Environmental 1020 articles

Germany to ban use of glyphosate-containing weed killers

Germany is limiting the use of weed killers that contain the chemical glyphosate with a goal of ending use of the products in the near future amid fears that glyphosate may cause cancer in those exposed to the chemical, Environmental Minister Svenja Schulze said. The environmental ministry will also demand new nature conservation requirements for the approval process of herbicides because, Schulze said, “If other perhaps more damaging pesticides are used instead of glyphosate, the environmental won’t be any better off.” Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Roundup is ... Read More

Bayer CEO says he would consider settling Roundup lawsuits

Bayer AG CEO Werner Baumann said the company might consider settling lawsuits alleging Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killers cause cancer if court costs rise, but emphasized that Bayer’s priority was defending itself against the claims. Bayer acquired Monsanto earlier this year for $63 billion. The company faces more than 8,700 lawsuits alleging its herbicides that contain the active ingredient glyphosate like Roundup and Ranger Pro cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In August, a California jury awarded $289 million to a school groundskeeper who sued the company after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. “If we can settle nuisances at some point where the ... Read More

Judge discourages individual screenings of potential Roundup jurors

Monsanto shouldn’t individually screen jurors “as if it were a death penalty case,” for two upcoming bellwether trials involving consumer claims that its herbicide Roundup caused their cancer, a California judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) said. Instead, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria suggested that the parties screen a pool of about 500 potential jurors to see if they were able to commit about a month of their time to sit for the trials, and that the parties come up with questions that the court could send the potential jurors before questioning them as a group. Attorneys for Monsanto raised ... Read More

School groundskeeper accepts reduced $78 million Roundup award

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson wanted to send a message to Monsanto that it was wrong. This summer, he took the company to court alleging Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers contained a toxic ingredient that contributed to his terminal cancer diagnosis. He claimed Monsanto knew of the risks but failed to warn the public. As a school groundskeeper, Johnson was accidentally drenched in the chemicals twice. When he called the company to ask if he should be concerned for his health, they promised to get back to him but never did. When he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he took ... Read More

Doctor to study firefighters exposed to toxic fumes from Aliso Canyon gas leak

It goes against the grain of a firefighter to complain about his health. But over time, a group of about 50 firefighters who served as first responders during the Aliso Canyon gas leak three years ago began to notice they were suffering the same symptoms, like headaches, fatigue, bloody noses, insomnia and high blood pressure. They became concerned that exposure to the gas may have harmed their health, so they reached out to physician Dr. Jeffrey Nordella, who decided to conduct a study despite not having funding to do so. About 28 of the firefighters took a medical survey. Many ... Read More

J&J revamps baby line to win back sales

Johnson & Johnson is revamping its Johnson’s baby product line, starting with removing the chemical dye from its golden-colored baby shampoo. The company is also making updates to the packaging of its baby products and rolling out a new digital marketing campaign in an effort to regain the dominancy it held for decades in the baby-care market. J&J jumped into the baby-care market as an afterthought. The company was founded in 1886 as a supplier of medical products like bandages and plasters. But removing them was painful, so the company’s chief scientist offered talcum powder to soothe the skin. Parents ... Read More

Asbestos industry wants to reverse restrictions, bans on cancer-causing mineral

Representatives of the chrysotile asbestos industry from Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and other countries gathered in Kazakhstan recently for the International Trade Union Conference on Chrysotile Asbestos and Safety. The conference’s goal was to discuss the implementation of new ways of protecting occupational health and creating more efficient safety systems in all areas of industry, including the chrysotile industry. The conference was organized by the Industry Council of the Trade Union of Workers of the Construction Sector and Housing and Utilities Sector of Kazakhstan, and the International Trade Union Alliance for Chrysotile. “Protecting the occupational health of workers in the chrysotile ... Read More

SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Facilities Still Feared Hazard Despite Well Closures

Three years after the worst gas leak in U.S. history forced the closure of Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) storage facilities at Aliso Canyon, nearly half the wells operating before the massive methane leak are closed after state regulators determined they are no longer safe to operate. Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Daily News show that of the 114 wells SoCalGas built to inject and withdraw natural gas at its Aliso Canyon site, 51 have been taken out of operation due to safety concerns, and another three wells have been permanently sealed. According to the Daily News, state records show ... Read More

Smokers, workers exposed to asbestos from Kent-brand cigarettes

In the 1950s, the Lorillard Tobacco Co., advertised in the former New York Daily News that its Kent-brand cigarettes were the safest smokes in town with an exclusive micronite filter that removed seven times more nicotine and tars than any other leading cigarette filter. The filters were so pure they were ideal for sensitive smokers, the company claimed. The company even encouraged consumers to try them for a week or two to give them “time enough to allow your taste to adjust to so much less irritants in the smoke.” What the company didn’t tell consumers is that its exclusive ... Read More

Workers, women seek compensation for asbestos-related cancer

The initial reaction to a cancer diagnosis is often shock and disbelief, and it’s not uncommon for patients to try to understand why their cancer developed in the first place, according to the consumer publication CURE (Cancer Updates, Research & Education). Ovarian cancer and mesothelioma victims often find out too late that they were exposed to the carcinogenic mineral asbestos either at the workplace or from using talcum powder products. Ovarian cancer is the most deadly form of cancer of the female reproductive organs. Studies suggest using talcum powder products on the genitals for feminine hygiene could put women at ... Read More