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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EPA's secret gas chamber experiments: A deceitful failure -- By Ron Arnold, The Washington Examiner


Scientists Andrew Ghio, Jon Sobus, Joachim Pleil and Michael Madden, with laboratory director Wayne Cascio, administered a mix of diesel and particulate matter to 41 people as part of an Environmental Protection Agency study. (Photo: Thinkstock)A man — we’ll call him “Subject No. 1” — had a clear plastic pipe stuck into his mouth with his lips sealed around it, while the diesel exhaust from a parked truck outside the gas chamber was mixed with particulate matter and pumped straight into his lungs. The pumped mixture level was 135 times the mean diesel truck emissions exposure in the United States.

Scientists Andrew Ghio, Jon Sobus, Joachim Pleil and Michael Madden, with laboratory director Wayne Cascio, administered this toxic mix of diesel and particulate matter to 41 people. In all, they gassed 81 subjects with various mixes of diesel, particulate and ozone in five different experiments — tagged with the science fiction-like names Omegacon, Xcon, Kingcon, Depoz and Lamarck.

No, these are not mad scientists from some 1930s D-list horror movie; they're employees of the Environmental Protection Agency who used human subjects in an air pollution test chamber at the EPA's Human Studies Facility in Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2010 and 2011.

The consent form that volunteers signed for the Omegacon cocktail pumped into Subject No. 1 lacked the warning that particulate exposure can cause death in older people with cardiovascular disease. EPA accepted a 58-year old woman with Stage 1 hypertension, premature atrial contractions, osteoarthritis, gall bladder removal and a family history of heart disease. EPA’s scientists were humane enough to turn off the gas when she suffered atrial fibrillation, and hospitalized her overnight for observation.

The quintet of EPA gas chamber experimenters were producing risk assessment studies ordered by then-agency head Lisa Jackson to justify the Obama administration's push for crushing new clean air regulations, which they claimed would prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year by reducing emissions.

Jackson testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee with a flight of fancy so hallucinatory that she was asked to say it twice: “If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.”
That's the bureaucratic equivalent of Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch.

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