ACSH report counters claims by Natural Resources Defense Council

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Chemophobia Cluster at the Natural Resources Defense Council

By American Council on Science and Health

Environmentalist Claims About “Disease Clusters” Unfounded, Research by Sound Science Group Shows

New Report Exposes Anti-Chemical, Political Agenda

New York, NY, November 29, 2011 – A new report published today by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) counters claims by an environmental activist group that chemical exposures have led to numerous “disease clusters” throughout the country.

In its March 2011 report, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) cited 42 areas in 13 states as disease clusters. However, a peer-reviewed analysis by ACSH, using well-established principles of scientific investigation, shows that only one of the 42 sites meets the scientific definition of a disease cluster, calling into question the entire NRDC study.
ACSH’s study, Chemophobia Cluster at the Natural Resources Defense Council, found:

• All but five of the purported clusters lack any supportive evidence at all;
• 13 examples cited by NRDC as confirmed disease clusters are in fact places where investigations by public health officials are still ongoing;
• Several cases have already been ruled out by public health officials as disease clusters as no statistically significant elevations of any disease have been found;
• Only four of the NRDC-claimed sites are possible clusters, and just one of the 42 can actually be identified as a disease cluster based on the scientific definition.

“This is yet another attempt by NRDC to scare and mislead the public with distortions of scientific findings,” said Dr. Gilbert Ross, ACSH’s Executive and Medical Director and one of the study’s authors.

NRDC is using its flawed report to influence Congress to replace the Toxic Substances Control Act’s scientific-based risk standard, which has worked since TSCA was enacted in 1976, with a political standard based on NRDC’s agenda to ban safe and effective chemicals.

“The majority of the claims in NRDC’s report have no scientific basis and do not support NRDC’s assertion that TSCA has not provided adequate protection from potentially harmful chemical exposures, ” said Dr. Ross.

Download a PDF of the report, here.