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toxic chemicals 9 articles

California Bill Aims To Protect Salon Workers From Toxic Exposures

A new bill aiming to better protect beauty salon workers from the chemical hazards they routinely face is making its way through the California legislature. While beauty salons don’t normally conjure images of occupational hazards like some other occupations do, say for instance construction work or long-haul truck driving, the truth is that hairdressers, manicurists, and other salon workers face some of the biggest workplace risks with their daily exposures to toxic chemicals. Formaldehyde, a highly volatile and toxic compound that poses a substantial threat to human health, is commonly found in and released by certain hair-smoothing products used by salons, such ... Read More

Retriev Technologies faces $74,250 in OSHA fines after Ohio plant inspection

A Retriev Technologies battery recycling plant located in Ohio has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) a total of nine violations, including eight repeat violations, equaling $74,250. According to the Lacaster Eagle-Gazette, Retriev is responsible for exposing workers to a number of dangerously high airborne concentrations of lead and cadmium just two years after vowing to reduce its exposure levels. Upon the plant’s last inspection, OSHA discovered a number of repeated failures linked to the lack of engineering controls and monitoring employee exposure to the hazards. “This company has been told of ... Read More

The living room couch could be ruining your health, new study finds

Smoking, tanning, and poor eating are some of the habits commonly blamed for causing cancer, but what about reclining on the living room couch? A new study jointly conducted by Duke University and the University of California-Berkeley estimates that more than one-third of all couches in the United States contain toxic fire-retardant chemicals that are “associated with hormone disruption, neurological and reproductive toxicity and/or cancer in hundreds of animal studies and a number of human studies.” According to researchers, chemically treated foam used in couch cushions can turn into dust and linger, posing serious health risks for anyone who ingests ... Read More

Many “toxin-free” nail salon products contain toxic chemicals, California regulators find

Frequent trips to the salon for manicures and pedicures could be hazardous to your health – that’s the bottom line of a new report by California’s Toxic Substances Control (CTSC), which found that several nail polishes and other products commonly used in salons and labeled as “toxin-free” actually have high levels of toxic chemicals. According to WebMD, a team of investigators from the CTSC’s Pollution Prevention Branch purchased 25 salon products from distributors in May 2011 and sent samples of those products to an independent lab for testing. The objective was to find if any of the products contained one ... Read More

Parents warned about dangerous toys this holiday season

With the 2010 holiday gift buying season in full swing, consumer groups are reminding parents to select gifts for their young children carefully as hazardous and potentially deadly toys continue to show up on the store shelves, posing risks of choking and strangulation, and toxic chemical and metal poisoning. According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), more than 83,000 industrial chemicals are used regularly in manufacturing consumer goods, most of which little is known. Nearly half of these chemicals have never even been studied for their effects on human health. “As their minds and bodies grow and develop, children ... Read More

Pennsylvania natural gas well suspended amid safety concerns

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) have taken emergency action to suspend natural gas drilling operations at the Marcellus Shale Wells near Pittsburgh. A June 3 gas well blowout caused polluted drilling water to spew 75 feet in the air, triggering the evacuation of state park visitors and nearby residents. Government regulators have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of the Marcellus Shale operations since the blowout, which occurred when well operator EOG Resources and contractor C.C. Forbes LLC were performing post-fracturing cleanout activities. The state fined EOG $353,400 ... Read More

Pennsylvania natural gas well suspended amid safety concerns

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) have taken emergency action to suspend natural gas drilling operations at the Marcellus Shale Wells near Pittsburgh. A June 3 gas well blowout caused polluted drilling water to spew 75 feet in the air, triggering the evacuation of state park visitors and nearby residents. Government regulators have grown increasingly concerned about the safety of the Marcellus Shale operations since the blowout, which occurred when well operator EOG Resources and contractor C.C. Forbes LLC were performing post-fracturing cleanout activities. The state fined EOG $353,400 and ... Read More

Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns

The chemicals BP is now relying on to break up the steady flow of leaking oil from deep below the Gulf of Mexico could create a new set of environmental problems. Even if the materials, called dispersants, are effective, BP has already bought up more than a third of the world’s supply. If the leak from 5,000 feet beneath the surface continues for weeks, or months, that stockpile could run out. On Thursday BP began using the chemical compounds to dissolve the crude oil, both on the surface and deep below, deploying an estimated 100,000 gallons. Dispersing the oil is ... Read More

EPA says coal ash is safe to use as fertilizer on crops

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is OK for farmers to spread coal ash on to their fields to fertilize soil, even though the material contains toxins that have been linked to serious health complications such as cancer and liver damage. The agency says that the material contains just a trace amount of toxins that don’t pose a risk to humans through groundwater contamination or by consuming the crops. But environmentalists beg to differ. The coal ash, a byproduct of fossil fuel plants, which for years farmers have used to fertilize their fields, is also used to strengthen concrete ... Read More