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A couple of things to discuss here. First, as a potential “human subject” myself, I would like to say right now, clear as can be, to any and all scientists who might be reading: always inform me when death is possible. Even if you think there’s only a one-in-a-million chance, let me know. That one time is a pretty big deal. It might not seem like such a big deal to you, because you’re a scientist, and you’ll have more data, but it will be a huge deal to me because I’ll be dead. Second, who are these people who don’t want to know if a study involves the chance of death? Are they suicidal? Are they invincible? Are they available this weekend?

The “human subjects” were told that taking part in the test (two hours of direct exposure to diesel exhaust in a confined space) would be the same as spending an afternoon in a major city on a smoggy day. Maybe that’s the case. All I know is that the last time I visited Los Angeles and ran behind a bus for a couple of hours, sucking down lungfuls of sweet, sweet exhaust, I was judged and mocked and publically chastised and told that no one else in the world would do such a stupid thing. Apparently the EPA disagrees.

In response to the report, Dr. Robert Kavlock of the EPA Office of Research and Development wrote, “Protecting human health is both a core mission, and a natural extension of everything we do here at EPA.” Obviously. The EPA is so serious about protecting human health that they are willing to destroy it. I believe this is the same logic used by men who hit their wives. “Baby, I only do this because I love you so much.” You might think I’m going too far by equating the Environmental Protection Agency with wife-beaters. But at least I’m not comparing them to Nazis. I already did that.

By Ryan Callahan

Ryan Callahan is a writer, director, and sandwich enthusiast. Ryan believes that taking care of the environment is important because that’s where the animals live. Animals make the best parts of the sandwich.