Scientific Evidence Portal
Particulate Air Pollution: Weighing The Risks | Joel Schwartz, Adjunct Scholar Competitive Enterprise Institute
Article Published: April 2003
Type: Articles and Dissertations
Published By: Competitive Enterprise Institute
Further Information Some good examples of epidemiological junk science at work (this time on particulate matter) is reported in this essay by Joel Schwartz, Adjunct Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute
"The Administration’s Clear Skies Initiative and a more stringent Democratic alternative are largely justified by claims that current levels of particulate matter (PM) pose a serious public health threat. Supporters of these bills promise substantial benefits from additional PM reductions."
"Nevertheless, the benefit claims for PM reductions rest on a weak foundation. EPA based its new annual fine PM (PM2.5) standard on a study known as the American Cancer Society (ACS) study of PM and mortality, which assessed the association between the risk of death between 1982 and 1998 with PM2.5 levels in dozens of American cities."
"Although the ACS study reported an association between PM and mortality, some odd features of the ACS results suggest that PM is not the culprit. For example, according to the ACS results, PM increased mortality in men, but not women; in those with no more than a high school degree, but not those with at least some college education; in former smokers, but not current- or never-smokers; and in those who said they were moderately active, but not those who said they were very active or sedentary."