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Several Nations Ground Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft Following Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Aviation authorities in several countries are grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes pending the results of investigations and remedial measures after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed Sunday, killing all 157 people aboard. The plane was the second new Boeing 737 Max 8 jet to crash in less than six months. Ethiopia’s civil aviation authorities initially took a “wait and see” stance following the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 but decided to ground all 737 Max 8 planes in the country after China announced it was suspending all flights of that Boeing model. “There were certain similarities in ... Read More

Miami bans use of glyphosate-containing weed killers

Miami, Florida, city commissioners have banned the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weed killer Roundup, in an effort to improve water quality and protect public health. “Water quality issues are so important to the city of Miami, and we can be one of the worst polluters as a municipality,” said Commissioner Ken Russell, who sponsored the resolution. “We ask for residents to make a change in their habits and that they be conscious of what they put in their gardens, but when I realized the totality of what the city uses at any given time, ... Read More

Suspected Cargo Fire Forces Air Transat Emergency Landing

An Air Transat flight from Montreal, Canada, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, made an emergency landing at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport because of a possible fire in the airplane’s cargo hold. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that firefighters met Air Transat Flight 942 on the runway and passengers were evacuated by emergency slides after the plane diverted to Newark Saturday morning around 8:30. #FAA statement regarding Air Transat Flight 942. pic.twitter.com/1umh1hmCrU — The FAA (@FAANews) March 9, 2019 Some of the 189 passengers and six crew members aboard the Boeing 737 suffered minor injuries, according to the Associated ... Read More

CDC: Experienced supervisors need for dicey tree felling projects

The death of a 21-year-old tree feller, working from a bucket truck as part of a small tree-felling crew, might have been avoided had the contractor ensured that the crew was led by a person with substantial experience in tree felling, and if crews had been equipped with satellite phones to ensure communication with the supervisor and medical emergency services was readily available, according to an evaluation by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. The tree-felling crew was charged with taking down an 80- to 90-foot, fire-damaged oak tree located below ... Read More

Third cancer-causing impurity found in certain ARB blood pressure drugs

A third type of cancer-causing impurity has been found in a type of high blood pressure and heart failure medication from a class of drugs known as ARBs (angiotensin receptor blocker), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a news release. The impurity N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA), was detected in losartan potassium tablets made by Hetero Labs Ltd., and distributed by Camber Pharmaceuticals. As a result, Hetero Labs recalled 87 lots of the pills in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg dosages. Since last summer, the FDA has issued numerous recalls of the ARBs losartan, valsartan and irbesartan mainly due to the ... Read More

Senate approves resolution for Asbestos Awareness Week

The United States Senate has approved the 15th resolution establishing April 1-7 as National Asbestos Awareness Week. The resolution seeks to “raise public awareness about the prevalence of asbestos-related diseases and the dangers of asbestos exposure.” Asbestos is a strong, fire-resistant mineral that was mined from the earth and used in a variety of construction, shipbuilding and friction materials. Its use was greatly reduced in the 1980s. By then, it had been known for decades that asbestos exposure could lead to serious diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos-related diseases can take up to 50 years to develop. Once symptoms ... Read More

Columbia Gas Costs For Mass. Explosions Top $1 Billion

Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource expect to pay about $1.3 billion for damages related to a series of natural gas explosions that destroyed parts of three Massachusetts towns in September. The company said that those costs don’t include expenses related to restoration efforts, such as replacing pipeline and modernizing its infrastructure to prevent a similar event from happening in the future. According to the Associated Press, the NiSource’s latest financial reports show the company allocated $757 million to third-party claims filed against the utility, including property damage. The utility incurred an additional $266 million for other expenses related ... Read More

Asphalt company fined after worker death in slat/drag conveyor

Western Engineering Company Inc., was fined $89,032 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), following an investigation into the death of an employee. The accident occurred Nov. 7, 2018, when employee Andrew Martinez, 28, was pulled into an unguarded slat/drag conveyor at the company’s North Platte, Nebraska asphalt plant. He was found dead and pinned inside the machine. Western Engineering Company was slapped with seven serious violations of machine guarding, lockout/tagout and permit-required confined space standards, including failing to develop a confined space entry program; issue safety permits; test atmospheric conditions; and provide air testing ... Read More

Claire’s tween makeup products test positive for asbestos

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to use three types of talc-containing makeup marketed to tweens and sold at Claire’s retailers because they tested positive for cancer-causing asbestos. The agency requested the company recall the products but Claire’s refused. Thus, the FDA is urging consumers to be aware of the risks posed by the products and to report any adverse reactions caused by exposure to the products. The Claire’s products that tested positive for asbestos include: Claire’s Eye Shadows – Batch No/Lot No: 08/17 Claire’s Compact Powder – Batch No/Lot No: 07/15 Claire’s Contour Palette – ... Read More

Gas Explosion Survivor Calls for Safety Reforms

A Colorado woman whose husband and brother were killed in a natural gas explosion two years ago spoke publicly in support of reforming and strengthening safety, health, and environmental regulations governing the gas industry statewide. Erin Martinez was at her home in Firestone, Colorado with her son, husband, and brother when an accumulation of natural gas from a broken subterranean line ignited, causing a massive explosion that destroyed the house. Ms. Martinez remembers “being blown through the air and trapped between falling debris.” Her son also managed to crawl out of the wreckage, but her husband and brother didn’t survive ... Read More