Category

Environmental 1020 articles

Renovators of historic hotel cited for improper handling of asbestos

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries fined three companies involved in renovations of the historic Otis Hotel in downtown Spokane nearly $140,000 for mishandling toxic asbestos in the old hotel. Curtis Rystadt purchased the building for $1.4 million in June 2017. His company, Hos and Boz LLC, and Santiago’s Handyman Services, both of Oregon, were hit with a $24,500 fine for violating eight serious and three general worker safety rules, and an additional $45,000 for serious violations regarding hazardous materials. Both companies have appealed the fines. Kent, Washington-based 4 Aces Restoration was hit with a $200 fine for ... Read More

Florida manufacturer fined $400,000 for worker safety violations

Hialeah, Florida-based PGT Industries Inc., operating as CGI Windows and Doors Inc., was hit with nearly $400,000 in fines by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following an inspection prompted after an employee at the plant suffered a partial finger amputation while working on an unguarded punch press. The penalties include the maximum amount allowed by law for worker safety violations that can cause life-altering injury, OSHA said in a statement. The window and door manufacturer was cited for failing to implement a program to inspect mechanical power presses and correct unsafe conditions, and failing to ... Read More

First Roundup trial in federal court to begin February 2019

U.S. District Judge Vince Chaabria selected the first federal trial accusing Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killers of causing cancer. The case of California resident Edwin Hardeman will be tried as a bellwether among more than 620 pending in the federal litigation in February 2019. The trial is scheduled six months after the first case among more than 9,000 went to trial in a California state court. School groundskeeper DeWayne “Lee” Jackson was awarded $289 million after a jury found that his regular use of Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His award was later reduced ... Read More

Asbestos victim advocates call on G20 leaders to ban asbestos

As 20 of the world’s leaders gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina this week for the G20 summit to address global economic growth, international trade, and the regulation of financial markets, “there will certainly be much talk about markets, labor and more,” says Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). “I feel it is important that these leaders speak about the fact that seven G20 nations – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, and the U.S. – are still mining, exporting, importing, and/or using asbestos, a known and deadly carcinogen.” Reinstein is a champion for victims of asbestos, ... Read More

$192 Million BP Oil Spill Funds Going to Alabama’s Two Coastal Counties

BP oil spill funds intended to aid in the recovery of the Gulf Coast are ready to be invested in Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey said in an announcement Monday. According to Gov. Ivey, the U.S. Treasury Department has approved Alabama’s plan to invest the funds. The $192.4 million injection of cash will be dispersed among 15 projects proposed by Alabama’s Multiyear Implementation Plan for Gulf Coast Recovery developed by the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council. All of the projects proposed by the AGCR are located in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, which together form Alabama’s entire section of Gulf Coast. The ... Read More

Oil Dispersants Used In Deepwater Horizon Spill Likely Did More Harm Than Good

The chemical oil dispersants BP used in its response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill did little to mitigate the massive spill and likely did more harm than good, researchers from the University of Miami found. A study led by a research team from the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science analyzed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the most toxic components of petroleum, from samples taken within a six-mile radius of the Deepwater Horizon blowout site. Despite 3,000 tons (about 770,000 gallons) of Corexit oil dispersants injected near the well head, substantial amounts of oil continued to surface ... Read More

Decontamination kits donated to Florida firefighters

Firefighters are at greater risk than the general public of developing cancer because they often come in contact with carcinogenic fumes, like benzene which can cause blood cancers like acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and materials like asbestos that can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of internal organs like the lungs. In an effort to reduce this risk among firefighters, the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center distributed 4,000 decontamination kits to fire departments across the state. Up to 85 percent of the soot can be removed from the firefighter’s ... Read More

EPA draft questions safety of nonstick chemical compounds

Long-term exposure to a chemical compound used in nonstick coatings for products like pans, fast-food wrappers and firefighting foam, even in trace amounts, appears to be dangerous to humans, according to a draft released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The chemical compound known as GenX was designed to be safer than previous stick- and stain-resistant compounds, known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalyl substances). The older versions have been found in dangerous levels in drinking water supplies across the country. That family of chemicals has been phased out of manufacturing in the U.S. due to health concerns. But EPA’s draft ... Read More

Alabama woman files asbestos lawsuit against several manufacturers

Alabama resident Shirley Sanders, on behalf of the estate of her late husband Mac Arthur Sanders, filed a lawsuit against nearly two dozen manufacturers in St. Clair County Circuit Court in Illinois, alleging products manufactured by the companies contained cancer causing asbestos and contributed to her husband’s lung cancer diagnosis. The lawsuit names, in part, Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, Goulds Pumps Inc., and Lamons Gasket Company, companies that manufactured products Mac Arthur Sanders worked with. Shirley Sanders claims that microscopic asbestos fibers emanated from some of the products manufactured by the companies. Those airborne fibers were inhaled or ingested ... Read More

Two conductors sue railroad for contributing to their cancer diagnoses

Two conductors have filed a lawsuit in Coeur d’Alene (Iowa) First District Court against Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad for allegedly exposing them to toxic fumes and materials, which they say caused them to develop cancer and other illnesses. John Hluboky was a conductor at BNSF in Hauser from 1977 to 1998. He now has colon cancer. Hal Chapman was a conductor at BNSF in Hauser from 2006 to 2016. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer. According to the lawsuit, both men say that their cancers were caused by dangerous fumes they were regularly exposed to while working on ... Read More