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. (  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

3 thoughts on “No Surprise: CDC Epically Botches East Chicago IN Lead Poisoning Response

  1. The first code of ethics of most professions is to always act in the interest of the general public. Unfortunately that is not important any longer and is not enforced by professional institutions. Sadly it seems that the interest of the general public has been replaced by the interest of those who provide the funding.

  2. So true. When it comes to both government and non-profit industrial complexes, the interests of the funders have almost always taken precedence over the interests of the people being served…

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