As part of the insane direction our government has gone, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is removing actual scientists from the agency’s advisory boards and filling them with industry insiders and others, including those who represent fossil fuel companies. But one of them really takes the damned cake here: Robert Phalen.
Phalen believes our air is actually “too clean.”
Seriously. We wish we were getting Onion’d here, but we aren’t. Phalen literally believes that pollution is good for children, and that our ever-tightening controls on it are making the air too clean for children to handle:
Modern air is a little too clean for optimum health.”
He believes that children need to inhale some irritants to teach their bodies how to fight them, and obviously also thinks we no longer have enough irritants in our air to do that, all evidence to the contrary. He founded a little lab in California where he researches air pollution, and concluded that California’s air quality “triggered a lung defense that lessened damage to the bronchial tree,” according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Smog and soot both cause damage to the lungs to the point where they can actually enter the bloodstream, making conditions like asthma and bronchitis worse, and possibly even contribute to heart attacks. And there are other pollutants in the air that have been linked to cancer, liver disease, blood disorders, and other health problems, including reproductive problems.
But who cares about all that when we have to build up our children’s defenses to air pollution by creating…more of it? Never mind all the health issues pollution causes in adults. Never mind the fact that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are changing our climate. Phalen is a science-denier, and his position could actually be very dangerous.
Featured image via Lukas Schulze/Getty Images