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June 2017 Archives

World Health Organization Report: Airline Passengers and Crew Exposed to Toxic Air

aeroplane-1867209_1920.jpgA study by the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the air inside airplane cabins can be "contaminated by pyrolysed engine oil and other aircraft fluids [that] can reasonably be linked to acute and chronic symptoms", including:

Should Children Under 13 Be Using Smartphones?

pokemon-1553995_1920.jpgTom Farnum, an anesthesiologist from Colorado, wants his state to pass a law forbidding retailers from selling a smartphone that is intended for use by anyone under 13 years old. He is the spearhead of a statewide petition drive aimed at accomplishing that objective.

How Seniors Get Scammed

The National Council on Aging has grandmother-506341_1920.jpgpublished its "Top Ten Financial Scams Targeting Seniors" list.  https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/money-management/scams-security/top-10-scams-targeting-seniors/.  These scams are crimes, and they are on the rise. When they happen, they are devastating to not only the senior victim, but also to those who care for them, or must shoulder the financial burden when the scam has left the senior less able to.

How TCE and PCE Can Harm Us: Expert Information You Can Trust

If you have reason to research how chemicals can harm your family-say, for example, your water supply has been found to be contaminated-please be careful. There is a lot of "information" available on the internet, but not all of it is reliable. In the unreliable category are studies performed or funded by the companies who manufacture those chemicals, or use them in their industrial processes. They have hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars to gain by convincing us that their chemicals are safe. And while this extraordinary financial stake does not necessarily make their research false, common sense tells us that it may well cause them to resolve the scientific grey areas in favor of a conclusion that chemicals are safe, or not as dangerous as perhaps they truly are. That alone should cause you to look elsewhere for information to which you can trust your family's health.

Manslaughter.....or Voluntary Act......or Free Speech?

Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter today for texting messages to her emotionally disturbed boyfriend, Conrad Roy, convincing him to commit suicide. The facts of the case are very disturbing. Carter knew that Roy had been trying to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning.....sitting in his pickup truck as exhaust fumes filled the inside. When Carter learned that Roy had backed out of the suicide attempt, she repeatedly texted him with increasingly harsh messages, seemingly ridiculing him for not following through with the suicide. "You just have to do it," she texted Roy. "The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it!"

Who are the Environmental and Health Agencies in Your State?

Thumbnail image for usa-1356800_1920.jpgThere are many potential reasons why you might want to contact your state's most important environmental and health agencies. Usually it is because you are concerned about an environmental issue in your area. Here are 10 questions you may want answered:

Clean Water Isn't a Right if You Never Had It

I've been working for nearly 18 years helping families in American neighborhoods use our court system to force the companies that polluted their water to clean it up. Despite all the anguish that having contaminated water initially caused these families, and despite the truly reprehensible behavior of some of the polluters who caused the contamination, I've always known one source of hope and pride: the American belief that everyone in this country has the right to clean water. We back up this belief with a host of laws--like the federal Clean Water Act--and regulations that compel our government agencies and courts to honor the right to clean water, even if it means forcing a polluter to spend millions of dollars to restore clean water to a neighborhood.

Why it Was Necessary to File Criminal Charges in Flint Water Crisis

Flint Michigan.jpgMichigan's Attorney General has criminally charged more than 50 people over the deplorable government behavior that stripped the families of Flint of their clean water from Lake Huron, and substituted dangerous, lead contaminated water from the Flint River.

What To Do if Someone Wants to Test Your Property for Vapor Intrusion

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for house-vapor-hh-001.gifThe threat that chemicals contaminating groundwater are turning into a gas ('vaporizing") and drifting upward to intrude into the breathing space of overlying homes exists in many neighborhoods throughout the country. And this threat will remain with us for decades, as we continue to try to deal with nearly a century of the environmental recklessness of companies that spilled, poured, buried and dumped toxic chemicals because it was cheaper to get rid of them that way.

Congratulations to McHenry County, IL, for Disclosing its Groundwater Contamination Problems

I want to take a moment to recognize McHenry County, IL, and its Public Health Administrator, Michael Hill, for disclosing on the County's website what it calls "Groundwater Contamination Incidents". http://ow.ly/Gb7v30cyNOF

Bellaire, Ohio Testing for PCE Vapor Intrusion Should Have Been Done Years Ago

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for vaporintrusion.jpgHow long after the discovery of chemical contamination in groundwater should government be checking to see if those chemicals have turned into a gas ("vapor"), and migrated upward to intrude into the breathing space of homes?

Trump/Pruitt War on Science is Going to Hurt Us, Badly

Over these last few days since President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord, he and his aides-most prominently, EPA chief Scott Pruitt-have been unwilling to answer a simple question: "Does the President think that climate change is a hoax?"

Underground Landfill Gasses Can Threaten Your Safety

landfill-879437_1920.jpgAll landfills produce gas. The decomposition of the garbage dumped there sets off a chemical process that produces potentially many different kinds of gasses. If you live near a landfill-particularly near an older or still operating landfill-you should be concerned about whether the landfill's gasses are negatively affecting your family's safety.

Punish Frivolous Lawsuits? OK. How About Frivolous Defenses?

courtroom-898931_1920.jpgOne of the surest topics on which to get agreement is that we should punish the filing of "frivolous" lawsuits. There are legitimate debates to be had over the definition of "frivolous", who decides what is "frivolous", and what the punishment (usually called a "sanction") should be. For years, and for very good reason, there has been wide agreement that it's best to leave these decisions to the judge on the case. Because he/she is in the best position to know whether a lawsuit is so lacking in merit (so "frivolous") that it does not deserve to be in a court room, and if so, what the sanction should be for the party and/or lawyer who filed it.

Stop the $1 Billion Development in Los Angeles Until the TCE Contamination is Cleaned Up

los-angeles-231612_1920.jpgIt's such a compelling story: A 10-years-in-the-making plan to pour $1 billion into the redevelopment of Jordan Downs, a once-dangerous, crime ridden public housing project in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, that had been the stage for nationally-televised riots in the 1960's. The idea is to convert what had been 700 badly scarred public housing units into a beautiful, mixed income neighborhood of 1,400 units, shops and park space. A real monument to progress and understanding.

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