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EPA Replacement Says “Modern Air Is Too Clean”

Discussion in 'Sea Save Foundation' started by Sea Save Foundation, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Sea Save Foundation

    Sea Save Foundation Sea Save Foundation Leader

    The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, has replaced 18 of the 44-members on the Scientific Advisory Board.These experts are tasked with reviewing the scientific information the EPA uses to make key policy decisions. One of his replacements, smog researcher Robert Phalen says, modern air is a little too clean for optimum health.” The new chair of the board, Michael Honeycutt, suggests that “EPA air quality regulations and ozone limits are unnecessary because Americans spend 90% of their time indoors.”

    Read more here (story #2).

  2. spoolin01

    spoolin01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SF Bay Area, CA
  3. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Nice graphic. From what I can determine, the four stacks on the right are cooling towers and are spewing water vapor.

  4. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    exactly Bob, more misinformation.
    It never ceases to amaze me how "news" organizations put out misinformation or a times obvious deception then wonder why so many people don't believe them.
  5. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    From the article: "Another Pruitt pick is Robert Phalen, a smog researcher who once famously said that modern air is “a little too clean for optimum health.” He claims children’s lungs need a few irritants to grow hearty, and that pollutants like coal are good for lung defenses."

    I don't know the specifics leading to his statement, but it reminded me I've read elsewhere that kids growing up on farms are at lower risk for some health problems (e.g.: asthma) and some believe growing up in a more 'sterile' environment where the immune system isn't 'challenged' enough might actually lead to health problems.

    From some quick Googling, ScienceDaily has a page with an article citing material from the University of Zurich, and here's a blurb from that:

    "It is a known fact that microbes on farms protect children from asthma and allergies. But even non-microbial molecules can have a protective effect. Immunologists have shown that a sialic acid found in farm animals is effective against inflammation of lung tissue. This study opens up a wide variety of perspectives for the prevention of allergies."

    That doesn't make me want to breathe coal dust (though I do like having affordable electric power), but it does establish that the air/environment being 'too clean' is not in and of itself a crazy contention. Whether it's accurate or not I do not know, but the issue bears a deeper look.

  6. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    The opinions of the US government have become utterly irrelevant in matters and discussions of substance where it relates to the future of humanity and the management of planetary resources.

    Literally nobody with a functioning brain would take this crap seriously. A 5 year old child could do a better job at advising the EPA, which just goes to show you how little vision the EPA has.

    Irrelevant. That is the word we have to learn here. The USA has made itself irrelevant. If anyone at the EPA still believes in the future and has any modicum of self respect left then it should do itself a favour an simply disincorporate itself.
  7. spoolin01

    spoolin01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SF Bay Area, CA
    Most likely he said it out of political motivation, just a wild guess. Not that taken in isolation it's a false statement.

    In the late '80s a senior UCLA professor, Robert Gale, who among other endeavors was assisting Russia in dealing with Chernobyl, came to advise us on radiologic aspects of industrial health and safety. He stated that in mouse testing, the groups that got low level exposure (don't recall of what nature but I'm guessing external gamma irradiation), regularly scored better than the groups that got no exposure. He similarly speculated it was upregulation of repair and recovery systems that was broadly beneficial. He also opined it was a legacy of most of evolution having taken place under higher background radiation.

    I took note of that because atomic stuff was much more in the public eye in the 60s and 70s while I was growing up, and the debate over threshhold for harm vs linear harm function was going on. Don't know where it ever went...
    But they also pollute - sorry - the discussions everywhere. You don't know who is on the payroll, or auditioning to be. And the US gov't is by no means the only big payer involved.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  8. RyanT

    RyanT ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    Indeed, it is quite well established that exposure to a variety of microbes and and allergens (e.g. soil dust particles, pollen, etc) at an early age impart important health benefits. These bacteria and allergens are very different, however, from end -product combustion pollutants. Those products are well known to increase occurrences of heart disease and respiratory illness. If you don't think it's a big deal, spend some time in Bejing or Mumbai and see how you feel after spending a day or two outdoors.

    As a U.S. citizen, I say with a heavy heart....this!
    charlier and drbill like this.
  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Port Canaveral Florida

    That's a nice picture of water vapor there! That scrubber unit and the cooling towers appear to be doing their job well.

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