EPA Purges Record of Opposing Harvard Study

In order to justify their weak mercury emissions rules the EPA intentionally purged all records of a Harvard study that would have proven their claims ludicrous.

When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.

What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion.

That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents, said a staff member who helped develop the rule. Acknowledging the Harvard study would have forced the agency to consider more stringent controls, said environmentalists and the study’s author.

Let me remind everyone what we are talking about here, according to the EPA’s own website:

Q. How does mercury affect health?
A. Answer Methylmercury is highly toxic. The developing fetus is the most sensitive to the effects of mercury, and so women of childbearing age are the population of greatest concern. Children of women exposed to relatively high levels of methylmercury during pregnancy have exhibited a variety of abnormalities, including delayed onset of walking and talking, reduced neurological test scores, and delays and deficits in learning ability.

Eight percent of the women of childbearing age have levels of mercury in their blood that exceeds the level EPA considers safe. In addition, there is growing evidence that methylmercury exposure can have adverse cardiovascular effects for adults, resulting in elevated blood pressure and incidence of heart attack.

Now here is what America’s top environmental attorney and one of my personal hero’s, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., had to say about it in an article entitled For the Sake of Our Children:

I live in New York State. Most of the fish in New York are now unsafe to eat from mercury contamination. I live two miles from the state of Connecticut; in Connecticut every freshwater fish is now unsafe to eat. Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that in 19 states it is unsafe to regularly eat any freshwater fish, and in 48 states at least some fish are unsafe to eat. The mercury is coming, largely, from those same 1,100 coal-burning power plants. We know a lot about mercury that we didn’t know five or ten years ago. We know that one out of every six American women of childbearing years now has so much mercury in her womb that her children are at risk for a grim inventory of diseases: cognitive impairment; mental retardation; autism; blindness; kidney, liver or heart disease. I have so much mercury in my body, I was told by Dr. David Carpenter, who is the national authority on mercury contamination, that if I were a woman of childbearing years and produced a child, that the child would have cognitive impairment, and, he estimated, a permanent IQ loss of five to seven points. There are 630,000 children born in this country every year who have been exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb.

I am sorry but saving the coal-burning power industry a few bucks just does not seem worth it now does it? Particularly coming from the people who claim to care so much about human life.

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