Amazing, sobering stuff:
“a particularly dark episode in the recent history of chemical testing. A time when pesticide companies were so desperate to prove their chemicals “safe” that they turned to human testing. This wasn’t in the 1930s or 50s or even 60s, but this particular rash of human tests took place in the late 1990s.”

Evolution in a toxic world

A recent article in the New York Times about EPA’s attempt to reject data from the increasingly powerful field of epidemiology, alluded to a particularly dark episode in the recent history of chemical testing. A time when pesticide companies were so desperate to prove their chemicals “safe” that they turned to human testing. This wasn’t in the 1930s or 50s or even 60s, but this particular rash of human tests took place in the late 1990s.

Let that sink in.

wats20_epacuyahoga_river_fire_1952_jefferson_st_and_w_3rd_cuyahogafire1_600x430_copy Cuyahoga River

In the 1970s, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emerged from the country’s smog choked cities and combustible rivers the young agency was charged with a nearly impossible task: to ensure that the chemicals flooding into our homes, farms and waters didn’t cause “unreasonable adverse effects.”  But how to evaluate such things? Intentionally exposing humans was clearly unethical (not to mention impractical.) So, in the ensuing years the…

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