Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Los Alamos Lab Contractor Caught in Scientific Fraud: Work on Chromium Contamination Conflicts With Ties to Polluters

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 10 (AScribe Newswire) -- The consulting firm in charge of investigating how toxic chromium from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) contaminated a regional aquifer fraudulently planted an article in a scientific journal reversing the findings of an earlier study linking the chemical to cancer, according to documents obtained by Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The consultants are ChemRisk, based in San Francisco, who have a multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Energy and Centers for Disease Control to examine all chemical and radioactive releases from the lab (LANL), which develops nuclear weapons and is managed by the University of California and Bechtel Corp. ChemRisk's job is to find and catalog historical documents on chemical and radioactive leaks and discharges, but also prioritizing the health risks of the chemicals detected.

In December, extraordinarily high levels of chromium were found in test wells just north of LANL. Today, the Albuquerque Journal reported that Tom Widner of ChemRisk, director for the Los Alamos Historical Document Retrieval and Assessment (LAHDRA) project, confirmed that his team is investigating the chromium contamination. The Journal said chromium levels in a monitoring well in Mortandad Canyon were more than four times federal drinking water standards and eight times the state ground-water quality standard.

The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 23 that in 1997 ChemRisk distorted the data from a Chinese study linking a form of chromium to stomach cancer to publish an article under the original author's byline that reversed the earlier findings. ChemRisk was working for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on the infamous "Erin Brockovich" case, in which residents of Hinkley, Calif., sued PG&E for polluting their drinking water with chromium-6. PG&E paid $333 million to settle the case.

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Comments:
Man!

With press like this ChemRisk is absolutly, positivly guaranteed to have their contract with us renewed!

Don't you just love this country?
 
"On Monday, Wiles wrote again to the CDC saying: "As if ChemRisk's unethical work for chromium polluters wasn't enough reason to disqualify them from any taxpayer-paid contract, now it comes out that at Los Alamos they have direct responsibility for investigating a chemical they're known to have been dishonest about."

Ultra qualified. In fact, it sounds like they deserve a reward!
 
Considering the biased nature of the source, I think I would wait until the dust clears before jumping to any conclusions. This could be just another propaganda piece like the Erin Brockovitch movie was.
 
'Snake Lips': "Propaganda piece," right...like 'Fahrenheit 9/11'...right. Get the "fair and balanced truth" from Bill O'Reilly...right.
 
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