The production of corporate research to manufacture doubt about the health hazards of products: an overview of the Exponent Bakelite™ simulation study.

International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 2016 April 29 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Egilman DS.


Although corporate sponsorship of research does not necessarily lead to biased results, in some industries it has resulted in the publication of inaccurate and misleading information. Some companies have hired scientific consulting firms to retrospectively calculate exposures to products that are no longer manufactured or sold. As an example, this paper reviews one such study – a litigation-engendered study of Union Carbide Corporation’s asbestos-containing product, Bakelite™. This analysis is based on previously secret documents produced as a result of litigation. The study published asbestos fiber exposure measurements that underestimated actual exposures to create doubt about the hazards associated with the manufacture and manipulation of Bakelite™.