May 16, 2014
Julie E. Goodman, Ph.D., DABT, ACE, ATS, and Sonja Sax, Sc.D. recently published an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal questioning the public-health benefits of further reductions in the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, which is currently under review. They argue that scientific evidence does not indicate there will be additional human health benefits beyond those that come with the current standard, and that lowering the standard will come at substantial costs. Gradient’s recommendation comes as a result of an analysis of the hundreds of scientific studies on ozone exposure and possible health effects available in scientific literature.
Drs. Goodman and Sax determined that US EPA would come to a similar conclusion if it used a robust “weight-of-evidence” approach. This involves an evaluation of studies in a systematic fashion, with a consideration of study strengths and limitations in a consistent manner from study to study. This approach can help prevent cherry-picking of studies, which can occur when scientists knowingly or unknowingly focus on studies or evaluate data that confirm their position, or when scientists place less emphasis on studies that do not.
The full article is available here.