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Scientists Find Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals in Water at Colorado Fracking Sites

New study points to health risks from drilling technique. Water samples collected at Colorado sites where fracking was used to extract natural gas contain chemicals linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer, scientists reported. The study, published in the journal Endocrinology, also found elevated levels of the hormone-disrupting chemicals in the Colorado River, where wastewater released during accidental spills at nearby wells could wind up. Tests of water from sites with no fracking activity also revealed so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals. But the levels from these control sites were lower than in places with direct links to fracking. “With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure,” said the study’s senior author. Los Angeles Times

GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products. The British drug maker also will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, Glaxo’s chief executive said. The announcement ends two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest. The actions appear to be a first for a major drug company — although others may be considering similar moves — and it comes at a particularly sensitive time for Glaxo. It is the subject of a bribery investigation in China, where authorities contend the company funneled illegal payments to doctors and government officials in an effort to lift drug sales. The New York Times

Pediatricians group warns pregnant women and children not to drink raw milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics said it would support “a ban on the sale of raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products throughout the United States, including the sale of certain raw milk cheeses, such as fresh cheese, soft cheeses and soft-ripened cheeses.” Thirty states, including California, allow the sale of raw milk. Advocates say raw milk is delicious and provides health benefits, including protection against asthma and lactose intolerance. But last week health officials in Minnesota, based on a 10-year study, estimated that 17 percent of the state’s residents who drank raw milk got sick. Los Angeles Times

Many sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws. Much of the resistance is in Colorado, where laws enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., were hailed as a victory by gun control advocates. Yet the laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant in many of the state’s rural regions. In New York State, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed one of the toughest gun law packages in the nation last January, two sheriffs have said publicly they would not enforce the laws. In Liberty County, Fla., a jury in October acquitted a sheriff who was suspended and charged with misconduct after he released a man arrested on charges of carrying a concealed firearm. The sheriff, who was immediately reinstated, said he was protecting the man’s Second Amendment rights. The New York Times

Two deaths, serious head injury lead to charges against employers. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Tim Graboski Roofing of Delray Beach, Fla., for four safety violations — including two willful violations, the agency’s most serious offense — following the June electrocution death of an employee. OSHA, which accused the company of exposing workers to fall hazards, proposed fines of $154,000. Separately, OSHA charged the U.S. Postal Service with one violation, and proposed a $7,000 fine, in connection with the heat-related death in July of a letter carrier in Medford, Mass. The letter carrier died after walking on his route for five hours in 94-degree weather. OSHA said the Postal Service failed to implement a program to prevent heat-related illnesses. OSHA also cited a Pinnacle Metal Products staircase plant in Columbus, Ohio, in connection with an accident that left a 42-year-old worker blind in one eye and half-blind in the other. OSHA said the workers didn’t receive adequate training on operating a scissors lift. It accused the company of 11 violations, including one willful violation, and proposed fines of $90,090. OSHA (Florida), OSHA (Massachusetts), OSHA (Ohio)

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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One comment to “Scientists Find Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals in Water at Colorado Fracking Sites”

  1. Gene Ralno

    Fracking also causes global warming, polar bear sterility and spotted owl fever.

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