Writer: Myron Levin

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

Environment

Report Renews Concern About Asbestos-Like Minerals at Sites in Arid West

Recent research is focusing new attention on erionite, an asbestos-like mineral, blamed for staggering rates of a deadly cancer in Turkey, that also is found in the rocks and soil of 13 Western states.

Consumer Protection

Racial Politics Flavor Debate Over Banning Menthol Cigarettes

Lorillard Tobacco 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.

Consumer Protection

The Hard Truth About the Softest Mineral

We use talc in many up close and personal ways: to powder babies’ bottoms, as an ingredient in cosmetics, a filler in capsules and pills–even as a food additive. Yet talc, the softest known mineral, is dug from the ground, where it can keep bad company. Talc is sometimes interlaced with asbestos, which can cause fatal diseases in those who inhale its microscopic, lung-scarring fibers.

Consumer Protection

Off-Road Industry Looks to Congress to Put Brakes on Safety Regulation

Manufacturers of off-road vehicles have mounted fierce resistance to proposed federal rules aimed at reducing rollover crashes that have killed hundreds of riders.

Consumer Protection

Colgate-Palmolive Suffers Courtroom Loss in Asbestos-Talc Powder Case

Colgate-Palmolive Co. was ordered to pay $12.4 million in damages to a woman with a deadly form of cancer after a Los Angeles jury found that an asbestos-contaminated talcum powder was the main cause of her disease.

Consumer Protection

Talc-Ovarian Cancer Link Sparks Growing Legal Battle

Deane Berg’s doctor called her in the day after Christmas, 2006, to give her the crushing news: she had stage III ovarian cancer, and her prognosis was poor. Talc powder might be a cause ovarian cancer--who knew? It turned out that some people did. Berg was stunned to learn that since the early 1980s, a slew of studies had found that women who regularly used talc powder for feminine hygiene had higher than average rates of ovarian cancer.

Transportation Safety

Highway Agency Takes a Hit Over Safety Report on Electronic Billboards

Photo courtesy of Scenic America Why did the billboard cross the road? It sounds like the opening line of a corny joke, but it’s actually a question raised by a baffling glitch in a Federal Highway Administration study on the safety of electronic billboards. Billboards that seem magically [...]

Consumer Protection

Showdown With Industry Looms as Safety Rules for Off-Road Vehicles Advance

Rebuffing off-road vehicle manufacturers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted today to move forward with rules aimed at preventing rollover crashes that have killed hundreds of riders.

Consumer Protection

Battling Safety Rules for Off-Road Vehicles, Industry Gets Boost From Senators

Manufacturers of off-road vehicles have enlisted the help of a dozen U.S. senators to try to block regulations intended to prevent rollover crashes that have killed hundreds of riders.

Consumer Protection

Tobacco Industry Batting a Thousand With Federal Judge, While FDA Strikes Out

In 2009, Congress passed landmark legislation directing the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products, aiming to cut the toll from the leading preventable cause of disease and death. Three times since, however, cigarette and e-cigarette companies have filed successful legal challenges to thwart rules intended to make their products less appealing to consumers–and less accessible to kids.

Labor

Investigation of Pay Practices Targets Two More Major League Teams, the Orioles and A’s

A federal investigation of pay practices in Major League Baseball has been expanded to include two more teams—the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A’s—bringing to four the number of clubs that have come under scrutiny for possible violations of U.S. wage standards.

Labor

Recycling Firm Accused of Wage Violations, Threats Against Workers Agrees to Settlement

A Los Angeles recycling business accused of violating federal minimum wage and overtime rules, and pressuring workers to lie to government investigators, has agreed to pay more than $74,000 in back wages and damages to 13 employees in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Consumer Protection

Power Tool Makers Accused in Lawsuit of Thwarting Adoption of Finger-Saving Device

Leading power tool manufacturers have conspired for years to thwart adoption of a safety device that could prevent thousands of finger amputations and other disfiguring injuries in table saw accidents, according to a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by the developer of the safety technology. Using a hot dog as a [...]