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Milwaukee 48 articles

Tests Link Coffee Roasting To Diacetyl And Other Extremely Toxic Gases

Federal safety researchers are warning workers who roast, grind, package, and serve coffee about the presence of diacetyl and other potentially deadly chemicals that occur in extremely high concentrations as a natural part of the coffee roasting and grinding processes. Prompted by an investigative report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailing how coffee industry workers could be in danger of developing potentially deadly lung disorders, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started testing the air inside a dozen coffee roasting facilities across the country. Its findings have put the coffee industry on high alert. The National Institute ... Read More

Food Additives Producer Scales Back Operations Amid Diacetyl Woes

Chicago-based food-additives manufacturer Sensient Technologies Inc. recently announced that it will permanently close its Indianapolis, Ind., operations for “strategic business reasons” that are likely related to the company’s trouble with federal health authorities over its use of diacetyl, a chemical food additive that promotes lung disease when inhaled. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the Sensient Technologies will move its Sensient Flavors LLC division out of Indiana beginning July 29, a move that will end employment for 86 workers. The company had moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago from Milwaukee in 2013, terminating about 125 employees then. Sensient produces artificial ... Read More

OSHA cites Affordable Exteriors for the fourth time in three years for lack of fall protection

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines against a Wisconsin roofing contractor for up to $112,000 due to the company allowing employees to work at dangerous heights without proper fall protection equipment. Affordable Exteriors LLC, located in Bloomer, Wisc., had its safety precautions reviewed during an investigation earlier this year by OSHA, which uncovered a plethora of issues associated with the company’s safety procedures. OSHA cited numerous violations, including two violations, one repeated violation and three serious safety citations. Most of the issues at the company’s various residential sites had to do with the lack of fall ... Read More

Two Weekend Fuel Train Derailments Spill Oil, Chemicals In Wisconsin

Cleanup crews in Wisconsin continued to remove crude oil and chemicals Tuesday after two separate fuel train derailments over the weekend dumped thousands of gallons of fuel into the environment. On Sunday afternoon, 13 tanker cars of a Canadian Pacific Railway train laden with crude oil jumped the tracks in Watertown, Wis., a community about 50 miles west of Milwaukee. The wreck ripped open one of the tankers, causing it to spill about 1,000 gallons of crude oil and forcing the evacuation of a neighborhood. The displaced residents, from about 35 homes, have been barred from returning to their homes until the cleanup ... Read More

AndroGel makers tried to persuade doctors to widen use of testosterone

AbbVie Inc., maker of the blockbuster testosterone treatment AndroGel, offered free education courses to doctors for continuing medical education credits (CME), which are required for doctors to keep their medical licenses, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation has found. The classes promoted unapproved uses for the hormone treatment. Testosterone treatments are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone due to disease or injury. The condition can cause fertility issues, low libido and muscle loss. In recent years, manufacturers of testosterone treatments have launched aggressive advertising ... Read More

Another Los Angeles-area hospital reports superbug infections

Los Angeles-area Huntington Memorial Hospital announced that some of its patients had contracted a drug-resistant superbug after undergoing procedures using a specialized endoscope known as a duodenoscope. Hospital authorities say they contacted public health authorities after the bacteria pseudomonas was found in patients who had undergone procedures in which Olympus Corporation duodenoscopes were used. The hospital did not say how many patients were infected, however the Los Angeles Times reported that the bacteria was found in three of the hospital’s patients in June. Duodenoscopes are specially designed endoscopes that are fed down a person’s throat to treat gallstones, tumors and ... Read More

FDA cites duodenoscope makers for safety violations

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a first step toward formal legal action against manufacturers of specialized endoscopes called duodenoscopes linked to outbreaks of deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections at some hospitals, issuing warning letters citing manufacturing safety violations. The warning letters were sent to Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for various manufacturing and quality control violations. Olympus and Pentax were also cited for not properly notifying the FDA after learning their scopes were linked to infections. The agency also questioned whether Pentax and FujiFilm obtained proper clearance for their duodenoscopes before marketing them. Olympus was previously cited for this issue, the ... Read More

Fraud-weary PharMerica whistleblower sets sights on new profession

The whistleblower whose lawsuit and tips prompted her former employer, pharmacy management company PharMerica, to settle earlier this month with the U.S. government for $31.5 million told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the experience compelled her to seek a new career. “I never dreamed I’d be living in a ‘CSI’ episode,” whistleblower Jennifer Buth told the Journal Sentinel, referring to the popular TV crime series. Ms. Buth, who holds a doctorate degree in pharmacy, worked at a Sam’s Club pharmacy in Wisconsin before she was recruited into PharMerica’s Pawaukee operation as the managing pharmacist – a position that paid her ... Read More

Dangerous side effects from diabetes drugs difficult to measure

The true number of dangerous side effects from diabetes drugs is hard to measure because adverse effects are often not reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a MedPage Today/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation. The effectiveness of these drugs is also hard to determine as the agency has approved many of them based on surrogate measures, such as whether the medication can drive down elevated blood sugar levels, rather than concrete endpoints such as reducing diabetes-related health complications like heart attacks, strokes, blindness and amputations. This leaves doctors struggling to weigh a patient’s risks and benefits based on ... Read More

Many newer diabetes drugs carry cancer risks

Within the past two decades, thanks in large part to diabetes experts lowering the blood sugar threshold, millions more Americans were labeled as diabetic and became eligible for medication to help regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, the diabetes drug industry boomed. Sales of diabetes drugs topped $23 billion, more than the revenues generated from the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association combined. But in the past decade, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today investigation discovered that none of the 30 new diabetes drugs were proven to improve diabetics’ risk for associated health ... Read More