By LORRAINE BAILEY
Courthouse News Service, September 26, 2012
Fine particulate pollution, or PM2.5, describes particulate matter no larger than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, making it one-thirtieth the diameter of a human hair, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Though the EPA says that PM2.5 "can kill people shortly after exposure," it has been testing the effects of these particles on human subjects, according to a complaint filed by the American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center in Alexandria, Va.
The complaint links to a list of EPA studies compiled by volunteer recruiter Westat. Captain still appears as a study on epastudies.org, when Courthouse News visited the site Wednesday morning.
American Tradition Institute says that the EPA has conducted other studies involving PM2.5 in 2004, 2007 and 2008, and plans to run more, despite having found "that there is no safe level of PM2.5."
In September 2011,
EPA scientists allegedly
The institute says one of its members, Landon Huffman, previously participated in an EPA experiment on PM2.5.
"In experiments conducted by EPA employees and approved by an EPA contractor serving as an Institutional Review Board, EPA has unethically, immorally, repeatedly and ultimately illegally exposed human subject to PM2.5, a pollutant EPA states is lethal and can cause death within hours of exposure without informing the human subjects of this fact," the complaint states....
The group seeks to halt the
In addition to the injunction against future testing, the group also says that the EPA should abandon tainted data.
"To repair ethical lapses and as a matter of equitable relief, plaintiffs ask the court to stay implementation of any rules authorized under the Clean Air Act to control fine particulate matter until such time as the agency can review the regulatory basis it used in their promulgation, amend its support documents and otherwise reevaluate the risks from the fine particulate matter to ensure EPA does not rely in any fashion upon illegal human experimentation," the complaint states.
The American Tradition Institute is represented by the director of its environmental law clinic, David Schnare.
In the complaint, Schnare says he is one of many members of the institute who fights inhumane human testing because of a personal connection to the medical experimentation in Nazi concentration camps.
Schnare says he was named after a relative who died in Buchenwald concentration camp, where 729 inmates were used as test subjects to determine the lethal dose of a poison. He allegedly quit a job at the EPA after 33 years of service because of the agency's conduct.