Guy Who Wants to Eliminate Radiation Limits Will Lead EPA on Radiation

When Trump supporters chant “make America great again,” I have difficulty imagining that any of them are longing for the days when radiation exposure went unregulated. Nevertheless, that’s precisely the direction the EPA is headed with its latest appointment.

Brant Ulsh, a health physicist working for a consulting firm, will serve as both a scientific advisor to the EPA and as the new leader of the Radiation Advisory Committee. Ulsh is a controversial choice because he is considered the nation’s most outspoken critic of radiation levels.

His papers and positions put him at odds with the overwhelming majority of the scientific community that believes coming into contact with even low levels of ionizing radiation poses a significant cancer risk. He claims the science is too outdated and insufficient to warrant the existing government standards.

“Once again the Trump administration is moving to the fringe for its scientific advice, choosing someone who could undercut foundational protections from radiation,” wrote the Natural Resources Defense Council in a statement regarding Ulsh’s appointment.  “We need sound science to dictate health protections, not dangerous theories.”

If you’re wondering what angle Ulsh is working, he admits to it in his own papers. Evidently, he’s concerned that our radiation regulations put “unnecessary burdens” on corporations. Funny how the conservatives in power always seem more concerned with the extra money rich companies pay to keep people safe than actual public safety.

For what it’s worth – and it should be worth a lot, EPA head Andrew Wheeler – just last year the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements reviewed 29 studies that reconfirmed a correlation between low level radiation exposure and an increased risk of cancer.

As a scientific advisor to the EPA and the head of the Radiation Advisory Committee, Ulsh could play a pivotal role in rolling back the standards that dictate acceptable amounts of radiation. Since humans can’t detect when they’re exposed to radiation, we rely on enforcement of these limits to keep us safe.

Make no mistake – this appointment isn’t accidental. There are countless scientists who could have led the Radiation Advisory Committee that accept the existing scientific consensus on radiation levels. To choose an outlier like Ulsh is to look for someone to deliberately take the agency in a different direction.

In fact, thanks to an Associated Press story from last year, we know that the EPA was already making plans to throw out regulations on radiation, so having a scientist like Ulsh bring his own opinions could be the ideal vehicle in order to accomplish that agenda.

At the risk of being hyperbolic, at this point, I think we’ve got to ask ourselves: is the Trump administration just trying to kill us? They’re appointing fossil fuel lobbyists to oversee climate change, corporate polluters to worry about clean water, chemical bigwigs to regulate pesticides and now a pro-radiation guy to set radiation standards.

Is nothing sacred? Does the Trump administration feel no obligation to keep the American people safe? If the EPA is so confident that scientists are wrong and radiation isn’t actually harmful, maybe it should start by experimenting at the White House before unleashing it on the public at large.

70 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad A2 months ago

Thank you.

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Thomas M
Thomas M2 months ago

Thanks

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Irene S
Irene S2 months ago

Not really a surprise.

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Elizabeth Story
Elizabeth Story2 months ago

Make America great again??? I don't think so. Another completely inappropriate appointment. It is apparent that the Trump administration is more interested in the well-being of big business at the expense of the health of citizens. Thanks for posting

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Jerry C
Jerry Cuttler2 months ago

I corrected this link. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327330/ It should work now.

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Jerry C
Jerry Cuttler2 months ago

Why use the linear no-threshold (LNT) model to assess the risk of health effects induced by ionizing radiation when there is clear evidence of a quite high dose threshold for a short exposure and a high dose-rate threshold for a lifelong exposure? https://www.ncbinlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6327330/ and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6311660/

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JinnySITEISSUES L
JinnySITEISSUES L2 months ago

But we simply continue to allow this negative and dangerous behavior by the Trump administration towards the people and the environment. Guess we are on the same page as they are. Thanks for sharing.

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Edith B
Edith B2 months ago

Trump is only interested in money.

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Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Liliana Garcia
Liliana G2 months ago

I agree with Darlene and second Kevin's suggestion in the last paragraph.

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