December 27, 2011 |
Shift work is becoming increasingly common in this 24/7 world, but it may come at a price: worse health for workers. An editorial published today in the journal PLoS Medicine draws attention to the health risks of shift workers, including a greater chance of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes from bad eating habits and sleep disorders because of disrupted circadian rhythms. The authors (PLoS Medicine editors) cite a study published in the journal this month in which 69,269 women were followed for 18 to 20 years.
December 15, 2011 |
It's a question many people are asking after two elevator accidents killed two women in two weeks. Last week , Annette Lujan was crushed by an elevator at Cal State Long Beach after she tried to climb out of a stuck car. On Wednesday , Suzanne Hart died after an elevator door in her Manhattan office building closed on her leg as she was stepping in and dragged her body up into the elevator shaft. The incidents were tragic but also very rare. According to ConsumerWatch.com , “U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2011 |
Strong Santa Ana winds could create dangerous fire conditions in Southern California over the next several days. The National Weather Service issued a high wind and fire watch for Wednesday evening through Saturday, with possible hurricane-speed gusts of 80 mph or more in the mountain passes of Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties. Gusts of more than 60 mph are possible in some lower-lying areas. The winds, which could shape up to be the strongest offshore event the region has seen in years, are expected to reach their highest intensity Wednesday night through Friday morning, potentially toppling trees and power lines and creating hazardous driving conditions, as well as a significant fire hazard.
November 18, 2011 |
Hybrid cars are safer — or more dangerous — depending on whether you are behind the wheel or walking across a street, according to a study released Thursday. Occupants in hybrid vehicles suffer fewer injuries in crashes than those who are involved in accidents in conventional cars, said the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But the same study also found that hybrids, which tend to be quieter — cause more pedestrian accidents than their nonhybrid counterparts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2011 |
A slow-moving landslide on a coastal bluff in San Pedro is worsening, exposing huge, deepening crevices along a seafront roadway and dropping chunks of earth and concrete into the ocean below. The slide is serious enough now that city crews have begun building a fence around the crumbling 100-foot bluff in an effort to keep onlookers from getting dangerously close to the mass of land sliding toward the sea. City workers, who have been scrambling to clear the slide area of vulnerable infrastructure, broke ground Friday on the 8-foot chain-link fence.
October 23, 2011 |
Occupations such as those underway in cities across the country pose staggering logistical problems. Large numbers of people must be fed and kept reasonably warm and dry. Trash has to be removed; medical care and rudimentary security provided. But for the individual occupier, one problem often overshadows everything else: Where am I going to pee? Some of the Occupy Wall Street encampments spreading across the U.S. have access to portable toilets (such as those on the City Hall lawn in Los Angeles)
September 17, 2011 |
As a state built on gambling, Nevada has been the perfect host for Reno's National Championship Air Races, an event that has promoted the inherent risks in the daredevil sport as part of the thrill for spectators. On the occasions when pilots were killed, boosters were quick to note that no onlookers had ever been hurt. Now the odds have caught up with the races' fans in the worst way, and it has become clear that the rigorous safety measures governing the competition were not enough to protect them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2011 |
A toxic waste dump near a San Joaquin Valley community plagued by birth defects has agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and spend $600,000 on laboratory upgrades needed to properly manage hazardous materials at the facility, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday. The penalties were part of a consent decree that capped an 18-month investigation by the EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control into the Chemical Waste Management landfill about 3 1/2 miles southwest of Kettleman City, a community of 1,500 mostly low-income Latino farmworkers.
August 10, 2011
Shell Oil's proposal to drill three exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's North Slope received a conditional go-ahead last week from the Obama administration even though the Interior Department has not yet approved the company's plan for responding to a catastrophic oil spill. That plan fails to adequately address many of the harsh realities of drilling in Arctic seas. It's too early for any approval, conditional or otherwise. Exploratory offshore drilling in the Arctic doesn't present the same potential for danger as, say, BP's offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
August 3, 2011 |
They can look benign from a distance — solar panels glistening in the sun or turbines gently churning with the breeze to produce electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes. But building and maintaining them can be hazardous. Accidents involving wind turbines alone have tripled in the last decade, and watchdog groups fear incidents could skyrocket further — placing more workers and even bystanders in harm's way — because a surge in projects requires hiring hordes of new and often inexperienced workers.