A controversial proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency, widely known as the “secret science” rule, would allow environmental regulators only to use studies based on publicly available data when they set pollution standards. The problem, as IUPUI urban health scientist Gabriel Filippelli explains, is that many public health studies rely on confidential medical data, such as individual test results with subjects’ names attached, that’s actually illegal for researchers to disclose.

Filippelli describes how he used information from children’s blood screenings to map high lead exposure levels in U.S. cities – work that persuaded EPA to lower acceptable levels for lead in dust nearly a decade ago. If the Trump administration’s approach is adopted, he asserts, “EPA officials will have to pretend this kind of research doesn’t exist” – and public health will suffer as a result.

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Blood samples from pediatric health screenings can provide valuable data for public health research. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

EPA’s proposed ‘secret science’ rule directly threatens children’s health

Gabriel Filippelli, IUPUI

The EPA is considering a rule that would limit what kinds of science regulators can use in setting rules. A scholar explains how this shift would bar his work mapping child lead poisoning.

Economy + Business

Health + Medicine

Politics + Society

Science + Technology


  • Why there’s a separate World Chess Championship for women

    Alexey W. Root, University of Texas at Dallas

    As the Women’s World Chess Championship takes place in China and Russia this month, Alexey Root, an expert on chess in education, weighs in on the benefits of having a separate championship for women.

Arts + Culture

Ethics + Religion

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Laura M. Holzman


Laura M. Holzman

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