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    FairWarning Signing Off; Statements by Our Board and Editor

    The board of FairWarning, a nonprofit devoted to alerting the public to hazardous consumer products and unjust corporate practices, has decided to dissolve the charitable nonprofit as of Feb. 20, 2021. This step is taken with regret as the small journalism nonprofit has devoted the last 11 years to protecting the public from harms to their health and safety.

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      Warning Wire

      Coronavirus Numbers Trending in the Right Direction, But Risks from New Variants and Super Bowl Gatherings Lurk

      Covid infections and hospitalizations have dropped sharply in most areas from early January peaks, signaling a likely decline in deaths in the coming days. But progress could stall with the spread of new virus variants, the easing of restrictions and the possible impact of  Super Bowl gatherings.

      Recent Stories

        Labor

        Women Joining Corporate Boards in Record Numbers After Legislative Push

        Amid growing calls for women on corporate boards, California’s 662 publicly traded companies have added hundreds of women to their boards in the past two years. While that’s an impressive jump, the companies didn’t do it because it suddenly struck them as a great idea.

          Public Health

          Poor Ventilation in Multifamily Buildings May Lessen Benefit of Staying at Home to Avoid Covid 

          Lindsey first noticed the symptoms in mid-December. Her wife was even sicker, with a high fever. Testing confirmed they both had Covid. Lindsey knew she had to tell the upstairs neighbors, who also owned the building. When she went to warn them, she was in for a surprise — one with implications not only for her, but also, potentially, for public health messaging and policy nationwide.

            Environment

            Which U.S. Cities Get Failing Grades on Parks

            Being ranked among the most park-poor cities in America is a fitness test no city wants to flunk. But in 2020 amid the pandemic, the national “ParkScore” ratings issued by The Trust for Public Land took on greater meaning as overcrowding at home and lack of school recess put families in a bind.

              Transportation Safety

              In Battle Against “the Highway Disease,” Traffic Safety Agency Attacked as Asleep at the Wheel

              NHTSA was established 50 years ago to reduce the toll of injuries and deaths on the nation's roads. But even as progress stalled, the agency cut back on key activities as part of the Trump administration's deregulatory crusade.

                Public Health

                Off-Target Pesticide Service Douses Neighboring Properties, People

                Alpine Helicopter Service has been implicated in dozens of complaints of crop loss and personal injury when pesticides it sprayed allegedly landed on the wrong targets. Now, the state of California is suing the company and taking a stand on pesticide misuse.

                  Labor

                  Under Attack for its Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, OSHA is Playing Catch-up

                  Early In the pandemic, OSHA drew scathing criticism for a hands-off approach to a crisis that has claimed the lives of hundreds of essential workers. More recently, the agency began ramping up enforcement. Despite the burst of activity, a FairWarning review shows that inspectors are mostly responding to deaths or hospitalizations, as required by law, rather than flagging unsafe conditions before more workers get infected. 

                    Consumer Protection

                    Patients Pay Thousands for a Back Pain Treatment Promoted by Exaggerated Claims

                    For three decades, the spinal decompression industry has promised relief to back pain patients. But stupendous claims of success are not backed up by scientifically rigorous research.

                      Environment

                      Presto Chango: How Flood Map Revisions Allow Building in Risky Areas

                      Across the country, developers regularly use flood map changes to build in vulnerable areas after getting FEMA to approve measures such as elevating homes, building retention ponds and raising the land with fill. But it's not always enough to prevent flooding and increased risks for people nearby.

                        Consumer Protection

                        Safety Agency Tied in Knots in Bid to Prevent Harm to Children from Powerful Magnets 

                        In May, a nine-year old girl was taken to the emergency room after swallowing three powerful magnets that punched holes through her intestines. Such tiny rare earth magnets were to have been banned several years ago to prevent just this kind of life-threatening injury. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission was blocked by litigation that was decided in the agency’s favor just weeks ago.   

                          Consumer Protection

                          In the Cannabis Patch, a Patchwork of Safety Standards–and in Some Cases None At All

                          Although 35 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use, there still are no uniform standards for regulating potentially harmful contaminants. And with five more states voting this November on whether to allow cannabis for the first time, the problem will only grow.