EPA scrubs database of air pollution experiment on children?

EPA Stalin-izes an experiment exposing children to diesel exhaust.

Amid last year’s Fakegate scandal involving Peter Gleick and the Heartland Institute, JunkScience.com discovered that the EPA scrubbed its grants database of grants the agency had given Gleick.

Now amid the ongoing human testing scandal, the EPA seems to have again scrubbed its database of a study involving the intentional exposure to children to diesel exhaust. Here’s the story.

Medscape reported on Feb. 23 that:

Exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is linked to epigenetic changes associated with childhood asthma and allergy as well as higher rates of asthma diagnosis in the highly polluted city of Fresno, California, investigators report.

Recalling that the EPA had given the University of Southern California money in the mid-2000s to study whether diesel exhaust would “induce reproducible gene expression” in children, I searched for the USC grant in the EPA extramural research grants database. What I found was jaw dropping.

Although the a document summarizing the grant remains in the database, it appears to has been heavily edited and the description of the diesel exposures to children has apparently been deleted. Fortunately, a copy of the original document was saved.

Click here for the report as extracted from the EPA database on December 14, 2012.

Click here for the report as extracted today. [EPA database link to report]

If you compare the the beginnings and ends of the two documents, you’ll see that they are identical, including, for example, capitalization and spacing errors.

So why would EPA have made this deletion?

First, exposing children to diesel exhaust to see if harm can be induced obviously flies in the face of all rules governing the protection of human subjects. This research is essentially illegal.

Next, since Dec. 14, 2012, I tried contacting the principal investigator at USC, Frank Gilliland, and others at USC about this study and have received NO response to multiple inquiries. An NPR-affiliated journalist has also reportedly tried to contact USC about these experiments with no luck.

I encourage readers to try to prove me wrong on this. The home page for searching the EPA extramural grants data base is here.

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13 responses to “EPA scrubs database of air pollution experiment on children?

  1. I found this link to the 2005 summary report:

    http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/8057/report/2005

    Which includes the paragraph:”During Year 3, we intend to recruit adults and children for Aim #1, commence recruitment for Aim #2, and repeat our mouse/sulforaphane experiment in Nrf-2 knock-out mice to confirm that the action of sulforaphane is indeed through activation of Nrf-2.”

    Still looking for a description of “Aim #1″ in these documents, which appears in the December document as “We plan to determine whether nasal challenge with diesel exhaust particles (DEP) will induce reproducible gene expression of Phase II enzymes and compare expression in children versus adults.”

    I can only assume “nasal challenge” is EPAspeak for “pump exhaust into.”

  2. Welcome to Auschiwtz on the Potomac.

  3. The Nazis, however, kept meticulous, voluminous records, which were later used to hang them (literally).

    The Internet has memory. That these modern-day criminals/clowns believe that they can change history in the same way as Stalin and suffer no consequences is testimony to how poorly they understand the power that modern technology has made available to ordinary people.

    • With compliant judges and the weight of the government behind them, they seem to be getting away with it.

    • We are certainly in an era where it’s good science if it serves government. That would make the disappearance of inconvenient facts good science. It’s been the main stream understanding and policy ever since the correct party took office.

  4. Wow, great research Steve!

    “Inconvenient” data is frequently buried, deleted or moved from government websites surrounding health, obesity, diet, and even medical ethics. The problem is even more pronounced on today’s search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) that only bring up information the public is supposed to believe. It’s harder than ever to find the facts and the truth.

  5. Without spending time I don’t have available to dig into this research, I’d like to point out that it would be quite possible to conduct valid research on diesel effects by comparing subjects who already have extraordinary exposure to diesel exhaust in their daily lives to people who live in relatively pollution-free environments. There’s nothing illegal or even inhumane about gathering data by match

    • (… editing error caused by darned inconveniently placed phone buttons… ) about gathering data using matching control subjects.

  6. Am I missing something? The documents seem to say the study is using mice, not humans.

  7. thelastdemocrat

    It is hard to think straight while pulling out this George Jones vinyl, but here are two ideas to keep in mind: the info has been disappeared because the deisel industry learned abt it and were not happy, or the deisel industry was sponsoring the study and revelaltion of their sponsorship would be bad.

    Either a study has a fairly obvious line-of-research leading up to a current or proposed study, per the ideal mythology of scientific progress, or it gets funded because someone wants it funded.

    Kids being asked to breathe deisel exhaust does not just pop out of nowhere.

  8. There is another tidbit that doesn’t seem to want to pop up from Search. Toxicity of compounds depends to some extent to their heat of formation. Running engines at higher temperatures results in less particulate matter…at much greater carcinogenic potency. That’s the way I recall it, anyway.

    • It would be more accurate to say which compounds are formed might depend on the heat energy put into the equation, and that the concentration of toxic compounds within a medium may depend on the temperature of the medium.

      The toxicity of a given compound is determined by its concentration within the relevant parts of the body. If the chemical composition is the same, it does not matter how the compound was formed. If the chemical composition is different, then it is no longer the same compound.

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