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Today, October 14th is the Last Day for 9/11 Cancer Victims to Register with VCF

The last day to register with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is today, October 14, 2014 for first responders and survivors who were diagnosed with an eligible cancer on or before October 12, 2012. It is crucial for eligible 9/11 victims to register in order to preserve their rights, lawmakers said. The importance of registering by the deadline was emphasized in a recent press conference held by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Jerrold Nadler with community leaders, labor leaders and advocates of 9/11 survivors. More Today, October 14th is the Last Day for 9/11 Cancer Victims to Register with VCF

Workers at Fracking Sites Exposed to Cancer-Causing Gas

People who work at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are exposed to high levels of a cancer-causing gas, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The agency, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that people who work near fracking sites are at an increased risk of being exposed to benzene, a colorless gas known to cause cancer. More Workers at Fracking Sites Exposed to Cancer-Causing Gas

Researchers Investigating Links Between Chemicals in the Environment and Diabetes

Researchers from the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, are on the search for data that links chemicals in the environment to an increased risk of diabetes.

Scientists from the university are studying whether chemicals in the environment increase the risk of metabolic conditions by disrupting neuroendocrine circadian functions and altering the release of hormones, including insulin, according to the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (SMBS) website. More Researchers Investigating Links Between Chemicals in the Environment and Diabetes

Fracking Linked to Earthquakes and Methane Gas Leaks

The scientific case against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to strengthen, leaving little doubt that it is harmful to the environment and creates health concerns for those who live near fracking sites.

Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea explained on the latest Inquiring Minds podcast that the research extends beyond groundwater contamination, to include earthquake generation and the accidental emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, MotherJones.com reported. More Fracking Linked to Earthquakes and Methane Gas Leaks

Many 9/11 Responders Left Unaware of Tax Breaks

Victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families are eligible for big tax breaks – there’s only one problem. Many have no idea because the IRS isn’t informing them about the benefit.

Three months after the attacks, the U.S. government passed a law that deemed disability income resulting from terrorism as non-taxable. More Many 9/11 Responders Left Unaware of Tax Breaks

California Halts Fracking Waste Injections amid Contamination Concerns

An emergency shutdown of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites has been ordered by California officials due to concerns companies may have been pumping fracking liquids and other waste into drinking water aquifers.

California’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) distributed cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting flacking fluids into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water. The DOGGR said that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources,” GantDaily.com reported. The state has confirmed that its investigation has been expanded to look at additional wells.

The order comes at a time when central California has been enduring a lengthy drought that has emptied reservoirs and cost the state $2.2 billion this year alone, according to GantDaily.com. The drought has forced many farmers across the state to supplement their water supply from underground aquifers, which is where the dangers of the fracking liquid come into play.

According to GantDaily.com, at least 100 of California’s aquifers were believed to be useless for drinking and farming due to poor quality, or because the aquifers were too deep underground to easily access. Several years ago California exempted those aquifers from environmental protection, which permitted the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them. However not all aquifers are exempted, which causes the system to be a mixture of protected and unprotected water resources deep underground.

According to the cease and desist orders, it looks likely that at least seven injection wells have been pumping fracking waste into fresh water aquifers protected by the law, and not other aquifers sacrificed by the state long ago, GantDaily.com reported.

“The aquifers in question with respect to the orders that have been issued are not exempt,” Ed Wilson, a spokesperson for the California Department of Conservation told GantDaily.com via email.

A 2012 investigation by ProPublica into more than 700,000 injection wells across the U.S. revealed wells were often poorly regulated and experienced high rates of failure. This information indicated that fracking practices were likely polluting underground water supplies that are supposed to be protected by federal law. Several of those water supplies are at the heart of this issue. The exempted aquifers were poorly defined and vaguely outlined, according to documents the state filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in’81.

This is not the first time California has expressed concern over fracking practices. In September 2013 the California Coastal Commission raised questions about the potential impact of offshore fracking by the federal government.

The commission, which oversees part of the coast’s development, also asked both the EPA and Department of the Interior to investigate what the federal government is doing, the Wall Street Journal reported. The commission’s biggest concern is that such offshore oil-rig fracking will increase the possibility of oil spilling into the ocean.

FDA Looking into New E-Cigarette Standards

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of developing tough product standards for electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices.

The new standards will be aimed at protecting public health while also enabling the FDA to withstand legal challenges, according to Mitchell Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. Zeller said the FDA is looking into possible product standards in the areas of “addiction, toxicity and product appeal as it prepares to gain regulatory authority over electronic cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery devices,” Reuters reported. More FDA Looking into New E-Cigarette Standards

Texas Family Tells Jury of Air Quality Poisoned by Local Natural Gas Drilling

A Texas family told a Dallas jury on Tuesday that they are being sickened by natural gas wells near their property that are owned by Texas-based Aruba Petroleum, Inc.  A $9 million nuisance lawsuit filed against the company by the family is one of the first trials seeking to hold a company liable for medical problems allegedly linked to chemicals used in fracking.

The Parr family alleges that Aruba Petroleum exposed them to dangerous chemicals, gases, and industrial waste at some of the company’s 22 gas wells drilled near their 40-acre property in Wise County. They allege they’ve suffered numerous health problems, some of them so severe that they were unable to work and were forced to live in Bob Parr’s office instead of their home. The Parrs say their medical problems were caused by benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and other volatile organic compounds from the drilling sites, according to Law360.com. More Texas Family Tells Jury of Air Quality Poisoned by Local Natural Gas Drilling

EPA Hid Cancer Risks from Study Participants

Questions are being raised after a report revealed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to disclose cancer risks to volunteers used in research studies involving harmful pollutants.

The EPA recruited people for tests on pollutants in 2010 and 2011. The agency warned of dangers from diesel exhaust and tiny particles in its rules to cut pollution, but consent forms given out to the participants failed to mention cancer. The EPA said it didn’t mention the cancer because the agency considered the risks minimal from short-term exposure, according to the Office of Inspector General’s report. More EPA Hid Cancer Risks from Study Participants

West Virginia Residents Still Worried About Drinking Water

Health officials in Charleston, West Virginia have said that the drinking water is once again OK to drink after dangerous chemicals spilled into the water supply on Jan. 9. Not everyone, is buying that notion, however.
West Virginia resident Joe Merchant told CNN, when he runs the hot water, he will develop a headache within a few minutes from the steam. Merchant is just one of many people who do not feel secure about drinking or bathing in the water since the spill.