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FDA’s Proposed E-Cigarette Restrictions Met With GOP Backlash

Sweeping e-cigarette restrictions proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers, who say the agency’s efforts to prevent children and teens from vaping are “un-Republican” and “troubling.” Clamping down on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and other tobacco products has become a major focus for FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who proposed plans to limit the sale of flavored e-cigarette products to in-person retail locations where proof of age would be required to buy. Under Dr. Gottlieb’s direction, the FDA also seeks to ban menthol-flavored conventional cigarettes and flavored cigars. The proposals come ... Read More

Patient neglect rampant at VA nursing homes

A half dozen veterans’ groups representing nearly 5 million members asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve the care at its nursing homes after an investigative report by USA TODAY and the Boston Globe revealed “blatant disregard for veteran safety” at a VA nursing home in Massachusetts. A whistleblower had alerted officials of about possible signs of nursing home neglect at the Brockton VA facility, such as bedside urinals left unemptied and patients being regularly left unchecked. The home knew health officials would be following up on those claims by inspecting the facility for potential signs of neglect. But ... Read More

Judge grants expedited Roundup trial to sick, elderly couple

Alameda Superior Court Judge Ioana Petrou granted a request by an elderly couple for an expedited trial date for their case alleging Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides caused each of them to develop cancer. The judge reasoned that the serious nature of their diseases and advanced age justified moving their trial date up to March 18. Alva Pilliod, 76, and Alberta Pilliod, were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 and 2015, respectively. Both are currently in remission but both face several health issues. Alva, for example, has had multiple seizures and Alberta has frequent dizzy spells and double vision. ... Read More

EPA draft questions safety of nonstick chemical compounds

Long-term exposure to a chemical compound used in nonstick coatings for products like pans, fast-food wrappers and firefighting foam, even in trace amounts, appears to be dangerous to humans, according to a draft released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The chemical compound known as GenX was designed to be safer than previous stick- and stain-resistant compounds, known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalyl substances). The older versions have been found in dangerous levels in drinking water supplies across the country. That family of chemicals has been phased out of manufacturing in the U.S. due to health concerns. But EPA’s draft ... Read More

OSHA fines drilling company after explosion kills worker

Weatherford, Texas-based Legend Directional Services LLC was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and faces a more than $28,000 penalty, for violations of worker safety at the company’s Harpersville Reinforcement Project in Harpersville, Alabama, that resulted in a May 2018 explosion during which a worker was killed. OSHA investigators determined that the explosion occurred because flammable welding gases were stored in an unventilated storage container at the facility. When the now-deceased employee opened the container door, the container exploded. OSHA cited the drilling company for storing compressed welding gas containers and liquefied petroleum ... Read More

Overdose victim’s father hopes to curb lethal opioid epidemic

The father of a teenager who died from an opioid overdose in 2011 has made it his life’s mission to educate students of the overwhelming power of opioid addiction in hopes of preventing more deaths like the one that killed his son. “Guess what’s coming your way,” he told a group of Ohio’s South Greene High School students. “This epidemic.” Prescription opioids, illegal heroin, and synthetic fentanyl kill more than 115 people in the United States every day, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Wayne Campbell’s son Tyler was one of them. Tyler was prescribed opioids to treat ... Read More

High school student killed on second day on the job

High school senior Grant Oakley was excited to start his first part-time job at a farm supply business conveniently located across the street from his family’s farmhouse near Lancaster, Kentucky. But his second day on the job in 2015 ended in tragedy when he hopped a ride on a forklift driven by another employee and ended up underneath the back wheel of the forklift, his chest and neck crushed by the six-ton piece of equipment. After the accident, another employee ran to the Oakley’s home and told his parents, Mike and Pam Oakley, “Grant’s hurt.” His parents got to their ... Read More

Alabama woman files asbestos lawsuit against several manufacturers

Alabama resident Shirley Sanders, on behalf of the estate of her late husband Mac Arthur Sanders, filed a lawsuit against nearly two dozen manufacturers in St. Clair County Circuit Court in Illinois, alleging products manufactured by the companies contained cancer causing asbestos and contributed to her husband’s lung cancer diagnosis. The lawsuit names, in part, Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, Goulds Pumps Inc., and Lamons Gasket Company, companies that manufactured products Mac Arthur Sanders worked with. Shirley Sanders claims that microscopic asbestos fibers emanated from some of the products manufactured by the companies. Those airborne fibers were inhaled or ingested ... Read More

Dartmouth psychology professors face students’ sexual misconduct claims

Three psychology professors at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, are facing charges of sexual misconduct by a group of female students who allege the men made inappropriate advances toward them, publicly groped them, and even coerced them into engaging in sexual relations, according to a lawsuit filed against the college. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office is also conducting a criminal investigation into the alleged sexual misconduct by professors Todd Heatherton, Paul Whalen and Bill Kelley. The men were put on paid leave and had their access to campus restricted by the college during the investigation. The complaint describes ... Read More

Two conductors sue railroad for contributing to their cancer diagnoses

Two conductors have filed a lawsuit in Coeur d’Alene (Iowa) First District Court against Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad for allegedly exposing them to toxic fumes and materials, which they say caused them to develop cancer and other illnesses. John Hluboky was a conductor at BNSF in Hauser from 1977 to 1998. He now has colon cancer. Hal Chapman was a conductor at BNSF in Hauser from 2006 to 2016. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer. According to the lawsuit, both men say that their cancers were caused by dangerous fumes they were regularly exposed to while working on ... Read More