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Health Hazards

New laboratory tests have found that veggie burgers and meat-free corn dogs made by natural foods brand Morningstar Farms contain genetically modified soy and the controversial genetically altered feed corn, StarLink, that has not been approved for human consumption. The tests, commissioned by the activist group Greenpeace, highlight the difficulty that even natural foods companies are having in assuring customers that their products do not contain genetically modified ingredients. Kellogg Co.
April 2, 2014 | Jessica Garrison and Jill Cowan
A metal-finishing facility in Newport Beach poses an "unacceptably high" cancer risk to its neighbors and should curtail its emissions as soon as possible, state air quality officials said Tuesday. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it would ask its independent hearing board to order Hixson Metal Finishing to reduce its emissions of chromium 6 "on an expedited schedule. " The plant is next to an apartment building in a neighborhood with a mix of homes and businesses near the border with Costa Mesa.
Traffic radar guns, which save lives by catching speeders, have come under suspicion as a possible cause of cancer in traffic officers exposed to their microwave beams, triggering a series of lawsuits by an Agoura Hills lawyer. Attorney John E. Sweeney has filed suits on behalf of five former traffic officers who contracted cancer and are seeking millions of dollars in damages from radar equipment manufacturers, whom they accuse of failing to warn of health risks.
January 7, 2014 | By David Pierson
For generations, butter got a bad rap. It was thought to be cloying, fattening, dangerous for your arteries, and it took a creaming from oil-based substitutes like margarine. Now with the trans fats in those alternatives under fire, everyone from iron chefs to home cooks is reexamining butter's place on the refrigerator shelf. The yellow spread served at Joan Hemphill's Seal Beach home tastes like butter - because it is butter. "I use way too much," Hemphill concedes.
Manville Corp. has agreed to make additional payments of as much as $520 million over seven years to the trust set up to benefit asbestos victims. A comprehensive settlement disclosed Monday also will revamp the way claims are paid, giving priority to the most gravely ill. The plan is meant to settle about 150,000 pending claims by people injured by Manville-produced asbestos.
Seeking to resolve a tortuous and costly legal battle, Dow Corning Corp. reached a tentative agreement with negotiators for women with silicone breast implants Wednesday to pay $3.2 billion to settle claims by more than 170,000 women that the implants harmed their health. The settlement would compensate women based on the seriousness of injury they claim, providing up to $300,000 for those who have a severely debilitating illness.
June 11, 1986 | BETTYANN KEVLES
"If you want to be beautiful, you have to suffer." My mother would explain the cost-benefit ratio as she twisted my hair into tight French braids that I wore until second grade. I decided then that the price was too high. I did not realize it at the time, but my mother was voicing a Victorian attitude toward art, one that envisioned cold garrets, poets coughing from TB, and painters succumbing to what we now recognize as exposure to toxic substances.
February 5, 1995 | JUDI DASH
Health hazards are a constant fear of many travelers, especially those bound for Third World environments or wilderness vacations where the potential for injury or infection increases. Whatever your destination, it's smart to have along a good first aid kit. We've found a top choice, as well as other products that thwart a variety of health threats.
June 17, 1988 | FREDERICK M. MUIR, Times Staff Writer
State officials shut down an encampment of about 75 homeless people in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, declaring it a health and safety danger and an unacceptable use of a public park. After six months of camping at the former State Building site on 1st Street between Broadway and Spring Street, residents of the makeshift shelters were prepared for the action after being warned earlier in the week by state police that they would have to pack up and be gone by 6 a.m. Thursday.
April 2, 1989 | KEVIN RODERICK, Times Staff Writer
Jack Riley tries to get home when he sees a dust plume rising off Owens Lake, the dry salt pan created by Los Angeles' thirst for Sierra Nevada water. The plume means swirling gray clouds of alkaline dust will soon envelop this little town, making driving dangerous and breathing unpleasant. "It's like flour," said Riley, a retired Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee. "I just stay indoors, lock the windows, and hook up to the oxygen."
October 24, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
Wildfire smoke poses a growing health risk to millions of Americans, even for those who live hundreds of miles from the flames, a new report by an environmental group says. About two-thirds of Americans, or nearly 212 million people, lived in counties that two years ago contended with wildfire smoke linked to respiratory problems like asthma, pneumonia and chronic lung diseases, according to a report released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The group used satellite imagery of smoke plumes from the 2011 wildfire season - one of the worst in recent years - to take a nationwide snapshot of air quality.
April 3, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
RANCHO MIRAGE -- Natalie Gulbis, the LPGA golfer who once dated Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, says she feels ready to play Thursday when the season's first women's golf major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club, begins. That wasn't so certain a month ago. When the tour was in Thailand, Gulbis was bitten by a mosquito and acquired malaria. Even as recently as the Kia Classic in Carlsbad two weeks ago, Gulbis had to withdraw because of fatigue.
March 5, 2013 | By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times
Summer is nearly here, and with it the concrete fire rings at Big Corona in Newport Beach will be ablaze in a postcard-worthy California tradition as enduring as riding longboards. Picture it: Hot dogs and s'mores and flickering flames. Snuggling under blankets. Some dude strumming a guitar. Barbara Peters sees it differently: Plumes of smoke wafting back from the beach and into her home steps away from Big Corona. "At times it can get so bad that it will set off peoples' smoke detectors," Peters said.
May 25, 2012 | By John Bateson
As San Francisco hosts a citywide birthday party for the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary, one thing that won't be celebrated is the fact that the bridge continues to be the world's top suicide site. Since it opened on May 27, 1937, there have been an estimated 1,600 deaths in which the body was recovered, and many more unconfirmed. The data for 2011 underscore this reality: 37 people died jumping off the bridge last year, according to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.
February 17, 2012 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
The fastest-growing county in California rejected a massive, mountaintop rock quarry Thursday that supporters called an essential source of the ingredients that fed the region's economic ascent. In the end, however, neighborhood objections to increased traffic, possible health hazards and environmental destruction won out, a rare outcome in the pro-development frontier of the Inland Empire. Fierce opposition in Temecula, a city known for its vineyard-covered valley and rock-ribbed conservative politics, persuaded the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to vote down the proposed rock mine by a 3-2 vote, despite the promise of hundreds of new blue-collar jobs to the recession-flattened region.
July 10, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
By the hundreds of thousands each year, they sail to Avalon by ferry and cruise ship for diving trips, glass-bottom boat tours and to lounge on the beach in the Catalina Island town 26 miles off the Southern California coast. Yet the same crystal-clear water that draws tourists also harbors an embarrassing hazard. For most of the last decade, Avalon Harbor Beach has ranked among the most polluted in the state, tainted with human sewage that puts swimmers at risk. Even though the city of 4,000 has spent $3.5 million testing and rehabilitating sewer lines, the water is no cleaner.
December 30, 1992 | Dana Parsons
It was bad enough getting the unsolicited mailer a few months ago from a cemetery, telling me it's never too early to start thinking about my eternal resting place. Luckily, I already have an eternal resting place--on my sofa 10 feet from the television. Then, earlier this week, another unsolicited letter arrived--from the Mayo Clinic. It was a sales pitch for the clinic's monthly newsletter, which provides information on all kinds of maladies.
July 7, 1987 | MICHAEL BLUMFIELD, Times Staff Writer
The Labor Department on Monday fined Chrysler Corp. a record $1.5 million for health and safety violations at a Delaware automobile assembly plant after dangerously high levels of arsenic and lead were found in the air at the site. The department's Occupational Health and Safety Administration said 811 job safety violations were found in January at the Newark, Del., plant, three-fourths of which were considered serious or willful. OSHA Administrator John A.
March 16, 2011 | Shari Roan
As engineers have fought to avert a meltdown at the earthquake- and tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) power plant, nuclear authorities have reported that spikes of radiation have escaped from the facility at levels that can be dangerous to human health. Authorities have evacuated more than 170,000 people within 12 miles of the plant and have warned those within 20 miles to stay indoors and close off ventilation systems. They have also issued iodine tablets to those who have remained in the area and those at evacuation centers.
June 4, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
There is disagreement on the potential health hazards of the spilled oil polluting the Gulf of Mexico. Some scientists predict medical problems among workers involved in the cleanup and even the general public. Others expect safety precautions ordered by the federal government to protect cleanup workers and the public from harm. Concerns over the health effects of the spill grew this week as more workers and residents of the coastal areas reported symptoms such as headaches and breathing problems.
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