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Gradient Scientist Provides Testimony on Air Quality and Children's Health Before Senate Subcommittee


June 8, 2011 - Cambridge, MA

Gradient scientist Julie E. Goodman was invited to a joint hearing of the Senate Subcommittees on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and Children's Health and Environmental Responsibility as an expert in epidemiology, toxicology and human health risk assessment to provide scientific testimony regarding air quality and children's health. The hearing was held June 8, 2011 in Washington, DC.

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) issued proposed rules to regulate coal combustion residuals (CCR), one of which considered regulating CCR as hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Concerns have been raised that the methods used by the US EPA to assess the risks of air pollutants are likely to overestimate the benefits of more stringent air quality standards.

Some of the concerns raised include inconsistent methods for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiology and other scientific studies, and the lack of a clear framework for evaluating the weight of evidence for establishing whether and, if so, at what concentration a particular exposure causes adverse health effects.

Dr. Goodman emphasized that using a transparent, weight-of-evidence methodology could significantly improve our understanding of the risks posed by air pollution. Improved risk assessment methods would ensure that we do not use limited national resources to implement air quality standards that do not benefit the health of children or the population at large.

Dr. Goodman's work at Gradient includes the design, oversight, analysis, and interpretation of epidemiology studies as well as the evaluation of chemical toxicology data, apparent disease clusters, and chemical exposures. She also teaches in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Goodman received an S.B. in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an Sc.M. in Epidemiology and a Ph.D. in Toxicology from Johns Hopkins University. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT). Before joining Gradient, Dr. Goodman was a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute.

About Gradient
Gradient is an environmental and risk science consulting firm renowned for its specialties in Toxicology, Epidemiology, Risk Assessment, Product Safety, Contaminant Fate and Transport, and Environmental Chemistry. Click to view Ms. Goodman's scientific testimony.

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