Enviros strike back at Rand Paul for dismissing air pollution-asthma link

The enviros attack Paul’s source, not his facts.

The Associated Press reports in “Sen. Rand Paul claims asthma and air pollution have no link“:

It was a startling claim: Air pollution has no connection to asthma, Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said on the Senate floor.

But Paul, and a chart he used to make his case against the health benefits of a new federal air pollution rule, relied on some creative sourcing and pseudoscience.

Paul’s chart was a graph showing air pollution declining in California as the number of people diagnosed with asthma rose. The chart attributed the data to a May 2003 paper by what was then called the California Department of Health Services. But the department never plotted the relationship between those two factors.

The real source was a 2006 paper “Facts Not Fear on Air Pollution” from the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank. The paper, by independent consultant Joel Schwartz, contends that most information on air pollution from environmentalists, regulators, scientists and journalists is exaggerated or wrong. The paper was not subjected to the normal peer-review process demanded for most published science.

But JunkScience.com friend Joel Schwartz knows more about air quality than the so-called experts on whom the EPA and enviros rely.

The Associated Press goes on to report,

But Schwartz, who now works for Blue Sky Consulting Group, discounts even studies linking pollution to asthma attacks, saying “they are probably not related.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Schwartz defended his work. “The fact that they move in opposite directions shows that air pollution is not a large factor in the cause,” he said.

Dan Greenbaum, the president of the nonprofit Health Effects Institute, said such arguments “miss the point.” The institute receives funding from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the auto industry.

“No pulmonary doctor has said that the primary reason for the increase in asthma is air pollution. That is not the concern with air pollution and asthma,” Greenbaum said. “The concern is that if you have asthma, we have very strong evidence that you are sensitive to air pollution.”

We have yet to see what this evidence is. That’s why we have asked for EPA, Greenbaum et al. to show us a body.

Read the Associated press article.

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