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New Study Links PFOA and High Cholesterol Levels

By Dick Clapp Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health (full disclosure: colleagues of mine) this week reported an association between perfluoroalkyl compounds — including PFOA, which was used to make non-stick products — and increased cholesterol levels.  This study took advantage of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a large […]

Chevron’s Mess in the Amazon

By Dick Clapp A critically important verdict with far-reaching implications is soon to be rendered in an Ecuadorian Court.  The court case involves the rights of 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians to compensation from the Chevron oil company for destruction of their land and for devastating ecological and public health consequences throughout the Amazon region in Eastern […]

“War on Cancer” Book Elicits Warring Reviews

By Dick Clapp There were two reviews of Devra Davis’s new book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer (Basic Books, 2007), published in Lancet journals last month. One was in the November 24 issue of the Lancet and the other was in the November issue of Lancet Oncology. They are so diametrically opposite […]

IARC Report on Causes of Cancer: There they go again. . .

By Dick Clapp  Researchers devote a lot of effort to determining what causes cancer, and their findings can help us treat and prevent the disease. Industries that use and manufacture suspected carcinogens have something to fear, though, if research shows their products or processes to be contributing to cancer in workers or nearby communities.  As […]

Rachel Carson’s legacy under attack (on the 100th anniversary of her birth!)

By Dick Clapp  Rachel Carson has been in the news quite a lot recently, first as the object of a diatribe by a U.S. Senator, and also in a series of news stories commemorating what would have been her 100th birthday last week.  Tim Lambert at Deltoid has addressed the false allegations about Carson and […]

Food Fight over Conflict of Interest Article

By Dick Clapp  Opponents in the debate over conflict of interest in cancer research are duking it out, and the current forum for their fight is the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. The article that touched off this particular scuffle was “Secret Ties to Industry and Conflicting Interests in Cancer Research,” by Hardell L, et […]

Regulating PFOA in drinking water – New Jersey dives in

By Dick Clapp This week, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued preliminary health-based guidance to local water companies on levels of perflurooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water (PDF). Based on current knowledge of cancer and non-cancer effects of this chemical, they recommended a limit of 0.04 parts per billion, and they say this […]

Drop in Cancer Deaths hype – what’s behind the numbers?

By Dick Clapp  Late last month, there was a series of news stories about the drop in cancer deaths reported in 2004 as compared to 2003.  The Washington Post story ran under the headline “Cancer Deaths Decline for Second Straight Year,” and the New York Times headline read “Second Drop in Cancer Deaths Could Point […]

Rush to Judgement : industry consultant too quick to give IBM a clean bill of health

by Dick Clapp  The latest issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine contains a commentary from Ken Mundt, a consultant with ENVIRON International Corporation, on “Cancer incidence among semiconductor and electronic storage device workers,” an IBM-funded study by Bender et al appearing in the same issue. Mundt says that “the study offers some reassurance that at this […]

Look out kid, they’re keepin’ it all hid: deceit in the epidemiology establishment

By Dick Clapp On December 1, NPR’s Living on Earth aired a segment on conflicts of interest in medical research. Host Bruce Gellerman interviewed Dr. Lennart Hardell, lead author of a recent article on conflicts of interest in cancer research published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Catherine DeAngelis, editor-in-chief of the Journal of […]