Toxicologist helps me with some research on the silly EPA OZONE CAMPAIGN

Things to consider, for example high asthma rates in Puerto Rico and very low ozone. High rates of bad asthma in blacks.

So my toxicologist friend, who worked at one time in the EPA and is now in private work, provides this research memo:

EPA’s ozone reduction proposal is inconsistent with national trends over several decades that show reduction in air pollutants (including ozone) but increasing asthma incidence.


Interestingly, not even the Centers for Disease Control (which tracks asthma) knows why asthma rates are increasing: “While we don’t know why asthma rates are rising, we do know that most people with asthma can control their symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by avoiding asthma triggers and correctly using prescribed medicines, such as inhaled corticosteroids.” accessed on 2/16/2015 at 1:22

Historically, asthma has been assumed to be higher in metropolitan areas, in part because levels of ozone and other air pollutants were anticipated to be higher. However, recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and in the scientific literature indicating that living in a metropolitan area (or not) does not greatly impact the prevalence asthma are bringing this assumption into question.

(National Surveillance of Asthma United States, 2001-2010)

Keet et al 2014

This historical assumption is further contradicted by populations that live in areas with low ozone levels but that, nonetheless, have a high asthma prevalence.

As an extreme example, Puerto Rico has among the highest rates of asthma in the US and Territories, but has ozone levels that are less than the lowest level of ozone for which EPA sought public comment. Ozone levels in Puerto Rico are also within the range of background levels of ozone in some parts of the US.

These examples serve to illustrate that there are limits to what can be achieved through ozone reduction efforts, since eliminating ground level ozone is not a realistic option (some ground level ozone is naturally occurring and preliminary research indicates that some may even be “second hand” from other countries).

Although risk estimates for ozone are “fuzzy” due to acknowledged uncertainties in EPA’s risk assessment, what is clear is that there are racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in respiratory disease in children and adults. For example, black children are two times more likely to be hospitalized and four times more likely to die than white children from asthma.

EPA: Children’s Environmental Health Disparities Black and African-American Children and Asthma

This problem is so widely acknowledged that in 2012 the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children published a Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities to address this issue.

There are also disparities in asthma and COPD (which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema) in adults based on race, income, and geographic location.

These disparities make some sense, given that ozone is but one of many potential triggers for these diseases. Importantly, these diseases can be managed (or controlled) to an appreciable extent.

While we don’t know why asthma rates are rising, we do know that most people with asthma can control their symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by avoiding asthma triggers and correctly using prescribed medicines, such as inhaled corticosteroids.” accessed on 2/16/2015 at 1:22

Reductions to the current ozone standard would be phased in over a period of years with substantial cost to both the public and private sectors (some estimates have run into the trillions).

For populations who are suffering now in areas with ozone levels above that of any potential new standard, this is a long time to wait for potential relief. For populations suffering from respiratory diseases in areas with ozone levels that are already compliant with any proposed standard (e.g. Puerto Rico) a reduced NAAQS will make no difference. A new standard also will not help populations suffering from respiratory diseases that are triggered by things in addition to (or other than) ozone. For these reasons, funding new or existing targeted interventions in disproportionately impacted populations (such as the Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities or privately funded efforts to help parents and children control their asthma) is arguably a more cost-effective and health protective alternative than reducing the ozone NAAQS. These targeted interventions would also benefit more people than reduction of the current ozone standard.

Some john1282 comments if you don’t mind:

Asthma is an allergic/sensitivity disease that produces increased mucous production and spasm of the small muscles of the middle sized airways mediated by histamine and associated inflammatory mediators released by Mast cells when the allergen is detected. People who are allergy prone have many severe and not so severe sensitiviies.

Ozone is a mechanical molecule increased in the warm weather and summer, but asthma is a wintertime disease, not mentioned by the author/toxicologist. Ozone is not capable of being and allergen–allergens are complex molecules, usually of protein content that sensitize the body so it makes reactive cells that are specific for the allergen.

Ozone, an inorganic simple molecule (3 oxygens) cannot be a sensitizing factor in asthma.

The treatment for asthma is beta agonists like albuterol that reverse the reactive airways, ipratropium (atrovent) that is a drying agent because of its anticholinergic properties, and steroid preparations, like prednisone, that reduce the inflammatory processes generally and are extremely important in asthmatics.

small particles don’t cause asthma unless the small particles is an allergen–which can happen, but has nothing to do with the EPA claims since their goal is regulating business and industry that produce emissions from engines and industrial processes.

I believe strongly and have advocated in the pages the hygiene theory that has to do with people growing up in environments without good allergen challenges that makes them hyper reactive.

Desensitization is a proven way to reduce allergic reactions, like asthma. For example exposure to dander and peanuts and such at an early age is promoted as a way to reduce allergic sensitivities.

All the EPA human experiments with ozone and small particles don’t show evidence of causing asthma or any disease and certainly no deaths. Ozone can have a minor effect on pulmonary functions in exercising subjects, but that’s because ozone is heavier. I ozone had a direct asthmatic effect it would cause dramatic changes in the pulmonary functions.

I really hate the way docs who are in the bag for the EPA and for anything the American Lung Association wants and enviros want are such whores for the cause–called lying for justice. They know that all the red alert ozone day thing is just to scare the little frightened mommies.

So where do they get their deaths counts–data dredging in the daily variability of death rates. Torture the data until you get what you need to make your crazy claims.

Also even with the option of data torturing, the EPA epidemiology shows small associations, never enough for the support of a hypothetical toxicity. But no matter–small associations are treated with great respect at the EPA and in the salons of their whore researchers.

Want more look at Junk Science archives–put ozone asthma in the search box. left hand side.


4 responses to “Toxicologist helps me with some research on the silly EPA OZONE CAMPAIGN

  1. Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  2. I am so sick of the quango of power mad pols hand in hand with funding whores in “science”. Over and over again some fright monster is proven to be nothing but hot air.
    “Eggs will kill you!”….”Well, actually eggs are good food.”
    “Butter will kill you!”… “Well, actually butter is superior to fake butter made from oil.”
    Baby’s breath and my F150 will melt all the ice on the planet. Then again, maybe not.
    Oh yeah gang, what ever happened to the ozone hole death sentence on humanity?
    And about all those polar bears…

  3. Surprised that this is still such a big deal. The correlation of many asthma cases with dust mite allergy is pretty high and – for many people – controlling household dust is major way of avoiding the triggers. Increased rates of asthma are probably more to do with diagnosis than any real increase, but the hygiene theory of low exposure during early development is worth investigating.

    As you said, most allergens are a proteins (in fact, very few non-protein allergens are known) and things like ozone are probably no more than an irritant which might make symptoms worse, but are unlikely to trigger an attack.

  4. Search for “helminthic therapy”.

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