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Poisons And Poisonings

December 13, 2004 | David Holley, Times Staff Writer
The Ukrainian prosecutor-general's office announced Sunday that it had reopened an investigation into allegations that presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned, after doctors in Austria confirmed he had ingested dioxin. Returning to Kiev after checking out of a Vienna clinic, Yushchenko said he was sure that members of the government were responsible for the dioxin poisoning that had disfigured his face and caused other symptoms.
December 12, 2004 | David Holley and Sonya Yee, Times Staff Writers
Ukrainian presidential hopeful Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin, most likely intentionally, doctors in Vienna who had been struggling to diagnose his mystery illness confirmed Saturday. Yushchenko, a pro-Western opposition leader, has alleged since suddenly falling ill in September that he was poisoned in an attempt to kill a key critic of Ukraine's government. Authorities have denied the charge, and some government supporters have ridiculed it.
September 5, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
At least 18 people died after drinking tainted homemade liquor in the eastern province of Punjab, Pakistani officials said. Police said they were investigating but had made no arrests. Muslims are banned from drinking alcohol in Pakistan, although some do so in private. Some resort to homemade alcohol, which may have been distilled in unhygienic conditions and use dangerous ingredients.
August 28, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A cracked exhaust pipe on a heater caused a carbon monoxide leak that sickened 30 male students in a dormitory at the Anaconda Job Corps Center, leaving some unconscious, authorities said. Twenty students were flown to hospitals around the Pacific Northwest for treatment in hyperbaric chambers, said Anaconda Fire Chief Bill Converse. The others were being treated at local hospitals.
June 15, 2004 | Ashley Powers
When seizures wracked sea otters washing up at Morro Bay and Pismo Beach this spring, muscle tremors and comas suggested that a red tide had caused domoic acid poisoning. But a brain parasite associated with possum feces is the culprit, state veterinarians said last month. The bug infected at least half of the 22 dead otters. It may contaminate shellfish eaten by otters.
June 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Researchers have found the man-made toxin deca-BDE in polar bears and sea gulls, a sign the flame-retardant chemical normally used in televisions and plastic toys has found its way to the Arctic and its food chain. Janneche Utne Skaare of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute said the levels found were tiny, however, and posed no health threat to the animals.
May 23, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A Lost Hills grower is voluntarily expanding its recall of almonds to 13 million pounds because of the possibility of salmonella poisoning. Paramount Farms Inc., whose corporate offices are in Los Angeles, announced a recall of 8 million pounds of almonds Friday after 5 million pounds were recalled on Tuesday, said Chris Tuffli, a company spokesman. The first recall was prompted when seven people fell ill with salmonella enteriditis in Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Utah.
May 19, 2004
A Los Angeles company is recalling 5 million pounds of raw almonds sold nationwide after the Food and Drug Administration received seven reports of food poisoning. Paramount Farms Inc. said Tuesday that the almonds might contain salmonella. The recall covers 2.7 million packages of raw almonds sold under the brand names Kirkland Signature, Sunkist and Trader Joe's. Kirkland Signature brand raw almonds were marked with a "best before" date from 8/21/04 to 2/8/05.
April 7, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
The number of animals killed by poison at the Sao Paulo Zoo has risen to 73, and police said they still lacked sufficient evidence to charge suspects. The leading detective on the case, Clovis Ferreira de Araujo, told reporters that some suspects continued to work at the zoo. Araujo said police were looking into groups that might have benefited financially from the animals' deaths. He did not elaborate.
March 8, 2004 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
The puffer fish is widely known as a delicacy that can kill. Valued for its bittersweet taste, the fish contains a toxin in its liver and gonads that is fatal to humans within four to six hours of consumption. One person's poison may be another's cure. Researchers are testing a derivative of the puffer fish toxin as a novel way to block pain.
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