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America’s Environmental Protection Agency appoints a radiation sceptic to head radiation panel

Brant Ulsh, skeptic on radiation limits, to head EPA radiation panel, Japan Times, 2 Feb 19,  The Environmental Protection Agency has appointed a scientist who argues for easing regulations on lower-level radiation exposures to lead the agency’s radiation advisory committee.

Acting EPA head Andrew Wheeler on Thursday announced the appointment of Brant Ulsh, a health physicist, as one of the EPA’s science advisers and the panel’s chairman. Ulsh has been a leading critic of the EPA’s decades-old position that exposure to any amount of ionizing radiation is a cancer risk.

In a paper he co-wrote last year, Ulsh and a colleague argued that the position was based on outdated scientific information and forced the “unnecessary burdens of costly clean-ups” on facilities working with radiation.

The EPA under President Donald Trump has targeted a range of environmental protections, in line with Trump’s arguments that overly strict environmental rules have hurt U.S. businesses. Environmental and public health advocates say the rollbacks threaten the health and safety of Americans.

Some environmental groups and scientists have criticized what they say is the administration’s openness to an outlier position on radiation risks.

“Once again the Trump administration is moving to the fringe for its scientific advice, choosing someone who could undercut foundational protections from radiation,” Bemnet Alemayehu, a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council environmental advocacy group, said in a statement Friday. “We need sound science to dictate health protections, not dangerous theories.”

EPA spokesman John Konkus declined comment Friday, referring a reporter to a news release announcing the appointment.

Ulsh did not immediately respond to an email Friday asking for comment, including whether he intended to use the advisory position to encourage reconsideration of the EPA’s no-tolerance policy on lower doses of radiation exposure……… https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/02/02/world/science-health-world/brant-ulsh-skeptic-radiation-limits-head-epa-radiation-panel/#.XFdRStIzbGg

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February 4, 2019 - Posted by | politics, radiation, USA

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