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Arsenic

OPINION
January 2, 2009
Re "Drink up -- assuming you like arsenic, that is," Dec. 29 Poisoning prisoners with drinking water laden with arsenic is unconscionable, inhumane and, considering the potential deferred health costs and civil liability, economic suicide for the state. Worse perhaps is selective poisoning by gender. At the California Institution for Women in Chino, the state spends $480,000 a year for bottled water, while at the nearby California Institution for Men, inmates drink contaminated water.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2008 | Michael Rothfeld
Beside a field of rolling tumbleweed in this remote Central Valley town, the state opened its newest prison in 2005 with a modern design, cutting-edge security features and a serious environmental problem. The drinking water pumped from two wells at Kern Valley State Prison contained arsenic, a known cause of cancer, in amounts far higher than a federal safety standard soon to take effect.
SCIENCE
August 27, 2008 | Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer
Ayurvedic medicines -- herbal mixtures dating back thousands of years in India and increasingly popular in the West -- are frequently contaminated with lead, mercury or arsenic, according to a study published today. A fifth of the nearly 200 concoctions tested contained levels of the toxic metals that, if taken at the maximum recommended doses, would surpass California's safety guidelines. Dr. Robert Saper, a Boston University professor of family medicine who led the study, said the findings should spur the Food and Drug Administration to start clamping down on the largely unregulated world of pills, herbs and powders classified as dietary supplements.
NEWS
June 15, 2008 | David Sharp, Associated Press
Most of the time there's a dull ache in Dale Anderson's legs. Those are the good days. On other days, the throbbing pain in his legs and feet makes it difficult to walk more than short distances, and even then he sometimes stumbles as if he's drunk. There's neuropathy in his hands as well. They don't hurt, but they're so numb he can't feel anything. Recently, Anderson's daughter saw he was bleeding from a gash on his hand. He hadn't even noticed. Five years after one of the worst mass arsenic poisoning in the nation's history, Anderson and several other victims still carry lingering emotional and physical maladies.
NATIONAL
May 18, 2008 | James Hohmann, Times Staff Writer
The discovery of dangerously high levels of arsenic that prompted the closure of a popular park in Washington last week came as a shock to families who enjoy the green space for soccer games and picnics. One possible source of the poison is especially disturbing -- it could stem from mortician practices during the Civil War. During the conflict, Fort Reno Park was a military outpost for soldiers protecting the capital from Confederate invasion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2007 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
In January a jury convicted Cynthia Sommer of poisoning her Marine sergeant husband by slipping him a fatal dose of arsenic. But her new attorney, hired after her conviction, believes that the jury convicted Sommer not because of evidence concerning arsenic but because of testimony about her unusual behavior in the weeks after her husband's death.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2007 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
For generations, bottled mineral water from the town of Jermuk has been a kind of national tonic in Armenia, proudly sipped like a fine chardonnay in California or taken for its perceived medicinal value, like chicken soup. As the Armenian population here has grown, demand for the water has grown with it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2007 | Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer
A mother of four was convicted Tuesday of killing her Marine husband with arsenic to cash in on his $250,000 life insurance policy, some of which she used for breast implants and lavish parties. Cynthia Sommer, 33, acted like a grieving widow immediately after her husband, Todd, 23, died in 2002, but within weeks she was holding loud parties, having sex with several men and dancing in a wet T-shirt contest in Tijuana, prosecutors and witnesses said during the monthlong trial.
SCIENCE
January 20, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Napoleon Bonaparte died a more prosaic death than once thought, succumbing to stomach cancer rather than arsenic poisoning, according to new research. Theories that the French emperor was poisoned with arsenic have abounded since 1961, when an analysis of his hair showed elevated levels of the toxic element. But that element could have come from drugs used to treat the cancer.
SCIENCE
January 6, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Francesco de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his wife, Bianca Cappello, died in 1587 of arsenic poisoning and not malaria, as was claimed at the time, according to a new study by Italian researchers. Known as Francesco I, he ruled for 13 years before he died at age 46 at his villa at Poggio a Caiano, 11 days after falling ill. His second wife, Bianca, died the next day.
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