typically impose tremen-- aecormanictkcltaestbaltwealtbier 1 dous costs for benefits that aye . Mes. - '. -.. . - ..,.,.: 1 _ nonsital, at best. Making the eottxr= . e ' atpurse, auay will argaee lhat it ~ .aUse assmoptioe that there-is a wouW be imposrible for regukuions I ' penlalure death for every tI0 mit- b kill tbat maty people eacL year. Ibn lost to the etonomk mar0 reg- Ncw:r mind tkatCorporate Averoge ~ rlalfons would not pass naatcr with Puel eQ0f1O°°y tCA)rl.7 slandards. I 'lnet-benefit" analysis: even' Amm aecounefor2,0o0-l,OOOdealhs i cap0.incameintkecari)•f970aalso`_- gt'antin6-the agencies their qoea- 00 l(lehighwayeadtyear.Thetolal ,~ led fa a r btct•ase in titaqble atseasntcnu of their teg- '~W~T burden on the LLS. oem- .. total aasrlali~y~iaowding lo, as viatkata' benefits and,costs. Reg- ~yM~muchufiA00perbouse--y tmny as G0,000 addirlonal desths ulaliaas that are unduly espensiva hold per 1'H+: Ckxrt% if Ametican- ! i 5 tm0ion-p~-: households are, on avesage, SI,000 "Le from thc fl] "Le n - . Olher studies estimate that every Iosa or betwcen S] millian toSt mil- Memulurc-dcath-avcrle) rulc gav- I>oaec that is t1,tf00 less they havc t Ifatt to the econatny wili result in a crning endssinns of nrsenia froat lospend oa consunergoods thaten. S prematurc death. 'l7ds mcans Iliat .91'ss Plants su a S5.? trfllion-per• - Itanec their health and snfettCThot - I whrnlhea:onomysours,peopledien premalure-0cathaecrtedreeulation all trcmetWottslj+ csponsise reg- corcrine waod prescrving dmm- ' tlkstlons may iW(bil the ability 'Of ~ • Thcrefa rcgulalkata that depreu e, the ecoeosny- for whatever reason - can have a deadly impad. That there would be pluses and minuses on both sides of lhc ledger is ralher hnultire."!t Isa simple eco- icals (see tabfe). Under a"net- famili¢s and itdividuals to boRd - benefit" analysis, most• of these .- healthier and wealthier liws Is the ' would be orcrturncd. It is no wotdcr ", regulatory ¢staMishment's dirty lil- ; Ihat Ihe regulatory acalotsareso up• tle secrel. But trots It Is a secret no set. Should "nct-bcncfit" analysis longec , . - ' ` tiwvbt'LOZ - ' '
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0 Respiratory Tract Infe<tions Are the Most Common Infettious Illnesses Among Humans Estimated to Annually Cause in the United States: 76 ~ Million ~\• ~ - r Y _ • • r further 16 percent of the buildings had good filters that were poorly installed, thereby reducing their efficiency. If a decision is made to assure accepD able indoor air quality in commercial build- ings by the use of regulation, a compre- hensive regulatory approach would neces sitate 0S1iA to become involved with the complete issue, including the development of design guidelines and practices, a build- ing commissioning practice, maintenance standards, renovation procedures,and pos- sibly standard-setting for indoor air qual- ity technology, Proactive Monitoring Adopting preventive maintenance poli- cies will avoid other inefficient, short-term solutions to solving indoor air quality problems. A proactive monitoring pro- gram that measures indoor air quality parameters every six months should also take a detailed took at the heating, venti- lation and air conditioning (HVAC) sys- tem of the building. This detailed inves6- gation determines how the system is maintained and whether it is clean and operating correctly. The results of these investigations guides the buildings facili- ties manager in achieving and maintain- ing acceptable indoor air quality. Proactive monitoring programs are also a management tool that provides fa- cilities managers with feedback on the success of their operating philosophies. These programs help to spot trends in a building s air quality and allows manage- ment to make changes in operations to achieve and maintain acceptable indoor air quality within the building and are ac- Gvely managing it. The Healthy Buildings Concept This unique approach to building de- sign and construction strives to create good indoor air environments that ensure comfort and productivity for employees by using "environmentally friendly" materials and innovative design concepts. The healthy buildings approach has helped property developers effectively market and promote their buildings in the volatile r'2Ce COSZS property management marketplace. An im- proved environment for building tenants leads to better productivity and yields sig- nificant savings on costs associated with employee absenteeism. Two typical examples of these con- cepts were described. The first was the major renovation project of the Four Millbank Building in London, England. This project, undertaken by the Swedish company, Anders Nisses, was outtined in the July/August 1991 issue of this maga- zine. The renovation involved the use of a raised access floor for all the office ar- eas coupled with an innovative underfloor ventilation system.'Ihe result is an unusu- ally high standard of indoor air quality and a totally flexible design that can eas- ily accommodate major changes in staff occupancy rates. The second example was the Melbourne Tower project in the City of Melbourne, Australia. This building, fea- tured in the March/April 1991 edition of this magazine, features a high tech pol- lutant sensor feedback system. These sensors, designed by Staefa Control Sys- tems, provide real time monitoring of in- ~ _-rJ~' ~ door air quality and are integrated into the ventilation system controls such that the ventilation rates are automatically adjusted for both temperature and air quality conditions. These examples. and many others. demonstrate the practicality of a building systems approach to achieving good in- door air quality in the workplace. This ap- proach is much more than simply an in- crease in ventilation and is clearly the most effective, practical and economic path to better indoor air quality in all types of buildings. If OSHA determines that regulatory action is needed, their approach should be pragmatic, effective and not onerous to an already pressured business community. An inescapable conclusion remains: With innovative technological develop- ments, with well-developed proactive moni- toring programs and with the building sys- tems approach, OSHA has many options which have a track-record of long-term success. If 05t-fA regulates indoor air qual- ity by simply setting standards on indi- vidual pollutants alone, the outcome will be much less predictable. .-=-11111h HEALTHY BUILDINGSINTERNATa]NAI. Maeazine • Vol.? No ' 7 E 2074144220
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f 0 is of potential ort:inoSetu (itwed in 1999) makes it seem even moea It7ce advoeacy. Radical antiatnokers claim they nave to aet as advowm to eounter dr atlvoqoy of toateeco companiet, and iehaoeo interests do indad have major budgets for their own inde- ptxtdent rssearch inw smoktn= hatuds. But the industry hat no monopoly on the ptoGt motive. The EPA even commis- aoned anti•stnokinj activist Stanron Glam to write a chW tv in its dratt report on ETS haaards. Glants, who rnns ci8stetteywttin= seminars and develops anti-smokin= re=u. 4uons toe profit. had this to ssyt at the 1990 world eonter- errs on tabaceo and Health in Aussalia about his motives for oppaina envitonmmuJ smokc The rnain thina ths uiae. /us dons ae ehs isrw of ET3, in ad- ditien m help peopie like ma psy martataes, u it hu kait- imitad 1110 eeneerna thr people havs that they don't like ci8ueaa unoko. And that is a seon8 ueodaul forrr dut trods to be harnesue+d atd uNti. We're on a mR and fia baaanM aa anduM Others may be mouvatad to push bad se(ence not out of avarice but ignorance. There are even those who muddy the water out of a genuine social concern. Michael Cough, program manager of the SioloSical Applitations Rogram of the offiea of Technology As- aesstnent. chooeei to 1Qnore an's ann7al risk of eontractins lung cancer--Ia p- 100.006-and aee what danaef he poses to her. Jf we = cept, arluendo, tha 1,13 risk tuio, the srnokei s rite's n' risa to 61 per 100.J7p0. T7tat's 13 esta cases per IOOALC, Put simply' maximisin= in every way possible the most e= «ems scarurio painted by the EPA study, a smoking hus band has a t-in-a,10p chattes of Sivin= his wife lung nrce. in i given year in the futrtre. How resstnable is it to tarotn him with ahe prospect that he is slowly knocking off his loved ones? Jy, it poes wiotaw saying that sienrs suffers for the ause of snoldn6 ptevaw:wt. Jiut what if the cause itself tuNers? It ts not uncommon otat when bad sct- enee is ineodueed into the smscrtre of sociaJ poliry. the en- tira edifice of proscription and caution coilapsn. Jn 1985 the ]3ritish government sent a hystarical mailina on atLt to ev- ay household in the counay. Makio= dire prettiuions af an epidemic. it warned tha Ams was aa equal opportaniry da- eass Gom which no one wu sde, and tasd axrreme cau- tion for all. The result? otd ladies in provincial towns were peail'ted. Non-monoga- mona homosexuals and in- uavenous drug users, if con- vinced by the paeketthat their risk was no different frotn that of the rest of the eountry, now saw less reason thaa ever to modify their be- "The main thing the science has done an the issue of ETS, in addition to help people like me pay mortgages, is it has legitimized the concerns that people have that they don't like cigarette smoke." ihe science of ETS in the interest of roducin{ smakin=, a he indicated in an October 29, 19901etter to Thomas BotoJ- li. manager for sciendfk issues at Philip Morris: Widwut e.rehd redina of drc dwis rby 1+ds Vw1% rutdng m linh beweat ETS aM lung catoorl or untul mauian m tne ETS wts. I t.d b a8r.e with tJt. Yrsis trd dr Mealeau cluia; of your lou,r. On the eYSt hattd I pebaby pofautmy dissas with stry uss d+at otight be mads of de...neht.ims by JTi)iv Mtmis a+ny atAar tehmee emtqany. AnrhinS ttnt ndues anaFieg hu.ukst.vid hWdt bndlo, nd making smakes into Parinu, fw whstevcr raun, dm jup thtt lous from wiilinf ness to aoeept bad seienrs as a basis poliey? Citizens wishinj to exercise their tt'Deaisi, of cwrsa. and not just mrokers, As Dr: James La Fanu put it in 8ritain's Sanday TderraOk lan May. "Ws could reaeh a sitttation whem health aetivists, us- in= dubious scientific evidence, will be in a position to blaclmuil us into behaving the way they think we should. It is not an atteaedve prosptst' Second, on a mom personal level, the smoking widowv who has lost his wife to lung cancer-and whose being fur- Wer stigtnatizad as a murderer and a"pariah" is the {oal of the EPA report-loses again. For a closer examination of the gonnds on which the husband is mada a pariah. ln's take Ne highest available caimate of a non•smokinj wom- haviot Within a yea, the I-0rtdott Spee+aror was su8tesuae that this "public seniee' was aauallY *f0diAi A=. Closv to Mme. pranoid anti.drus oqaniradons tilrs t>us- nership for a DntS-Free America may be eaacerbuut8 the drug probleem by dematizin« drugs like marijuan&--tntld compered to the President's Hakion, and quite innocuous aomptnd b alminl. it is a point srarldy made by Ik. Lesrr QtYupooe. a Hsvod psychiartia and drug spsiaGA as wnt• tsn Itp by Riehatd Slow in an eacmlleat ezpa6 of Pumership dtatappaatd fa Wa~titt=eon's Ctry i'ape>' laa Deeemberr hnorahip adr ahwt mnju.u "xat. the heII' out at a hish- ashopl ssniot rtii tetdeot thsn aotl aC w eDJJese, whe. hia taaaunrs mwka eurijuana wiYt no app.r.nt dv.ne .Qeu q widmat Soinj os to shmt haoin. He betins to wond.r it h.'s bod IJd bW aM wind6 up uyinj pot ta hinuelf. He li•a. Jfevina rejaeud 1tWrrch{q waminp about muiju.na. h. tniaM aubquendY raj.ct mm+ imPonant w.aOas cbau ri.M- N mup n.b a oeraLr or bwein. Such a beckJash could result if poople consider the yues- tionable scienea of environtnental tobacco amoke reason to ignore iJte suqeon (eneral's and other warnings on the baxatds of tobaeeo smoking itself. If so, the EPA's hasty risk nssessment could create more than inconvenience, raneot, and diminished personal liberty-it could create anoters. O ~ u 71cA.wtoesP~ M.yt992 2074144173
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GOVERNMENT ON THE BANDWAGON • ut re ,d d a .r r- Y e ,f S. C . 16 EPA and other federal agencies are bet- ter-equipped than ever to address the is- sue of indoor air quality (IAQ), Robert Axefrad, director of EPA's Indoor Air Div., said at a roundtable session during the American Industrial Hygiene Confer- ence & Exposition (AIHCE) in June. In 1990, EPA's Science Advisory Board identified poor indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to human health. Since then, Axelrad said, the agency has stepped up its efforts to re- spond to indoor air problems. He noted that EPA spent only $350,000 of its multi- billiondollar budget on IAQ in fiscal 1989. However, for fiscal 1993, which begins Oct. 1,1992, Axelrad reported that EPA has asked for $6 million to fund its IAQ policy- making program and $7 million to fund ' IAQ research. "Indoor air is moving up the agenda;' Axeirad said. "This is a lot of money to spend on an area where we don't have a specific legislative mandate (like EPA does for outside air or solid waste). We could be looking for a smoking gun in the indoor air business for a long, long time. What we're trying to do is transfer what we already know to the key people." Axelrad said EPA has been focusing on the development of guidelines to help building managers address indoor air quality during design, construction, maintenance, renovation, and routine operation of public and private facilities. EPA has installed IAQ coordinators in each of its 10 regional offices to provide - technical assistance to building owners and facility managers. In December 1991, EPA and NIOSH published a 230-page manual, "Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Man- agers" agers" (No. S/N 055-000-00390-4), which :'is available for $24 from: New Orders, Superintendent of Documents, Box ~ 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. : In the area of research, EPA is studying . sources and emission rates of pollutants, a variety of neurobehavioral and sensory health effects, and the assessment,Qf in- door air risks. Axelrad said a mulfimil- lion-dollar long-term study, the Building Assessment Survey and Evaluation (BASE) program, is aimed at developing . standardized solutions to IAQ problems. EPA is one of more than 20 federal agencies, along with OSHA, NIOSH, Dept. of Defense, and General Services - Administration, on the Interagency Com- mittee on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ), which is coordinating the federal govern- ment's indoor air efforts. OSHA OSHA has received some 1,200 com- ments in response to its Sept. 29, 1991, Bierbaum said that NIOSH, which spends 2 percent of its $103 million FY 1992 budget on indoor air, is also doing research on•sampling methods for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and biological agents. IAQ request for information on the ne& . Congressional Pressure for an indoor air regulation, according to EPA's Axelrad acknowledged that Debra A. Janes of OSHA's health stan- dards office. Janes told AIHCE attendees in early June that OSHA had not decided if it will proceed with the rulemaking. She hinted that that decision might not be made until after the November general election. If OSHA does attempt rulemak- ing, she said, it will likely focus on venti- lation performance, worker training, source control, and technical assistance. Since issuing a compliance directive on some of the federal agencies' interest in indoor air is the result of recent Congressional pressure. In an October 1991 report, Congress' General Ac- counting Office concluded that "fed- eral efforts are not effectively address- ing" indoor air pollution, mostly due to insufficient funding. Several congressmen have offered legislative solutions. In the Senate, the Indoor Air Act of 1991(S. 455), authored OSHA's Debra Janes: "The lack of a standard hinders the solving of indoor air quality problems." indoor air quality in September 1990, by Sen. George Mitchell (D, Maine), Janes said, OSHA has conducted 140 in-would authorize $48.5 million for IAQ spections in response to employee com-research. The bill passed the full Senate, plaints about poor indoor air quality. If 88-7, late last year. citations are warranted, the agency uses In the House, an IAQ bill originally the general duty clause in the absence of a introduced by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D, standard. "The lack of a standard hinders Mass.), H.R. 1066, was being reworked the solving of indoor air quality prob- at press time, with the assistance of Rep.. 11 lems;" Janes acknowledged. - . . Robert Andrews (D, N.J.). The less strin- In March, the AFL-CIO petitioned gent revision is expected to mandate OSHA to issue an indoor air quality stan- that OSHA write an IAQ standard only dard "promptly." In addition, for several if a specific number pr percentage of years, Action on Smoking and Health has ` workers complain of IAQ-related prob- been urging OSHA to regulate, and even- lems, and to more closely mirror the tually ban, workplace smoking. Despite Senate bill's focus on research. The orig- thepefitions,Janessaid,OSHA'stimetable inal bill would have required that is unlikely to change. - OSHA issue an IAQ standard. - At press time, it appeared unlikely NIOSH . that the House bill would get to the Philip J. Bierbaum, director of floor for a vote before the November. NIOSH's Div. of Physical Sciences and general election. The House could de- Engineering, reported at the AIHCE cide to vote on the Senate bill, and if it's that his agency has responded to more approved, send it to President Bush for than 1,100 requests for technical assis- , his possible signature. Throughout the tance on indoor air quality issues since current 102nd Congress, however, Bush the late 1970s. NIOSH also receives Administration officials have opposed about 200 IAQ-related inquiries a lAQlegislationandarguedthatcurrent month through its 800 number (800-356- efforts and funding levels are enough to 4674), he reported. address the indoor air problem. Augu,t 1992/Occupational Hazards 35
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Page g Indoor Air Review October, 1992 Using Tested Products May Provide Protection from Lawsuits i . 0 -By Laurence S. Kirsch, Esq. & Gcnldine E. Edens, Fsq. T he growing number of "sick building syndrome" (SBS) law- srilts has caused individuals, buslnesses and others who may find themselves _~ ~~ cmbroiled in ~W AUYIC9 thesc cases to search for means of limiting their potential Iiability Fortunately, oppor- tunines do exist for minimizing the risk ofindnor airrelated liabiliry, Pmd- uct testing and the use oftested prod- ucts present two such important op- serve as important indicators that a portunivcs. Individuals allegedly injured by in- door air pollution frcquently proceed under two Iegal theories, negligence and strict Sabiliry. Negligence is a fail- ure to exercise due care. Due care is defined as the degree of care that would be exercised by a"reasonable person." Individuals may be found negligent in the performance of scr- vices or in the manufacture of produets, For example, in Call v. Prudential Insurance CoofAmttia (1990) the I plaintiffs alleged that the defendants were negligent be- cause, among other things, they failed to: • Properly evaluate, test and investigate for toxic fumes, chemicals and other substances that produced SBS; • Balance the air conditioning systcm to produce a sufficient outside air/re<ydcd air ration spread Adequately throughout the entire building; and • Use building materials that were incapable of off-gassing formaldehyde and other noxious substances. The case was sct- tlcd for an undis- closcd amount. Neverttteless, failing to te5t for indoor air pollutants, failing ro design an adequate HVAC system and failing to ux °sak" products in a building constituted the basis for the asserted liability, In a negligence action, the plaintiff must show the dc- I fcndant's conduct was unreasonable, that is, the defcn- dant failed to use due care. It is in this context that product testing informa- tion can provc im- portant Product testing can provide valuable inform, tion on a product's characteristics. The efforts to use tested products may party exercised due care. For example, where scientific or industry literature indicatcs or establishes that certain products do not contribute or do not have a signiFicant potential to com tsibutc to indoor air pollution, a court or jury may be morc likely to vicw the party using those products as having exerciscd reasonablc care. Conversely, if architects, designers or contractors spocify a product without knowing the risks associated with that product, they could be sued on the theory that, as profcssionals in the industry, they should have known that the products praented a risk. Strict Liability Another common basis of liability for indoor air pollution is strict )iability, Strict liability appGcs to liability for dc fcctivc products. This theory, unlike the negligcnce based theory, does not depend on "fault." Instead, the focus of legal inqttiry shifts from the conduct of a par- ty to the product itself. A product can be defective either because of its man- ufactwc or its design. For example, if urea formaldehyde foam insulation were to off-gas formaldehyde vapors because the constituent chemicals werc not mixed in the proper proportions, the product might be considered to have a manufacturing defect. On the other hand, a mobile home that com tains dangerous components or that doa not permit sufficient ventilation may be deemed defectivcly designed (Heritage v. Pioneer Brokerage & Sales 1979). If a product is found to be d<fcctivc and was the cause of the plaintifFs in. jrrties, then liability may extend m ev- ery entity involved in the chain ofdistribution of that product. In accor dance with this principle, the judge in thc Call case ruled prior to trial that the designers, general contractors and installers of the building's HUAC sys tem could be held liable under a strict liability theory if the jury determined that the ventilation system was ci tivc. Thus, the HVAC system was deemed a"producq" and every entity involvcd in the chain of designing, constructing and installing the system would be potentially liable for the plaintifPs injuries. Similarly, in some jurisdictions, a building indf may be deemed a product subject to strict products liability (McDonald v. Mia- neck [1979J). Liability Suits Attracrive The relative easc of recovery under a strict liability theory makes product li- ability suits attractive to plaintif&. For the same rcason, they arc dreaded by deRndanrs. The key limitation of strict liability in the indoor air environment is that it applies only to products. Hovrcver, to the extent courts are willing to dcem an HVAC system or an entire building a product, exposure to indoor air Iia- bility becomes significantly greater for product designers and manufacturers, buildcrs and inshllcrs. In view of the expansivc reach uf strict liability, the willingness of courts to consider HVAC systems and build- ings as "products," and the flexible standard of due care, the use of thnn oughly tested products is a scnsihlc means of avoiding liability. The Supreme Court of Connecticut has noted, °thc crcativc or authoritativc source of both design spccifications and pmduct testing information is ... of matcrial significance to the aazsigm mcnt of liability" in a product liabilinaction. Pickcrts v. International Plaw tax,Inc.1990). A Good Model A model of such product trsting is bc ing conducted by the fiber glass msula- tion industry in conjunction with EPA. Fiber glass fibers belong to a category ofsubstances called man-made vitr<nus flbers or man-made mineral fibers, which are used primarily for insulation purposei. Because of a concern that respirable fibers may become airborne, the fiber glass industry has taken the initiative to test fiber glass ductwork used in air-handling systems. One study, perfbrmed by independent scientists at a university in conjunction with the EPA, evaluated rigid fiber glass ductwork to determine whether it shed glass fibers (Butmcr and Stcv-cm bach 1992). The study found that new fiber glass duct board did not rdcase a measurable number of glxss fibcrs into the air, which supports earlier research by the industry and other thhird partics. To address a concern assodated with all HVAC systems, a second study is planned to determine whether rigid fiber glass or fiber glass-lines ductwnrk supports microbiological growth. This study will also determine if microbialogical agents are dispersed into room air serviced by either Fiber glass or sheet metal ducting, Consequently, the findinga of this second study will pro- vide a reliable measure of whether fun- gal growth in ductwork affccts indoor a'u quality. Negligence and strict liability ar tions are by their nature inherenrly un prcdictable. Different judges or jurfas hced with similar ficts and legal nc, - ries may reach opposite u>nclusinns Further, in some cases, defendants may be required nut only to compensate the plaintiffs for dic injuries suffered but also pay punitive damages, The potential financial impact on the busi. ness community is trcm<ndous. Ab though there is no absolute shield from SBS lawsuits, the use of products which have been tested and found not to contribute to indoor air pollution problems can provide a valuable dc- knse against liability. lnurence Kirsch Is a partner reirh (he laru frrm of Cadaalader, Wicker- sham & Taft, specfaliztng in tbejrrac- lice of enrnronmentai laru. Geraldmr E. Edens is an associnte tWth the firm.
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, e Utt.LLS IIIj:~ the building you work in needs the checkup. '°' .°' side, In most buildings, the rest of the used air is mixed with fresh alr and recirculated. Whhm this labyrinth lurk ample opportumties for trouble. ^If vou go into the dark recesses of a ventila. tion system. you'd be shocked at w'hat you'd find," Shaughnessy says, Beyond the expected dirt and dust, typical detrttus in- cludes dead mice, Insects, particles of bmlding mate rials, mold, mildew and pesticides left by care~ less exterminators Io one 14assa. chusetts building, employ'ees were plagued by itchy red bumps they thought were inseet bites. Instead, consultant David Bearg found Ioase bits of fiberglass in. sulation blowing through the ducts. New filters ended the outbreak. Not all the trouble comes from the newer, tight buildings, by the way: Some older, unsealed buildings with dfrt clogged ventilation systems are among the worst offenders.In ehhercase. when the system works well and ts kept clean, workers breathe easy. Deadly dull work and ponderous lunches aren't the only reasons office workers nod off in the afternoon. Too lib tle air might be the problem. The Amer, ican Society of Heating, Hefrigeration. and Alr Conditioning Engineers, which establishes the ventilatton standards that influence local building codes, orig- inally set a figure of 15 cubic feet of fresh outdoor air per person per minute back in the 1930s , Then, in I975, prompted by the ener- gy crisis, the group decided that office workers could make do witk five - about what the average airplane passeo- ger gets. Though the recommenduion has since been boosted back up to 20, many buildings still don't circulate enough fresh atr. This means colds and other viruses spread more easily. When U S. Army re searchers compared ailments among two groups of 400,000 recruits, some of whom were housed in older, naturally ventilated qnarters and some of whom lived in newer, tightly sealed barracks, they found that the soldiers in the closed buildings got 50 percent more colds than those who lived in quarters where they could throw open a window. When a sealed office is crammed with more people than it was designed to hold, workers get less fresh alr thaa they shoWd. The standard of 20 cubic feet assumes that no more than seven people will occupy a t,00Psquarefoot area Stuff In more workers, and more air ie needed. Then there's plain bad destgn Some times a system sucks in and spews out air that's unfit for anyone to breathe. In buildings where workers have camplatned of headaches,fatigue,and nau- sea, investigators have traced the symp. toms to carbon monoxide potsoning. How might this happen to someone shaffling papers an Ihe 18th Ooar? Eass ly,1f the building's fresh air intakes open near a parking garage or a loading dock frequented by idling trucks, One sala tion is [o put up a sign by the loading dock, telling truckers to shut their em gines off immediately. Or, if the system See Page 10 Nursing a Building Back ta HeaZth Y W walkfntayourOfflceatst immedlatetystartmsaeeae The guy in the nertcubtcle cau'twearhiscontactlensea anymore. f ate in the afternoon the afk feela so stegnaK youcan barely keep your eyes open. EverybadY passesaround colds like potato ehfp at a pienfr.. You suspect you're working m a siek btdlding, but what ea.n you do ab.utIt! baawaa T..r TTwp.s Keep a log of yom' own and yourrn warkers' complaints-who gers what symptoma when atd w here. If worket sx take their matadtes to the doctor, keep records of thase visits, too. The American College of Occupational and Envlron- mental Medicine will provide names of physicians in your areawhospecialim in occupational healm. Call me conege'sed- ucationaldepartmentatYfOg1228dg50or the Association of Occupational and Envi- ronmental Cltnicsatl202134't497ga taaY 6ord fhe gdtdiq "Workersshoutd take responsibility for checking out their ownventilation systems,"says occupational health physi- clan ]ames Cane of San Francfsco. "You can learna IoL"BYrst, ebeckthe ceiling, walls and f loor to see whether each room has a soutceof air. Take a look at the air vents.Holdapieceoftissuepaperupm ~ each one to see whether atr u actually movingin or oul Grimy vents are a sfgn of inefficientor old fitters. Furniture or partitions placed over or in front of vents may be blocking the air flow. Check around copy, printing and shreddfngnLchtnestomakesnre they are neu a functloning exbawt vent H workers have to spend fong periods of time standing over such equipment,the machlnesshouidbefocatedfooncon- tinedspaces. Askthebuildingrnmnagerbowmany cublc feet per minute of fresh outdoorair Is circulating per person. If Is'a rder 211, lt's nat enough. Note when the ventila- ltOn system Is turned oif (ymt'li knaw when the white noise from the fans smps). If it cycles off for long periods dur. Ing the day, or goes off campleteiy while many people arestig warktngln the buiWing, contammanta may he building upintheair. Ask the buf ]ding maf n tena nce super- visor when the drain pans were Iast cle,aned, fs there aregufar mamtenance schedule? Are pesticides usednear the ventilstionsystem! ¢so, what precau- tians are being taken to keep these suh• stances out of the circulating airsupplyT Find out if any construction m reno- vatian projects are under way; if so. ask what's being done to flush harmfm va. pors from the butlding. gstg.st MHa. Once you've targetedaoy hazards, you'll have to convincesomeooe to do something, starting with your etbployer. If yaur efforts meet with resistance, you might get hold of the Environmental Pro, tectian Agency's detailed guide,'Build- ing Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managera"It's avail, able for $24 by writing to New Orden, Su- perlntendent of Documeots, P,O. Box 371gtiS,Pfttsburgh,PAt575i17g6/.Qtefer marderproceaqngcode et03.1 You can al- so orderby tax:1202/5122258. The pubti. catianezplainshow a building manager can clean up and prevent indoorair pu4 lutlon and when expert help might be needed. It also reminds managers that their Indifference can result in disgrun tied workers, lowered producnvity, baa publicity and hefty lawsuits. Cdl l. NM gxprfs TheNatieoal Institute for Occupation- al Safety and Health's Hazard Evaluanon andTechnical Assistance Branch imesti- gatessick building outbreaks but has the tlmeand staff for only the most serious ca.xs. Hawever, a telephone hot line- ag 1800/35NIOSH-provides basic in ftrntationand referrals tostate and local healthdepartments. As sick building problems become more visible, private consultants are sprlagingup like algae m a dram pan. The EPA wlll publish a It.stof such firms within a few months. Check wtth the Pub- lic Information Center, Environmental ProtectionAgency, Washington. D.C.. 2A4G0,1282)EB0.2118n,orcallthe.firQualityOfficeatiD72i2A39030.ASitfortheSur vey of Indoor Air Quality Diagnostic and MitlgatlonFirms. Also check the local yellow pages un der Indaor AirorIndustrial HygieneCon sultants.Whoevercontractsforthescseo vittsshould ask ahout cases the company has handled before.If possible check referenees;suchfhxnsaren'tregulated.and some have little experience. -K.G.
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