by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
Back in July, Steve Milloy, statistician and publisher of JunkScience,com, spoke at a meeting of the JLF Shaftesbury Society regarding his lawsuit against the EPA for performing dangerous human testing at UNC. The testing involved having subjects inhale diesel emissions containing fine particles called PM2.5 that the EPA has labeled as deadly. UNC, in their communications with subjects, gave no hint of the EPA’s claimed dangers from inhaling these fumes.
Now NBC 17 has picked up on the story, giving it extensive coverage on its September 18 evening news broadcast. The story as reported, which included interviews with subjects of the tests, is quite revealing with strong suggestions that the researchers involved intentionally mislead participants in the program.
The story notes that, “the EPA parked a diesel truck next to a UNC building and pumped the diesel exhaust into a glass chamber,where patients unknowingly inhaled the lethal fumes for up to two hours.”It goes on to tell the story of one of the subjects who was a UNC student at the time.
In 2006, Landon Huffman was a UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate trying to pay for college when he saw an advertisement in the university’s campus newspaper.
“I was18 years old and just interested in making a little extra money. It seemed like a relatively easy and safe thing to do,” said Huffman, who signed up for the trials and earned $3,000 dollars over the course of a year for his participation.
Huffman does not recall any mention of PM2.5 and says the EPA never informed him the air he was breathing was dangerous.
“They convinced me that what I was doing was harmless. That I was breathing air from outside… Why would they lie to me, why would they mislead me like that?”