Check out Robert Phalen, appointee to EPA science advisory board. He actually argues that! https://t.co/4dArBf97Ig— Paul Rauber (@paulrauber) November 2, 2017
Earlier this week, a U.N. World Meteorological Organization report revealed carbon dioxide levels are the highest they have been in 800,000 years. However, an incoming appointee of the Environmental Protection Agency's Scientific Advisory Board is of the opinion that air is just too clean to promote good health.
Robert Phalen, a researcher at the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine, believes that children need to breathe in irritants from the air so that their bodies learn how to ward them off.
In 2012, he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science that “modern air is a little too clean for optimum health.”
The pollution researcher has a history of voicing such unpopular, biased opinions.
In 2004, his research paper concluded that air pollution is not that big of a deal.
“The relative risks associated with modern [particulate matter] are very small and confounded by many factors,” Phalen wrote. “Neither toxicology studies nor human clinical investigations have identified the components and/or characteristics of [particulate matter] that might be causing the health-effect associations.”
Clearly, his research is designed to deregulate a lot of policies that prevent air pollution, a fact that no doubt earned him points from President Donald Trump.
The Trump administration dismissed a number of advisory panel members of the EPA science team in May as part of its anti-regulatory agenda. Recently, the head of EPA, Scott Pruitt, announced no scientist who receives funding from the board would be able to serve on the advisory board, effectively blocking hundreds of credible scientists form the panel. President Donald Trump has also directed Pruitt to cut the EPA’s budget by 40 percent and to roll back Obama-era clean water and climate change regulations. The agency’s site also deleted several pages pertaining to climate change.
The advisory board’s new member also promises to deliver similar reforms.
“My most important role in science is causing trouble and controversy,” Phalen once said to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In Trump’s administration, both of these things will be welcomed.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jason Lee