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February 12, 1982

Carcinogen Regulation-Reply

JAMA. 1982;247(6):752. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320310015005

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In Reply.—  Dr Baker and Ms Rest expound the view that has led to the elaborate testing programs and the extensive search for possible carcinogens by federal agencies in recent years. The council report on carcinogen regulation to which they refer challenges the wisdom of investing too many of our finite resources in what may be the technological version of a witch-hunt.The council report did not imply that all laboratory testing was futile, but it did suggest that the danger of carcinogens in the environment and in the workplace has been exaggerated in some quarters, inasmuch as age-corrected cancer mortality statistics seem to be remaining fairly constant overall. Such laboratory tests as might be done for regulatory purposes should take into account the possible levels of exposure that people might experience in the workplace or in the environment. Now that we have such exquisitely sensitive measuring devices that trace