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Water Pollution to Increase Under Obama: More Work for Toxicology Expert Witnesses.

Water pollution is increasing and toxicology consultants and toxicology expert witnesses involved in litigation are overwhelmed with new cases.  Thousands of the nation's largest water polluters are outside the Clean Water Act's reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators. As a result, some businesses are declaring that the law no longer applies to them. And pollution rates are rising.

The implications of this are enormous from a health perspective. Water contaminated with toxic materials inevitably will find its way into the potable water supply for humans and domestic animals and will also have a direct impact on wildlife, the environment, and the ecosystem. Moreover, it will reverse the clean water gains made over the past 30 years.

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The Government Gets Aggressive with Diabetes Drug-Avandia

Three years ago, Dr. Steven E. Nissen, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, conducted a landmark study that suggested that the best-selling diabetes drug Avandia raised the risk of heart attacks. The study led to a Congressional inquiry, stringent safety warnings, a sharp drop in the drug's sales and a plunge in the share price of GlaxoSmithKline, Avandia's maker.

A Congressional investigation released Saturday concluded that GlaxoSmithKline had threatened scientists who tried to point out Avandia's risks, and internal memorandums from the Food and Drug Administration show that some government health officials want Avandia withdrawn. The drug is still being taken by hundreds of thousands of patients, and sales last year were $1.19 billion.

So the battle over Avandia has begun anew, and issues raised in the meeting between the four executives and Dr. Nissen are likely to be raised again. For instance, during the meeting, company executives repeatedly promised to begin a crucial analysis of the safety of Avandia "within days." Nearly three years later, such a study has not been published in a medical journal, although the company has posted results on its Web site.

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FDA Increases Oversight of Medical Radiation

The federal Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it would take steps to more stringently regulate three of the most potent forms of medical radiation, including increasingly popular CT scans, some of which deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest X-rays.

With the announcement, the F.D.A. puts its regulatory muscle behind a growing movement to make life-saving medical radiation — both diagnostic and therapeutic — safer. To see the complete article: Click Here.

Andrew Testa for The New York Times

A push to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure from CT scans, above, nuclear medicine studies, and fluoroscopies.

Rob Harris/The New York Times

The government is focusing on overradiation by CT scans.

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Andrew Testa for The New York Times

A push to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure from CT scans, above, nuclear medicine studies, and fluoroscopies.

Related

The Radiation Boom: Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm (January 24, 2010)

The Radiation Boom: As Technology Surges, Radiation Safeguards Lag (January 27, 2010)

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Rob Harris/The New York Times

The government is focusing on overradiation by CT scans.

 

Medical Group Urges New Rules on Radiation

The leading professional organization dedicated to radiation oncology has called for enhanced safety measures in administering medical radiation, including the establishment of the nation's first central database for the reporting of errors involving linear accelerators — machines that generate radiation — and CT scanners. To read the entire article: Click Here.
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