Oh boy! Another new paper debunks EPA’s claim that reducing PM2.5 levels saves lives

EPA has claimed that reducing PM2.5 concentrations can save 570,000 lives in the U.S. every year (i.e., prevent one-quarter of all deaths annually).

Obama EPA chief, Gina “I illegally deleted 5,000 text messages so Chris Horner couldn’t read them” McCarthy.

The paper looks to see where the putative concentration-response curves for PM2.5-causing death (basically dose-response curves) hold true for Boston and Los Angeles. The answer is:

Changes in month-specific PM2.5 concentrations from one year to the next do not help to predict changes in average elderly mortality rates in either location.

The paper’s final sentence is:

The fundamental premise that [concentration-response] curves exist that can predict the public health effects caused by reductions in pollutant concentrations needs to be carefully reexamined and tested, as it does not appear to hold in general.

The abstract is below.

You can access the full paper here.

4 thoughts on “Oh boy! Another new paper debunks EPA’s claim that reducing PM2.5 levels saves lives”

  1. John — I think the email deletion might speak to a (hopefully disappearing) EPA trait of rampant dishonesty

  2. John Chase … if someone needs to explain about the deleted emails then you are an idiot …

  3. If EPA ever used the words “saves lives”, it was a deliberate deception. All it could have said is that “Reduction in PM2.5 emissions, under certain assumptions, is expected to lead to premature mortality and disability attributable to PM2.5 concentrations achieved.”

    What are these assumptions? i) That emissions control on certain PM2.5 types and sources will lead to corresponding linear reductions in exposures to PM2.5 (which in turn assumes that uncontrolled, including natural, sources of PM2.5, their emission rates, and their mixing rates with emissions from the controlled sources will remain constant over the period of regulation); ii) That all PM2.5 is of equal toxicity – health damage as measured by disease incidence profile corresponding to the exposure levels per dosage measured by exposure profile, both over a long enough period to suggest premature mortality (notwithstanding the drastic reduction in sulfates and tobacco smoking, even in ambient dust from natural sources have changed the composition of PM2.5 since the days some dose-response ratios were established, for different diseases and disability); iii) there is no threshold that can be called “safe exposure”, and any dose-response ration can be manipulated to the range of exposures far outside those applicable to other sources of emissions (e.g., cigarette smoking, fuel sulfur dioxide) at other times for other cohorts).

    This trio of assumptions is justified by EPA by saying “We don’t have evidence to hypothesize otherwise”, which is akin to saying “We don’t know that reduction in PM2.5 will increase average height in the next generation, but we don’t have evidence to hypothesize otherwise.”

    Remember, “premature mortality”is now defined as any death before the age 86. The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation –
    IHME, in Seattle – which now publishes annual updates on the “Global Burden of Disease”, funded by the Gates Foundation and others – allocates (yes, allocates) causes of death to compute premature mortality according to cause. Then it allocates (yes, again) these deaths to certain “risk factors”, primarily by negotiations among experts on various diseases. These “risk factors” are also then matched with their modeled estimates of disability. (How worldwide deaths past age 86 are attributable to some other “risk factors” or how PM2.5 emissions are absolved from any guilt in these post-mature deaths is not clear.)

    There will always be deaths, and there will always be premature mortality. If for some reason all PM2.5 emissions from EPA-regulated facilities disappeared, or if even all PM2.5 emissions disappeared, there will still be premature deaths this year and the year after and so on. They will be attributable to something else.

    This is the game of politicized scientist ideologues. I call it “scientism”. EPA is now spreading it worldwide via its contractors – in particular, the UN Foundation running a Hillary Clinton project the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC).

  4. What does the cut line about deleted emails have to do with the scientific error or conjecture? I love this site and reference it often. This doesn’t help.

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