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Environmental 895 articles

Concern for environmental issues is not new to Beasley Allen. While serving as Lt. Governor for the State of Alabama, in 1971 the firm’s future Principal & Founder Jere Beasley vowed to take control of pollution laws out of the hands of big utilities and special interest groups, and put it back into the hands of the average citizen.

Protection of people and their property from large corporate polluters is still our top priority. A unique feature of our growing environmental toxic tort practice is the ability to represent a large number of people harmed by damage to their property. Our attorneys are fighting to make a difference in the lives of those threatened by environmental toxins that contaminate waterways, soil and wildlife, endangering human health and life.

New registry to track cancer risk in firefighters

President Donald Trump has signed into law the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, designed to centralize data into a registry to help firefighters and medical professionals understand the links between cancer and firefighting in an attempt to reduce firefighters’ cancer risk and identify better treatment options. Firefighters come in contact with hazardous chemicals and materials, including benzene, asbestos and diesel exhaust. Benzene is a commonly used chemical that has been linked to adverse events. Long-term exposure to benzene has been linked to leukemia. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was commonly used until the 1980s in building materials including insulation. Asbestos ... Read More

Worker’s Widow Sues Colonial Pipeline Over Deadly 2016 Explosion

Colonial Pipeline is facing more legal trouble in the wake of its deadly 2016 pipeline explosion near Pelham, Alabama, that killed two workers and seriously injured five others. A new lawsuit filed July 9 in a Fulton County, Georgia State Court accuses Colonial Pipeline and a contractor of wrongful death, negligence, and wantonness, among other charges, in connection to the Oct. 31, 2016 explosion, according to the Daily Report. The lawsuit was filed by the widow of one of the workers killed in the blast and another worker who was seriously injured. The plaintiffs allege that a Colonial Pipeline project ... Read More

Woman blames fracking for high levels of benzene in son’s blood

A Denver woman appeared at the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission meeting and asked them to explain why her 6-year-old son’s blood tested positive for toxic levels of cancer-causing chemicals. “If it isn’t the proximity of 158 wells that are within a one-mile radius of my home and my son’s school, then where would you say this level of exposure to this environmental carcinogen is coming from? Where?” she asked. Elizabeth Ewaskowitz was worried about her son’s health and wondered if the nearby fracking could be a risk to her young child. Fracking is the process of injecting liquid at ... Read More

Industry workers more likely at risk for benzene exposure

Factory workers where steel or rubber is made or processed; workers in the printing industry or who work around printing inks; fire fighters who come in contact with toxic smoke; and workers in gas stations, shoe making or repair, and who work in laboratories may be exposed to the highest levels of benzene. The chemical has been linked to serious health complications, including blood cancers like leukemia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Benzene is one of the most widely used chemicals in the U.S., and is mainly used as an agent in the manufacturing of other ... Read More

Fire fighters at greater risk of cancer

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) erected the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Wall of Honor in 1986 to recognize and honor past and future professional fire fighters and emergency medical professional killed in the line of duty. More than half of the fire fighters named on the Wall of Honor since 2002 died from cancer, according to IAFF. “The toxic environments in which fire service members live and work have long been suspected to have an adverse effect on fire fighter health, and studies have backed that up,” the organization states on its website. Fire fighters routinely come in ... Read More

Jobs that put workers at increased risk for cancer

The rate of workplace-related cancers has declined in recent years due to an increase in safety regulations, with about 4 percent of cancers in the United States attributed to occupational exposure to carcinogens in the workplace, according to the American Cancer Society. Certain occupations, such as manufacturing, have been associated with a greater risk for cancer than others. Here is a look at some of the jobs that put workers at an increased risk for cancer. Construction – Construction workers are more likely than those in other professions to be exposed to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly ... Read More

Cancer risk greater for people living near oil and gas wells

People who live within 500 feet of oil and gas wells face a lifetime excess cancer risk eight times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s threshold due to harmful air pollutants like benzene, according to a new study by the Colorado School of Public Health. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, used ambient air samples to estimate and compare risks for four residential areas. Populations within 500 feet of an oil and gas facility faced a cancer risk that exceeded 8.3 per 10,000. The EPA’s upper threshold for cancer risk is 1 in 10,000. “Our ... Read More

Pregnant women living near natural gas sites have elevated benzene in urine

Twenty-nine pregnant women living near major natural gas well sites in Canada had 3.5 times more benzene byproducts in their urine compared to those not living near the wells, according to researchers with the Université de Montréal. The 14 participants who were native to the area had six times the normal level of benzene in their urine. Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid that is widely used as an agent in the manufacturing of other chemicals, such as plastics, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, solvents, and as a gasoline additive. It can be released during hydraulic facturing or fracking. Benzene has been ... Read More

‘Fixer Upper’ stars hit with EPA fines for violating lead paint rules

HGTV “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, have agreed to pay $200,000 in fines and upgrades, and to inform their audience about the dangers of lead-based paint to settle allegations brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding violations of the safe handling of lead paint during their televised home renovations. As part of the settlement, the Gaineses and their home renovation company Magnolia Homes will pay $40,000 in civil penalties and an additional $160,000 to abate lead-based paint hazards in homes and child-occupied facilities in Waco, Texas. Furthermore, the couple will ensure that their company is in compliance ... Read More

Benzene exposure linked to cognitive problems

People exposed to chemical fumes such as benzene at their workplace may suffer from memory and cognitive problems years later, according to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For the study, researchers gauged lifetime exposure of more than 2,000 French national utility workers to chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, and benzene. Chlorinated solvents are used in dry cleaning solutions, engine cleaners, paint removers and degreasers. Petroleum solvents can be found in carpet glue, furniture polishes, paint, paint thinners, and varnish. Benzene is used to make plastics, rubber, dye, detergents and other synthetic materials. ... Read More