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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Is The EPA in a Rush To the Botton for Asbestos Experts?

The US EPA (Environmental; Protection Agency) has published an announcement to seek appointments to its Scientific Advisory Panel with asbestos expertise in short course. In a notice published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2007 the US EPA announced a deadline of November 16, 2007.

"The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office is seeking public nominations of additional experts in the formation of the Asbestos Expert Panel in the areas of biostatistics, statistical modeling, epidemiology, meta-analysis, Bayesian analysis and toxicology of inhaled particles." Nominations may be submitted on line. Any interested person or organization may nominate individuals qualified in the areas of expertise described above to serve on the SAB Asbestos Expert Panel. Nominations may be submitted in electronic format through the Form for Nominating Individuals to Panels of the EPA Science Advisory Board which can be accessed through a link on the blue navigational bar on the SAB Web site at:

An alarm has been sounded that panels of the EPA have been filled by defense firms. See "Don’t Let Mercenaries Advise EPA on Asbestos Science." David Michaels, who heads the the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) and is Professor and Associate Chairman in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services stated, "One important step in ending corruption in science would be to ban employees of product defense firms from federal science advisory committees. The EPA’s Science Advisory Board Asbestos Panel is a good place to start."

The Bush Administration has tried to undermined te integrity of scientific research in an ongoing program. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has claimed that the "EPA is dumbing down its research." “There appears to be a deliberate policy of marginalizing EPA science on issue after issue, so that the agency is becoming increasingly irrelevant to emerging environmental threats,” Ruch testified, pointing to internal surveys showing a growing pessimism by agency scientists about the direction of EPA. “EPA’s public health research agenda has been neutered.”

The selection of quality membership is not one than came be done on short notice. Is the EPA yet again in a rush to the bottom?

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