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Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Sun, 20 May 2001, David Zaber wrote:

> > I would ask which "very useful" chemical has been banned due only to a
> > positive result in the Ames assay?
> Dr. Curl wrote:
> "Alar"
> Here's what Environmental Working Group has to say about the so-called
> "Alar scare".
> "Prior to 1989, five separate, peer-reviewed studies of Alar and its
> chemical breakdown product, UDMH, had found a correlation between
> exposure to the chemicals and cancerous tumors in lab animals. In 1984
> and again in 1987, the EPA classified Alar as a probable human
> carcinogen. In 1986, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the EPA

It had been my understanding that alar was originally banned on the
basis of the Ames test, and the animals tests followed. It appears
that I was in error. This does not, however, concern my criticism of
the misleading nature of the material posted about the LFA report.

> Read what Rachel's Environmental Health Weekly says about Bruce Ames
> and about how risks are characterized.  
> http://www.rachel.org/search/index.cfm?St=1 Its interesting reading.

This site is only a search engine. I will offer that it is interesting to
read what Ames himself says about the subject, at


> I think folks who agree with Dr. Curl should take their concerns to
> the LFA. That way, the authors of the report and the press release can
> hear the complaints directly.

I agree this is worth looking into for the apparent misleading
characterization of their "panel of experts" involvement. Otherwise
I stand by my observation that the publicity material about the LFA
report was also misleading in its imbalanced assertions. 

> I think this is a useful discussion on an important topic for Michigan.  

...and we can agree on this. 

--Rane L. Curl

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