Thursday, July 20, 2006

Drink the Water, Eat the Fish. EPA is Wrong Again

Twenty years and several bazillion dollars after EPA declares that 'dioxin' is cancer-causing:

Although dubbed "the most dangerous chemical known to man," incredibly this was based entirely on the acute toxicity (poisoning) to a single species of animal -- guinea pigs. In humans incredibly massive doses have never been shown to cause any long-term damage besides severe acne, as was the case with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 2004.

...That's because while it's long been accepted that for acute toxicity that "the dose makes the poison" the EPA uses as a rule for all potential carcinogens that if exposure to a rat of something at a level of, say, a quart a day for 30 years is cancer-causing then exposure of a hundredth of a gram a day for one week must also be carcinogenic to humans.

It was this EPA assumption that the National Research Council directly challenged, concluding the "EPA's decision to rely solely on a default linear model lacked adequate scientific support." It said compelling new animal data from the National Toxicology Program -- released after EPA completed its reassessment -- when combined with substantial evidence that dioxin does not damage DNA, is now adequate to justify the use of nonlinear methods for estimating cancer risk at relatively low levels of exposure.

In other words, the EPA can't just choose a formula because it's convenient and serves its political ends. It can't ignore the results of myriad animal and human studies and the determination of how a certain chemical affects human cells in favor of simple mathematics. Nor can it apply that formula because it favors environmentalist groups who make a living by terrifying us into believing that a single molecule of this or that threatens the existence of "peoplekind."

The National Academy of Sciences dropped that little bomb into EPA's beautiful DC offices.

EPA's gross and utter stupidity is documented elsewhere--DDT, anyone?

Let's hope that this pushes a few courageous conservatives to act.

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