Blog: The Fine Print / Citizen Health & Safety
May 22, 2015 by Scott Klinger
Imagine you’re hit from behind while driving. Your vehicles airbags deploy, but instead of cushioning you, bits of metal shrapnel are sent flying. That’s what has happened to more than 100 drivers since 2007.
Six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been attributed to defects in the small component that inflates the airbag. It seems humidity degrades the casing around the chemicals, causing the inflator to sometimes explode. The components’ Japanese manufacturer, Takata, has been slow to accept responsibility for this defective product.read in full
May 21, 2015 by Amanda Frank
UPDATE (May 28, 2015): Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Clean Water Rule, closing loopholes that historically allowed polluters to dump waste into the streams and wetlands that feed our drinking water supply. One in three Americans’ drinking water comes from these sources, and so EPA’s rule is a win for public and environmental health. Among other provisions, the rule grants protection under the Clean Water Act to streams, wetlands, and rain-dependent waters that connect to navigable waters.read in full
May 19, 2015 by Amanda Frank
There is a new paradox emerging in the fracking debate.
The oil and gas industry firmly opposes federal fracking standards, claiming that states know best how to govern their own lands. States are currently responsible for the majority of industry oversight, and rules can vary significantly among them.read in full
May 15, 2015 by Ellie Joo
Cutting carbon emissions from U.S. power plants will help combat climate change, but it can also substantially reduce illnesses and deaths from other types of air pollution. Scientists from Syracuse, Harvard, and Boston universities compared the health impacts of three alternative policies related to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed carbon standards for existing power plants, and they found that increasing energy efficiency would be one of the most effective ways to cut power plant emissions and protect our health.read in full
May 15, 2015 by Katie Vann
Concerned Wyoming residents who want to protect their state’s beautiful natural resources and keep their families safe from harmful contaminants have been silenced.
Earlier this year, the Wyoming legislature passed a bill making it a crime for citizens to collect information about the environment and report concerns to their state or federal government.read in full
May 15, 2015 by Scott Klinger
UPDATE (5/15/2015): Amtrak announced yesterday that it would have Positive Train Control up and operating on its heavily traveled Northeast Corridor routes before the end of the year. Amtrak officials also told members of Congress that Positive Train Control has been installed in the area of Tuesday's crash, but it was still undergoing testing and had not yet been activated.
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We Can Prevent Health Problems from Air Pollution by Strengthening Standards and Stopping Budget Cuts
May 13, 2015 by Ronald White
"My asthma is highly reactive to ozone. On days like this I can hardly walk across the room. My quality of life is trashed by ozone." This is just one of hundreds of personal stories about the devastating health impacts of air pollution that are posted on the American Lung Association’s State of the Air website.read in full
May 7, 2015 by Amanda Frank
In 1938, a DuPont chemist accidently created a chemical compound that would make thousands of products water- and stain-resistant. The compound belongs to a family of chemicals known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). PFCs soon made their way into nonstick cookware, carpeting, food packaging, and a host of other products.read in full
May 1, 2015 by Amanda Frank
“Eco-friendly.” “Healthy.” “Responsible.” These are just a few of the labels used on household cleaning products to make them appear safe for consumers. But no one oversees how these terms are used or what they really mean. This becomes readily apparent when you scrutinize the ingredients on cleaning product labels to try to determine how safe and "green" they really are. One company – Procter & Gamble – is so bad at disclosing useful chemical information to consumers that it recently received an "F" from a national environmental health group.read in full
If You Thought Corporate Personhood Was Bad, Wait Until You See Corporate Nationhood in the New Trade Treaty
Apr 30, 2015 by Scott Klinger
The government of El Salvador was so concerned that its water was so fouled by mining companies that it passed a moratorium on new mines in 2008. Oceana Gold, an Australian corporation, didn’t like the law, so it sued El Salvador for $301 million, the amount the company said the policy cost it in lost profits.read in full