Helpful Online Resources & Support
We know that exposure to toxic chemicals at home and at work can cause catastrophic illness and death. Known hazards include asbestos which causes mesothelioma or pesticides that are linked to cancer and birth defects. These websites provide more information about some illnesses and the toxic chemicals that cause them.
ASBESTOS-RELATED ILLNESS AND LUNG DISEASE
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- Surviving Mesothelioma
BIRTH DEFECTS, CHILDHOOD INJURIES, AND TOXIC CHEMICAL EXPOSURE
- American Academy of Pediatrics – Children’s Health Topics, Genetics and Birth Defects
- California Birth Defects Monitoring Program
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Birth Defects
- Children’s Environmental Health Network
- Environmental Protection Agency: About Pesticides
- Pesticide Action Network
- US Geological Survey (USGS)
We can help.
Mobilizing for Maui Fire Disaster Victims, Lahaina Emergency Response
The legal team and staff at Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman are actively working with victims of the Maui Fire Disaster, as well as Hawai‘i community and aid organizations. Firm managing partner Ilana Waxman — who was born and raised on Maui — is working closely with the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, the Hawaii Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice to provide legal assistance to victims of the fire, which destroyed the city of Lahaina. Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman lawyers on the ground in Hawai‘i are also coordinating with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s “Lawyers Care Maui” fund to coordinate fundraising and legal assistance. Click here to learn more and donate to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s “Maui Strong Fund.”Read More
The U.S. Never Banned Asbestos. These Workers are Paying the Price.
The stories about the dangers of asbestos exposure are horrifying and all too common: mesothelioma, lung, laryngeal and ovarian cancer, and ultimately death. But despite the well-known risks of the dangerous and deadly carcinogenic fibers, the United States still has not banned asbestos. While dozens of other countries have outlawed asbestos, the United States allows hundreds of tons each year from Brazil to benefit two major chemical companies, OxyChem and Olin Corp. The companies say asbestos is crucial to chlorine production and that their protocols for handling it keep workers safe from exposure. But those workers claim otherwise. More than a dozen former workers from OxyChem’s plant in Niagara Falls, New York, told ProPublica that asbestos dust hung in the air, collected on the beams and light fixtures and built up inches thick. Workers often were without protective suits or masks and the dust collected on their coveralls and boots. The Environmental Protection Agency and Congress accepted the companies’ claims that workers were safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration let the companies into a special program that limited the frequency of inspections at their plants, ProPublica reported. OxyChem declined ProPublica’s requests for an interview. The company said in a...Read More
Pesticides Linked to Climate Change, Despite Declining Efficacy
Pesticides are a key contributor to climate change – posing risks to the environment, public health, and food security – while their effectiveness is declining, according to a recent study. Developed by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), the study describes a vicious cycle: pesticides add emissions to the air that contribute to climate change, and as temperatures rise, so do the number of pests and insects. More insects encourage agricultural workers to use more pesticides. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that greenhouse gas emissions from pesticides are understudied and underestimated. The Environmental Impact of Pesticides Producing one kilogram of pesticides requires about 10 times more energy than one kilogram of nitrogen fertilizer, an agriculture chemical with known negative environmental impacts. Meanwhile, some pesticides like sulfuryl fluoride are themselves greenhouse gasses – emitting one ton of sulfuryl fluoride is equivalent to emitting nearly 5,000 tons of CO2. According to researchers, the issue is further complicated by oil and gas companies, which profit from pesticides. Ninety-nine percent of synthetic pesticides are derived from petroleum. Higher Demand, Questionable Efficacy As temperatures rise, crops become less resilient due to heat stress, changing rainfall patterns, and more pests. This leads to...Read More
Recognizing Symptoms of Mesothelioma: The Earlier, The Better
According to the American Cancer Society, about 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually. The current consensus is that mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium or lining of certain internal organs. There are three main types of mesothelioma to watch out for based on the location of the mesothelium affected: pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma, which attacks the membrane around the stomach; and the last type is located in the lining of the heart, known as pericardial mesothelioma. Each of these forms of mesothelioma has its own targeted set of symptoms to monitor. While mesothelioma may currently be incurable, it is possible to prolong survival and improve patients’ quality of life by managing their symptoms as long as they catch it early enough. The following addresses the types of the cancer and the question, what are the symptoms of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma’s symptoms such as chest pain, painful coughing or trouble swallowing, and shortness of breath can be expected for a disease that specifically affects lung tissue. Pleural mesothelioma may also come with unexplained weight loss, abnormal lumps on the chest area, or even swelling in the face or...Read More
Pesticides and Other Toxins Found in School Meals
More than 30 million school meals are served each school day to students throughout the United States. But how healthy are these meals? Moms Across America (MAA) recently published information about what’s in the food served to elementary and high school students, showing that these growing children probably aren’t getting what they need to sustain them through a day of school and might even be consuming harmful chemicals. What’s in Public School Meals? In September 2022, MAA, a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring a healthy future for the nation’s children, published the test results of 43 school lunch samples collected by parents and students from public schools in 15 states. 95.3% contained the herbicide glyphosate, a suspected carcinogenic. 74% contained at least one of 29 harmful pesticides. 21% contained four veterinary drugs and hormones at high levels. 100% contained heavy metals at levels up to 6,293 times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) maximum levels allowed in drinking water. In addition, most of the school lunch samples were found to be very low in nutrients. The MAA noted: “Without proper nutrients, our children’s brains will not function properly, and their bodies will not be developed as needed. Often...Read More
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