By Mark E. Rushefsky
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Additional resources for Making cancer policy
She points to Congress's role in writing legislation that provides guidelines by which agencies may regulate risk. Thus, both the legislative and executive branches engage in scientific and political determinations. The second reason is the difficulty of separating technical values from other values. Different cultural values may determine which risks are the focus of attention (Douglas and Wildavsky, 1982; Majone, 1984; Rayner, 1984). Scientists can differ in their ideological viewpoints about technical hazards (Lynn, 1983; Rushefsky, 1977;), and they can also be influenced by epistemological differences (Robbins and Johnston, 1976; Rushefsky, 1982).
6 Science's unquestionable benefits have come at a price. One source of concern is the possibility that chemical substances found in consumer products, the environment, and the workplace may cause cancer and other health problems. The pesticide DDT, for instance, has saved more lives than any other chemical; at the same time, it was found to bioaccumulate in the environment and the food chain, and has been implicated as a carcinogen. The mineral asbestos is an excellent insulator, but also a well-documented human carcinogen.
2,4,5-T contains small portions of an extremely potent form of dioxin, 2,3,7,8-TCDD, which has been implicated as a teratogen in animals. Hill's story spread through local, state, and national news media in 1978. EPA then conducted two studies, Alsea I and Alsea II, using the case-control method. EPA confirmed, in the wider Alsea II study, the relationship that Hill had strongly suspected and proceeded to ban the herbicide's use in forested areas (Van Strum, 1983). Oregon State University, a long-time supporter of the forestry industry and the use of herbicides, published a critique of EPA's Alsea II study.