CDC Director Demotes Chief of Environmental Health

26 January 2010 1:29 pm

Howard Frumkin, the controversial director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's environmental health branch, has been reassigned by CDC Director Thomas Frieden. Frumkin directed the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) and National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) since 2005. He was criticized for an ATSDR study that underplayed the risks of formaldehyde in federal trailers used by Hurricane Katrina refugees. In early 2008, congressional Democrats accused him of suppressing a report on pollution in the Great Lakes and charged that he punished a scientist who questioned some of his decisions. Although some commenters on a CDC employee blog worried that Frumkin was pushed out for political reasons, others praised the decision to make him a special assistant to the CDC climate change director. CDC veteran Henry Falk will fill in as acting NCEH/ATSDR director.

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