Monthly Archives: April 2015

Purina Sued for Allegedly Killing Thousands of Dogs With ‘Toxic’ Food

By James Joiner, http://www.thedailybeast.com/

BenefuldogfoodA class action lawsuit alleges a mold byproduct used in kibble is leading pets to agonizing deaths.
Despite years of online allegations that one of the most popular dog food brandshas been poisoning pets, it wasn’t until just weeks ago that the cat was let out of the bag in a court filing. A class action lawsuit was filed that blames the deaths of thousands of dogs on one of Purina’s most popular brands of chow.

Googling Nestle Purina Petcare’s Beneful brand will get you the pet food manufacturer’s website, a Facebook page with over a million likes, and, in stark contrast, a Consumer Affairs page with 708 one-star ratings supported with page after grim page detailing dogs suffering slow, agonizing deaths from mysterious causes.

Internal bleeding. Diarrhea. Seizures. Liver malfunction. It reads like something from a horror movie or a plague documentary, but a suit brought in California federal court by plaintiff Frank Lucido alleges that this is all too real—and too frequent to be a coincidence. Read more

W.Va. Senate unanimously passes asbestos trust claims act

By Chris Dickerson, http://legalnewsline.com/

The West Virginia Senate on Friday unanimously passed Senate Bill 411, creating the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act and the Asbestos and Silica Claims Priorities Act.

The bill, which was sponsored by Kanawha County Republican Senator Tom Takubo, establishes legal standards and procedures for the handling of certain asbestos and silica claims. Additionally, the bill establishes medical criteria procedures, statute of limitations standards, and requires disclosure of existing and potential asbestos bankruptcy trust claims.Asbestos Tape

“As a pulmonary doctor, I’m pleased that the Senate voted today with full bipartisan support to protect funds for West Virginians who are affected by asbestos-related injuries,” Takubo said. “We must ensure funds are healthy five to 10 years from now to help pay for medical bills and family expenses, and this legislation will allow us to do that.”

Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson), Senator Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio), Senator Ed Gaunch (R-Kanawha) and Senator Jeff Mullins (R-Raleigh) also were sponsors of the bill.

“This bill would promote honesty in litigation and help juries reach fully informed decisions as to the cause of a person’s asbestos-related disease,” Carmichael said. “Other states have laws similar to this one, including our neighboring state, Ohio. Read more

Rat Study Links Lead to Schizophrenia

By Rick Nauert PHD, http://psychcentral.com/

Rat StudyA new study of the brains of rats exposed to lead suggests the metal may contribute to the onset of schizophrenia.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health researchers found striking similarities in the rat brains to what is known about the brains of human schizophrenia patients.

A description of the study results appear in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

The researchers found that lead had a detrimental effect on cells in three brain areas implicated in schizophrenia: the medial prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the striatum of rats exposed to lead before birth and in the early part of their lives.

Moreover, the density of brain cells declined by approximately one-third — roughly the same percentage decline seen in schizophrenia patients.

Imaging technology also revealed higher levels of a dopamine receptor similar to what has been documented in human schizophrenia patients, and in a previous study of genetically engineered mice.

“The similarities in the brain structure and neuronal systems between what we see in lead-exposed rats and human schizophrenia patients are striking, and adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that early lead exposure primes the brain for schizophrenia later in life,” said senior author Tomás Guilarte, Ph.D. Read more

Moldy Homes May Mean More Asthma in Young Kids

By Tara Haelle, HealthDay Reporter

MoldceilingChildren appear more likely to develop asthma if their living rooms, kitchens or bedrooms have mold or moisture damage, according to a new study.

Children were most susceptible to developing asthma with mold exposure during their first two years of life, or if they already had allergies. However, mold did not increase children’s risk of developing allergies in the first place.

“The most significant finding was that moisture damage with or without mold in the rooms where children are expected to spend most of their time is associated with increased asthma risk, and it appears to be permanent,” said lead researcher Anne Karvonen, a senior researcher in Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare.

In other words, children’s asthma continued through age 6, and visible mold in children’s bedrooms or living rooms presented the highest risk, she said. Read more

QuanTEM takes best costume award at EIA Conference

EIA 2015The Environmental Information Association held its 2015 National Conference and Exhibition last month in Atlanta. The conference hosted it’s second annual SExy Awards to celebrate Superior Exhibitor Booths and Salespeople.

John Barnett and Cristal Veech were in attendance, looking quite dapper in their ‘Gone with the Wind’ inspired outfits which earned the Best Costume award for QuanTEM Labs.

The Environmental Information Association, with its beginnings as the National Asbestos Council, has spent over 30 years at the forefront in providing the environmental industry with the information needed to remain knowledgeable, responsible, and competitive in the environmental health and safety industry.

Next year’s conference will be held March 06, 2016 to March 09, 2016 in Las Vegas.

Window replacement project leads to asbestos contamination at Englewood apartment complex

By Lance Hernandez, http://www.thedenverchannel.com/

windowasbestosDozens of tenants have been forced from their apartments at a complex in Englewood, because of asbestos contamination.

Work crews unknowingly loosened the dangerous fibers when they began replacing windows at the Carmel Park Apartments several weeks ago.

State health officials say the asbestos was in a texture compound on existing drywall, and that some of the drywall had been cut away to remove the old windows and install the new.

They say just a small amount of material was loosened in the affected apartments.

The contamination wasn’t discovered until a repairman, who knew there was asbestos in the popcorn ceiling, told the window installers there “might” be asbestos in the drywall texture.

“They tested it and found asbestos,” said Christopher Dann of the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Apartment management then sent a note to affected tenants asking them to move out temporarily while licensed crews clean up the contamination. Read More

Home inspectors using drones

Wausau mulls its options to achieve lead compliance

By Nora G. Hertel, Daily Herald Media

pipesThe city is about to hire a new full-time employee to help it get lead levels in its water under control, even though partially replacing old lead pipes might exacerbate the problem and a mistake in the test process means it’s a low-level threat.

“We stubbed our toe,” said Interim Public Works and Utilities Director Joe Gehin.

“We think one sample was taken at the wrong faucet,” Wausau Utility Resources Manager Deb Geier explained.

More than 10 percent of water samples in routine tests exceeded lead limits, so the state Department of Natural Resources, enforcing federal regulations, ordered the city to replace some pipes and test water in more homes. Lead can cause problems from neurological disorders to birth defects.

Wausau now is seeking homeowners with lead pipes to help test out of some of the requirements. Residents can call the water utility to learn whether their pipes are made of lead. The testing will not cost property owners directly, but it will cost the city between $75 and $100 per test. Read more

City of Chicago accused of hiding asbestos

By Dane Placko, FOX 32 News Investigative Reporter

asbestos pipesIt was an underground surprise they hadn’t bargained for.

A southwest suburban contractor is suing the city claiming it hid dangerous asbestos buried under a construction site.

The site is now a police station on the near South Side at 14th and Blue Island.

The 12th District Chicago police station has been open for two years. However, the battle over what was discovered underground will rage on.

Fox 32: you call this an act of fraud?

“I did. And we do. We believe they fraudulently induced Harbour contractors to enter into the contract,” said attorney Charles Lewis.

Lewis represents Harbour contractors of southwest suburban Plainfield, which has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Public Building Commission of Chicago. That agency, which is headed by the mayor and made up of political appointees, is in charge of building and financing new construction for the city of Chicago and Cook County.

In 2010 the Public Building Commission, or “PBC,” awarded Harbour a 20-million dollar contract to build the new police station at 14th and Blue Island, on the site of the old ABLA public housing project.

The PBC said that the site had been inspected by an environmental company and nothing dangerous was found. But soon after construction began, a subcontractor employed by Harbour discovered underground heating pipes wrapped in cancer-causing asbestos running throughout the property. Read More