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Colorado health officials discourage blood-testing for benzene

Colorado health officials want people living near oil and gas refineries to stop having their blood tested for cancer-causing benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), arguing that the best way to deal with the public health threat is to monitor the environment. Residents living near drilling sites in western Colorado have raised concerns about the fumes that the refineries emit and how they might affect their health. As a result, they have taken their health into their own hands, having their blood tested at laboratories. Marion Wells of Rulison said she has her blood tested regularly, and that her ... Read More

News reporter shares story of daughter’s tragic drug overdose

Sioux Falls, South Dakota television news reporter Angela Kennecke is sharing her story of the tragic loss of her daughter to a drug overdose to remind others that the opioid epidemic can affect anyone. Kennecke’s daughter’s struggle with opioid addiction wasn’t a surprise. On May 16, Kennecke was drafting letters to her daughter Emily for a drug intervention. Kennecke had noticed that her beautiful, blond-haired daughter had become enamored by the drug culture and hanging out with questionable friends. Her appearance changed, and she stopped showing up at family gatherings. When Kennecke found out that one of Emily’s friends had ... Read More

Duke Energy Dump Spills Tons of Coal Ash in Florence Floods

Toxic coal ash from a shuttered Duke Energy plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, was released from a primitive dump as heavy rains from Hurricane Florence lashed the coast. As of Monday, the city of Wilmington was inaccessible by land due to widespread catastrophic flooding in the city and surrounding areas, so Duke Energy and state environmental officials haven’t determined how far the spilled coal ash – enough to fill about 180 dump trucks – has migrated. According to the Associated Press, the toxic coal ash from Duke Energy’s L.V. Sutton Power Station “likely flowed into the Cape Fear River.” With waterways ... Read More

No Indemnification for Tom Cruise Movie Producers in Airplane Crash Litigation

Four movie production companies seeking to be released from any potential awards or judgments against them in a body of airplane crash litigation have had their case dismissed by a Georgia federal judge. The production companies, Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Quadrant Pictures and Vendian Entertainment, are embroiled in lawsuits blaming them for a fatal airplane crash on the set of the Tom Cruise movie “American Made.” Judge Michael Brown of Georgia’s Northern District, where the production companies wanted to shift all liability to the maintenance company that maintained the doomed airplane, said the plaintiffs should wait until the lawsuits ... Read More

FDA Gets Aggressive With E-Cigarette Industry, Says Youth Vaping Now Epidemic

Federal regulators gave e-cigarette manufacturers 60 days to prove they can keep their vaping devices out of the hands of children and teens. If they fail, flavored nicotine e-liquids may soon be a thing of the past The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Sept. 12 announcement has put the giant vaping industry on edge, and rightfully so. Research shows that children and teens make up a significant and continually growing share of the vaping market. Kids who otherwise never would have started smoking are now hooked on e-cigarettes, thanks to the accessibility of the devices and the alluring flavors that ... Read More

’60 Minutes’ executive producer steps down amid sexual misconduct allegations

A rainstorm of sexual misconduct accusations at CBS has brought down another top executive. CBS News president David Rhodes announced Wednesday in a memo to staffers that longtime “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager was leaving the company “effective immediately.” Fager’s second-in-command, Bill Owens, will take on the role of executive producer of “60 Minutes” while a search is underway for a permanent replacement. Rhodes said the decision to let Fager go was not directly related to allegations in “press reports,” which he said will continue to be investigated by an independent party. Instead, Fager is out because he “violated ... Read More

GM recalls 1 Million Pickups, SUVs for Power Steering Defect

General Motors (GM) is recalling more than one million full-size pickup trucks and SUVs to correct a safety defect that could cause the vehicles to temporarily lose electric power steering, increasing the risk of a crash. GM said the safety recall affects certain 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickups, Tahoe and Suburban SUVs, GMC Sierra 1500 and Yukon SUVs, and Cadillac Escalades. The automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the defect affects the electric power steering. “If (electric power steering) is lost and then suddenly returns, the driver may have difficulty steering the vehicle, especially at low ... Read More

Australia Gets Tough About Unrepaired Takata Alpha Airbags

Australian officials are taking bold measures to deal with the deadly Takata airbag problem. Last weekend authorities in the State of South Australia announced that all vehicles equipped with “Alpha” Takata airbags – the name given to designate the airbags most at risk of a deadly explosion – will have their registration canceled. Although South Australia was the first jurisdiction to take the tough new measures, other Australian states and territories are following suit. The sheer scope and complexity of the Takata airbag recalls have allowed millions of vehicles worldwide to remain on the road, frustrating automakers and public officials ... Read More

Price Gouging Laws In Effect As Hurricane Florence Barrels Into the Carolinas

Hurricanes bring widespread destruction with them but they also bring out the best of human nature when residents and communities pull together to help each another recover. Unfortunately, hurricanes can also reveal the shady side of some individuals and businesses when they take advantage of a hurricane or other crisis to inflate prices excessively. Price-gouging takes many forms, from a $10 gallon of gas to thousands of dollars for a tree removal. As Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, government officials urged residents to report any instances of price gouging they encounter. “My office is here to protect North ... Read More

Wife blames spouse’s lung cancer on asbestos, benzene exposure at railroad

A Colonie, New York woman is suing her late husband’s former employer for exposing him to several toxic substances which she claims caused his fatal lung cancer. He died just four months after diagnosis. Susan E. Willis De Seve, on behalf of the estate of her husband Kevin C. De. Seve, filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against Consolidated Rail Corporation of Philadelphia (Conrail) and American Premier Underwriters (formerly, Penny Central Corporation and c/o C.T. Corporation System). Mr. De Seve worked for Conrail from 1969 to 1995 performing inspections and repairs in an environment where he ... Read More