WASHINGTON, D.C. – If you have a problem with Uncle Sam violating your privacy by tracking who you talk to and what you watch online, then hang on, because you’ll probably not like this next story.
The Environmental Protection Agency exposed unsuspecting Americans to harmful, possibly cancerous pollutants in studies about harmful, possibly cancerous pollutants.
Don’t take our word for it. That comes from the agency’s own Office of Inspector General.
The IG found that back in 2010 and 2011, the EPA recruited people between the ages of 35 and 55 for studies to determine the danger levels of pollution.
The newspaper ads seemed innocent enough. People with mild asthma who weren’t smokers were needed for a study about genetics and air pollution.
Big cities like Houston have a lot of diesel exhaust pumped into the air. Diesel fuel contains 19 known or suspected cancer-causing chemicals, and it was one of the pollutants in the EPA study.
But the inspector general says EPA researches failed to tell the volunteers about the cancer risks, and sometimes exposed the participants to dangerous levels of pollutants.
Congressman Henry Waxman, a democrat, and the ranking member of the house energy and commerce committee, says the IG report is disturbing.
The Inspector General’s report didn’t say what happened was a crime, only offering some recommended changes.
But after learning about this, it makes you wonder what Uncle Sam has in store for us the next time.