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Paint Fumes Triggered Texas Apartment Explosion, Investigators Say

A Fort Worth, Texas, man was severely burned on much of his upper torso when paint fumes that had accumulated to dangerous levels inside his apartment exploded. The explosion happened just before 5 a.m. March 12, inside the man’s apartment, Fort Worth Firefighter Mike Drivdahl told WBAP. He added that the injured man and another person were in the apartment painting when something ignited the paint fumes that had built up inside. The man is in serious condition and is being treated at the burn unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The other ... Read More

HP Expands Lithium-Ion Battery Recall Over Fire, Burn Risks

HP has expanded a recall of the lithium-ion batteries used in some of its notebook computers and mobile workstations after receiving several reports of overheating and fire-related incidents, including one burn injury. The recall covers about 78,500 lithium-ion battery packs installed in some computers or sold separately as accessories. The batteries were shipped with or sold as accessories for the following HP products: HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series, 4xx G4 series) HPx360 (310 G2) HP Pavilion x360 11-inch Notebook PC HP 11 Notebook PC HP ZBook (17 G3, and Studio G3) mobile workstations ... Read More

Two Workers Suffer Burns, Electrocution in Omaha Construction Accident

Two construction workers suffered serious burn injuries and other trauma at a construction site near downtown Omaha, Nebraska, when the bucket lift they were in made contact with power lines. Omaha’s WOWT 6 News said a police report on the March 11 accident listed the men as employees of Ronco Construction, an Omaha-based company that carries out construction projects throughout the Midwest. A witness told investigators at the scene that the boom truck made contact with a power line as the men were in the raised bucket. One of the men was ejected from the bucket and fell four stories ... Read More

E-Cigarettes Heighten Risk of Catastrophic Health Problems

E-cigarettes are widely touted as a better alternative to smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes, but are they? According to a new study published by the American College of Cardiologists, using e-cigarettes to vape nicotine can be catastrophic to your health in much the same way smoking is. The study found that e-cigarette users were 56 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 30 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than people who do not vape. Coronary artery disease and circulatory problems, including blood clots, were also much higher among those who use e-cigarettes —10 percent and 44 percent ... Read More

Landmark Mental Health Ruling Finds Top Insurer Illegally Denied Patients Coverage

Mental health patients in the U.S. scored major victory when a federal judge issued a landmark ruling against the nation’s largest health insurer, finding that it has been illegally denying coverage to policyholders seeking treatment for mental health and substance abuse. United Behavioral Health, a unit of UnitedHealthcare, “deviated” from national health care standards by implementing cost-cutting policies that effectively deprived mental health patients of access to critical, life-saving treatments, U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero found. He also suggested that the company was more intent on feeding its bottom line than providing adequate and appropriate coverage to mental health ... Read More

Proposed Overtime Rule Could Benefit 1 Million U.S. Workers

A proposed change in federal labor laws could expand overtime eligibility to more than 1 million salaried workers in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Labor proposed raising the overtime threshold to most salaried workers earning an annual salary of $35,308 or $679 per week so that employees making less than that amount would be eligible for time-and-a-half pay for any hours over 40 worked per week. Currently, the overtime threshold sits at $23,660 or $455 per week, so anyone making more than that isn’t eligible for overtime pay. The government set the current overtime threshold 15 years ago. The ... Read More

Oklahoma School Bus Crash Kills 3 People, Including Middle School Girl

Oklahoma authorities investigating a school bus crash that killed a middle school student and two others Saturday night say the crash may have been caused by a drunk driver. The fatal crash occurred near the town of Bowlegs in central Oklahoma when an SUV tried to pass the school bus on Highway 377. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the SUV was traveling in the northbound lane of the two-lane highway and entered the southbound lane to pass another vehicle. The school bus, traveling in the southbound lane, swerved into the northbound lane to avoid the SUV. At the same ... Read More

European lawmakers allowed to see scientific studies on glyphosate safety

European lawmakers will be given access to scientific studies involving glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weed killer Roundup, an E.U. court ruled. The studies were used by the European Food and Safety Agency in order to approve the use of glyphosate, but the agency refused to share the studies with lawmakers over concerns that doing so could harm the commercial interests of companies. The safety of glyphosate has been in question around the world for years. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 classified the chemical as a probable carcinogen. Last August, ... Read More

3M Water Pollution Pushes Alabama Water Utility to Seek State Loan

A north Alabama water utility still grappling with perfluorinated chemical pollution allegedly caused by the 3M plant in Decatur is asking the state to front $58 million for the construction of an advanced water filtration system. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority on its list of 59 water systems nationwide with levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) too high for safe human consumption. The water authority was one of nine water systems deemed unsafe for too-high levels of industrial pollutants stemming from 3M. The WMEL Water Authority acted on ... Read More

Air Force Official Rips Boeing Over Poorly Inspected Planes

Some top U.S. military officials are not happy with Boeing after the aircraft manufacturer delivered KC-46 air refueling tanker airplanes fresh off the assembly line, some of which were cluttered with garbage and industrial tools. Dr. Will Roper, the Air Force’s top acquisitions official, said that Boeing’s delivery of the planes to the Air Force in less than ideal condition shows the company has a “severe situation” on its hands. On Feb. 20, after discovering that some of the newly delivered tanker planes had debris and foreign objects left inside, the Air Force stopped accepting the deliveries from Boeing. Although ... Read More