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Houston 199 articles

How to Deal with Flood Threats

Catastrophic floods in Texas have dominated headlines in the U.S. this past week, and as slow-moving Hurricane Harvey churns its way inland, flooding is expected to continue across much of the South. Weather models showed that Hurricane Harvey could dump as much as six inches of rain on parts of Alabama Thursday and even more in the coming days, and flash-flood watches have been issued for southeast Alabama and northwest Florida. While meteorologists don’t expect the damage to be as cataclysmic as it has been in the Houston area, residents in other regions, especially near creeks and rivers, could become ... Read More

Major Refineries and Pipelines Shut Down Amid Texas Floods

The U.S. is bracing for fuel shortages and higher prices at the pump as Hurricane Harvey floods forced the closure of major oil refineries in Houston, including the country’s largest oil refinery and busiest pipelines. Motiva, the largest refinery in the U.S., said early Wednesday that it started closing its Port Arthur refinery “in response to local flood conditions” and that the plant would not reopen until the flood water receded. The plant had been operating on just 40 percent capacity on Tuesday. Half of the other refineries in and around the nation’s oil hub closed as well. The refinery ... Read More

Impending Explosion at Arkema Chemical Plant in Houston

Arkema SA has warned the public that it’s just a matter of time until its chemical plant in Crosby, Texas explodes due to the extreme flooding in and around the facility. “We have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant,” Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe said in a statement about the situation Wednesday. “We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power. “As a result, we have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire. The high water and lack of power leave us with ... Read More

Dangerous Pollutants Released by Oil Refineries Damaged by Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey continues to cripple the Houston area by damaging two ExxonMobil refineries, which triggered the release of dangerous and hazardous pollutants. ExxonMobil acknowledged the release of pollutants in a regulatory report with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, says the Washington Post. Twitter users have been complaining of an overwhelming and “unbearable” chemical smell in parts of the city, but weren’t sure where it was coming from. In the filing, ExxonMobil said that it could be from a tank at the Baytown oil refinery, the second-largest refinery in the country. The floating roof covering of the tank became submerged, which caused it to dip ... Read More

To Help Disaster Victims, Keep Your Stuff and Send Cash

Think before you donate items in response to a natural disaster. That’s the message relief agencies desperately wish to send to well-meaning individuals. Nice gestures and good intentions often translate to nightmares for the victims of natural disasters and the relief organizations trying to help them. According to CBS News, wherever a disaster strikes, there are often mountains of unneeded and useless donations that pile up in warehouses, beaches, landfills, airport runways, and just about every other place imaginable. “Generally after a disaster, people with loving intentions donate things that cannot be used in a disaster response, and in fact ... Read More

New study confirms Viagra may increase risk of melanoma

PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra and Cialis, used to treat erectile dysfunction, have been notably accused over the past few years of being associated with melanoma risk. In spite of the fact that less than one percent of skin cancers are melanoma, it is the most deadly form of skin cancer, causing a vast majority of skin cancer deaths; in fact one person dies of melanoma every hour. Men older than 50 have an increased risk for melanoma, and they are most likely to be prescribed these drugs. Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put all PDE5 inhibitors on ... Read More

‘Largest-Ever’ Health care Fraud Sweep Results in 400-Plus Arrests

A massive federal crackdown on health care fraud has resulted in charges against more than 400 people nationwide, and prosecutors allege their false billings to the government have cost taxpayers about $1.3 billion. U.S. officials said Thursday the takedown was the “largest ever health care fraud enforcement action” by the Medicare Strike Force. It involved more than a thousand law enforcement agents arresting 412 individuals in 30 states. About a quarter of those currently facing health care fraud charges from the action are doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. While the health care fraud sweep could return some funds to ... Read More

Hospira recall triggers more recalls

Advanced Pharma Inc., doing business as Avella of Houston, has issued a recall of some of its injectable drug products in response to Hospira Inc.’s June 15 recall that disease-causing microbial growth was detected during a routine simulation of the manufacturing processes raising concerns about the sterility of the products manufactured there. The products being recalled by Advanced Pharma were repackaged and/or compounded at its Houston, Texas, facility using certain Hospira products. According to Hospira, in the event that an impacted product is administered to a patient, there is a reasonable probability that the patient may experience adverse events ranging ... Read More

F-16 Loaded With Ammunition Catches Fire, Pilot Ejects Safely

An F-16 fighter jet armed with ammunition forced its pilot to eject when it burst into flames Wednesday, KPRC/NBC affiliate in Houston, Texas reports. The U.S. Air National Guard’s fighter jet was from the 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was taking off from Houston’s Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base for a training flight the Houston Press confirmed. The pilot, who was conducting the training flight for North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, escaped unharmed and was evaluated at a nearby hospital. The crash occurred at 10:30 a.m. local time. An area within about a mile radius surrounding ... Read More

Nitroglycerin injection recalled

Advanced Pharma Inc., doing business as Avella, is recalling all unexpired lots of nitroglycerin products manufactured at its Houston, Texas, facility between March 3 and March 31, because laboratory testing indicated a certain lot of compounded Nitroglycerin injection had a lower than expected potency, which could result in a delay of treatment, disruption of clinical care of a patient, and worsening of a patient’s conditions. Nitroglycerin injection in 5 percent dextrose is used to treat high blood pressure before, during or after surgery; to control heart failure after a heart attack; to treat heart-related chest pain in patients who have ... Read More