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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mesothelioma Rates Continue to be High



Mesothelioma is a rare but highly fatal cancer of the thin membranes surrounding the chest  cavity or abdominal cavity. The only well-established risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers. Prior asbestos exposure, primarily in the workplace, has been reported in 62 to 85 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma is a disease of long latency, typically with 20-40 years between exposure and onset of disease.

Rates of mesothelioma continue to hold steady. Use of asbestos in the United States continues to be permitted despite the fact asbestos is banned in many other countries.

More information about Mesothelioma

Mar 01, 2012
US Supreme Court Rules State Mesothelioma Claim Preempted By Federal Locomotive Statute. The US Supreme Court ruled yesterday in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp.that a claim can not be brought under state...
Dec 11, 2011
This week a New York state jury awarded $2 Million dolars to a former plastic compounder who was exposed to asbestos fiber and was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma. The employee worked in a plastic factory in ...
Nov 23, 2011
Dr. Yasunosuke Suzuki, A Pioneer of Mesothelioma Medical Research. I am saddened to report the passing of Dr. Yasunosuke Suzuki. Dr. Suzuki partnered with the late, Irving J. Selikoff MD at Environmental Sciences ...
Oct 06, 2011
"In conclusion, malignant mesothelioma remains a rare form of cancer but the disease is on the rise, probably due to the spread of asbestos use over past decades. Our analysis shows that the disease burden is still ...

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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos exposures and illnesses.

Related articles

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Study on Fireworks Incidents Finds Hundreds of Injuries a Day Surrounding July 4 Holiday Festivities


special study (PDF) conducted by The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff found that 65 percent of all fireworks injuries in 2011 were sustained during the 30 days surrounding the Independence Day holiday. More than half of these injuries were the result of unexpected ignition of the device or consumers not using fireworks as intended. Fireworks injuries most often resulted in burns to the hands and head, including the eyes, face, and ears. According to the special study, sparklers, firecrackers, and aerial devices were associated with the most incidents.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also issued a strong warning about the hazards of fireworks. "As we look forward to celebrating July 4 with fireworks and festivities, we must also consider the safety of workers who handle pyrotechnics," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "It's the employer's responsibility to keep everyone safe on the job and take appropriate measures to protect workers making, selling, displaying, or otherwise handling dangerous pyrotechnic materials."

Whether it is the sparkle of the bright lights, or the thunderous boom of the explosion, there is no denying the thrill that fireworks can bring to an Independence Day celebration. Unfortunately, when consumers get their hands on professional fireworks, the results can be deadly. Last year, CPSC received reports of four consumers who were killed by either professional-grade or homemade firework devices, while an estimated 9,600 consumers were injured.


"For thousands of consumers, last year's 4th of July celebration ended with a visit to the emergency room," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "CPSC wants you to understand the risks with legal and illegal fireworks, in order to prevent an injury, or worse, during this holiday."


While the majority of fireworks injury reports involve emergency room treatment and release, CPSC is aware of more severe and fatal injuries that are associated with consumer use of professional-grade and homemade fireworks. Reports of faster-than-expected explosions and unpredictable flight paths of aerial devices have resulted in tragic consequences for some consumers.


In the four reported fireworks-related deaths, the victims were killed when the illegal devices exploded, causing severe trauma to the head and face, and resulting in decapitation in one incident. In other incidents involving professional-grade or homemade devices, the victims reportedly sustained severe burns and the loss of fingers.


On the grounds of the Washington Monument, Chairman Tenenbaum led the agency's annual fireworks press event, including a live demonstration of the dangers associated with fireworks and provided consumers with commonsense steps to prevent injuries this year. The Chairman was joined by Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Cynthia Quarterman, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration with the Department of Transportation (DOT).


CPSC and its federal partners highlighted continued import surveillance and enforcement actions to prevent hazardous firework devices from reaching the U.S. marketplace. CPSC and its partners at ATF and DOT are committed to stopping the manufacture, importation, and sale of illegal fireworks.
Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take these safety steps:
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees-hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product onSaferProducts.gov

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.


Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: SaferProducts.gov, call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing and speech impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Willful OSHA Violation Alone Not Enough Alone to Circumvent the Exclusivity Doctrine




"New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 to -128.5, provides a prompt and efficient remedy for an employee’s claim against an employer for a workplace injury. The Legislature made the statutory workers’ compensation remedy  its preferred mechanism for providing compensation to injured  workers......Based on the strong legislative preference for the workers’ compensation remedy and an intentional-wrong standard that even an employer’s recklessness and gross negligence fails  to satisfy, we hold that this matter falls short of demonstrating that an intentional wrong creating substantial certainty of bodily injury or death occurred. " Justice LaVecchia

A finding of a willful OSHA violation is not conclusive in determining whether the employer committed an intentional wrong for the purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act. Instead, it is one factor among the totality of circumstances to be considered. The issuance of a willful OSHA violation against employer (trench collapse injury) was insufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment, so the Court examined the totality of the circumstances of the accident and applies the conduct and context prongs of the substantial-certainty standard.

In reviewing the substantial certainty of injury prong of the dual test to determine employer liability beyond workers' compensation, the court distinguished this case from all prior decisions by relying upon the fact that the employer did not intentionally remove a safety device. Noting that the employer's actions in this circumstance, failure to have a proper trench preventing collapse system in place, where the soil was poor in violation of OSHA provisions, did not eliminate the exclusivity of remedy. The court specifically indicated that an employer should not be mearly penalized for actions taken for economic business motivation.

Furthermore, the high threshold of the content prong of the test was not satisfied the court enunciate. "...The type of mistake in judgment by the employer and ensuing employee accident that occurred on this construction site was so far outside the bounds of industrial life has never to become contemplated for inclusion in the Act's exclusively bar," ie. mere violation of an OSHA safety requirements.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Health Hazard Alert: Hydraulic Fracking Workers Suffer Silica Expopsure

OSHA and NIOSH issue hazard alert on ensuring workers in hydraulic fracturing operations have appropriate protections from silica exposure

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today issued a hazard alert on ensuring that employers in hydraulic fracturing operations take appropriate steps to protect workers from silica exposure. Today's action, which is taken after consultation with stakeholders, including industry, meets the Obama administration's focus on ensuring that this important resource continues to be developed safely and responsibly.

The hazard alert follows a cooperative study by NIOSH and industry partners that identified overexposure to silica as a health hazard to workers conducting hydraulic fracturing operations. 
As noted in the alert, respirable silica is a hazard common to many industries and industrial processes.  

Because large quantities of silica sand are used during hydraulic fracturing, NIOSH began a cooperative effort in January 2010 to collect data regarding silica exposure at hydraulic fracturing operations. NIOSH worked in cooperation with oil and gas industry partners to sample the air at 11 sites in five states where hydraulic fracturing operations were taking place. NIOSH identified seven primary sources of silica dust exposure during fracturing operations and found that workers downwind of sand mover and blender operations, especially during hot loading, had the highest silica exposures. 
Workers who breathe silica day after day are at greater risk of developing silicosis, a disease in which lung tissue reacts to trapped silica particles, causing inflammation and scarring, and reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. Silica also can cause lung cancer and has been linked to other diseases, such as tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney and autoimmune disease.
Today’s action responds to the NIOSH findings. The alert states that employers must ensure that workers are properly protected from overexposure to silica. The alert describes how a combination of engineering controls, work practices, protective equipment and product substitution, where feasible, along with worker training, can protect workers who are exposed to silica. Engineering controls and work practices provide the best protection for workers. According to the alert, transporting, moving and refilling silica sand into and through sand movers, and along transfer belts and into blender hoppers, can release dust into the air containing up to 99 percent silica that workers breathe. 
“Hazardous exposures to silica can and must be prevented. It is important for employers and workers to understand the hazards associated with silica exposure in hydraulic fracturing operations and how to protect workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA and NIOSH are committed to continuing to work with the industry and workers to find effective solutions to address these hazards.”
“Through partnerships, both businesses and safety professionals are able to collaborate on assessing and managing occupational safety and health risks,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The recommendations for protecting workers in the hazard alert are practical, evidence-based and effective solutions to help support the safe growth of American-made energy.”
“We applaud the efforts of the NIOSH NORA Council for Oil and Gas Extraction, OSHA and our partners from industry for helping to raise awareness of this hazard,” said Kenny Jordan, executive director of the Association of Energy Service Companies. “We are proud of the development of an industry focus group in cooperation with those agencies which will further explore this issue, share best practices and continue to build upon the many engineering controls currently in place and those under development over the last several years. The safety and health of our workforce is a top priority, and the industry strives to follow and improve best practices for safe operations and works closely with OSHA and NIOSH to help ensure a strong culture of safety. We look forward to sharing improvements not only within our industry, but with others as well.”
AFL-CIO Health and Safety Director Margaret Seminario stated, “The AFL-CIO strongly supports this hazard alert that provides important information to employers and workers involved in hydraulic fracturing operations regarding the serious health threat from silica exposures. It is critical that OSHA and NIOSH disseminate this information, so that immediate action can be taken to protect workers from silicosis and other silica-related diseases.”
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.


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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.



More about fracking

May 19, 2012
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law on Thursday a bill [H 464 materials] outlawing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, making Vermont the first US state to ban the controversial technique used to extract natural gas ...
May 24, 2012
While focus has been on environmental concerns with the advent of fracking, a process to release oil and gas, a new concern has emerged over the potential occupational exposure to silica by workers who are involved in the...
Oct 22, 2011
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a schedule to develop standards for wastewater discharges produced by natural gas extraction from underground coalbed and shale formations.
Oct 12, 2011
Related articles. How To Determine If A Substance Causes Cancer at Work (workers-compensation.blogspot.com); 'Fracking' fluid pitch stirs Great Lakes pollution fears (ctv.ca); Doctors Urge N.Y. to Weigh Health Risks of ...



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Unlawful Asbestos Removal Results in Criminal Charges


Demolition Contractors Indicted for Unlicensed and Unsafe Asbestos Removal at Zurbrugg Hospital Site in Riverside NJ
Illegal actions allegedly caused release of asbestos dust and debris


NJ Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that two men and the demolition company they operated have been indicted by a state grand jury on charges that they unlawfully removed asbestos from the former Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital in Riverside, N.J., without a license, using workers who were not trained or equipped to do the job safely.
The Division of Criminal Justice obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Frank J. Rizzo, 53, of Parlin, Michael Kouvaras, 59, of Maplewood, and the company they ran, Deuteron Capital, LLC, doing business as South Street Fillit Recycling of Riverside, with conspiracy (2nd degree), unlawfully causing the release of a toxic pollutant (2nd degree), abandonment of toxic pollutants (2nd degree), and violating the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act (3rd degree). The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Environmental Crimes Unit and the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division.


Between August 2010 and March 2011, the defendants allegedly used untrained day laborers, including inmates from a halfway house, to remove asbestos from the hospital buildings in connection with demolition at the site and their efforts to salvage valuable copper and steel. They allegedly engaged in asbestos removal without the required license from the New Jersey Department of Labor, and their illegal activities allegedly caused the release of asbestos dust and debris. Kouvaras, the owner of South Street, and Rizzo, the project organizer, allegedly directed unlicensed workers to remove asbestos or asbestos-containing material, bury approximately 50 bags of asbestos in the ground, and dump bags of asbestos on the floor of a boiler room so that it would appear that vandals had removed the asbestos while stealing copper and steel.


“These men knew there was asbestos throughout this old hospital and knew the real dangers involved in removing it, but we allege that they put their monetary self-interest ahead of the health and safety of their workers and the surrounding community,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “They are charged with serious crimes, including second-degree offenses that carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison.”


“Through our Environmental Crimes Unit, we have made prosecuting polluters a high priority,” said Stephen J. Taylor, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The laws and regulations governing the handling and disposal of hazardous materials such as asbestos are there to protect all of us, and we will come down hard on violators who put workers and the public at risk.”


In early 2010, Rizzo solicited the owner of the Zurbrugg site for the contract to demolish the hospital. South Street was given the contract, which specified that the company would retain all of the proceeds from the recycling of metal and arrange for and pay all demolition costs, including asbestos abatement and disposal. An engineering report on the hospital buildings, which was provided to the defendants, identified extensive asbestos throughout the structures.


The defendants initially retained a licensed asbestos abatement contractor, which provided the required 10-day notice of its intent to perform asbestos abatement at the site to the Department of Labor, Department of Health & Senior Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, the defendants paid only a few thousand dollars of the 10 percent deposit required by the contractor to start the work. The contractor estimated abatement would cost about $220,000. The licensed contractor worked only one day at the site, removing a small amount of asbestos. 


The defendants allegedly used day laborers, including inmates from Clinton House, a work release halfway house in Trenton, to remove asbestos from sections of the hospital, without following the requirements of federal and state laws to prevent the release of toxic asbestos dust and debris. For example, the workers stripped insulation containing asbestos from pipes and a boiler, so that copper pipes, wire and other metals could be salvaged. It is alleged that the workers did not wear protective equipment, with the exception of paper masks, which are not authorized as safe for asbestos removal. The workers quickly took off the paper masks because the masks made it difficult to breathe.


The workers placed materials containing asbestos into black plastic bags, and some of the bags were placed in a roll-off container provided by a waste transportation company. Disposal manifests show 25 bags and 100 bags respectively were removed by a licensed hauler and disposed of at a lawful facility.


Division of Criminal Justice detectives executed a search warrant at the site on Filmore Street on March 28, 2011, and discovered material containing asbestos strewn on the floor of the boiler room. They found a roll-off container holding over 200 plastic bags of materials, 30 of which were tested and found to contain asbestos. They also uncovered two bags containing asbestos tiles buried in the ground during limited excavation at the site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 has taken jurisdiction of the site, which is being evaluated for asbestos removal action.


The state investigation began in early 2011 when the Department of Corrections (DOC) Special Investigations Division received a tip that inmates were being used to remove asbestos at the site. DOC alerted the Division of Criminal Justice, which joined the investigation. The Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health & Senior Services and Department of Labor & Workforce Development assisted with the investigation, including helping with the execution of search warrants at the Zurbrugg site and South Street offices beginning on March 28, 2011.


Supervising Deputy Attorney General Betty Rodriguez and Deputy Attorney General Mary Erin McAnally presented the case to the state grand jury. The investigation was conducted for the Environmental Crimes Unit, within the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, by Sgt. Steven Ogulin, Detective Dawn Ryan, Detective Michael Klumpp, SDAG Rodriguez and DAG McAnally. The investigation was led for the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division by Principal Investigator Daniel Klotz.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The third-degree offense of violating the Asbestos Control and Licensing Act carries a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Thomas W. Sumners Jr. in Mercer County, who assigned it to Burlington County. The indictment is posted with this release at www.njpublicsafety.com.
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For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman1.973.696.7900 jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered work related accident and injuries.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

US EPA Reaches Agreement With 70 Companies to Clean Up Passaic River NJ Pollution

Passaic River Falls
(c) Jon L. Gelman, All rights reserved
Seventy Companies Reach Agreement with EPA to Remove Highly Contaminated Mud from Lyndhurst Section of the Passaic River; Cleanup work estimated to cost $20 million

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has reached agreement with 70 companies considered potentially responsible for contamination of the lower Passaic River to remove approximately 16,000 cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from a half-mile long area of the Passaic River in Lyndhurst, New Jersey at their expense. High levels of contaminants, including PCBs, mercury and dioxin, are present in the sediment and can cause health effects. The work is scheduled to begin in spring 2013.

The agreement calls for the parties to remove contaminated sediment from a mud flat area near the north section of Riverside County Park, install a protective cap over the approximately five-acre excavated area and conduct lab tests of sediment treatment technologies. Based on the results, testing of treatment technologies at a larger scale may also be performed. The cap will monitored and maintained to ensure that it remains protective until a final cleanup plan for the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River is selected by the EPA. The excavated material will be disposed of in a licensed, permitted EPA-approved disposal facility if the sediment treatment technologies do not prove effective during testing.

“This agreement triggers actions that will reduce exposure of people and wildlife to the highly toxic contaminants in the Passaic River sediment and keep it from spreading to other parts of the river,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Under the Superfund agreement, the companies responsible for the contamination will conduct and pay for the work with EPA oversight, rather than passing the costs on to taxpayers.”

Dioxin can cause cancer and other serious health effects. PCBs are likely cancer-causing substances and mercury can cause serious damage to the nervous system. The highly contaminated sediment was discovered in Lyndhurst during sampling performed by the EPA and the parties in late 2011.

Superfund is the federal cleanup program established in 1980 to investigate and clean up the country’s most hazardous waste sites. The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanups, rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. When sites are placed on the Superfund list, the EPA looks for parties responsible for the pollution and requires them to pay for the cleanups.

Under the agreement announced today, the companies will conduct and pay for the cleanup work and EPA’s costs in overseeing it. The cost of the work to be performed is estimated at $20 million, in addition to the costs of EPA oversight.

The EPA will work closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, local officials, river and park users, the Passaic River Community Advisory Group, community organizations and Lyndhurst residents throughout the planning and cleanup process. The agency will provide information on the plans, coordinate the cleanup and minimize possible disruptions to river and park use to the extent possible.

The agreement includes a statement of work that identifies planning and reporting requirements associated with the cleanup. The agreement and additional information on the lower Passaic River restoration project are available athttp://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/diamondalkali/ or http://www.ourpassaic.org.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.12-079

Attachment - List of Parties that Signed the Settlement1. Arkema Inc.
2. Ashland Inc.
3. Atlantic Richfield Company
4. BASF Corporation, on its own behalf and on behalf of BASF Catalysts LLC
5. Belleville Industrial Center
6. Benjamin Moore & Co.
7. CBS Corporation, a Delaware corporation, f/k/a Viacom Inc., successor by merger to CBS Corporation, a Pennsylvania corporation, f/k/a Westinghouse Electric Corporation
8. Chevron Environmental Management Company, for itself and on behalf of Texaco, Inc. and TRMI-H LLC
9. CNA Holdings LLC
10. Coats & Clark, Inc.
11. Coltec Industries
12. Conopco, Inc. d/b/a Unilever (as successor to CPC/Bestfoods, former parent of the Penick Corporation (facility located at 540 New York Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ))
13. Cooper Industries, LLC
14. Covanta Essex Company
15. Croda Inc.
16. DII Industries, LLC
17. DiLorenzo Properties Company on behalf of itself and the Goldman /Goldman/DiLorenzo Properties Partnerships
18. E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
19. Eden Wood Corporation
20. Elan Chemical Company
21. EPEC Polymers, Inc. on behalf of itself and EPEC Oil Company Liquidating Trust
22. Essex Chemical Corporation
23. Exelis Inc. for itself and for ITT Corporation
24. Flexon Industries Corp.
25. Franklin-Burlington Plastics, Inc.
26. Garfield Molding Co., Inc.
27. General Electric Company
28. Givaudan Fragrances Corporation (Fragrances North America)
29. Goodrich Corporation on behalf of itself and Kalama Specialty Chemicals, Inc.
30. Hess Corporation, on its own behalf and on behalf of Atlantic Richfield Company
31. Hexcel Corporation
32. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. on its own behalf, and on behalf of its affiliate Roche Diagnostics
33. Honeywell International Inc.
34. ISP Chemicals LLC
35. Kao USA Inc.
36. Leemilt’s Petroleum, Inc. (successor to Power Test of New Jersey, Inc.), on its behalf and on behalf of Power Test Realty Company Limited Partnership and Getty Properties Corp., the General Partner of Power Test Realty Company Limited Partnership
37. Legacy Vulcan Corp.
38. Linde LLC on behalf of The BOC Group, Inc.
39. Lucent Technologies Inc. now known as Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc.
40. Mallinckrodt Inc.
41. National-Standard LLC
42. Newell Rubbermaid Inc., on behalf of itself and its wholly-owned subsidiaries Goody Products, Inc. and Berol Corporation (as successor by merger to Faber-Castell Corporation)
43. News Publishing Australia Ltd. (successor to Chris-Craft Industries)
44. Novelis Corporation (f/k/a Alcan Aluminum Corporation)
45. Otis Elevator Company
46. Pfizer, Inc.
47. Pharmacia Corporation (f/k/a Monsanto Company)
48. PPG Industries, Inc.
49. Public Service Electric and Gas Company
50. Purdue Pharma Technologies, Inc.
51. Quality Carriers, Inc. as successor to Chemical Leaman Tank Lines, Inc. and Quality Carriers, Inc.’s corporate affiliates and parents
52. Reichhold, Inc.
53. Revere Smelting and Refining Corporation
54. Safety-Kleen Envirosystems Company by McKesson, and McKesson Corporation for itself
55. Sequa Corporation
56. Seton Tanning
57. STWB Inc.
58. Sun Chemical Corporation
59. Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC (f/k/a A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company, including its former division Staley Chemical Company)
60. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (f/k/a Biocraft Laboratories, Inc.)
61. Teval Corporation
62. Textron Inc.
63. The Hartz Consumer Group, Inc., on behalf of The Hartz Mountain Corporation
64. The Newark Group
65. The Sherwin-Williams Company
66. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
67. Three County Volkswagen
68. Tiffany and Company
69. Vertellus Specialties Inc. f/k/a Reilly Industries, Inc.
70. Wyeth, on behalf of Shulton, Inc.

Preparing For US Supreme Court Health Care Decision Day

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...
English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“At the Supreme Court, those who know don't talk....And those who talk don't know.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


NCCI Takes Aim At Obesity

What scientists call "Overweight" ch...

In a report issued by NCCI Holdings Inc., a company that generates workers' compensation insurance rates in many jurisdictions, the increased cost factors for obesity were reported. 

"The statistical analysis shows that claimants with a comorbidity indicator pointing to obesity have an indemnity benefit duration that is more than five times the value of claimants who do not have this comorbidity indicator but are otherwise comparable. Inclusive of Permanent Partial indemnity payments, this multiple climbs to more than six."


As the nation continues to grow at the waist, and obesity complicates and contributes to systemic medical conditions,  workers' compensation medical costs will continue to skyrocket. Courts continue to struggle with the integration and synergetic of obesity on occupational health conditions.  As an major element of the national's health crisis, obesity may in fact be the tipping factor for a national universal medical program.

Related articles

CMS and Future Medicals: New Rules Proposed

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several options to efficiently and effectively handle issues concerning the payment of future medicals.


"This advance notice of proposed rulemaking solicits comment on standardized options that we are considering making available to beneficiaries and their representatives to clarify how they can meet their obligations to protect Medicare's interest with respect to Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) claims involving automobile and liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, and workers' compensation when future medical care is claimed or the settlement, judgment, award, or other payment releases (or has the effect of releasing) claims for future medical care."
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"We are issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public comments on standardized options that beneficiaries and their attorneys or other representatives will be able to use to resolve MSP obligations related to settlements, judgments, awards, or other payments (hereinafter, for ease of reference in this document and unless otherwise indicated, “settlement(s)”) involving future medical care while protecting Medicare's interest."


Click here to read the Federal Register Notice.

NIOSH Warns of Flavoring-Related Lung Disease

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is now providing information to healthcare providers to assist them to identify and treat flavoring-related lung disease. Workers who breathe flavoring chemicals containing diacetyl, such as butter flavoring, may be at risk of severe obstructive lung disease.



Who is at risk? 


Workers who make, use, or work near flavoring chemicals containing diacetyl or 2,3-pentanedione may be at risk. Settings where these exposures may occur include:
  • Flavoring plants 
  • Microwave popcorn plant
  •   Commercial and retail bakeries
  •   Snack food and candy plants
  •   Dairy products and packaged vegetable oil plants (e.g., margarine, cooking oil)
  •   Other flavored food production plants.Exposures in the flavoring industry and in microwave popcorn production have caused workers to have severe lung disease. The burden of hazardous exposures and risk to workers in other settings remains unclear. However, it is important to consider the possibility of flavoring-related lung disease in workers who have been exposed to diacetyl or similar flavoring chemicals and have respiratory symptoms

About Symptoms


Symptoms are not present in all cases. When present, symptoms can range in severity. The main respiratory symptoms experienced by workers include:
  • Cough (usually without phlegm)
  • Shortness of breath on exertion
  • Wheezing
Other symptoms experienced by some workers include: 
  • Fever, night sweats, or weight loss
  • Frequent or persistent eye, nose, throat, or skin irritation
In cases of flavoring-related lung disease, respiratory symptoms do not typically improve when the worker goes home at the end of the workday, on weekends, or on vacations. The symptoms often have a gradual onset but can occur suddenly. Work-related exposure to butter flavoring chemicals  might also lead to asthma or exacerbate pre-existing asthma.

Related Topics

Aug 18, 2011
For public review and comment, the draft document summarizes current scientific knowledge about the occupational safety and health implications of the food flavorings diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione, and recommends ...

Dec 22, 2010
Diacetyl is a substance widely used in food and beverage flavorings. Diacetyl is used in a wide variety of food flavorings, although flavor manufacturers have begun to reduce or eliminate the amount of diacetyl in some kinds ...

California Becomes First State to Set Safety Guidelines for Flavoring
Dec 04, 2010
Cal/OSHA continues to be a national leader in worker safety by implementing a new standard today to protect employees who work with diacetyl, a chemical commonly used to give food flavorings a buttery taste. Cal/OSHA, a...

Legislation to Protect Food Flavoring ...
Sep 27, 2000The legislation would force the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue rules limiting workers' exposure to diacetyl, a chemical used in artificial food flavoring for microwave popcorn and other foods.

Candy Makers Found to Have Popcorn Lung - Flavoring Illness
Apr 07, 2009
It has been reported by, Andrew Schneider, investigative reporter, that severe cases of "popcorn lung" caused by exposure to diacetyl butter are now being reported in candy makers as well. Five cases of severe lung disease ...
Sep 06, 2010
A jury in the Chicago area awarded a local factory worker $30.4 Million for a pulmonary illness resulting from exposure to popcorn flavoring, diacetyl. The verdict is considered to be largest ever in the US for an individual claim ...

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