Lawmaker Wants Probe of EPA Experiments on Humans

From Fox News

By Joshua Rhett Miller

A powerful lawmaker is calling for Senate hearings following a lawsuit charging the Environmental Protection Agency conducted illegal human experiments, including some that exposed asthmatic patients to known carcinogens.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., called it “extremely disturbing” that EPA scientists may have exposed people with conditions such as asthma and a syndrome that puts them at higher risk for heart disease and strokes to concentrated, high levels of substances like fine particulate matter and diesel exhaust. The allegations first surfaced after Steve Milloy, an author and publisher of JunkScience.com, learned of the experiments through Freedom of Information Act requests. Milloy’s subsequent report led to the lawsuit and now Inhofe’s call for hearings.

“It is extremely disturbing that EPA may have conducted illegal human experiments, exposing people with conditions such as asthma and metabolic syndrome to concentrated high levels of substances like fine particulate matter and diesel exhaust,” Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, wrote in a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the committee chair. “EPA has repeatedly said that these substances can cause cancer and lead to death so if these allegations of human experiments are true, it just validates the problem that the Obama-EPA’s mission is not about public health.”

At least some of the experiments predated the Obama administration, however. Landon Huffman, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, participated in experiments conducted at the EPA’s Human Studies Facility in Chapel Hill, N.C., in November 2006 and May 2007. Huffman, who suffers from asthma, believed the experiments were aimed at easing his ailment and claims he was not informed that the pollution forced into his lungs could endanger his health. He is suing in federal district court in Alexandria, Va.

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