New documents prove falsification in EPA air study; JunkScience renews retraction request

JunkScience.com has uncovered new documents conclusively proving that EPA researchers materially falsified a September 2011 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

While the September 2011 study (“Case Report“) claimed to link exposure to concentrated particulate matter (PM) to cardiac arrhythmia by virtue of a single incidence of cardiac arrhythmia in a 58-year old obese woman with heart disease during her experimental exposure to a high level of PM, the new documents show that cardiac arrhythmia also developed in two subjects similarly exposed to clean air. [Click for the adverse event reports: OMC-029 and OMC-032].

We first raised this issue last spring to EHP editor Hugh Tilson, NIEHS head Linda Birnbaum, EPA and the federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI) because the case study omitted even alluding to the fact that there were at least 40 study subjects exposed to high levels of concentrated PM in the EPA experiments who did not experience cardiac arrhythmia.

Tilson, Birnbaum and ORI stonewalled us. EPA has so far just ignored our complaint.

The new documents show that at least hundreds if not thousands of human study subjects have been involved in these experiments. Of all those study subjects, only 3 cases of cardiac arrhythmia have been documented — and two of those occurred while the study subjects were exposed to clean air.

So the researchers committed the scientific misconduct of falsification by omitting from the case report mention of the following:

  • The 58-year old woman was part of a larger experiment, involving hundreds if not thousands of study subjects;
  • Cardiac arrhythmia did not occur during the other study subjects exposures to high and concentrated levels of PM;
  • The two other cases of cardiac arrhythmia occurring during the experiments happened during exposures to clean air.

We have sent the following letter to EHP editor Tilson:

October 30, 2012

Dr. Hugh Tilson
Editor-in-Chief,Environmental Health Perspectives
National Institute of Environmental Health Science

Dr. Tilson,

Based on new information, I am renewing my request that EHP take corrective action concerning the study, “Case report: Supraventricular Arrhythmia After Exposure to Concentrated Ambient Air Pollution Particles,” first published on September 6, 2011.

In my earlier complaint, the substance of which you essentially ignored, I cited the authors’ failure to even allude to the fact that the study subject in the case report was but one of 41 other human study subjects experimented on in a similar manner and for similar reasons.

It has since come to light that there were at least hundreds if not thousands of other subjects exposed to concentrated ambient air pollution particles (CAPS) by EPA researchers. None of these other study subjects apparently experienced adverse effects from their CAPS exposures.

Moreover, the only other human subjects involved in the EPA experiments to experience cardiac arrhythmias were two subjects whose adverse events occurred during their clean air exposures. None of this information was mentioned in the published case report. I have attached their adverse event reports.

As the EPA authors concluded that the CAPs exposure was responsible for the case report’s arrhythmia, their failure to mention this other contradictory data constitutes the research misconduct of falsification (i.e., omission of material data). Case report authors Martha Sue Carraway, Wayne Cascio and Andrew Ghio were involved in the so-called “OMEGACON” experiments and must have known about the arrhythmias occurring during the clean air control exposures.

The case report, as published, is false and misleading. I again request that you take immediate corrective action.

Sincerely,

Steve Milloy
Publisher, JunkScience.com

At this point, we might normally conclude by saying something like, “We’ll now see whether Tilson, Birnbaum, ORI and EPA are willing to lose any pretense of personal and institutional credibility by continuing to ignore this blatant case of researcher lying.”

But our money is on that being a waste of effort. But let’s see how the rest of the scientific community reacts.

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32 responses to “New documents prove falsification in EPA air study; JunkScience renews retraction request

  1. Your language is very mild in the letter. Something along the lines: listen you conspiring bunch of pretentious quacks, retract this mess forthwith and maybe you won’t look like total crooks if you apologize for your staggering lack of integrity.

    Would be more appropriate.

    But that’s me.

    • Oh, we could probably do even better than that. :)

      • You do realise this totally vindicates Prof. Enstrom and his pm 2.5 study at san francisco that led to his being fired 2 years ago! They said his study didnt help the cause of the schools existence…..Enstrom basically said this stuff gets in you,ya just cough it out. The micron particle gets in your lungs it quickly swells to a 2.5 micron size from the moisture in the lungs and air way.

        Heres what happens to scientists that dont tow the line that second hand smoke is real!

        Epidemiologist James Enstrom’s appointment ended today because his research on air pollution did not align with the department mission and failed to reach funding requirements, according to a June 9 layoff notice from Richard Jackson, environmental health sciences department chair.

        Enstrom contended that the short explanation given for his nonreappointment is invalid and filed an appeal on Friday.
        “When (people) make an outrageous statement like my research isn’t aligned with the mission of the department … it’s patently false,” said Enstrom, who has worked at UCLA’s School of Public Health for more than 34 years.

        The stated mission of the department is to study the relationship between environment and health, according to its website.

        Citing the confidentiality of personnel issues, various representatives from the School of Public Health did not comment on the matter but emphasized that the potentially controversial content of Enstrom’s research was not the reason for his layoff.

        “The nature of research results, political views or popularity are not appropriate factors and are not considered when evaluating individuals for reappointment,” said Hilary Godwin, associate dean of academic programs in the School of Public Health, in a written statement.

        Held in suspense

        James Enstrom is anxiously anticipating this day, yet hoping for his circumstances to change.

        Jackson notified Enstrom he would be laid off on Feb. 10, when funding for his position would end in April. In May, the department faculty voted against his reappointment, Enstrom said. On June 9, he received a second layoff notice that extended his term to June 30.

        Enstrom wrote to Linda Rosenstock, dean of the School of Public Health, arguing that he was not given the expected 60-day notice before being laid off and that funding actually did exist to support his position, contrary to Jackson’s explanation. Enstrom’s term was extended, but only until Aug. 30.

        His multiple layoff notices all cite that his research is not aligned with the department’s mission.

        The details of research

        Enstrom, who describes himself as a loner, has created unexpected ripples in the world of academia with his divergent research in air pollution.

        He believes that as a result of publicizing his work, his department has responded by refusing his reappointment as a researcher.

        http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/a

        In particular, his research on fine particulate air pollution in California implies that miniscule diesel particles do not have a significant effect on mortality.

        His findings contradict conventional wisdom and other studies, which contend that this type of air pollution causes thousands of deaths each year.

        “There’s plenty of data from other studies that show this is pretty dangerous,” said Dr. John Telles, a member of the California Air Resources Board, a government agency working to protect air quality.

        The controversy over his research refers to his work on fine particulate air pollution, which refers to dirt, soot, chemicals and other particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers.

  2. That’s right on, Petrossa:)

  3. WELL DONE SIR……WELL DONE !!!!

  4. Oh, I can see it now. “The authors of that paper were unaware of any other experiments going on in their area of expertise by their co-workers, so their paper was submitted innocently.”

  5. Steve their report says:
    “Exposure to air-pollution can result in the onset of arrythmias”
    I think that is a valid conclusion after finding one example of arrythmias.

    Anyway, we don’t want those sicko’s to continue and expand their test-group.

    • Not if the control group had two of them…

    • No, it is not a viable conclusion .
      1: It does not draw from the data. A single positive does not a trend make, especially in a high-risk factor group such as the subject. Especially due to
      2: The existence of the other test subjects was hidden. This is taught in elementary school. You always reveal all your data. Read the actual paper. It mentions no other test subjects, reading as if this was 1 run of 1 person. Not good science, but a heck of a lot more convincing than testing dozens or hundreds of people.
      3: Science isn’t English. “Can Result In” shows causality and implies conclusive evidence. It does not mean the trivial “it might be possible” weasel word of common usage.

      We teach our smallest of children that all science results must be shown. Why should we not hold these so-called researchers to this extremely basic standard.

      HIding data to support your conclusion, especially in a health study which will result in regulation is more than a breach of confidence. If I did that in a stack test to the EPA, I would be dragged to prison in chains in front of the new cameras. A retraction is the LEAST that can demanded.

    • The arrythmia could have been triggered by emotional upset being in the chamber. I at one time worked as a low pressure altitude chamber operator in Cecil Field Fla part of NRMC Jax hospital. We had incidences like that occurr. First time people getting a hypoxia demonstration or just the fact of a small environment can set a person on the path to A FIBS!

  6. Robert McMullen

    Or A recent EPA study demonstrated the inherent foulness of clean air. Data from the study conclusively proved that twice as many people breathing dangerously pure air suffered serious cardiac events, as opposed to people breathing healthy polluted air… An EPA spokes person told MSNBC news today that evil coal corporations are committing crimes against humanity every time they shut down a gloriously polluting coal fired power plant… Film at 11.

  7. The major concern here is that the pertinent and relevant details surrounding this incident, as has been the case about most such incidents, will not be widely circulated or reported. The strategy of keeping the results of any analysis contradictory to Environmentalist dogma buried while the dogma continues to be widely reported, exaggerated and exalted as impartial, factual, scientifically vetted research by a thoroughly indoctrinated media, of all types, stifles the truth. It’s the “Doom & Gloom” strategy; it’s disturbingly effective as is its use by these elite, intellectual, narcissistic demagogues in keeping their coffers filled with government provided cash and allowing them to appropriate more authority and power than they deserve or should have. Until this conn is widely exposed as the dangerous, criminal fraud it’s become, efforts to discredit it will be interesting and encouraging but largely unsuccessful.

  8. If what you say is correct the EPA officials are guilty of malfeasance and someone should file for a judicial review of the previous finding. This is bordering on criminal since it results in economic harm to others.

    • Congress has made sure that EPA is largely insulated from attack — unless, of course, the attackers are taxpayer-financed enviros who are suing to expand the EPA’s regulatory authority.

    • You’ve never tried to sue the agency, have you?

      A group of auto makers, oil companies, and public interest groups tried to sue to overturn the CO2 tailoring rule. The courts threw it out due to lack of standing. In response to the clear question “if none of these can challenge it, who would have standing?”, there was silence. Effectively, no one can challenge an EPA finding in court.

      Heck, there was a landmark case earlier this year about whether you can challenge the EPA demands in court before complying with the demand. Unless you are suing the EPA for not regulating something, agency lawsuits effectively all come down to EPA saying “we cannot be sued” and you have to make convoluted arguments about whether their actions were “final agency actions”. A lot of the time, the courts just throw it out without considering the merits of the complaint.

  9. Steve – Did you cc the US House’s committee Science, Space and Technology or the OIG?

  10. Truth is important. Why don’t they tell the truth?

  11. Here is another instance of the EPA making up data to promote the environmentalist agenda:
    http://www.pfonline.com/articles/nasf-report-is-epa-playing-dirty-with-chromium-data

    Maybe a RICO suit will get their attention

  12. The real point is that the EPA, as well as the administration, has an agenda. They are not interested in the truth of the matter. They are just interested in povertizing America by shutting down the sources of affordable power. These phony studies just give them cover.

    • Martin, you haven’t dealt with environmentalists, have you?

      They genuinely believe their propaganda. Those that have drunk the Kool-Aid actually believe it. These people actually believe that oil companies are hiding the secret to nearly free hydrogen/ethanol/whatever formulas to support their own profits. Even if their balloon-windmills are more expensive per kilowatt than gerbils on wheels, they believe that it can and should be done cheaply. The EPA especially believes that industry will simply flip a switch and dump everything into the river should they let up for an instant on the rules.

      Even if they have to fabricate the data, they think of it as an “ends justifying the means”. That’s why it’s so hard to fight them.

  13. This is nothing new. All the ‘health’ associations say that second hand smoke kills. These same organisations ALL base their claims on one study by the EPA…the same study that was thrown out of court because they “cherry picked their data”, amongst others. http://archive.tobacco.org/Documents/980717osteen.html or if this is too deep, let Penn and Teller explain it!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6WITuzkS_g

  14. @Martin Leonard
    I hardly believe that is seriously their goal. Imo they are just like religious believers who think that we are all sinners and must repent. We are awful sinners since 80% of the world lives on 2$ or less in their weird view.

    In some convoluted way according to them that is our fault, so we must make amends by reducing our wealth and then by some deus ex machina intervention the 80% suddenly have more then 2$ to live on as much as we have less. Redistribution of wealth seems some kind of automatic thing that doesn’t involve working or having a proper government.

    That those people live on 2$ just because they are responsible for their own lives doesn’t enter into the equation somehow.

    Next time vote better.

  15. They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France …

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien

  16. EPA=FRANKENSTEIN……….IT LIVES

    THEN CAME THE PEASANTS AND KILLED IT

  17. this is so morally repugnant that it makes me barf. But then again, this is what we should expect from the most transparent, scientific administration of all time!

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