Kenneth G. Brown

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Kenneth G. Brown is a tobacco consultant at Chapel Hill, and supposedly a specialist in health statistics and human health risk assessment.

Don't confuse him with Kenneth P. Brown of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute who is also commonly called Ken Brown.

This Ken Brown performed meta-analyses on cancer rates in 1992, 1995, and is listed as one of the authors of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 1992 risk assessment on second-hand smoke, titled The Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders [1]. This formal Risk Assessment ranked second-hand tobacco smoke a Group A Human carcinogen -- the same rating EPA gives to radon gas, asbestos and vinyl chloride.

Kenneth G. Brown drafted the chapter on lung cancer -- possibly with the assistance of Douglas Crawford-Brown (a physicist with expertise in radon)

Documents & TimeLine

1962 Kenneth G. Brown received his B.A. degree in 1962 from Duke University,


1969 He earned hhis M.A. from American University in 1969


1972 Received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1972.


1978-85 he was as an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maine.


1985 At Meridian Research.


1989 June 16 He appears to be a private consultant working on the EPA's risk assessment of second hand smoke with Douglas Crawford-Brown. He has replied to Steven Bayard's query and Bayard has passed it on to Philip Morris.[2]


1989 Nov 21 Maurice LeVois is writing to another shonky tobacco scientist, Larry C Holcomb with some notes about the Society for Risk Analysis annual meeting in Washington. He is writing on HES - Health & Environmental Sciences -- West letterhead from San Francisco (HES is the George Carlo operation). The letter has been copied to Kay Thomas at the Tobacco Institute.

He say he has been working with S. James Kilpatrick on a paper criticising Slattery et al. He also details the value of Bruce Ames to the tobacco industry, and includes a crit of Ken Brown [3]


1990 Oct 8 This is a record of the Society for Risk Analysis which has had its Annual meeting in New Orleans. Speakers at the session on Risk Assessment of ETS:


1996 A BAT training document says:

Recently, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) contracted Kenneth G. Brown, one of the primary authors of EPA's risk assessment on ETS, to prepare a report entitled the "1995 Meridian Report".

The Meridian report includes in its meta-analysis two major studies on lung cancer (Brownson et al, and Stockwell et al) that were both published in 1992, prior to the formal release of the EPA report.

Unlike the EPA estimate of risk by the process of meta-analysis, the Meridian report (including these two studies ignored by the EPA and therefore based on 13 US studies) does not report a statistically significant increase in risk of lung cancer associated with spousal exposure to ETS. The risk figure reported is 1.09, compared to the EPA's 1.19, and is not statistically significant.

[This was highly disputable. The Meridian report did conclude that workplace ETS exposure increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, and that there is a causal relationship between spousal ETS exposure and heart disease in nonsmokers.

However, these conclusions were not based on any new analysis of the evidence, including meta-analysis, but reflected the author's own judgement of the results of the existing epidemiological studies.

The tobacco industry used these facts to contend later that the EPA's risk assessment was biased.] [5]

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