Help Wanted: Human Lab Animals

The EPA is now allowing chemical companies to conduct toxic chemical studies on low-income Americans. An analysis of 24 such studies found that 22 involved ethically questionable practices. A new related congressional report states that "nearly one-third of the studies reviewed were specifically designed to cause harm to the human test subjects or to put them at risk of harm." The report said scientists conducting the experiments "failed to obtain informed consent (and) dismissed adverse outcomes," adding that the tests "lacked scientific validity." One study involved paying college students $15 an hour to sit in enclosed chambers while having insecticide vapors sprayed at them. The Bush Administration recently announced the EPA's new policy, which allows these types of human studies for the first time in decades. Chemical companies have welcomed this announcement with the goal of generating studies that would allow their products to be considered "safer" than originally thought. Congress is currently discussing whether or not this process should be alowed to continue. Take Action:

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