No Surprise: CDC Epically Botches East Chicago IN Lead Poisoning Response

For more than a decade, I have been working to expose corruption, scientific incompetence and unethical behavior in the lead poisoning prevention branch of the U.S. CDC/ATSDR.  My colleagues Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, Ralph Scott (deceased) and Paul Schwartz also volunteered their lives to expose this wrongdoing.  Ralph even lost his job for his role in this important endeavor.

For several years, we have warned, that if these agencies will not admit or learn from their mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them (e.g., Emory University (CDC territory) earlier this year and Johns Hopkins last week).

Not only did scientific misconduct at CDC, help make the events in Flint, MI inevitable, it now appears the same incompetent and unethical actors helped perpetuate the emerging East Chicago IN disaster.

Reuters reports:

Five years ago, a unit of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a 19-page report that all but ruled out the possibility of children here getting lead poisoning. (http://bit.ly/2dAYVOt).  In its January 2011 report, ATSDR said it reached “4 important conclusions.” Among them: “Breathing the air, drinking tap water or playing in soil in neighborhoods near the USS Lead Site is not expected to harm people’s health.” ATSDR’s report was built on flawed or incomplete data, a Reuters examination found: The assumption that residents weren’t at risk was wrong, and many of the report’s key findings were unfounded or misleading.

CDC’s report was built on “flawed or incomplete data”  and their key findings were “unfounded or misleading?” Sound familiar?

Thankfully, ATSDR has some new leadership, that as far as I can tell, is reasonably scientific and trustworthy in its thinking. But CDC has never accepted responsibility for its historic betrayal of the public trust in Washington D.C..  They are completely incapable of admitting or learning from their mistakes, which were unfortunately all too common at their lead poisoning prevention branch.  CDC should apologize for their latest fiasco, but based on their past actions, they are incapable of either feeling or expressing remorse.

Primary Author: Dr. Marc Edwards

The Flint Disaster is Not a “Local Issue”

Funding for Flint, has now stalled in Congress, in part because of a belief that the Flint disaster is a local issue.

While those unfamiliar with the history, who now parrot EPA’s false talking points on the issue can be forgiven, it is important to remember that the Flint disaster is partly due to a culture of complacency and complicity in the federal government.

A March Wall Street Journal editorial succinctly detailed how the EPA “tries to rewrite its history in the lead-water debacle,” and unfortunately, some in Congress believe the Orwellian storyline.

The fact of the matter is that the Federal government “aided, abetted and emboldened” criminal actions by their counterparts at the State of Michigan, who were failing to follow federal corrosion control laws, even after a Flint mother and an EPA employee exposed this dangerous oversight.  The failure to follow the law, is the likely cause for hundreds of millions in damage to Flint’s water infrastructure, one of the worst outbreaks of Legionnaires disease in U.S. history (resulting in 12 deaths), and elevation of blood lead in Flint’s children.

While it is true that other towns and cities in America have problems with their water pipe infrastructure, in no other case were their problems perpetuated by the U.S. EPA, nor are they trying to dig out of a resulting public health, fiscal and infrastructure debacle.

Congress needs to carefully re-consider the factual basis, for their moral argument, that they do not bear some financial responsibility for EPA’s failings.

Primary Author: Dr. Marc Edwards