Can we trust the EPA? Part 2—Particulate Matter, 2.5 Microns Or Smaller

In the previous posting, it was noted that the Supreme Court stopped enforcement of an EPA regulation that reduced emissions of mercury (Hg) from coal-based power plants. In addition to Hg, the regulation was designated to reduce “Air Toxins”. In this case the toxins are particulate matter—2.5microns (PM2.5) or smaller in diameter.   For perspective, how big is a 2.5micron particle? 2.5 microns are equal to 0.00025 centimeters or 0.000099 inches. Yes, you are right, you can’t see them.

The EPA touts a study that says PM2.5 is dangerous, but they wont share all the secretscienceimagesdata with anyone. Thus, no other science body can confirm or deny the studies results. Secret Science. We are told we must take their word for it.

The EPA found it necessary to get a friendly team to do this study because other work, including some of their own, shows no harm. This particular study group has done “friendly” work for the EPA and the American Lung Association. One of principal authors has received over $31 million in payments from the EPA for his studies.   (No energy company can match the EPA and other government bodies.) The study is called the Harvard 6 Cities Study and this is what Dr Battig said about it in his posting on WUWT titled “A Physician’s Perspective on the EPA’s “Data Derangement Syndrome”:

“The Harvard Six Cities Study (Laden et al 2006) forms the scientific basis for much of the EPA claims regarding PM toxicology. Yet examination of the data shows that the statistical relative risk (RR) for total mortality claims range from below one to barely above one and a fraction. They do not meet the minimum legal standard of a RR of 2 to identify a significant population risk. In addition, these Harvard studies have walled-off their raw clinical data from independent investigators by claiming patient confidentiality, thereby preventing duplication of results by others. Independent reproducibility and verification of test results are the traditional hallmarks of scientific research. Invoking patient confidentiality to block access to raw data casts doubt on the entire process since providing such patient protection is not particularly difficult.”

Not only will they not allow examination of all the data, the study’s RR does not meet minimum legal standards and yet they want to impose it on us.

Dr Battig adds this:

“The EPA has been conducting controlled human exposure studies to air pollutants on the University of North Carolina campus for more than thirty years. During that time more than six-thousand volunteers have been studied without a single serious adverse event being observed…so is there a health problem to investigate or not? How much more testing looking to define a disease? It looks more like a disease concept in search of a susceptible victim”.

At the 10th International Conference on Climate Change, Dr Battig; Scientific Integrity Institute President James Enstrom; and S. Stanley Young, a fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science did an outstanding panel discussion on this topic. posted “Conference Panelists Criticize EPA Health Scares” written by ALYSSA CARDUCCI carried this insight from S Stanley Young:

After examining reams of data, Young concluded the threats of air pollution, PM2.5, and ozone contributing to deaths are “imaginary”.

Young received “the biggest data sets on the planet” to study the effects of air pollution on human health in California. The dataset included 13 years of data on eight California air basins and daily electronic death certificates equaling more than two million certificates and a total of 37,000 days of exposure.

Using standard statistical techniques, Young and two other statisticians found there were “no acute or chronic effect on deaths in California.”

“I call this a fact,” Young said. “We have the biggest data set on the planet for looking at this, and there is no effect.

“If air pollution was a killer, it would be killing everywhere, and the fact that we’ve established that it’s not killing in California puts every other paper at risk for the claims that they have made,” Young said.

Dr Battig adds:

In view of EPA PM2.5 mortality claims at 35µg/m3, why are airport smokers and the Shanghai population not dropping dead on the spot? Airport smoker lounges have ambient levels of 600µg to 10,000µg PM2.5. A single draw on a cigarette floods a smoker’s lungs with 10,000µg to 40,000µg. The Shanghai press reports PM outdoor levels of 600µg/m3. It also reports that the average life expectancy there is 82.5 years…a life expectancy greater than any major U.S. city. Where are the overflowing emergency rooms and mortuaries?

It’s clear that the EPA doesn’t have science to support this bill. Extensive testing by the EPA and in California for just two examples, show no correlation between PM2.5 and “premature death” or apparently any deaths. The study they are using is by scientists that seem to be bought by the EPA. And obviously they know that the study data cannot stand the light of day, hence it becomes another use of SECRET SCIENCE.

Now the bad news. The Supremes did not challenge the science but rather the economics. If you don’t need the science, the EPA can make up numbers that will eventually satisfy the courts. UGH.     But you are warned. You cannot trust the EPA.

Part 3 will deal with some other chicanery the EPA indulges in.







2 responses to “Can we trust the EPA? Part 2—Particulate Matter, 2.5 Microns Or Smaller

  1. Pingback: Drain The EPA Swamp—Part 2- Secret Science | Climate Change Sanity

  2. Pingback: Cap And Trade Group (RGGI) Overstates Its Accomplishments | Climate Change Sanity

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