“The politics of science”
Below in red is a NAS press release involving the EPA’s REASSESSMENT of dioxin’s.
As I have indicated many times before, I have no faith in the NAS/IOM, the CDC, or our politicians with all the chemical company lobby money floating around inside 495, including the presidents lobby money from Johnson on up to present day.
You see in this case it would be a lose/lose for our elected official as well as these research agencies that count of federal dollars.
If the politicians did not support the chemical companies then they would lose that lobby money plus the Veterans and widows would receive what they have been saying for decades now, so pork would be at a premium.
If the CDC and the NAS/IOM did not support the government and the chemical companies in this issue and the governments stand then they would lose money earmarked for their so called studies when in fact all they do is review cherry picked studies and then spit out some scientific hoopla that needs to be identified that no one in the world without Devine intervention can identify.
Veterans and their families must always remember the first rule of the plumber and what it is - that runs down hill!
NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCE
July 11, 2006
Contacts: Bill Kearney, Director of Media Relations
Michelle Strikowsky, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail <email@example.com>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EPA ASSESSMENT OF DIOXIN UNDERSTATES UNCERTAINTY ABOUT HEALTH RISKS AND MAY OVERSTATE HUMAN CANCER RISK
WASHINGTON -- Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a comprehensive review of the scientific literature in its 2003 draft reassessment of the risks of dioxin, the agency did not sufficiently quantify the uncertainties and variabilities associated with the risks, nor did it adequately justify the assumptions used to estimate them, according to a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council. The committee that wrote the report recommended that EPA re-estimate the risks using several different assumptions and better communicate the uncertainties in those estimates. The agency also should explain more clearly how it selects both the data upon which the reassessment is based and the methods used to analyze them.
"Failure to fully characterize uncertainty can convey a false sense of precision in the conclusions of the risk assessment," said committee chair David L. Eaton, a professor and associate vice provost for research at the University of Washington, Seattle. "EPA could improve the transparency and credibility of the assessment by more clearly identifying the assumptions used to support risk estimates and by updating them when significant new findings are made."
In my estimation, after reviewing the Dr. Birnbaum presentation of 2005, this is as close to a real representation of the real facts that anyone without Devine intervention can publish. I have found this “new EPA” forthcoming in what they can find and develop as to why and what these dioxins are doing to do us as civilians and as Veterans with the massive amounts of different dioxins and related dioxin furan isomers to which we were exposed.
Yes, I am biased in this assessment not because I am an effected Veteran but biased on the Dr. Birnbaum presentation because it matches what I came up with it in about five years of doing analysis on the various studies. Various studies not by just our honorable government(?); but other nations studies and prestigious research centers and more importantly reports and studies done on our comrades of other nations and our former enemy that were co-located in the I Corps area.
Dioxin and related compounds have been a concern since they were found in Agent Orange, a herbicide widely used during the Vietnam War. The chemicals result unintentionally from many industrial processes and persist in the environment, allowing them to build up in the food chain. Humans are exposed to dioxins primarily through the consumption of beef, pork, fish, and dairy products, although occupational or accidental exposure can be higher. Efforts to reduce dioxin and related compounds in the environment in recent years have resulted in lower concentrations of the chemicals in humans.
EPA first assessed the risks of dioxin in 1985. After new scientific data emerged, the agency issued a draft reassessment in 2003. The Interagency Working Group on Dioxin, consisting of representatives of seven federal agencies, recommended further review of the new document.
1979 - “EPA's Mike Dellargo wrote a scathing report on the evils of dioxin, identifying most of what the 1994 EPA official version finally admitted. Dellargo wrote his 60-page analysis as a rebuttal to Dow Chemical's lies. He analyzed their claims and then found the holes.”
The EPA subsequently with “White House intervention” shelved Dellargo’s report.
Also, notice that seven “Federal Agencies” were involved. You want to keep your job and funding. Then find something that will support the 1984 White House Philosophy and the chemical company money floating around like so much waste in a waste treatment plant.
In its 1985 assessment, EPA classified dioxin as a "probable human carcinogen," but the agency's 2003 reassessment says that dioxin is better characterized as "carcinogenic to humans." Since 2003, however, EPA has issued new guidelines for classifying the carcinogenicity of chemicals. The Research Council committee was split on whether the available evidence met all the criteria for classifying dioxin as "carcinogenic to humans" under the new guidelines, but it was unanimous in agreeing that dioxin should at least be considered "likely to be carcinogenic to humans."
This statement sounds like it was more subjective to what each scientist personally believed or possibly opinions that were paid for in the past; or even what previously publicly stated opinions were, not what the data was conveying.
The question seems to not be - is it “cancer causing” but how is it cancer causing; directly or indirectly and how does that apply to the rating system. I am sure those that are on the dirt side of the sod could care less about the semantics of direct or indirect effects.
Although as a scientist myself, I can understand the purist point of view. Again, whether the isomers cause a direct cancer or modify the immune system to direct the cancer effect or allow a cancer to develop when exposed to what normally would have been a non-event like Epstein-Barr virus. Ninety percent of us are exposed; yet, if the immune system is operating “as designed” there is no issue.
I would have said “likely to be carcinogenic at all carcinogenic sites and as soon as someone understands the morphology a clarification will be forthcoming as to the direct and/or indirect carcinogenic effects.”
A rose by any other name.
The committee considered the choice of phrasing to be more a question of semantics than science, and said that the public health implications of the two classifications appear to be identical. And although the epidemiological evidence supporting classification of dioxin as a human carcinogen is not strong, occupational studies show a modest association between relatively high concentrations of dioxin in the body and increased mortality from all cancers. Animal studies provide additional support for classifying dioxin as a carcinogen.
Manipulated epidemiological evidence and studies should not be used to overrule scientific evidence. Notice even the NAS says a modest associations and mortality from “all cancers.” Then why do the Veterans only have a few cancers and not all the ones we have been saying all along that show a “significant correlation” or “an increased risk of incidence?” Because our government says so; not because there is evidence, only that they say so. I think Vietnam Veterans would qualify as relative high dose risk category.
The committee did express concern, however, with how EPA estimated cancer risk from dioxin. Because the data indicating cancer risk are from occupational and animal studies where doses of dioxin are much higher than those to which human populations are typically exposed, mathematical models are used to extrapolate the effects of lower doses in order to estimate human risk.
As I have said with the conflict of data put out by the chemical companies, our own government studies, and those scientists that are paid prostitutes of the chemical companies, it is impossible for anyone to get access to real data. However, if you do not know what the mechanisms are for these dioxins to do what they do, where they do it, and how they do it then the most efficient analysis to do is to take the known study findings – categorize them into known quantitative numbers and the outcomes and do the mathematical models to extrapolate the data to the lesser exposure levels. Assuming, that you have data that shows the subcategories are indeed in some logical progression for higher exposed levels. Also assuming you have some independent university mathematics department do the quantitative-risk analysis and risk assessment and not some “government paid” PhD mathematician do the calculations. The outcome of those calculations may reflect on his or her next government review for raise or promotions.
The committee took issue with EPA's decision to rely solely on a "linear" model that assumes the risk of cancer is directly proportional to dose at all levels of exposure, including the levels found in the environment, which are generally much lower than those shown to cause cancer in animals. Such an approach usually results in higher risk estimates than those based on nonlinear assumptions, where biological responses do not vary proportionally with dose. EPA said there was a lack of data to support a nonlinear approach, but the committee said that compelling new animal data from the National Toxicology Program -- released after EPA completed its reassessment -- when combined with substantial evidence that dioxin does not “directly” damage DNA, is now adequate to justify the use of nonlinear methods for estimating cancer risk at relatively low levels of exposure. Such a nonlinear model would result in a lower estimate of risk. The report recommends that EPA estimate cancer risk using both a nonlinear and linear model and describe the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Had the NAS made the statement that dioxins do not “directly damage” DNA (all forms of DNA); “either directly or indirectly” then, I would say you have something. That statement with incomplete clarifications means nothing except misleading information.
Do any of our Veterans care if your cell DNA is; as they put it “not damaged by direct methodology” but is damaged by “indirect” methodology? I would not think so!
The other point I would like to make is this “damage definition.” I have seen no one state that dioxins or “dioxin like” furans damage DNA in any form. What I have seen are statements that dioxins “modify DNA cell make up.” There is a difference so that is very misleading. If it were killing DNA or destroying it this issue would be much easier to quantify but that is not what I have seen in all the studies I have looked at.
The main point that be considered here for Veterans and our families is as follows regarding this new National Toxicology Program.
“The National Toxicology Program has the same director as NIEHS, Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., but he reports on NTP matters to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That is because the National Toxicology Program has a broad charter to test on behalf of not only NIH and the NIEHS but the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Beyond the Department of Health and Human Services, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have interests in the results -- and they also have representatives on the executive committee that provides oversight of the toxicology program.”
Different government book cover - the same old White House/Congressional Philosophy answers.
Not surprising, I could only find two studies that actually did some quantitative analysis of low exposure risks. One was a German study and one was published in Industrial Health in 2003 with the mathematics done by the mathematics department at the University of Cincinnati in conjunction with Emory University and NIOSH.
In fact, doubling the background found with a log cumulative dose a 1% increase over 60 years. For the piece-wise linear model it turned out to be only a 0.1% increase. The key here is when they tried a threshold model it did not work as well and in the studies own statements suggested because of that found fact that there was no threshold below which there was no cancer risk. Now that was based on 5ppt cumulative or 300 ppt by the age of 60 doubling the value would be 600 ppt-years. Excess cancer death went from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 100.
Not very encouraging for those Nam Veterans that were estimated exposures in the parts per billion and parts per million; not the 5 parts per trillion the study used.
The agency also should make clear how it chose its "point of departure" dose, which corresponds to the lowest experimental dose associated with adverse health effects; extrapolation is used to estimate the risk at lower doses. The point of departure is typically associated with an incremental effect, such as 5 percent more cancers, which would be expressed as a 5 percent "effective dose." However, very low effective doses, such as the 1 percent effective dose used by EPA in its reassessment, require more supporting data in order to detect such a small increase in effects. The committee said that EPA did not adequately justify its use of a 1 percent effective dose. The report recommends that cancer risks be estimated using a number of points of departure and that the uncertainties associated with each be fully explained, and quantified when possible.
To assess risks other than cancer at very low doses, EPA usually identifies a "reference dose" below which it anticipates no adverse effects. But the agency said that establishing a reference dose in the dioxin reassessment would not provide useful information. The committee, however, said a reference dose would supply valuable information, such as the risks faced by populations, including workers, who may be exposed to more than the reference dose.
The last two paragraphs seemed to get into nit picking regarding the minimum dose to cause something on a repetitive basis and "that something" must be the same at the same dose levels. Not even close to practical or scientific in what dioxin and dioxin isomers seemed to be able to create in many body system impacts.
The other added attraction may not be a direct dose response that the NAS/IOM demands definition but a response that takes decades to appear. Such as over life an increase in cancers, all cancers sites. In this type of toxic chemical contamination, one would think that there are many variables within the context of time that would play a part not just whether dose shows a linear or step linear or logarithmic effect at some levels. For instance; health at time of exposures, life style after exposures, even one’s body mass index changing may bring the toxic chemical damages to the forefront. Alternatively, what happens if one doubles the dose to the life time frame of development is there a correlation? What about 3x or 4x and on and on? Some things have to be assumed based on best mathematics or comparisons one has in science unless you know all the specifics of how a toxic chemical does what it does and that is exactly what the EPA did in their assessment.
The committee agreed with EPA's conclusion that dioxins are probably toxic to the human immune system, but it said that the agency's finding that dioxin-like compounds are immunotoxic at "some dose level" is inadequate. EPA should expand on this issue in its reassessment by discussing the biological mechanisms by which exposure to low doses of dioxins could compromise the immune system. The agency also should more thoroughly address how developmental and reproductive harm caused by dioxins in animals may relate to human risks.
Even more NAS/IOM rhetoric. I have asked several times of the IOM how in the world can a toxic chemical known to cause certain cancers and have been associated with service in Vietnam not then create human immune system damages in many forms. Especially since the NAS/IOM and our truthful government (?) have demanded a linear association. That would conclude that whatever dose caused the cancer a lower dose would only cause immune system issues. Yet, I was blown off like so much Veteran slag. Since there are no autoimmune diseases on our hit parade of toxic chemical disorders listed as associated; how can this be? How can this be when we know Vietnam Veterans are suffering from many different forms of autoimmune disorders? Many not even ICD coded by shear repetition of testing and identifying correlations as to syndromes and symptoms. But never the less autoimmune in characterization. More importantly, they agreed with the EPA findings!
The only disagreement seems to be at what level which must be lower than the threshold for cancers if one is going to maintain the mandated liner effects required by White House Philosophy. Nonsense? You bet it is total nonsense and nothing but scientific fraud by the Department of Veterans Affairs and our Presidents who control that federal agency.
Yet, the IOM does not bring this up in their contracted government studies for the Nations Veterans that immune system damages are prevalent or that the dioxin isomers are even involved or even could be in autoimmune issues.
The other issue is if we are talking about doses of dioxin isomers over life and how much it will increase the numbers of cancers over a period of time. Then we obviously cannot be talking about an antigenic response. Yet we have time limits of one year on some disorders listed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) that suggests somehow someway the NAS/IOM and the scientists that work for the DVA have found what the direct antigenic response to dioxin isomers are and how they create the disorders within one year at some unknown and not identified dose and that the damage is not permanent once removed from the toxicants. More scientific rhetoric and nothing but scientific fraud.
I decided to take the bull by the horns and once again do the analysis on my own of how the immune system is effected based on study findings that found Vietnam Veterans immune systems were indeed dysregulated in not only IgA antibodies but also IgE antibodies as well as a dysregulation in the IgG subclass of immunoglobulins. IgG1 was down regulated along with the trend in IgG2 while there was little change in IgG3 and IgG4 except for a downward trend in those that had already manifested associated disorders.
Along with these immunoglobulin delta discoveries were found issues in the Interlukins 04 and 10 along with significant down trend in Interferon gamma and an increase in Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha. Now this decrease in Interferon gamma is critical since many Vietnam Veterans has developed liver issues. Moreover, how do they treat hepatitis B and C? They give you Interferon gamma. Coincidence maybe? I doubt it! What is even more important is the EPA also found some issues in IL-6 and IL-1 beta.
I was optimistic I could complete this failure analysis in about a year but that seems I was too optimistic. I have already found relationships to many of the cancers that even the Department of Veterans Affairs has pronounced from Mount Olympus as associated such as leukemia’s and myeloma.
There is no doubt that B and T cell dysregulation is the result of these immune system damages and that certainly can lead to cancers, "all cancers."
One mechanism I tried to present to the IOM over the phone in a series of questions was this EBV exposure connection to many of the cancers and B and T cell issues I found that science seems to think is associated to those exposures. I also was concerned before I found the reduction in Interferon gamma that the defunct immune system was also playing a part in the hepatitis issues which seems to be rampant in our Vietnam Veterans.
In other words, I took what was known or at least begrudgingly associated by our government and looked for common denominators. I also took some of the issues that we know show a correlation to dioxin exposures such as esophageal cancers and stomach cancers that are still denied by the DVA and looked for the same common denominator. I then looked at what is the common cancer process, common cancer tumor cell type, or development that is highly suspect as common processes. I then with that data now am going back and looking at the immune system damages that correlate to these medical issues.
Now when I asked the IOM if this possible as a causation or a secondary root cause level the answer with no hesitation was, "There is no proof of that." No thought about what I was saying or the possible connection.
Yet, here we see that both the EPA and the reviewing NAS agree - "that there is immune system damages" which I had pointed out to the IOM over 2.5 years ago.
Now since everyone except our IOM that associate all our Veterans issues seems to be in agreement except the IOM of the NAS one would have to wonder how congress and the DVA can just sit back and ignore this issue - but they will no doubt in my mind do exactly that - NOTHING!
Since there are immune system damages then you are looking at exponential numbers of immune system problems in comparison to the number of defined cancers.
The committee endorsed EPA's use of a "toxic equivalency factor" for estimating the toxicity of dioxin-like compounds relative to dioxin. Toxic equivalency factors assign a percentage of toxicity; for example, a certain dioxin-like compound may present one-tenth the risk of dioxin, which is important when considering the cumulative risks of exposure to multiple dioxin-like compounds in the environment.
However, they did not counter these issues with the Ranch Hand that only looked at one dioxin isomer and not the additional isomers or the other toxicants of closely related furans. In our case the percentage of toxicity of multiple toxicants is played so far down that the study really does not know even if they found an issue if it was related to Orange, White, or any of the other many different formulas and application rates that were used.
Overall, EPA addressed many sources of uncertainty qualitatively, but the committee noted that the report would be substantially strengthened if the agency included more quantifiable measures of both the uncertainty and variability in the available scientific data used to estimate dioxin risks to public health. It recommended that EPA write a more thorough chapter on risk characterization -- a culmination of all the relevant toxicity and exposure data and their relationship to potential health effects -- that includes a comprehensive discussion of uncertainties. The agency also should routinely monitor dioxin-related research and establish criteria for deciding when findings such as the new National Toxicology Program data are compelling enough to revise the most recent dioxin risk assessment.
By all means, look at another government paid for toxicology analysis and not independent research and scientific findings. Just more White House bureaucracy.
The committee's report was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The National Research Council is the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. It is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science and technology advice under a congressional charter.
Funded by - but certainly not independent!
Copies of HEALTH RISKS FROM DIOXIN AND RELATED COMPOUNDS: EVALUATION OF THE EPA REASSESSMENT will be available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at HTTP://WWW.NAP.EDU. Reporters may obtain a pre-publication copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).
[This news release and report are available at HTTP://NATIONAL-ACADEMIES.ORG ]
While all of this is on the cancer issues no one seems to be addressing the
cardiovascular issues that we know exist very
possibly from the same or similar immune system damages.
In April 1979, KRON TV in San Francisco ran a documentary film "Politics of Poison." It focused on herbicide spraying in California, dioxin, miscarriages and birth deformities. It quoted Dow Chemical Corporation spokesman Cleve Goring labeling the public campaign against spraying of this poison as "chemical McCarthyism." The film provoked 40,000 letters from viewers, "demanding action," as Regenstein described. SF Examiner columnist Bill Mandel wrote: "The only sensible conclusions one can draw are these: that commercial interests are spraying populated areas with herbicides considered too deadly for use as chemical weapons; that government agencies charted with the protection of the public and the environment are powerless or too cowardly to do anything about this rain of death from the skies; that health officials look everywhere for explanations except at the culprits; and that massive expenditures by the timber and chemical companies paralyze the fact-aimed opposition of scientists and residents of the affected areas." - Lewis Regenstein, "America the Poisoned", 1982