Natalie Cone

526 posts

Natalie Cone is a freelance writer from Birmingham, Alabama. As a nature enthusiast and mother of two boys, she publishes articles about all things outdoors and blogs about the mishaps of motherhood. Her fiction short stories have won three first-place contest awards, and have appeared in various magazine publications and anthologies. You can connect with her at, on Facebook at, or on twitter @nataliecone.

Firefighters Sue Maker of Siren Over Alleged Hearing Loss

Five firefighters in Clearwater, Florida, have filed a lawsuit against the maker of the truck siren, claiming the blaring noise is to blame for their hearing loss. Pat Scanlon, a 64-year-old retiree from Clearwater Fire & Rescue, has trouble sleeping due to the phantom sirens that scream in his ears when he goes to bed at night. “And when I wake up, it’s still there,” Scanlon told the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s constant.” The lawsuit accuses the manufacturer, Federal Signal Corp, of producing a siren that is inherently hazardous, saying they should have tested the product before selling it. The suit ... Read More

FDA website filled with reports of Physiomesh complications

Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been facing a growing number of complaints about its Physiomesh product, a mesh device used to repair hernias. However, reports on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website indicate the public isn’t hearing the whole story. The FDA’s website is riddled with complaint after complaint about Physiomesh failing, allegedly causing infection or injury: 11/30/2011: “Patient had mesh implanted. Patient returned to surgery 13 days later because mesh was infected” 10/30/2012: “Patient returned to surgery. Mesh was noted to be pulled from suture line. Mesh had been in place for approximately 1 week. Mesh ... Read More

First Fracking Permit Signed in Illinois

Environmentalists lost a four-year fight when Illinois regulators signed the first fracking permit to Woolsey Operating Company on Aug. 31, 2017, reports The Pointer. Fracking, a drilling method in which drilling penetrates a mile into the earth, then turns to drill horizontally for several more, is controversial to many because of the toxins released into the ground during the process. The drilling spot, referred to as a well, is pressurized with a mixture of water, sand and other chemicals until small cracks form in the underground stone. After the well is set up, oil or gas is extracted, particularly methane, which is ... Read More

Study: Scented Candles as Toxic as Diesel Exhaust Fumes

According to a study, many scented candles emit carcinogenic chemicals comparable to diesel exhaust fumes. Scented candles are popular in most households, used to create a pleasant atmosphere or cover odors. Many scented candles are made containing benzene, toluene, and lead, which are known carcinogens. In one study, the emissions from a burning candle, whether clean or sooty, were found to be full of toxins. The study also indicated the candles may increase the blood lead levels in children. “The fine particulate matter collected from candle emissions was similar to that of diesel engine exhaust in particle size, morphology, elemental carbon content, ... Read More

Cleanup of Leaky Underground Storage Tanks May be Neglected Due to Federal Cuts

The cleanup of nearly 200 sites of leaky underground gasoline storage tanks may come to a halt due to federal budget cuts. In the state of Nevada, around 14,000 underground storage tanks (USTs) are registered with state authorities. More than 4,600 are still in use, and state environmental officials have begun cleanup efforts at nearly 200 sites where leaky tanks are located throughout the state. Just since last May, 6 new cases of leaking gas tanks have been reported, including one in a petroleum park in the rural area of Eureka, and five more in Clark County, The Nevada Independent reports. ... Read More

Residents Near Battery Plant Demand State-Funded Cleanup

The residents living near a former battery plant in Los Angeles, California are reaching out to the state demanding help for the cleanup of toxins. According to, within a 1.5-mile radius of the old Exide battery plant, nearly 10,000 homes are confirmed to have contaminated soil from the plant’s pollution. Cleanup crews have already been working for a year to clear up some of the lead, arsenic and benzene, but the funding is quickly running out. Benzene is a known carcinogen linked to life-threatening diseases such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), lymphomas and aplastic anemia. For Maria Ortega, ... Read More

Kansas Man Files Lawsuit Over Injuries Linked to IVC Filter

A Kansas man who says he was injured by an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Donald B. is accusing the maker of his IVC filter, C.R. Bard, of selling a defective device, downplaying its risks, and failing to warn about its dangers, the Daily Hornet reports. Donald was implanted with an Eclipse temporary, retrievable IVC filter on May 10, 2012, for the purpose of catching blood clots in its cage-like tines. The filter was inserted into his inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body, to intercept the clots before they reached the ... Read More

Study: Use of Synthetic Mesh Leads to Higher Failure Rates

A new study suggests that using a synthetic mesh product to repair a contaminated incisional hernia will likely have a higher rate of failure. According to the study published by PubMed last week, biological mesh should be considered first over synthetic mesh for a potentially contaminated hernia, which has a high rate of failure. Common synthetic mesh material are made from polytetrafluoroethylene or polypropylene, woven to create a kind of fabric that the body is expected to accept internally once implanted. Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon is currently under fire for its Physiomesh hernia repair device made of polypropylene that has resulted in ... Read More

Pollution from Lawn Equipment Considered Heath Concern

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared lawn equipment to be a health hazard due to the high level of pollution emitted while in use. According to the EPA, toxic emissions in 2016 from small engines such as mowers and blowers were 81 percent as high as the emissions from standard sedans. By 2020, it’s likely that small engines will contribute more to the smog issue than cars, particularly in the Los Angeles area. tells the story of Fredi Dubon, who quit his job to save his health after working five years for a landscaping crew. Sometimes the workday dragged on ... Read More

Parents of 8-year-old Boy Killed by Trash Hauler Files Lawsuit

The parents of an 8-year-old boy killed by a trash hauler has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company, claiming they are responsible for their son’s death. The OCWeekly reports that in May 2016, Brock McCann, a third-grader at Newport Beach Heights Elementary School, was riding home from school on his bike when he was struck by a CR&R trash hauler. The truck had just turned onto 15th Street and allegedly drove through a crosswalk without stopping. Patrick and Bernardette McCann , the boy’s parents, blame the driver, Roberto Zermeno Pedroza, for looking only to the left, but not to the right, before the turn was ... Read More