Monday, August 08, 2005

Tuesdays with Mr. Repace......

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Repace, he is the go to guy when the pharmaceutical nicotine interests need to baffle the media or lawmakers with ventilation "expertise". Mr. Repace's funding from the Nicoderm affiliated Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found here:

insure's he will be a team player.....helping with "research" and "studies" that will advance the marketing of parmaceutical nicotine products, while eliminating the use of tobacco nicotine products by proclaiming the false need for smoking bans.

Here's an exceprt from his grant:

In 2002, Repace received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovators Combating Substance Abuse award for his ground-breaking work on the effects of secondhand smoke. Funds from the award helped make this study possible...... Innovators Combating Substance Abuse is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that recognizes and rewards those who have made substantial, innovative contributions of national significance in the field of substance abuse. Each award includes a grant of $300,000.00...

Anyway, I recently had the opportunity to discuss with Mr. Repace via email a few of my concerns. So let's join our in depth interview already in progress:

On 8/6/06, Mark Wernimont wrote:
I stumbled upon your website, and thought I'd ask a few questions.
Perhaps you could tell me what you know about this air qaulity testing by the American Cancer Society, which proves secondhand smoke is up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA air quality regulations?
And perhaps you could tell me how this municipal environmental health department's air quality testing of secondhand smoke which contradicts your "windtunnel" claim, proved smoke levels were up to 500 times safer than OSHA air quality regulations.
And finally, perhaps you could explain why your "research" should be given any credibility since you are financed by pharmaceutical nicotine interests which benefit when tobacco nicotine use is banned?

Mark Wernimont

I had no sooner sent that email when I realized I had to send a retraction:
Mr. Repace,
I must apologize for my earlier email when I suggested that you received RWJF (pharmaceutical nicotine) funding but then produced a RWJF link for Stanton Glantz's conflict of interest funding:

(it is a conflict of interest when pharmaceutical nicotine interests fund researchers and activists to lobby against tobacco nicotine use. Exaggerations, lies and flawed research about secondhand smoke are the result)

What I meant to do was provide the link to your under the table funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

In 2002, Repace received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovators Combating Substance Abuse award for his ground-breaking work on the effects of secondhand smoke. Funds from the award helped make this study possible...... Innovators Combating Substance Abuse is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that recognizes and rewards those who have made substantial, innovative contributions of national significance in the field of substance abuse. Each award includes a grant of $300,000.00

However, as RWJF is the single largest shareholder (80 million shares) of Nicoderm manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Company stock.....whose desire to eliminate tobacco nicotine use, in order to sell more pharmaceutical nicotine products; makes their motives and anyone who accepts their funding highly say the least.
Thank for letting me set the record straight.

Mark Wernimont

To which On 8/7/06, Mr. Repace wrote:
Mark, see the attached ASHRAE paper and do the math. The OSHA nicotine standard applies to nicotine vapor in cigarette factories, not nicotine in tobacco smoke. As far as my sources of funding, I'm content to be judged on my science, which has been repeated by other workers funded by other sources. See the second attached. Since you feel my "research" is questionable, have you performed any which contradicts it?

Nicotine vapors in cigarette factories indeed, he thinks I'm an idiot......or a politician.
Nice try Mr Repace....but I am not one of those confused smoking ban activists you are used to dealing with, nor do I work for the pharmaceutical nicotine interests which provide you a pass and contradictory funding. For 15 years I have dealt with OSHA permissible exposure limits which apply to ALL workplaces .....industrial and commercial, and regarding OSHA regulations:

OSHA itself has stated regarding secondhand smoke:
"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000 )...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."
-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Ass't Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD
Mark Wernimont

Dear Mr. Wernimont:
Everybody gets funded by some organization or out of his own pocket. Until 2002, I funded all of my research out of my own pocket, and published over 60 papers that way. The ultimate test of a work of science is whether it gets published in a peer-reviewed journal, first of all, and secondly, and more importantly, whether other researchers can replicate the science. Finally, is the research trivial or does it make a contribution? I suggest you check out the 2006 Surgeon General's report on Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke. My work is cited 16 times. And I am constrained to say, your understanding of OSHA standards and ventilation leaves much to be desired.
James Repace

Somewhat condescending I thought, but not unexpected ......Undeterred, I replied:

Mr. Repace,
My understanding and respect for OSHA regulations apparently far exceeds yours; for you, like the other smoking ban activists simply disregard the permissible exposure limits (pel) because it contradicts your special interest funded agenda, but that is proving to be a serious mistake.

Furthermore, your peer reviewed journals hold no credibility now that it has been discovered that Nicoderm interests at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have funded even the American Medical Association to the tune of $88 million:
Additionally the Surgeon General's 2006 report was more about attempting to revitalize the secondhand smoke debate in the media than producing any new or relevant studies.
And finally, since you bring up the CDC link, it may dishearten you to know that not only did the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provide funding to the CDC, but so did the Nicoderm manufacturer itself ....Johnson & Johnson Company.
In closing Mr. Repace and RWJF officials, I feel the need to inform you I am a non smoker. I do not fight your agenda by producing the facts you would rather ignore, simply because I desire to be a thorn in you side. I fight your agenda first and foremost, because your agenda has eliminated tens of thousands of jobs....mine included. I was content to engineer and sell air filtration equipment to the hospitality and industrial workplaces, which allowed me to pay for my family home, cars, and all the simple basic rights you and yours take for granted. Your disregard for livelihoods, businesses, and jobs is a clear indication that "welfare" and "health" of the general public is the furthest consideration from your agenda. Secondly, and most gratifying, I will admit, I fight your agenda because the science of secondhand smoke proves "health hazard" is a claim that has been thoroughly debunked.
The American Cancer Society AQ tesing finds secondhand smoke is up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations.

The Environmetal Health Department of St. Louis Park , MN. AQ testing proved secondhand smoke is up to 500 times safer than OSHA regulations

The California EPA (CARB) AQ test results showed secondhand smoke is up to 50,000 times safer than OSHA regulations.

And just as important to note is the hypocrisy of the smoking ban movement which condemns and demends government action regarding secondhand smoke in the workplace......while ignoring the greater hazard of welding smoke in the worplace. The only expalnation of course is the pharmaceutical nicotine funding eminating from RWJF.
Rest assured Mr. Repace, RWJF, and J & J executives, it's not revenge I'm's the reckoning.
Mark Wernimont
Watertown, MN.

Upon reading this next exchange I fear may never hear from Mr. Repace again:
I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job, Mr. Wernimont, although I rather doubt that any of the persons or organizations you name had much to do with it. Perhaps you should seek employment with OSHA, or hire yourself out as an expert on OSHA PELs with an industrial hygiene firm.
Goodbye, Mr. Wernimont

So I could not resist imparting one final message upon my new found friend:
Thank you for you heart felt (I'm sure) condolences Mr. Repace:
"I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job, Mr. Wernimont, although I rather doubt that any of the persons or organizations you name had much to do with it." -James Repace

The fact is Mr. Repace that the RWJF, American Lung Association, Non-smoker's Rights of Minnesota.....etc...etc. And all the other organizations which funded and provided exaggerated and false testimony which led to lawmakers implementing smoking bans, directly led to the former company I worked for to permanently eliminate my job......citing there is no market for your area of sales....that being Smokeeter air filtration sales to the hospitality industry.
It would be convenient for those of you on the pharmaceutical nicotine payroll to falsely believe that your exaggerations and lies only produce good and not might ease your collective conscience, but it is not fact. Here are the business and job losses to prove my point:

Finally, I would like to leave you with a paper by Dr. Mark Taylor written sometime in the mid to late 90's. This paper was the catalyst to incite the pharmaceutical nicotine companies to "compete" with and "decimate" the tobacco nicotine industry.

It would have been nice if that's where it ended.
So while those of us in the hospitality trades are pushed out of our jobs and our homes, so you can accept multi-million dollar grants from the pharmaceutical nicotine executives.....try not to concern yourelves too much.....please don't let your conscience get to you. What's another little exaggeration or lie in furthering your career? As I wrote regarding Carmona's departure:

I hope it wasn't something I said......
I did call the Surgeon General a "liar", and a "little Napoleon" and then I backed up that claim with test results from the American Cancer Society; which proved secondhand smoke is up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations.

But I had no idea he would take the news so hard..........he just tendered his resignation.
I almost feel bad, I know what it feels like to be unemployed......except that mine came at the hands of the pro-smoking ban activists, who felt the need to deceive lawmakers about the facts regarding secondhand smoke......and my job loss came with no unemployment benefits or severance package. 

So while I'm packing all my belongings as the sheriff evicts us from our home, I'll briefly reflect on the former Surgeon General Carmona and quietly whisper a little prayer that starts something like this............................paybacks are a bitch.

Remember the saying Mr. Repace, what goes around......I only hope I get to read about yours as well.

Mark Wernimont (I know a great house on the foreclosure market here if you're interested)
Watertown, MN.

Thus the above exchange extinguished a budding young relationship......I feel disappointment that I may never hear from him again..........Or will I?
.....Stay tuned.

Update: This response from Repace just in:
Unfortunately, Mr. Wernimont, you have selectively appealed to authority. I repeat: if you find an error in the papers I sent you that's one thing. Appealing to the Bush OSHA, which is in bed with Big Tobacco, is another. in 1994, OSHA estimated that there were as many as 13,000 workers dying every year from SHS [U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration. 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1926, and 1928; Indoor air quality, proposed rule Fed Reg 59 # 65, Tues April 5, 1994, 15968-16039. ]. OSHA has never set a PEL for SHS. And taking individual PELs one at a time is impermissible. You have to calculate a weighted PEL for all of the compounds, which you should know before you go shooting off your mouth. The 2006 Surgeon General's report states there is "no safe level of exposure to SHS."
Well at least it's good to know that there have been no advancements by the smoking ban activists.....attempting to fight against OSHA. In other words I've heard these lame arguments before. So here we go:

Oh, contrare my well funded Nicoderm schill. Mr. Repace with all due respect I am beginning to doubt either your knowledge of OSHA permissble exposure limits.....or your sincerity.
As to your first assertion: OSHA has never set a (PEL) for secondhand smoke (as a whole), no it hasn't ...OSHA is much more precise than that; it sets a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for each individual component of secondhand smoke that might be listed as hazardous. Otherwise, to buy into your assertion, OSHA then doesn't have the authority to regulate welding smoke because there is no (PEL) for welding smoke.....there is however a (PEL) for each individual component of welding smoke that may be hazardous; examples: chromium, nickel, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead. So when OSHA comes out to inspect your local welding factory they don't measure the total smoke level, rather they measure for the individual components chromium, nickel, lead, etc. If the individual (PEL) are lower (safer) than the OSHA permissible exposure limit......then you are within regulations and allowed to continue to safely operate. The same criteria needs to apply to secondhand smoke.

I love the activist "no safe level" argument most of all, it never gets old, and it makes me wonder how mankind has survived this long with such a defeatist attitude. With that mentality Mr. Repace you had better go stick your head in the ground, to be safe. No wait, I guess you can't do that, the arsenic naturally present in the soil would be a "no safe level". In fact Mr. Repace with that line of reasoning you would have to stop breathing this instant, the CO2 levels in every breath are a health hazard. CO2 causes death in humans at a concentration of 20%.......yet there you go inhaling a potentially dangerous substance, ignoring your selective rule......"no safe level"......It's tired, it's old.....and it is quite possibly the most insincere argument you could make.
I'm sorry Mr. Repace, I perhaps overestimated your genius.....I thought for sure that anyone in your position who could garner a $300,000.00 payday from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation must be a truly remarkable however I see that the only requirement to getting a $300,000.00 or multi-million dollar grant from RWJF or the Johnson & Johnson Company directly, is to tell them what they want to hear.....even if it is pure long as the politicians buy it.
Goodbye Mr. Repace feel free to contact me anytime, but please try to come up with some semblance of credibility for your arguments the same tired, false lies are becoming boorish.

It's impressive....they are willing to come back time and time again to tell you bold faced lies.....with not a hint of shame.

Yet again Mr. Repace retorts:
Obviously, Mr. Wernimont, you are unfamiliar with 4-aminobiphenyl and beta napthylamine. You appear to have zero expertise in your subject matter.

To which I respond:
Mr. Repace I am also unfamiliar with performing open heart surgery, but I assure you that after 15 years of designing and implementing air filtration equipment in commercial and industrial buildings, while paying particular attention to meeting or exceeding OSHA regulations, I am knowledgeable enough about indoor air quality and safe guarding the health and safety of employees and occupants.
And further to note Mr. Repace, OSHA permissible exposure limits requires neither input from you or I, thus the fact that I haven't split a chromium or any other OSHA listed molecule; does not preclude me from analyzing air quality sampling data such as that which was measured by the American Cancer Society recently, and compare the results to the OSHA regulations. 
So to determine what the American Cancer Society air quality testing really tells us, we compare the test results to the OSHA permissble exposure limits.
The OSHA safe level (of nicotine) is 0.5 mg divided by ACS (test) result 20 nanograms, which is also 0.000020 of a mg. Thus, 0.5 /0.00002 = 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations. (found at the link below)

And if you'll note Mr. Repace I was able to demonstrate that even without jumping into quantum physics.
I realize you have been paid an exorbitant sum of money to ensure that politicians don't question the RWJF talking points.......but the facts are now clear, you can no longer use the "health hazard" argument.
Indoors, OSHA dictates and regulates at what level any airborne substance is considered a health hazard.....and it is now apparent from the various air quality tests that have been conducted on specific secondhand smoke components there is NO "health hazard" unless you contend that levels which are up to 25,000 safer than OSHA regulations is a health hazard. I and rational people not influenced by RWJF funding, contend they are not.

Also visit our sponsors at bottom of webpage
  • Why a Non-Smoker Fights the Pro-Smoking Ban Lies
  • Is RWJF, a 501(c)3, violating IRS rules by funding pro-smoking ban lobbyists?
  • RWJF funds and promotes universal healthcare policies which are the basis for and primary objective of Obamacare
  • Boycott these special interests (J & J) who destroyed the hospitality industry & jobs
  • Is the smoking ban movement fueled by pharmaceutical nicotine interests?
  • Now that smoking bans have been implemented, what can be done?
  • How do smoking ban lobbyists profit from smoking bans?
  • Pharmaceutical interests project the alternative nicotine marketplace to be $4.6 billion +
  • WHO report secondhand smoke doesn't cause cancer
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? NO
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? Part 2
  • Why does UCSF researcher Stanton Glantz support smoking bans?
  • OSHA standards prove SHS is not a health hazard
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