Tornado Tears Through City in Kansas, Causing Extensive Damage

On Friday night, Lindsay Triplett and her family in Andover, Kan., received emergency alarms on their cellphones. Minutes later, the roof of their home vanished.

Ms. Triplett and her family were safe. She had taken shelter in her family’s basement with her husband, four daughters and the family’s Labrador retriever, huddling under a staircase. But when they emerged, their home was in ruins, in the wake of devastation left by the tornado that hit the city directly.

“The house won’t be salvageable,” Ms. Triplett said on Saturday. “I am trying to remain calm for the girls. But really, what do we do now?”

The tornado in Andover, a city of nearly 15,000 outside Wichita, uprooted trees, heaved cars into buildings and ripped through houses and power lines. No fatalities stemming directly from the impact were reported by the authorities. But up to 1,000 structures in Andover were affected by the tornado, officials said.

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A worldwide public health threat’: Rob Bilott on his 20-year fight against forever chemicals

Last month, an Ohio court certified a class action lawsuit brought by lawyer Rob Bilott that would cover 7 million people – and at some point possibly everyone living in the United States – who have been exposed to certain hazardous “forever chemicals” known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS.

The chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects, kidney disease and a range of other human health problems. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, persisting indefinitely in the environment.

Two types of PFAS – PFOA and PFOS – have been found to be so harmful that they are being phased out of use. In addition to US multi-national company 3M, the class action lawsuit names 10 other companies that produce PFAS, which are used to make cookware, food packaging, water-resistant fabrics, firefighting foam and other products. The Biden administration last year pledged to undertake a massive PFAS mitigation strategy at a cost of more than $10bn.

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‘We want it back to what it was’: the US village blighted by toxic waste

For a visitor to this rural part of eastern Nebraska, the crisp air, blue skies and stretch of seemingly endless farm fields appear as unspoiled landscape. But for the people who live here, there is no denying this is an environmental disaster that researchers fear may affect generations to come.

It has been just over a year since state regulators stepped in to close down the AltEn LLC ethanol plant on the outskirts of Mead, Nebraska, a small village of about 500 people near Omaha. The plant was found to be the source of huge quantities of toxic, pesticide-laced waste, which was stored in lagoons and piled into hills of a putrid lime-green mash. That waste then was accidentally spilled and intentionally spread throughout the area, including on to farm fields and into waterways that provide drinking water for people and wildlife several miles downstream.

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St. Louis Roundup trial is off; parties settle

Just days before the scheduled start of what would have been the first Roundup cancer trial to take place in St. Louis, the former hometown of Monsanto Co., the three plaintiffs in the case on Wednesday agreed to accept a settlement offer from the maker of Roundup herbicide, which the plaintiffs alleged caused them each to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The judge had agreed to allow Courtroom View Network to livestream the trial.

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Biologist who was fired after opposing glyphosate forestry use gets day in court

It’s been nearly three years since Canadian wildlife biologist Rod Cumberland was fired from a teaching role after expressing concerns about the use of the chemical glyphosate in New Brunswick forests and the impacts on the deer population.

At the time, the Maritime College of Forest Technology gave various reasons for dismissing Cumberland in June 2019, but denies his worries about glyphosate were among the reasons.

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Unsettled - Another Monsanto Roundup case heads to trial

 Three people suffering from cancer are set to face off against Monsanto in the latest courtroom battle over allegations that exposure to the company’s Roundup weed killer causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The trial will be the first to take place in the company’s former hometown, with jury selection set to start on March 24. (A previous trial in St. Louis was cancelled just hours before it was scheduled to begin due to a settlement agreement.)

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More than 50 pct of tested U.S. rivers, lakes, and ponds heavily polluted, research shows

More than 700,000 miles of America’s rivers, streams and creeks and more than 11 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs are so excessively polluted that they are classified as “impaired,” according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

The tally means that more than 50 percent of assessed river and stream miles and 55 percent of lake acres are so heavily polluted or otherwise impacted that they are not safe for swimming and fishing or as drinking water sources. The same is true for a quarter of assessed bay and estuary square miles, according to the report.

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A not so appetizing report on weed killer in our food

Gulp.

Researchers reported Tuesday that they found “widespread” contamination of common grocery store items with the controversial weed killing chemical called glyphosate, known popularly by the brand name Roundup.

In a test of 86 food products sampled from groceries in Des Moines, Iowa, more than half - 45 - of the products were found to contain what the researchers called “alarming” levels of glyphosate. Whole wheat breads contained the highest levels, with chickpeas and Quaker Oats also showing high levels, according to the report.

The pesticide-laced foods were purchased from Walmart, Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, Target and Natural Grocers, and were tested in a study commissioned by a group called The Detox Project. The project was funded by the California-based Rose Foundation.

"More than half the foods tested, a total of 45 foods out of 86 products, contained alarming levels of glyphosate, ranging from 12 parts per billion (ppb) in 'sprouted wholegrain bread' from Whole Foods to as high 889 ppb in Walmart’s brand chickpeas, to 1,040 ppb in Whole Food’s 365 Brand Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, to the highest level detected of 1,150 ppb in Hy-Vee’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread."

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Plaintiffs allege 3M is hiding documents in nationwide PFAS litigation

Chemical manufacturer 3M is allegedly hiding files that could shed light on the role that former 3M Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Lewis Lehr played years ago as the company was struggling internally to figure out how to deal with growing evidence that its toxic chemical compound PFOS was widespread in the blood of the general U.S. population.

According to a motion to compel filed Feb. 15 with the U.S. District Court in South Carolina by plaintiffs lawyers in sweeping multidistrict litigation, 3M has repeatedly failed to turn over Lehr’s files to the plaintiffs legal team despite multiple requests as part of court-ordered discovery.

Lehr “played a central role in business decisions related to investigating and reporting potential effects” associated with 3M’s PFOS products, the motion states. Lehr was CEO of 3M from 1979 to 1986 and was a member of its board of directors from 1974 to 1991.

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Only two out of 11 herbicide studies given to EU regulators deemed ‘reliable’

Only two out of a group of 11 industry studies given to European regulators in support of the re-approval of the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide are scientifically “reliable”, according to a new analysis of corporate-backed studies on the chemical glyphosate.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide and is not only the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide but also in hundreds of other products. It is extensively used by farmers in growing common food crops.

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