The permeation of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs is nothing short of epic. Because it was used in so many products, it has gotten into everything directly or indirectly. It is a real challenge to recycle even paper without tripping on legal statutes.

The laws that apply to toxic Monsanto PCBs (Monsanto Company was the only PCB producer in North America back in the day) are mainly the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) and the Clean Water Act of 1972 (CWA). Both laws pertain to the amount that a toxic substance can be present in any substance.

In the case of old newspapers, recyclers find themselves in what is called the PCB paradox. The ink in these old newspapers contains PCBs among other harmful substances. The TSCA allows ink producers to use PCBs as a stabilizer as long as it is not more than 50 parts for million. What recyclers do is remove the ink and treat the PCBs, but still a little bit remains in the wastewater, which usually goes into the river or the sewage plant. At this point, the CWA regulations kick in, which prohibits wastewater with more than 64 parts per quadrillion of PCBs. That is about 700 million times less than what legally goes into the plant in the form of newspaper ink.

This is a decided blow on the recycling movement, because these federal regulations make this impossible on an industrial scale. However, it is important to remember that the small amounts of PCBs discharged into the environment at this point would not have been such a big deal if Monsanto had not already recklessly discharged thousands of pounds of PCB-laden effluent. As it is toxic Monsanto PCBs are everywhere and in everything at dangerous levels. The laws are simply trying to achieve a balance between industrial need and environmental protection. If anyone should be blamed for the PCB paradox, it is the PCB producer.

Read More

How Does Xarelto Work?

Posted By on Sep 4, 2014

Anticoagulants or blood thinners are agents that aim to prevent abnormal blood clot formation which is a serious consequence of having atrial fibrillation or venous thromboembolism (VTE). They also address the risk of forming blood clots in patients who have just undergone knee or hip replacement surgery. In the latter case, anticoagulants are prescribed for a limited period once hemostasis has been established, meaning that active bleeding has already stopped.

The market for anticoagulants is quite large. In the US alone, there were more than 3 million people with atrial fibrillation in 2005, and an estimated 7.5 million by 2050. Blood clots that form because of pooling in the heart due to an irregular heartbeat can lead to ischemic stroke, which makes up nearly a quarter of all stroke incidents for people between 80 and 89. VTE on the other hand causes 900,000 adverse events in the US every year.

Blood clots form as a result of a successful coagulation cascade; that is, when the mechanisms for the activation, sticking, and clumping of platelets are in place. Clot formation is an important process for repairing damaged blood vessels, the absence of which will lead to blood loss. Central to the coagulation cascade is the presence of thrombin (factor IIa), which makes it possible for platelets to clump together to form a clot.

Xarelto directly inhibits factor Xa (10-a) of the coagulation cascade, preventing the conversion of prothrombin into thrombin. When there is no thrombin formed, there is no platelet aggregation (clumping); hence, no clot. When administered, Xarelto stays in the body’s system keeping the blood from clotting for up to 12 hours, but it is at its peak strength after two hours or so after taking it. Afterwards, it is eliminated through the kidneys.

When an individual prone to abnormal blood clotting stops taking Xarelto, it increases the risk of clot formation, so it should only be discontinued upon the doctor’s advice except when uncontrollable bleeding occurs. However, the doctor should still be informed about the situation immediately so that the problem of excessive bleeding or other adverse side effects can be addressed.

Currently, there is no guaranteed way to reverse the effects of Xarelto if and when serious bleeding occurs; all that can be done is to wait it out and hope for the best. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, uncontrollable bleeding and the lack of an antidote is main issue brought up in Xarelto litigation. This is a relatively new field, so if you have suffered serious side effects from using Xarelto, consult with a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience in dealing with similar dangerous drugs such as Pradaxa to get the best possible legal representation.

Read More

Children and Premises Liability

Posted By on Feb 16, 2014

Premises liability is a complex issue in tort law, mostly because it is difficult to assign blame. Generally, the premises owner or controller is liable when a person or persons suffer injury because of dangerous conditions on the property. In order to make a claim, the plaintiff must have been licensed or invited to be on the premises in the first place. Trespassers are typically barred from bringing an action against the premises owner because their presence was not lawful.

In the case of children, however, this distinction is not applied. Children are a protected class of victims because it is assumed that they do not have the requisite knowledge or discernment to understand that they are trespassing. As such, the duty of care imposed on the premises owner is more onerous when it comes to children.

Premises liability law as it applies to children is often based on what is referred to as the attractive nuisance doctrine. Most states, including Texas and Wisconsin, apply some version of this doctrine in their tort laws. The attractive nuisance doctrine applies to the owner of a property that represents a desirable area for children to visit i.e. swimming pool, who must take measures to neutralize the potential danger it poses to children that may enter the property uninvited and unsupervised.

A good example would be a junkyard. There are a lot of things there that would compel a curious or adventurous child to explore it. There are also a lot of opportunities there for injury to a child. The junkyard owner knows or should have known that children will trespass, and is mandated by law to secure the premises so that children will not be able to get in without being seen. Dangerous objects such as old refrigerators and broken glass must be attended to so that it will not cause harm to a child, such as taking off the refrigerator door and sweeping up the glass.

Premises liability applies when property owners fail to take reasonable care to ensure that a trespassing child will not come to harm in what he or she knows or should have realized would be a desirable property for children to visit. However, it can be a difficult thing to prove without the help of a premises liability lawyer.

If your child suffered serious injury or died on someone else’s property because of prevailing dangerous conditions, you may have recourse to civil litigation. Consult with an experienced lawyer in your state with experience in cases involving children and premises liability.

Read More