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Environmental 1102 articles

Mesothelioma symposium focuses on development of patient registry

The International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, scheduled for March 25-27 in Bethesda, Maryland, gives families touched by mesothelioma a community where they can interact with clinicians, scientists and advocates as well as patients, caregivers, and other families. It also gives attendees a rare opportunity to learn more about the science of mesothelioma and advances in treatment directly from researchers and clinicians conducting these studies. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or chest. It can take years for the disease to develop. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma generally proves ... Read More

Benzene Pollution Leads to $775,000 Fine for Birmingham Coal Company

As Alabama coal company that was belching more than 10 times the amount of benzene it had been reporting to state and federal regulators will pay $775,000 in penalties. Birmingham, Alabama-based Drummond Company, one of Alabama’s largest coal operations, agreed to the settlement eight years after the Jefferson County Board of Health inspectors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that the company’s foundry coke facilities were releasing hazardous levels of benzene into the air. According to the County and the EPA, both of which have gone to great lengths to shield Drummond from the community’s concerns, the company ... Read More

UM faces dozens of asbestos exposure-related claims

Most people could have expected that it would be only a matter of time before those exposed to cancer-causing asbestos at the University of Montana took legal action. Just weeks after the discovery of asbestos in an air duct led to testing that revealed levels of asbestos in the air at McGill Hall far exceeded levels considered safe by federal standards, 32 asbestos-related claims were filed against the university by faculty, staff and/or student workers. The scare prompted the University of Montana to test areas within the building, after which which the school relocated 47 preschoolers to the College of ... Read More

Woman helps factory workers seek compensation for benzene exposure

Sherry Roe was with her father for his chemotherapy treatment when she made the connection between her father’s terminal cancer and the company where he worked for 28 years. “He’s sitting there talking to a guy on either side of him and they’re all cutting up. They’re all there getting chemo and they all had the same disease,” she told the Kokomo Tribune. “I said, ‘Dad, who are those men?’ He said, ‘This guy’s my foreman and this guy worked in the department with me.’ That’s when it hit me. Something big is going on.” The men all worked at ... Read More

Husband testifies how mesothelioma has crippled his wife

Dean J. Mcelroy cried when he told a California jury how his wife Teresa Leavitt was the life of the party, how she coached their daughters’ volleyball team even though she didn’t know how to play. He talked about how her outgoing personality complemented his reserved demeanor. “Terry saved me from a life of loneliness,” he said. But in 2017, everything changed when Leavitt went to the doctor with back pain. He discovered a baseball-sized tumor in her chest. It was mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure that develops in the lining of internal organs. She ... Read More

Next Roundup trial to begin Feb. 25

When the next lawsuit alleging Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma goes to trial next week, the first phase will delve into the scientific evidence. But what the plaintiff’s attorneys can’t say in that portion of the trial is that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) intergovernmental agency on cancer research classifies Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Last month, District Judge Vince Chhabria, who oversees about 680 cases in the federal litigation involving Roundup claims, split the trial into two parts. The first phase will focus on whether plaintiff Edward Hardeman’s cancer diagnosis was caused by his ... Read More

J&J subpoenaed over concerns about asbestos in talc

Johnson & Johnson was hit by subpoenas from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding safety concerns with its talcum powders. The consumer health care giant says it plans to comply with the subpoenas, which were revealed in an annual report filed with the SEC, as well as with Sen. Patty Murry’s request last month that it produce documents related to whether its talcum powders, including its signature Johnson’s Baby Powder, contain cancer-causing asbestos. The requests for information come after a December Reuters investigation that revealed internal documents showed the company was aware for decades ... Read More

Attorneys General petition EPA to require reporting of asbestos

The Attorneys General of 14 states and the District of Columbia petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue an asbestos reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain necessary information regarding the importation, manufacturing, processing, distribution, use and disposal of cancer-causing asbestos. The petition comes as the EPA, under the Trump administration, announced a significant new use rule that will allow for new uses of asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and friction materials. Its use was restricted in the United States in the 1980s. It had been known for decades ... Read More

India states restrict use, sale of Roundup herbicide

The government of the India state of Kerala on the tropical Malabar Coast has banned the sale and use of Monsanto’s Roundup and all other weed killers containing glyphosate, and ordered that pesticides be sold only by prescription from a government agriculture official. The decision comes just months after government officials in India’s Punjab announced it would ban the sale and use of all weed killers containing glyphosate, citing its “harmful effects on human health.” Punjab’s Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee recommended in June that the herbicide be used only in tea gardens and non-crop areas. Since the state has ... Read More

Little can be done for children exposed to asbestos at preschool

The effects of asbestos exposure in children who attended a preschool at McGill Hall at the University of Montana (UM) won’t be known for another 10 to 40 years, and “there is nothing medically that can be done for them on an immediate time frame,” other than avoiding additional asbestos exposure, said Paul Smith, a pediatric pulmonologist. In December, a technician discovered crumbled asbestos in an air system that serves three offices in McGill Hall. Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in building materials like insulation until the 1980s, when health risks associated with asbestos exposure were better ... Read More