A Cancer Risk Conveniently Lost in Translation

A groundbreaking public health study by Chinese doctor Zhang JianDong in 1987 was used by U.S. regulatory agencies "as evidence that a form of" the chemical chromium "might cause cancer." Ten years later, "a 'clarification and further analysis' published under his name in a U.S. medical journal said there was no cancer link to chromium." But "Dr. Zhang didn't write the clarification" - it was "conceived, drafted, edited and submitted to medical journals by" ChemRisk, a firm hired by PG&E, "a utility company being sued for alleged chromium pollution" by California residents. ChemRisk was previously paid $7 million to help "save industry hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs for chromium pollution in New Jersey." ChemRisk claims Dr. Zhang signed off on the "clarification," but records show the final version was not translated into Chinese for his review. Dr. Zhang died in 1999, but his son said, "It's impossible that he would have overthrown" his earlier work linking chromium and cancer.


For an update on this article see David Michaels, "[http://thepumphandle.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/a-chrome-plated-controversy/#more-47 A Chrome-Plated Controversy]", ''The Pump Handle'', December 7th, 2006.