EDITORIAL: Stop CDC from concealing study findings
St. Louis River and St. Louis Bay are among 26 unhealthy “areas of concern” listed in a Centers for Disease Control report that has been hidden from the public since last July. Requested by the International Joint Commission in 2001, it finds that exposure to numerous industrial chemicals is contributing to higher than normal health problems — infant mortality, colon cancer and heart disease among them.
CDC officials say some methods used in the report convinced them it should not yet be released, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today. A large number of experts, however, say the data and findings have been reviewed extensively and sufficiently.
News of the report did not surface until leaked by an investigative watchdog group. That’s about par for federal agencies during the era of President George W. Bush. His administration has acted in a manner that suggests environmental and health agencies exist for just one reason: to protect industry — public health be damned. Numerous lawsuits have been filed, including one by California’s Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to demand the Environmental Protection Agency enforce its own rules.
How many health-related deaths will eventually be traced back to these stone age Bush administration policies? It’s not a stretch to conclude his flawed agenda has harmed as many innocent Americans as the 9/11 terrorists.
Great Lakes-area residents, especially those in Duluth-Superior, have long suspected industrial pollution has degraded their health. From effluent discharge to the mysterious Lake Superior barrels, the scenario has always seemed dangerous and understated.
The CDC report should be released immediately. It’s a public document that Americans have every right to review.