Lea Yu

Offshore Drilling Agency Adopts Ethics Policy to Curb Cozy Ties With Industry

Following revelations of bribes, favoritism and sexual liaisons between oil industry executives and regulators, the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling has imposed its first-ever ethics policy, The Associated Press reports. Michael R. Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, issued guidelines this week to prevent inspectors from dealing with […]

Montana Tries Reining In Drinking and Driving Culture

The high-profile death of a highway patrolman in a crash with a drunk driver has prompted officials in Montana to rethink the state’s Old West drinking and driving culture, The Associated Press reports. Montana, based on the gauge authorities use to compare states, often leads the nation in drunk driving deaths. In 2008, the last […]

Investigators Find Widespread Violations at Egg Farms Linked to Salmonella

Federal authorities have found widespread food safety violations at the Iowa egg farms linked to the nation’s salmonella outbreak, discovering manure in piles up to 8 feet high, rodents, uncaged birds, rusty feed bins, maggots and dead flies “too numerous to count.” CNN reports that the findings were disclosed in Food and Drug Administration inspection […]

Tobacco Ads Blanket Poor Areas, But Curbs May Come

Cigarette advertising has been banished from the airwaves and from billboards. But, The Boston Globe reports, tobacco signs abound in the city’s low-income, minority neighborhoods — in storefront windows and even on light poles and gas pumps. A dozen years ago Massachusetts tried, unsuccessfully, to ban storefront tobacco ads near schools and playgrounds. Public health advocates […]

Concussions Sending More Young Athletes to Emergency Rooms

Young athletes are suffering more and more concussions while playing team sports.  A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics reports that emergency room visits for concussions sustained in organized youth sports more than doubled from 2001 to 2005. And that sharp increase occurred even as participation in team athletics fell. The study is the first national […]

Water Testing at California Beaches Takes a Dive

Water testing at California beaches has dramatically declined to its lowest level since state law mandated ocean monitoring just over a decade ago, putting beachgoers at greater risk for exposure to contaminated water, the Los Angeles Times reports. An analysis of state records found that the number of annual bacteria tests has dropped by nearly […]

Motor Vehicle Crashes Come With a $99 Billion Pricetag

Motor vehicle crashes cost the American public $99 billion a year in medical expenses and productivity losses, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC, in evaluating crash data and Americans’ average earnings for 2005, found that the economic toll of traffic injuries amounts to $500 for each […]

Record Verdict of $30 Million in “Popcorn Lung” Case

A Chicago jury has awarded a record $30.4 million to a worker who contracted a serious lung disease following exposure to diacetyl, a chemical ingredient of popcorn butter flavoring. It’s the largest verdict yet in a diacetyl case, and there are more than 300 others pending nationwide, Business Insurance reports. Gerardo Solis worked more than 17 years for several producers of […]

Tainted Chicken Feed Likely Factor in Salmonella Outbreak, FDA Says

Contaminated chicken feed likely contributed to the salmonella outbreak that has sickened as many as 1,500 people and spurred a massive egg recall, according to federal health officials. Tests detected salmonella in chicken feed at a facility that supplies the two Iowa farms involved in the recall,  Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The salmonella […]

Water Imperiled Across Nation by Coal Wastes, Report Says

Toxic metals from the ash of coal-fired power plants have polluted ground and surface waters at scores of locations across the nation, says a new report by a coalition of environmental groups. Contamination has been found at 137 sites in 34 states, about double the number of locations previously identified by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the report. At one site–Hatfield’s Ferry in Pennsylvania–groundwater […]