Policy Forum

A Looming Scientific Revolution in Environmental Regulation?

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Date and Time
March 21, 2013 4 - 5:30 PM EDT
Policy Center with Foyer
Featuring Edward J. Calabrese, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts; moderated by Patrick J. Michaels, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute.

The reigning paradigm in environmental regulation is the “linear dose‐​response” model, in which morbidity or mortality is assumed to rise at a constant rate, either beginning with the first increment of exposure or at some larger threshold.

Recent research in “hormesis” may threaten that entire regulatory standard. Hormesis is a dose‐​response concept characterized by low‐​dose stimulation, a positive influence, and high‐​dose inhibition, which causes harm. While such a regulatory concept should seem obvious (consider the human response to sunlight), it has been met by profound resistance from the regulatory bureaucracy.

Dr. Calabrese, awarded the 2009 Marie Curie Prize by the World Council of Nuclear Workers, is the recognized leader in hormesis research. His forum will reveal compelling evidence that the hormetic response is pervasive, rather than the exception, and that a scientific and regulatory paradigm shift is inevitable, despite the fact that it may take decades to unfold.