Overthrowing the Regulatory Paradigm for Carcinogens

Capitol Hill Briefing
January 28, 2014 12:00PM
2325 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Edward Calabrese, Professor of Toxicology, University of Massachusetts, and Adjunct Scholar, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute; moderated by Patrick J. Michaels, Director of the Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute.

Are we harming public health in the name of environmental protection? Is the theoretical model that drives the regulation of carcinogens and radiation not only flawed, but fundamentally wrong? For over a half-century, this regulation has been based largely on a linear response to pollutants, often with a threshold of a single molecule or a single photon. Voluminous research now shows this paradigm is often wrong.

Rather than being harmed by small doses of many regulated compounds, health is often enhanced by low doses. Two obvious examples of this are sunlight and the entire pharmacotherapeutic model. Calabrese’s research has documented hundreds of compounds for which low doses are beneficial while larger ones are detrimental. His presentation will show how the erroneous regulatory paradigm was established and why it now must be abandoned.