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Massachusetts 323 articles

Teens almost twice as likely to suffer on-the-job injuries

Nonfatal injury rates for teenagers in Massachusetts is nearly twice that of workers who are at least 25 years old, and nearly half of teen workers who were injured on the job from 2011 to 2015 did not receive health and safety training from their employers, according to a report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For more than 25 years, the Young Workers: Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has tracked work-related injuries to teens under age 18, and has collaborated with partners on a variety of initiatives to prevent injuries to ... Read More

Massachusetts Boosts Tobacco Sales Age to 21

With the New Year comes a new Massachusetts state law boosting the minimum age for the purchase of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21. The new law comes on the heels of data showing that teens are turning to e-cigarettes and other vaping devices in alarming numbers, rolling back decades of progress in reducing smoking rates among U.S. youth. Considering that nicotine is harmful to the developing brains of people 25 and younger, it may be surprising to know that the new law makes Massachusetts just the sixth state to restrict the sale of tobacco products to individuals 21 ... Read More

Majority of those who report workplace harassment face job loss, retaliation

More than two thirds of employees who file a sexual harassment complaint get fired or are retaliated against by their employers, according to a new study by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Employment Equity. The study involved an analysis of more than 46,000 sexual harassment claims made between 2012 and 2016 – before the #MeToo movement took hold last year. The claims were registered with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices. Researchers found that of the people who filed a sexual harassment claim against their employers, more than 64 percent ... Read More

Lawsuit knocks Kellogg for not disclosing its breakfast foods contain glyphosate

California resident Mason Kein is leading a group of angry consumers in a proposed class action lawsuit against Kellogg Co. for selling breakfast foods without revealing that they contain a possible cancer-causing chemical. Kein told the Southern District of California that testing by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group revealed that Kellogg Co.’s strawberry Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars and Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal contain the herbicide glyphosate, a chemical deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Glyphosate is the same chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup, the controversial weed killer that was ... Read More

College takes action against deceased professor accused of sexual misconduct

Claims of sexual misconduct and harassment against college and university professors seem to be surfacing more since the #MeToo movement took hold. Last month, a lawsuit was filed against Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, by a group of women who claimed three psychology professors made inappropriate advances toward them, publicly groped them, and even coerced them into engaging in sexual relations. All three professors were put on paid leave and had their access to campus restricted by the college as the school conducts an investigation into the claims. But what if the professor being accused is dead? Such is ... Read More

Smoldering E-Cigarette Triggers Boston Logan Airport Evacuation

A lithium-ion battery for an e-cigarette overheated inside a checked bag at Boston Logan International Airport, prompting an evacuation of a section of the busy airport and reminders from federal security agents that the batteries are prohibited in checked luggage. The smoldering e-cigarette battery was discovered on a busy Saturday morning after Thanksgiving when smoke began pouring from a suitcase inside the baggage screening room. According to NBC 10 Boston, the smoldering bag was discovered moments before it was loaded onto an airplane. Transportation Security Agents evacuated the baggage screening area and called in Massport Fire & Rescue and a ... 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

Columbia Gas Could Face Criminal Charges For Massachusetts Explosions

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its parent company NiSource are under a criminal investigation over the natural gas explosions that triggered a series of explosions and fires across three communities Sept. 13, killing one person and injuring about two dozen others. NiSource disclosed the criminal investigation in regulatory filings, saying a federal grand jury served it and Columbia Gas subpoenas on Sept. 24, Reuters reported. The utility companies say they are cooperating with the ongoing probe, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts is conducting. The grand jury is looking for evidence that Columbia Gas acted with neglect or other misconduct ... Read More

Family Plans To Sue Columbia Gas Over Teen’s Gas Explosion Death

The family of an 18-year-old student who was killed in the Columbia Gas explosions that rocked three Massachusetts towns in September plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company. Leonel Rondon, a high school junior from Lawrence, Massachusetts, was sitting in his SUV with three other friends when the Columbia Gas explosions occurred, toppling the brick chimney of a friend’s house where Mr. Rondon’s car was parked. The heavy structure fatally injured Mr. Rondon, who had just gotten his driver’s license a few hours before the pipeline blasts erupted throughout the Merrimack Valley. He died in the ... Read More

Adenovirus Outbreak At New Jersey Pediatric Center Claims Seven Children

Seven children sickened by a strain of adenovirus associated with communal living facilities have died in a New Jersey nursing and rehabilitation center, state officials announced. The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed that at least 18 people, including the seven children who perished, have been sickened in the adenovirus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. The Wanaque Center includes a pediatrics unit staffed by medical professionals, teachers, and administrators serving the needs of “medically fragile” children. The seven confirmed child deaths were associated with that part of the facility. The Department of Health says ... Read More