EPA Conducted Toxin Tests On Human Subjects Without Disclosing The Health Risks
April 4, 2014 by Ben Bullard
Reports emerged Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, in recent years, carried out tests of dangerous pollutants on human subjects without fully disclosing the risks — even as it sought â€śinformedâ€ť consent from the participants.
According to The Daily Caller News Foundation, the EPA conducted a series of experiments in 2010 and 2011 intended to assess how exposure to particulate matter from diesel exhaust affected human health. But the agency did not consistently disclose the risks associated with exposure to diesel particulate matter (PM), even though some test subjects came into the test with respiratory illnesses like asthma and heart disease.
These experiments exposed people, including those with asthma and heart problems, to dangerously high levels of toxic pollutants, including diesel fumesâ€¦ The EPA also exposed people with health issues to levels of pollutants up to 50 times greater than the agency says is safe for humans.
The EPA conducted five experiments in 2010 and 2011 to look at the health effects of particulate matter, or PM, and diesel exhaust on humans. The IGâ€™s report found that the EPA did get consent forms from 81 people in five studies. But the IG also found that â€śexposure risks were not always consistently represented.â€ť
â€śFurther, the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studiesâ€™ consent forms,â€ť the IGâ€™s report noted. â€śAn EPA manager considered these long-term risks minimal for short-term study exposuresâ€ť but â€śhuman subjects were not informed of this risk in the consent form.â€ť
According to the IGâ€™s report, â€śonly one of five studiesâ€™ consent forms provided the subject with information on the upper range of the pollutantâ€ť they would be exposed to, but even more alarming is that only â€śtwo of five alerted study subjects to the risk of death for older individuals with cardiovascular disease.â€ť
Crucially, the Inspector Generalâ€™s report also observed the inherent hypocrisy in the EPAâ€™s unethical use of human subjects without informing them of the health-related risks theyâ€™d be facing. â€śThis lack of warning about PM is also different from the EPAâ€™s public image about PM,â€ť the document states.
And howâ€™s this for understatement:
The EPAâ€™s diesel exhaust studies did not include language about the long-term cancer risks of diesel exhaustâ€¦ [E]vidence suggests that at least some human study subjects would like to know if a study involves risk of death, even if the risk is very small.
What does the â€śPâ€ť in â€śEPAâ€ť stand for again?