Monday, March 29, 2021
Friday, June 17, 2022
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
New Testing Reveals Hidden Dangerous Chemicals in Popular Halloween Costumes and "Trick or Treat" Bags
Study Finds Costumes and Party Supplies Sold by Top Retailers Contain Hazardous Additives
- Thirty-three of the 106 tested Halloween products contained polyvinyl chloride (vinyl or PVC) components.
- Seventeen of the vinyl products were tested for phthalate plasticizers. Of these, two items contained phthalates that were recently banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in children's products. One of these was a Toddler Batman Muscle Costume purchased at Walmart. In the costume's yellow belt, HealthyStuff.org measured 29% regulated phthalates (290,000 ppm) and 340 ppm tin. Lead was detected in the mask inner lining at 120 ppm. Overall, five percent of all products were measured to have lead exceeding 100 ppm.
- The study also documented an ongoing shift away from phthalate plasticizers in flexible vinyl products. Tests showed that fifteen of the vinyl items tested were plasticized with the less toxic chemical DOTP.
- Ten percent of the products contained levels of bromine consistent with brominated flame retardants. Two Disney-themed Trick-or-Treat bags purchased at Kroger, for example, contained 28,000 ppm and 6,000 ppm bromine, respectively. Halloween light sets purchased at Walgreen's and CVS contained similarly high amounts of bromine.
- Many of the products with brominated flame retardants also contained high levels of antimony, suggesting an antimony-based flame retardant was used in addition to the brominated chemicals.
- Thirty-nine percent of the vinyl products, ranging from dress-up shoes to a skeleton "light stick," contained tin at levels suggesting organotin stabilizers. Vinyl products were twice as likely to contain tin as non-vinyl materials. Some forms of organotins are endocrine disruptors; other forms can impact the developing brain and damage the immune system.
- Contact your favorite retailer and ask them to sell non-toxic supplies.
- Avoid vinyl products: select cloth and natural materials for costumes and decorations.
- Make up and masks: Use paint and pencils made from clay or other natural ingredients, or make your own.
- Trick or Treating: use old pillowcases or reusable shopping bags
- Pumpkins: Roast and eat the seeds and compost the pumpkin when you're done.
- Decorations: Avoid plastics and instead use paper, cardboard, leaves or other natural and recyclable materials for your decorations.
- Halloween Safety Tips (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- DuPont Fined $1.275 Million For Hazardous Violations (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Train Carrying Deadly PVC Crashes In NJ Sickens Workers / Residents (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- OSHA settles with Nebraska-based ConAgra Foods to protect workers from anhydrous ammonia (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- US NTSB Initiates Investigation of NJ Toxic Train Derailment (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Cancer Alley: NJ Meadowlands to be Tested for Cancer Causing Substances (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- US Chemical Safety Board Finds Fault in West Fertilizer Explosion and Fire (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Federal safety and health investigators have determined that one of the nation's largest airlines retaliated against flight attendants who reported worker illnesses caused by toxic fumes entering aircraft cabins.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The algae bloom that swallowed parts of Lake Erie in 2011. Toledo sits near—and draws its water from—the lake's southwest region, where algae tends to accumulate. Image: MERIS/NASA, processed by NOAA/NOS/NCCOS
Last weekend, Toledo's 400,000 residents were sent scrambling for bottled water because the stuff from the tap had gone toxic—so toxic that city officials warned people against bathing their children or washing their dishes in it. The likely cause: a toxic blue-green algae bloom floated over the city's municipal water intake in Lake Erie. On Monday morning, the city called off the don't-drink-the-water warning, claiming that levels of the contaminant in the water had fallen back to safe levels. Is their nightmare over?
One expert said he could "almost guarantee" that the conditions that caused the crisis, i.e., a toxic bloom floating over the intake, would recur this summer.
I put the question to Jeffrey Reutter, director of the Stone Laboratory at Ohio State University and a researcher who monitors Lake Erie's annual algae blooms. He said he could "almost guarantee" that the conditions that caused the crisis, i.e., a toxic bloom floating over the intake, would recur this summer. But it's "pretty unlikely" that toxins will make it into the city's drinking water. That's because after the weekend's fiasco, a whole crew of public agencies, from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to the US Environmental Protection Agency...
- EPA risk assessment finds trichloroethylene (TCE) too toxic for use in dry-cleaners and hobby arts & crafts.
- Stand Up For Safer Chemicals
- The EPA's Bold New Agenda
- U.S. Military Is Scrutinized Over Trash Burning in Afghanistan
- What Do We Know About the Chemical That Just Spilled in West Virginia?
- How the West Virginia Spill Exposes Our Lax Chemical Laws
- The Slow, Quiet Death of Extended Unemployment Benefits
Sunday, December 29, 2019
Thursday, July 7, 2016
The case arose out of a household contact's exposure to beryllium brought home on the employee's cloths. At the time of the exposure, 30 years ago, the household contact was the fiance of the employee.
"The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit having certified to the Supreme Court the following question of law pursuant to Rule 2:12-1:And the Court having determined to accept the question as certified."Does the premises liability rule set forth in Olivo v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 186 N.J. 394, 895 A.2d 1143 (2006), extend beyond providing a duty of care to the spouse of a person exposed to toxic substances on the landowner's premises, and, if so, what are the limits of that liability rule and the associated scope of duty?
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
President Biden signed legislation that will provide medical benefits from the Veterans Administration to service members exposed to toxic burn pits while deployed overseas in recent conflicts. The President signed the Sargent First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. It embodies some of the goals we strived to achieve in the decades-long burn pit litigation project.
Monday, June 20, 2022
The State of New Jersey is suing Ford Motor Company [FMC] for environmental pollution due to dumping its toxic waste in Ringwood, New Jersey. FMC operated a huge assembly plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, from 1955 through June 1980.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Basel Convention: Countries Take Major Step to Control Plastic Waste Dumping, Stop Major Loophole for Electronic Waste
Today, 187 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. The amendments, originally proposed by Norway, require exporters to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an important tool for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country. The decision reflects a growing recognition around the world of the toxic impacts of plastic and the plastic waste trade.
Because the US is not a party to the Convention, the amendments adopted today also act as an export ban on unsorted, unclean, or contaminated plastic waste for the US towards developing countries who are parties to the Convention and not part of the OECD. The amendment will have a similar effect for the EU, a party to the Convention, whose own internal legislation bans exports of waste included under the Convention to developing countries.
“Today’s decision demonstrates that countries are finally catching up with the urgency and magnitude of the plastic pollution issue and shows what ambitious international leadership looks like,” says David Azoulay, Environmental Health Director at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). “Plastic pollution in general and plastic waste in particular remain a major threat to people and the planet, but we are encouraged by the decision of the Basel Convention as we look to the future bold decisions that will be needed to tackle plastic pollution at its roots, starting with reducing production.”
Countries halted a major loophole that would have allowed the continued export of electronic waste (e-waste), without proper controls. The proposed guidelines describing how e-waste is treated under the Basel Convention would have allowed countries to send equipment for repair without the prior informed consent procedure. The guidelines were ready for adoption, with wide support. The African region, India, and other countries, supported by civil society, raised a red flag about the inclusion of this loophole, and countries chose to continue negotiating the guidelines at the next COP, instead of adopting ineffective guidelines.
Countries established Low POPs Content Levels (LPCLs), which define the amount of POPs at which waste is considered hazardous waste. Under this designation, the waste must be disposed of in a way that destroys or irreversibly transforms its POPs content. LPCLs are key: Higher values mean that dangerous materials can, in practice, be recycled into everyday products, triggering further exposure to very toxic POPs. Mobilizing against very high values proposed by the EU, African countries and other recipient countries of waste managed to resist the extreme pressure from the EU and other developed countries, and obtained the inclusion of lower values together with the higher values proposed by the EU, opening the way for future work to lower the levels of POPs allowed in waste even further.
Parties considered a report on the role of the Basel Convention to regulate waste containing nanomaterials. It recommended the inclusion of certain nano-containing waste under the Basel Convention, and invited further work to identify those wastes that should be covered by the Convention. In a disappointing move, parties adopted a weak decision only requiring the collection of information on national initiatives to address nano-containing waste.
Stockholm Convention: Countries Pass Global Ban on Toxic PFOA
Parties to the Stockholm Convention passed a global ban of PFOA — a suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptor that has contaminated drinking water in many parts of the world. The Stockholm Convention regulates persistent organic pollutants (POPs), some of the world’s worst chemicals that harm human health and build up in the environment and the body over time.
“While the global ban on PFOA marks an important step forward in protecting the environment and people’s health, we regret that countries undermined the scientific process of the Convention to include unjustified exemptions to the ban,” said Giulia Carlini, Staff Attorney at CIEL.
A number of wide-ranging five-year exemptions were included in the PFOA ban for firefighting foams, medical devices, and fluorinated polymers, among other uses. Though China, the European Union, and Iran participated in the scientific review process, they proposed exemptions that had not undergone scientific review or were reviewed and disqualified by the scientific committee.
“PFOA is one of the world’s worst chemicals, and yet countries have found ways to continue human exposure to its toxic harms. Tellingly, even some industry groups disagreed with some of the exemptions, as there are widely available alternatives to these chemicals,” says Carlini. “Countries’ insistence on including these exemptions — in spite of readily available alternatives and a lack of evidence — reveals a disrespect for the scientific review process at the heart of the Stockholm Convention.”
Rotterdam Convention: Countries Break 15 Years of Gridlock Using Voting Procedure for First Time Ever
In the first-ever vote taken under the Rotterdam Convention, 120 parties to the Stockholm Convention broke through gridlock and disagreement to establish a compliance mechanism for the Convention. The compliance mechanism will allow countries to be held accountable for not respecting their commitments under the Convention. After nearly 15 years of negotiations with little forward movement, countries decided that “all efforts to reach consensus had been exhausted” and opted instead to vote, for the first time in the history of the Convention. The adoption of the new mechanism through a vote means that only those parties in agreement to the provisions will be be subject to this mechanism. A total of 126 Parties voted, of which 120 agreed to the compliance mechanism and only six opposed.
Countries listed hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), a toxic chemical used as a flame retardant, and phorate, a pesticide that is extremely toxic to humans, under the Rotterdam Convention’s Annex III, meaning that countries must get the prior informed consent of receiving countries in order to export these chemicals.
Unfortunately, countries failed to take action on the five other chemicals up for listing under Annex III of the Convention. In particular, chrysotile asbestos and paraquat, which have been reviewed and identified as chemicals of concerns by the Scientific Chemical Review Committee of the Convention, and have been on the agenda for years. A handful of countries repeatedly blocked the consensus required to list these chemicals under the Convention, undermining the scientific process underlying the Convention.