by Steve Milloy, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow and Junkscience.com Founder
As appearing on cnsnews.com
A new study has completely debunked recent hyped and unfounded claims from Harvard University researchers that air pollution increases the risk of death from COVID-19 and that the Trump EPA was making the pandemic worse by not further tightening national air pollution standards.
The saga revolves around microscopic soot and dust particles in the air called particulate matter (PM) 2.5. The Clinton EPA inventedPM2.5 as a toxic air pollutant in need of regulation in 1997. Relying on a couple of controversial studies from a cadre of Harvard University researchers, the EPA claimed that PM2.5 caused 15,000 premature deaths per year.
Although EPA’s committee of outside scientific advisors concluded at the time that there was no evidence connecting PM2.5 to death, the Clinton EPA regulated anyway. This regulatory action forced the PM2.5 air standards to be reviewed for tightening every five years.
During the 2012 PM2.5 review cycle, the Obama EPA tightened the PM2.5 standard by about 20 percent based on absurd claims that PM2.5 was responsible for about 570,000 deaths (about 1 in 5 deaths) in the US every year.