"A newly appointed member to a top U.S. EPA advisory panel suggested in 2012 that children need exposure to contaminated air to help their lungs ward off pollutants, according to a profile by a leading scientific organization.
'Modern air is a little too clean for optimum health,' Robert Phalen, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in a 'member spotlight' posted to the organization's website.
The profile says Phalen believes clean air is 'not good for the children, whose lungs need a few irritants to learn how to ward them off.'
In a news release today, EPA confirmed Phalen, founder of an air pollution laboratory at the university, has been picked for the agency's Science Advisory Board, which provides outside expertise on a variety of topics. His comments to AAAS were first reported by Newsweek. He could not be reached for comment this morning."