Journal retracts chromium study

Corporate consultants were not disclosed in 1997 paper refuting chromium-cancer connection

Melissa Lee Phillips
Jun 6, 2006

An environmental journal is planning to retract a 1997 paper that claimed no link between drinking water polluted with toxic chromium and cancer incidence. The decision comes after editors at the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine discovered that much of the paper was put together by consultants hired by a public utility that was at the time being sued for allegedly endangering California residents through chromium pollution. The retraction is based solely on failure to disclose financial and intellectual contributions by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation, the journal's editor, Paul Brandt-Rauf of Columbia University in New York, told The Scientist. "I was very careful in the wording of the retraction to say that we have no evidence of scientific fraud." Brandt-Rauf began investigating the paper after being alerted by the The Wall Street Journal and Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, that the paper...