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EPA scientist says agency hid dangers at ground zero from first responders, others

Brian Beutler
Published: Friday August 25, 2006

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A scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency has written a letter to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and other members of the New York congressional delegation blasting the EPA for hiding dangerous toxins from Ground Zero workers in the aftermath of 9/11, RAW STORY has learned.

The letter, written by Dr. Cate Jenkins and obtained by RAW STORY, claims that EPA-funded research on the toxicity of breathable alkaline dust at the site “falsified pH results” to make the substance appear benign, when it was, in reality, corrosive enough to cause first responders and other workers in lower Manhattan to later lose pulmonary functions and, in some cases, to die.

Jenkins writes:

"These falsifications directly contributed not only to emergency personnel and citizens not taking adequate precautions to prevent exposures, but also prevented the subsequent correct diagnosis of the causative agents responsible for the pulmonary symptoms. Thus, appropriate treatment was prevented or misdirected, and loss of life and permanent disability undoubtedly resulted."

Jenkins has loudly criticized the office in the past for—among other malfeasances—improperly handling evidence that the World Trade Center disaster site was a major health hazard.

The letter, as acquired by RAW STORY, follows: