Dr. David Lewis and the EPA

By Kimberly Simpson

EPA and Sewage Sludge

The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, was created in 1970 to ensure that acts protecting the health of United States citizens were followed. In the late 1990s, the agency began ignoring the fact that certain sewage sludge contained chemicals that hurt the environment and the people living in these areas. Sewage sludge is a product of water treatments (that remove bacteria) that contains chemicals and numerous other toxic materials. These materials dissolve into water that is then transported throughout a town, and then, incorporated into the area's public facilities.

Lewis' Discovery

David Lewis worked for the EPA before publishing an incriminating article on the site, Environmental Science and Technology (http://pubs.acs.org/journal/esthag). He worked as a research microbiologist for the company until his inevitable firing in 2003. In his studies, he discovered that autism, a recessive, therefore, unlikely disorder in children of parents without the disorder, was very common in children who had received a vaccine for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella). In an interview discussing his thoughts after reading an article posing a faulty explanation, Lewis stated, "It struck me right off, that a reporter who has no training in science or medicine, which is the case of Brian Deer, would not be capable of writing such articles; they’re too articulate in medical terminology and other things." After this analysis, Lewis further trudged into the scandals arising from this discovery: He discovered that important documents were withheld by the company, leaving the public unaware of the health effects the sewage sludge and vaccine left to the children. Lewis found that a combination of environment deteriorating chemicals and certain vaccines left people with various health problems. As the EPA is responsible for protecting the pubic from this problem, when aware, Lewis wrote his article in efforts to spread knowledge of these effects. The whistleblower's research in the effects of EPA programs on the environment led to his eventual job lose and continual articles exposing the company. If people like Lewis did not stand forward and reveal the truth in these situations, the public's health would be seriously affected. Unfortunately, in these situations, the whistleblower is usually most severely affected, left without a job or funds.

"It caught my interest if what if the two are connected? That all of the research being done on environmental pollutants; its link to autism might also be connected to vaccines, and that the aluminum adjuvants are allowing those pollutants to expose the brain." -David Lewis


After his job loss and discovery, David Lewis wrote a book discussing the effects of this and similar problems, titled Science For Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profit. As the title suggests, the book mentions situations similar to his where the whistleblower loses his job and the company attempts to "silence" him. Lewis' book focuses on the federal government's crimes, rather than individual companies. After Lewis' unemployment, he went to Washington D.C. to work on a project with the National Whistleblowers Centers. He additionally works with Focus Autism and Children's Medical Safety Research Institution. Much of Lewis' life is now devoted to making the public aware of these situation, assisting other scientists' in similar situations and further researching these issues.

Lawsuits related to this case include, Lewis v. EPA(1999 and 2003) and USA, Lewis, McElmurray and Boyce v. Walker. These cases and the doctor's editorials brought the case to the attention of the public. Besides the incriminating publicity for the company and some researchers on the case, there were no major effects for the organizers. However, the combination of similar situations leads to many protective acts such as the Clean Water Act. Without these whistleblowers the public would be helpless as companies polluted their water against their knowledge. Although one case may not lead to major changes, the combination of many leads to a cleaner future.

Works Cited

"EPA Microbiologist Dr. David Lewis Wrote the Book on Research Misconduct - Then Throws the Book at Brian Deer." Ashotoftruth.org. A Shot Of Truth, Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

"EPA Whistleblowers." Whistleblowers. Deadlydeceit.com, Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"How EPA Faked the Entire Science of Sewage Sludge Safety: A Whistleblower’s Story." Independent Science News Food Health and Agriculture Bioscience News. Independent Science News, 9 June 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Lewis, David. "How EPA Faked the Entire Science of Sewage Sludge Safety: A Whistleblower's Story." » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names. 20 June 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2014.

"National Whistleblowers Center - Dr. David Lewis." National Whistleblowers Center - Dr. David Lewis. NWC, Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

"What Is Sewage Sludge?" Centerforfoodsafety.org. Center For Food Safety, Web. 16 Dec. 2014.

"Whistleblowers in Science." - Reporting Scientific Misconduct. Explorable, Web. 16 Dec. 2014.