Workers at a recycling sorting plant in Brookhaven, N.Y. (Courtesy TBR News Media) FairWarining Investigates

Recycling is a Feel Good Activity, But Not for Workers Hurt or Killed on the Job

Darkness had enveloped the Newell Recycling yard by the time Erik Hilario climbed into a front-end loader on a cold evening in January 2011. Just 19 years old, Hilario, an undocumented immigrant, had followed his father from Mexico to an industrial park in East Point, Ga., near Atlanta, where they worked as low-skilled laborers amid […]

Darrell Whitman, former whistleblower investigator for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration FairWarining Reports

Federal Agency That Protects Whistleblowers Accused of Retaliating Against One of its Own

For nearly five years, Darrell Whitman was a federal investigator who probed whistleblowers’ complaints about being fired or otherwise punished for exposing alleged corporate misconduct. He wanted to help whistleblowers, viewing them as a crucial line of defense against employers who violated health and safety standards or wasted taxpayer dollars. But now Whitman, 70, is […]

FairWarning Investigates

Regulators, Automakers Urged to Warn Parents About Flawed Seats FairWarining Investigates

Regulators, Automakers Urged to Warn Parents About Flawed Seats

Freakish as it may have seemed, the accident that killed 13-month-old Weston Kingsley was hardly unforeseeable.

On the day he died in February 2014, he was buckled into his car seat behind his father, Jonathon Kingsley, who was at the wheel of the family minivan. Jonathon and his wife, Kelsey, of Old Fort, N.C., were driving the older of their two boys to Sunday school.

As they waited to turn left into the church parking lot, a pickup rammed their 2003 Dodge Caravan from behind, according to court papers. The impact caused Jonathon Kingsley’s seat to collapse backward. Weston was bashed in the head and ...

Thousands of Drones Fill the Skies, Raising Fears of Midair Collisions FairWarining Investigates

Thousands of Drones Fill the Skies, Raising Fears of Midair Collisions

On a Saturday night in early December, while relaxing at his Martinez, Calif., home, Chinese exchange student Owen Ouyang decided to have some fun. He went out to the front yard and launched a sleek new drone he had recently purchased online for about $1,000.

The 2.8-pound drone, advertised as “easy to fly,” proved anything but. Soon after takeoff, the drone veered dangerously toward a power line. It then climbed more than 700 feet – right into the path of a California Highway Patrol helicopter. A head-on collision was averted only after the chopper’s crew made a sharp right-hand turn ...

August 6, 2015 - Durango, Colorado: Rayna Willhite of Aztec, NM, holds a bottle of water she collected from the Animas River on Thursday, north of Durango, Colo., August 6th 2015,  near Bakers Bridge. The river is carrying mine waste from the Gold King Mine north of Silverton. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald/Polaris) /// FairWarining Investigates

No End in Sight for Toxic Legacy of Abandoned Mines

The U.S is pockmarked by thousands of abandoned mines, particularly in the Western states. Abandoned mines are the sites of tragedies every year, often from people drowning in flooded pits or shafts. Hardrock mines in the West—sources of gold, silver, uranium and other metals—also contaminate waterways with arsenic and other heavy metals. The point was dramatized in August by an accidental spill at the Gold King Mine in Colorado that sent millions of gallons of tainted water into the Animas River.

Many of these abandoned mines are on land owned by the U.S. government. But federal agencies have struggled with the problem for years, ...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Photo courtesy FairWarining Investigates

Racial Politics Flavor Debate Over Banning Menthol Cigarettes

Lorillard Tobacco donated nearly four times as much to Republican candidates as to Democrats in the 2014 congressional elections. No surprise there — most businesses count on Republicans to hold the line on regulations and taxes.

But Lorillard made a striking exception for one set of Democrats: African Americans. It gave campaign cash to half of all black members of Congress, as opposed to just one in 38 non-black Democrats, according to an analysis by FairWarning of records from the Center for Responsive Politics. To put it another way, black lawmakers, all but one of whom are Democrats, were 19 times as likely as ...

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FairWarning Reports

The aftermath of a 2014 motorcycle crash in San Francsico. iStock FairWarining Reports

In 2015, Motorcycle Crashes Helped Drive Highway Death Toll to Highest Level in Years

Last year was a bad one for motorcyclists, with a new estimate showing that 5,010 bikers were killed in crashes nationwide, the worst death toll in seven years. The apparent 10 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, based on an analysis by the Governors Highway Safety Association, coincided with a projected rise of about 8 percent […]

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FairWarining Commentary

How Secrecy Pacts Keep Regulators, Public in the Dark

For businesses that make and sell dangerous products, secrecy is a cherished ally. They work hard to prevent safety regulators and litigants from learning about their products’ hazards. One way they accomplish this is by concealing information revealed in lawsuits for those killed or injured by such products. Automobiles are often targeted in lawsuits, so […]

FairWarining Commentary

For a More Nuanced Discussion of Vaccine Safety

Federal health officials have worked overtime to assure the public that vaccines are safe, and barely acknowledge any exceptions.

Federal health officials have worked overtime to assure the public that vaccines are safe, and barely acknowledge any exceptions. But there are exceptions, as our family knows well.

FairWarining Commentary

Dreading Those Drones

There’s something very wrong with recreational drones. You can see the attraction. They can be extremely easy to fly and they take cool pictures. The Consumer Electronics Association forecasts about 700,000 will be sold to hobbyists, gift-givers and random shoppers this year, up from 430,000 in 2014 but far fewer than the 1.1 million sales […]