The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t investigate farm deaths, like Brandon Mullen’s in Iowa in 2013, because of a fateful decision by Congress more than 40 years ago that has given small farms unique immunity from safety oversight. A Fairwarning.org report.
It’s no shocker that environmental and consumer advocates are furious about the Trump administration proposal to throttle sweeping Obama era rules intended to dramatically reduce auto tailpipe emissions and boost fuel economy. But pushback also is coming from less likely sources: auto manufacturers and their suppliers, and even a major oil company.
Consumer advocates are attacking a bill heading for a vote soon in the U.S. Senate that would clear legal obstacles for the deployment of driverless cars — a proposal that, critics say, lacks safeguards needed to protect the public and largely would let vehicle manufacturers regulate themselves. A special report from Fairwarning.org.
When her black cat rapidly dropped from a healthy 14 pounds to a skeletal five pounds, it was natural for Arlene Blum to investigate whether a toxic chemical in her home might be to blame. The veterinarian’s diagnosis raised that possibility, and Blum had expertise in the harm that chemicals can cause. Her research as a chemist in the 1970s helped reveal the possible health hazards posed by flame retardants used in children’s sleepwear. What surprised Blum, executive director of the nonprofit Green Science Policy Institute in Berkeley, Calif., was the chemical she discovered in Midnight’s blood, in the foam of her couch and in dust throughout her house. It was a substance only slightly different than the one that, decades earlier, she encountered in kids’ pajamas, leading to a federal ban on the compound for that sort of use.
Some evidence suggests that long-term ingestion of drinking water with nitrates at just half that federal limit can prove dangerous to children and adults alike, potentially raising the risk of bladder, thyroid, kidney, ovarian and colon cancers. Iowa is part of the story.
In recent years thousands have died on the nation’s highways, mostly in ones and twos, as a result of drivers fiddling with their phones. The main countermeasures–campaigns exhorting drivers to stay focused and ticketing violators of state bans on texting and hand-held use of phones–have had limited effect.
Officials in small towns and rural areas around the country, at the urging of riding enthusiasts, have been approving the use of ATVs on public roadways. Safety advocates have pushed back, but they are losing more fights than they win.
After a long downward trend, U.S. traffic deaths are on the rise again, and a key factor is the stubbornly high fatality toll among some of the most exposed people on the road: motorcyclists. But regulators aren’t eager to step into the problem, this Fairwarning report shows.,