SOURCE: Gradient


February 08, 2012 11:45 ET

Gradient Scientist Provides Congressional Testimony on Air Toxic Standards

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - Feb 8, 2012) - Gradient scientist Julie E. Goodman was invited to testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Power at a hearing entitled, "The American Energy Initiative: What EPA's Utility MACT Rule Will Cost U.S. Consumers." The focus of the hearing was the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS). The hearing was held February 8, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Dr. Goodman discussed significant limitations in the studies relied upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to estimate the health benefits of the proposed MATS. EPA estimated that the MATS will reduce the disease burden in America to such an extent that it will translate into tens of billions of dollars saved. The largest purported benefits from the MATS are derived not from reducing mercury emissions, but from reducing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions.

Despite the vast array of peer-reviewed scientific literature on the topic, EPA based its benefits assessment on only two PM2.5 epidemiology studies that reported statistical associations between PM2.5 reductions and health benefits. Dr. Goodman testified that these two studies had methodological limitations and were not consistent with many epidemiology studies indicating no correlation between reducing PM2.5 and health benefits. In addition, she discussed how some scientific studies indicate an exposure threshold exists below which PM2.5 is not likely to cause adverse health effects, a factor ignored in the EPA assessment. She concluded that EPA's analysis was not supported by the weight of available scientific evidence and grossly inflated the estimated benefits of the proposed standards.

Dr. Goodman is an expert in toxicology, epidemiology, and assessing human health risks from chemicals in consumer products and in the environment. In addition to her work at Gradient, She teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Goodman received an S.B. in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an Sc.M. in Epidemiology and a Ph.D. in Toxicology from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining Gradient, Dr. Goodman was a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute.

About Gradient
Gradient is an environmental and risk science consulting firm renowned for its specialties in Toxicology, Epidemiology, Risk Assessment, Product Safety, Contaminant Fate and Transport, and Environmental Chemistry.