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Imerys files for bankruptcy amid mounting talc litigation

Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to protect itself against more than 14,600 lawsuits in the U.S. that claim its talc causes cancer. Imerys Talc Vermont and Imerys Talc Canada Inc., also filed for bankruptcy. All three are subsidiaries of Paris-based Imerys SA. The filing will enable the companies to establish a trust to fund current and future claims. All lawsuits against the company involving cancer claims will also be centralized under one judge. “After carefully evaluating all possible options, we determined pursuing Chapter 11 protection is the best ... Read More

Fracking Company Antero Pays $3.15M to Settle West Virginia Water Pollution Allegations

Antero Resources Corporation agreed to pay the U.S. government and state of West Virginia $3.15 million for violations of the Clean Water Act that allegedly polluted the environment in 32 locations across northern West Virginia. The settlement underscores some of the environmental hazards that the fracking industry is unleashing on public lands. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antero illegally disposed of dredged and fill materials used in the fracking process into U.S. waters or near sites where the company had constructed well pads, compressor stations, impoundments, pipeline crossings, access roads, and other structures associated with its hydraulic fracturing ... Read More

U.S. Government Sues Lockheed Martin, Alleging Hanford Nuclear Cleanup Fraud

The notorious Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington has been mired in fraud and corruption for decades, ever since the U.S. government started paying contractors billions of dollars to clean up and convert 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge. On Feb. 8, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it has lodged a False Claims Act lawsuit against Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, alleging the company and its executives used a $232 million support contract for nuclear waste disposal to enrich themselves. According to federal prosecutors, Lockheed Martin engaged in a fraudulent kickback scheme by paying more than $1 million to ... Read More

Tens of thousands of asbestos fibers found in majority of talc samples

A scientist who heads a company that specializes in detecting microscopic asbestos fibers in samples of talc said he found up to 55,000 fibers of the carcinogenic mineral per gram in six out of seven samples from a Korean talc mine, which means that a 10-ounce bottle of talcum powder could contain as much as 14 million asbestos fibers, Law360 reported. The scientist, William Longo, is an electron microscopist who serves as president of Material Analytical Services, a company that specializes in finding near-invisible bits of asbestos in various samples. His equipment is highly sensitive – far more so than ... Read More

Columbia sued for covering up obstetrician’s sexual abuse

Columbia University and its associated hospitals “actively and deliberately” – and inexplicably – covered up the sexual abuse of several patients by one of its obstetricians, according to a lawsuit filed by 17 women. Instead, the university and hospitals “continued to grant Robert Hadden unfettered access to vulnerable, unsuspecting, pregnant and non-pregnant female patients,” the lawsuit claims. The women claim that under the guise of performing medical exams Hadden licked them, digitally penetrated their vaginas without gloves, and fondled their breasts and anuses. Only one plaintiff, Marissa Hoechstetter, has revealed her name, a decision she said she made after years ... Read More

Canadian parliament member calls for independent safety review of glyphosate

Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) Carol Hughes is pressing the Canadian government to conduct an independent review of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, to determine the effects of the herbicide on users and whether the chemical can cause cancer. “There was a presentation made at a meeting I recently attended, and one of the lawyers on hand had argued the case in the U.S. that their client, a groundskeeper, had been exposed to the herbicide glyphosate in Roundup and has terminal cancer. It is believed it is caused by years of his exposure to glyphosate,” said ... Read More

Israeli Burn Care Device Treats Wound Without Physical Contact

Any burn injury survivor will tell you that the treatment of serious burns is an excruciating process, especially when it comes to dressing the wound – a procedure that usually must be repeated daily. But an Israeli nanotechnology company aims to provide more burn patients with needed relief with its new breakthrough medical device that treats burns without ever touching the patient. Nanomedic Technologies Ltd, based in the Tel Aviv area, says its SpinCare device spares patients the intense and traumatic pain of dressing changes by covering the burn with an advanced polymer solution that stays on the wound and ... Read More

Regulatory Rollbacks Put Profits Over Public Health, Environment

Coal, oil, gas and other big industrial polluters are poised to make billions of dollars in added profits due to the Trump Administration’s environmental and safety rollbacks, but an Associated Press analysis of government records reveals the price Americans will pay in lives lost and health. The AP looked at 11 major rules on the Trump Administration’s chopping block and calculated the cost those regulatory rollbacks would have in terms of environmental and human health, using the administration’s own estimates. The news agency found an alarming upswing in the number of premature deaths, air-pollution-induced illnesses, climate-warming emissions, and severe train ... Read More

Meso Foundation grantee to study why some patients don’t respond to treatment

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) has awarded a research grant to designed to identify biomarkers that will help pinpoint which pleural mesothelioma patients would respond better to combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy before they undergo therapy in order to prevent unnecessary toxicities and waste of precious treatment time. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, a rare but deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs and can take up to 50 years to develop. Once diagnosed, the prognosis is generally poor with most patients dying within 12 to 24 ... Read More

Landscaper hit with steep OSHA fine after tragic wood chipper accident

Justus Booze had never been anywhere near a wood chipper before showing up to work in May 2016 for a landscaping job. His help wasn’t really needed. “It wasn’t a huge job,” said Tony Watson, owner of Countryside Tree Care. “I liked Justice and wanted to help him out.” But May 4, 2016, turned suddenly tragic when Booze was dragged headfirst into a Bandit 250 wood chipper with metal blades that spun so fast and powerfully they could shred two-foot massive logs in a mere second. Booze died from severe sharp force and shredding injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health ... Read More