Group was disbanded by the EPA, but continued its work anyway, as Trump agencies roll back environment and health protections
Emily Holden in Washington
Tue 22 Oct 2019 08.01 EDT
A group of scientist advisers dismissed by the Trump administration has concluded that national limits on fine particles of air pollution aren’t strong enough to protect people.
The expert panel of epidemiologists and toxicologists was disbanded by the Environmental Protection Agency but decided to continue its work anyway.
The members are issuing their warnings as US regulators are reconsidering a standard for particulate matter – the inhalable pollution that is 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The pollution can include any of hundreds of chemicals and come from power plants, cars, construction sites and fires. It is linked with breathing and heart illnesses and early deaths.
“Based on full consideration of the overall body of scientific evidence, we unequivocally find that the current standards for fine particulate matter do not protect public health and must be revised,” said Chris Frey, a scientist from North Carolina State University who chaired the group. “There is no way for EPA to spin this otherwise.”