Effects of Toxic Monsanto PCBs on Children

Children are generally more vulnerable to toxins than adults because of their smaller weight. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are particularly dangerous. Toxic Monsanto PCBs get into a child’s system the same way as an adult’s, through the ingestion of contaminated food and water, and breathing in contaminated indoor air. Additionally, children tend to be less concerned about cleanliness than adults are, and may accidentally take in PCBs by putting dirty hands or objects in their mouths. Children who live near landfills may also get exposed to PCBs by playing with discarded refrigerators and appliances leaking PCBs.

During the time that PCBs were still being produced, women would get exposed to comparatively high levels of PCBs while they were pregnant either as workers or as wives of workers. This workplace exposure, as well as intake of PCB from contaminated fish, resulted in slightly lower birth weights than average. Some infants of exposed mothers demonstrated cognitive and motor skill impairments, or compromised immune systems. Children typically seemed to outgrow these health conditions. There was no evidence of structural birth defects in infants of PCB-exposed mothers.

However, these observations are far from concrete proof. Other factors may have led to these health effects, such as exposure to other toxic materials. The lack of longitudinal studies using a representative number of participants also means that there may be serious, long-term effects that are currently unknown, or suspected but not yet proven. This includes the increased risk of certain cancers and systemic diseases.

Exposure of children is especially a matter of concern because they are still developing. There is no telling how PCBs will affect them later on. While PCB production has stopped, it is definitely still around at dangerously high levels. The very features that made it such an important component in industry is also the reasons it is a particularly toxic substance: it persists. It is very hard to remove it from the environment, and once it is in the human body it can stay for years.

read more

What You Need to Do to Get the Best Price for your Minerals

You have just recently become aware that you own mineral rights to your property or someone else’s property. You have also been informed that you can sell them for X amount to the smiling landman that has knocked on your door with an offer. What do you do? Do you agree to sell right away?

I didn’t even know it was there, you could argue as you seriously consider taking the first offer you get for your mineral rights. That is true enough, but if you just found out you had a valuable piece of furniture in your attic, would you sell it at junkyard rates? Of course not. You go and get it appraised, and let the bidders fight over it.

It is the same thing with mineral rights. You need to find out how much it is worth. Unfortunately, there is no convenient reference for the fair market value of mineral rights like surface land, houses and cars. Many factors influence the value of mineral rights, not the least of which is its proximity to proven reserves. For example, oil companies would pay more for mineral rights near the Permian Basin of West Texas than for those in Vermont, where fracking (hydraulic fracturing, a method for stimulating oil wells) isn’t legal.
You could get different estimates from different people for the value of your mineral rights, and they could all be reasonable, so that gives you a dilemma. A good way to get the best price for your minerals is to put it up for auction.

An auction company will include your mineral rights on its database and open it up for bids. Interested buyers will then put in what they think it is worth and the auction company will inform you about these bids. You are free to accept or reject any bid. At the very least, you will find out the best price for your minerals are. At best, you will have a hassle-free sale of your mineral rights.

read more

Canada Heeds US Morcellator Lawsuit Wave

The Canadian authorities recently reiterated their warning to the public regarding the potential risks attached to the use of power morcellators for triggering cancer cells in the uterus and urging medical device manufacturers to advise doctors and include a warning label to this effect. They had issued the first warning in May, immediately after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued a memo to doctors discouraging the use of the device. The FDA had also released an alert in November asking manufacturers to include a black-box warning about the risks of using power morcellators after reviewing evidence indicating that the device may be exacerbating the risk of patients developing uterine cancer.

The first warning from Canadian health authorities was geared towards hospitals, recommending that they consider alternative methods to power morcellators for minimally-invasive fibroid hysterectomies and hysterectomies. The second warning was issued in response to the apparently higher incidence of uterine cancer for patients who had been treated using power morcellators than was first estimated. This was indicated by the growing number of women that have filed a morcellator lawsuit against manufacturers, including Ethicon Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

A power morcellator is essentially a blade at the end of a glue-gun type device that is inserted into a small incision in the abdomen, cuts up the target tissue into small pieces which are then extracted. It is believed that the problem with using morcellators is that tissue that has been cut up but not extracted tended to encourage the growth of cancer cells, specifically those that are specific to the uterus.

More cases in the US are being filed against the Gynecare morcellator from Ethicon as well as other morcellator manufacturers alleging that it caused their medical conditions. If you believe that you have likewise been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your district for more information about filing a lawsuit.

read more

Manganese Toxic Exposure Explained

Manganese is a naturally-occurring metal found in many rocks and some food as well. It is one of the essential trace elements that need to be included in the diet in small amounts to maintain health. Pure manganese does not exist in nature but is found in combination with chlorine, sulfur, and oxygen. However, excessive exposure to manganese has a toxic effect, affecting the brain at high levels. Overexposure to manganese can occur when it is present in high concentrations in the food, water, and air.

Industrial applications of manganese include improving the quality of steel and gasoline, so it is widely used in the production of both. When disposal methods of industrial waste is inadequate or inappropriate, copious amounts of manganese can be released into the environment and contaminating the water and food supply. It may also be released when gasoline additives containing manganese is exposed to the air and degrades. Manganese does not degrade but merely combines with other materials or changes form.

The presence of excess manganese in the air, food and water means that anyone who partakes of enough of the contaminated substances accumulates toxic levels of the metal in the body. In addition, those who work in manganese-based industries in Nashville, for example, such as steel and gasoline production, also have a high exposure rate as any Nashville personal injury attorney knows. High manganese levels in the body primarily affects the central nervous system and in severe cases can lead to a condition called manganism.

The main symptoms of manganese exposure include slow movements, poor concentration, and lack of coordination. Over time, manganese exposure can lead to lung irritation and reproductive problems. There is no definitive study that indicates manganese is carcinogenic when in high amounts.

Young children exposed to manganese are most likely to have brain development problems that will affect behavior and learning. There are no longitudinal studies on these yet, and there is no information if the effects of excess manganese are permanent or temporary.

If you have suffered harm from exposure to manganese at work or through the negligence of others, you need to consult with a toxic exposure lawyer. You may have the option to sue for compensation for your injury.

read more

Great Advice If You’re Dealing With A Personal Injury

If you are thinking about starting a personal injury suit, there are lot of things for you to consider. You need to be able to really get serious about what you want in a lawyer, know what information you need, and know how to best win your case. Here are some tips to help you do that.

Never try to negotiate with an at-fault party or their insurance company without having an attorney present. They may try to take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge to make you an unfair offer. Even if you feel like you are confident and can represent yourself, call a lawyer and have them present at the time.

When visiting a lawyer’s website, such as the resourceful website of Pohl & Berk, navigate to the “About” section. This page will give you information such as the attorney’s specialty, the location of their office and years in practice. Pages such as the “Practice Areas” section will allow you to read about the types of cases that they are experienced in and can handle. Many lawyers also have a testimonial page. On this page you will be able to read about different cases from the client’s perspective.

After you have gathered together a list of potential personal injury attorneys, set up a free consultation with each lawyer. At this consultation, the attorney will look over the facts of your case and answer any questions you may have. After each consultation, write down notes about the interview and how the lawyer treated you.

Bring all of the necessary paperwork to your initial consultation as this is very important for your personal injury lawyer to develop a solid case. Make copies of each of these documents too, as you will want to have one just in case. This puts you in the best position to team up with your lawyer and win.

When you are considering mounting a personal injury suit, it is important for you to think about certain things. Use the information in this article to help you feel more confident about your suit, and having everything you need in order to be successful. Remember these tips and you’ll prevail.

read more

New York Paid Sick Leave Law Provides Needed Relief

Sick leave is not mandated by law in all of the states in the US. In fact, there are only a few cities that currently have laws requiring businesses to provide sick leave for their employees. These include Portland in Oregon, Seattle, San Francisco, and now New York City. Cities in Connecticut require it only in selected industries.

The legislators in New York City had to override a veto by the mayor to pass the law in the city, a move that would have significance for more than a million employees. This is in line with the work-life balance movement that is pushing for similar laws in other states. The rationale behind the law is that workers should not have to choose between financial considerations and physical health. Many employees cannot afford to lose a day’s wages even if they are legitimately indisposed.

The New York City law, called the Earned Sick Time Act, is embodied under N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 20-911 to 20-924, and passed on June 26, 2013, but there are quite a few ifs and buts. The law is supposed to come into effect on April 1, 2014, but only if the city’s economy improves by December 2013 based on the economic index of January 2012. If not, the provisions may be delayed until the economy picks up. The city’s Independent Budget Council will be monitoring economic indicators every 6 months, and once the target improvement is reached, the provisions of the Act goes into effect either the next April or October, whichever comes first.

The new employment law will be imposed only on business with 20 or more employees for the first 18 months after the law comes into effect, and then to employers with 15 or more employees. Public employers and government offices are exempted. Eligible employees are those who work in New York City for at 80 hours in a calendar year. Such employees can avail of a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. Employees who are not eligible may still avail of 40 hours of unpaid sick leave a year.

The Act allows eligible employees to apply for sick leave if they themselves are sick, or if a spouse, partner, child or parent needs medical attention. The Act’s provisions may have a significant financial impact on a business, especially small ones, which is why the fraudulent use of the benefit may be considered cause for termination.

read more

After the Storm Comes the Fire: New Jersey’s Seaside Park

If bad luck really comes in threes, then there are some people in New Jersey who would be two-thirds on the way.
Still recovering from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy which hit the east coast of the US in October 2012, more than 50 businesses along the boardwalks of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park had been hit yet again on September 12, this time by a mysterious electrical fire. Initial investigations have not succeeded in identifying the owner of the energized wires which caused the fire, although it was thought at first that it serviced the Kohr’s Frozen Custard and Biscayne Candies, two of the affected businesses which were housed in one building.

What experts have determined was that the wires malfunctioned because it had been damaged by floodwaters that coursed through the area during Sandy, and were not replaced. Fingers are being pointed at borough officials whose responsibility it was to inspect and ensure that underground electrical wiring were sound, and to replace damaged materials. Borough officials agree that it is their responsibility, but that since there were no electrical permits applied for the area, they were unaware that there was electrical wiring existing under the boardwalk and in the subfloor of the building which served as the point of ignition.

The results of the investigation have not yet been made available to the public. It will first be under review by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office before any conclusions are published.

read more

Propylene for Propylene’s Sake

Propylene is on the brink of coming into its own as chemical companies decide it is important enough to make the effort of producing it for its own sake worthwhile.

Propylene is one of the most important by-products of petroleum refining and ethylene production. It has many industrial uses in chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. And yet to date is just that – a by-product.

The two main processes for producing propylene are not geared for the production of the volatile organic compound itself. Despite its importance in daily life, it continues to play a supporting role. But not for long.

Dow Chemical is currently building a plant designed specifically to produce propylene using a process called propane dehydrogenation (PDH). This takes advantage of the abundance of propane, which will make it an economical and potentially profitable enterprise. PetroLogistics LP in Texas, the only PDH plant currently operational, produces just 10% of the needed propylene supply in the US.

This investment is driven mainly by the prices of propylene, which is as volatile as the compound. According to Williams Kherkher, it reacts sharply to changes in the production of gasoline, natural gas, and other fossil fuel market dynamics. In January 2013, propylene prices rose to $1,340 per metric ton, compared to $1,000 per ton the previous summer, which in turn was a plummet from $1,500 in the first quarter of 2012. This is wreaking havoc with the costs of manufacturers who use propylene as raw material in producing consumer and industrial goods. This state of flux is expected to continue for the next couple of years, or until the propylene plants come online, slate for the last quarter of 2015.

And Dow is not the only one to take this step. Formosa Plastics, Enterprise Product Partners, and C3 Petrochemicals, all in Texas, expect to have plants operational, with capacities ranging from 600,000 to 750,000 metric tons annually. Canadian company Williams Energy is also putting up a facility with a 455,000 metric ton a year capacity

read more

Why Science Needs Artists and Animators

It’s evident that animation is often used to delight people, but it’s also an instrumental tool that can be used to help teach difficult scientific and mathematical concepts. Lets face it, many of us who go on to become professional animators did it to avoid dealing with hard sciences and math, subjects that seem rather unrelated to our passions. However, science, especially when popularized, benefits tremendously from the efforts of artists and animators.

Think of any science textbook you’ve ever seen. Oftentimes, they feature images of complex scientific concepts that would be difficult to visualize without their aid. Even when looking through a powerful microscope, it’s rather difficult to see the double helix shape of DNA. Learning that it’s comprised of a long chain of nucleic acids and proteins, held together by base pairs, which are in turn held together by hydrogen bonds does little to demystify what it actually looks like. This is where the arena of science benefits most from the conceptualization skills native to artists. Now, accurate representations of what a DNA double helix looks like are ready available, helping make the building blocks of life at least a little bit more comprehensible. art and animation in science

The same case can be made for the role animation plays in making complicated scientific concepts consumable for the general population. In TV nature specials and documentaries about scientific subjects that are difficult to visualize, such as astronomy, animation can be invaluable. The filmmakers, for example, could have the narrator explain the relationship of the Doppler Effect to light, but many people will find it difficult to visualize the resulting red and blue shifts. However, adding an animation for the audience to look at during the explanation can make a world of difference.

All in all, the skills of artists and animators are valuable to improving the general understanding of difficult scientific concepts.

read more

Ways to Attract Investors to Your Business

business financingStarting a business is an incredibly costly and complicated process that can be incredibly difficult to understand. Often, it requires a great deal of money just to get a business off the ground, and a typical business is not profitable until it is several years old. If you’re trying to take your first steps into starting a business, you will need some capital to cover your initial costs. But how can you go about securing this capital?

Luckily, there are many ways budding businesses can acquire start up and growth money. To begin, many businesses aim for at least $25,000 in funding. One way to raise this is through loans acquired from friends and family. Money acquired for this purpose is called “seed money.” New business owners who utilize seed money should make a distinct effort to ensure anyone who provided seed money understands exactly how their loan will be payed back in order to avoid disruptions in their personal relationships.

Many people do not have friends and family that are able to pony up $25,000 in seed money. Another way to attract investment is to seek funding through venture capital firms. These groups make multimillion dollar deals on a regular basis. However, this money is not easily secured, no matter how good your business idea is. To help improve your odds of gaining investors, it is imperative to have a well-written business plan. Your business plan should outline in excruciating detail how your business works, a structure for its executives, a plan for growth, how your business will interact with competitors, as well as many other aspects of running a business. This helps convince investors that your plan is rational and has a high probability of succeeding.

Often, the competition for venture capitalist  funding is fierce. Approximately 2% of proposed business plans actually receive funding, so it’s important to be certain that your plan is well-produced. You should also be prepared to have your brilliant plan rejected. There’s nothing to keep you from pitching it to multiple sources, and this is something you should definitely do.

With a lot of work and a little bit of luck, your business can secure the funding it needs.

read more