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Oklahoma senator requests immediate hearing on EPA trials at UNC

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By Charlotte Huffman

Sen. James Inhofe says on-going experiments at the EPA's Human Studies facility at UNC-Chapel Hill are “extremely disturbing.”

The American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit against the EPA, saying the agency’s North Carolina doctors exposed patients to lethal toxins without their knowledge in experiments that began roughly six years ago.

The Republican senator from Oklahoma and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, Democratic Chairman of the Committee requesting an immediate hearing.

In a press release, Inhofe said:

"EPA has repeatedly said that these substances can cause cancer and lead to death so if these allegations of human experiments are true, it just validates the problem that the Obama-EPA's mission is not about public health. … I am calling on Senator Boxer to hold hearings on this matter immediately when Congress returns. As the Committee of oversight over EPA, it is crucial that we get to the bottom of this and hold EPA accountable.”

The lawsuit alleges the EPA piped concentrated high levels of substances like fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and diesel exhaust into the lungs of 41 unhealthy people to see what would happen.

Inhofe says the EPA may be criminally liable for its conduct because the EPA has previously and officially determined PM2.5 can kill people and cause cancer.

The American Tradition Institute Environmental Law Center has also filed a temporary restraining order to have the on-going trials at UNC stopped and has called for an investigation into the EPA.

The EPA program maintains all of its studies are evaluated for safety and ethics.

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