The Risk of PCB Exposure

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) production in the US stopped in 1977, but exposure is still a very real possibility. PCBs were used mainly for industrial capacitors and transformers, many of which are still being used today. Old refrigerators, air conditioners, televisions, and electrical devices may also contain PCB. PCBs can leak into the air when any of these devices are in operation, which means air in confined spaces can actually have higher levels of PCB than outdoors. Anyone in the same room or building as any machine containing PCB risks exposure through the skin or by breathing tainted air.

People can get exposed to PCBs even if they are nowhere near high concentrations of the compound. It can be through contaminated produce from South Carolina, contaminated fish or seafood from the Great Lakes area, or from contact with a leaky capacitor in the television in your home. You can also breathe in contaminated air from a building demolition. The water from your tap most likely contains PCBs as well.

PCB is everywhere, because the wind and water can carry them everywhere. They are found in drinking water, soil, and the atmosphere. Levels of Monsanto PCBs in the US have definitely gone down since it was banned. Researchers estimate that the average human took in 0.7 nanograms of PCB daily in 1991, compared to 1.9 nanograms in 1977.

However, scientists believe PCB levels will never go down to zero. PCBs can be hard to find. Manufacturers like Monsanto have been dumping PCB waste materials in rivers and landfills for decades. PCBs may lay dormant in the sediment in riverbeds for decades until something happens that disturb them, such as dredging operations. They are also hard to neutralize because it requires complex, and expensive, processes.

It is impossible to prevent some level of PCB exposure. There are massive operations to clean up areas with the worst contaminations, but it is slow going. The fact is, PCBs are here to stay. The best thing to do is not to make it worse.

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Sightseeing in Nashville: Top Tourist Attractions

Tennessee is a place that’s rich in culture and history. Tourists looking to immerse themselves in Tennessee’s capital city can do so by making several noteworthy stops throughout the sprawling metropolitan landscape. The following are just some of the most famous sites and attractions that give life to what is affectionately called ‘Music City’.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Considering the fact that country music is an integral part of Nashville’s cultural landscape, a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a no-brainer. The newly refurbished compound houses the largest collection of country music treasures and memorabilia, as well as exhibits that feature country music’s biggest names.

RCA Studio B

RCA Studio B is another important stop for music history enthusiasts. Built in 1957, RCA Studio B is considered the oldest recording studio in Nashville and has witnessed the birth of music’s most legendary hits. Among the notable roster that have recorded and mastered hits inside this historic venue include Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, and Waylon Jennings.

Bluebird Café

Nashville isn’t only a place to learn more about music history and its great legends. Visitors can also witness up-and-coming names in the country music scene by watching the performances in Bluebird Café, an intimate venue tucked inside a shopping center in the Green Hills commercial district.

The Parthenon

Tennessee visitors can take a break from the Nashville music scene by witnessing other aspects of its culture and history through the art gallery and museum in the Parthenon. The structure nestled inside Nashville’s Centennial Park is a full-scale reproduction of the historic Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

The Hermitage

Visitors looking for a deeper look into history will be satisfied by visiting the estate of the seventh U.S. president, Andrew Jackson. The plantation and museum is located just a few miles east of downtown Nashville. Covering about 1120 acres, The Hermitage houses a variety of gardens, exhibits and memorials.

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SXSW: The Festival to Be At this March!

Do the names Ryan Gosling, Sally Field, and Henry Rollins mean anything to you? Then you might have heard that they are going to be present, along with hundreds of other notable artists of this day age, this year for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival this March 2015!

SXSW limo ridesEven in the good old days of its conception, with a humble audience of only 700 people, in 1987 – Austin, Texas has always been the perfect location for an event such as this. A fair metropolitan that is home to the state legislature, this place is only one of the best party centrals in the country – even way back in the 19th century! Not even the Civil War could deter the celebration of art, media, and culture!

Recently, the event has also opened its doors to the sports-side of the spectrum and it was a massive hit in the previous years before and they’re bringing it back this year! Dozens of new voices as well as many distinguished guests, it is the ultimate media collaboration as people celebrate their accomplishments and achievements with one another.

Parking at a time like this might as well be impossible. After all, there are only tens of thousands of people who come flocking in from every corner of the globe just to get a taste of the action and so many want to come in their own time, by their own way. Sure, there is freedom in independence – but there is also the relaxation, comfort, security, and luxury that only a private car service can give you. These are some of the few little bits and bobs that you can afford for yourself in order to make sure that your stay during the festival is as fun and stress-free as possible!

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Gun Crimes in Texas

Texas has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country; there is actually no age requirement for possessing a gun. Right-to-arms advocates love to point out that despite this, Texas has a much lower number of gun-related homicides in the country (65%) than states where gun laws are much more stringent such as California at 69%, Michigan at 76%, and Illinois at a whopping 86%. However, just because Texas is gun-friendly doesn’t mean there are no gun crimes that can be slapped against a clueless resident.

Under Texas law, gun owners are typically not allowed to carry their guns outside their own premises unless it is a rifle or shot gun. A person with a license to carry a concealed weapon may legally bring a handgun off their private premises except when:

  • Intoxicated
  • On certain premises (amusement park, religious worship, medical care facilities, nursing homes, and any meeting place by a government agency) with the proper warning signage as stipulated under Texas Penal Code §30.06
  • Within 1000 feet of a correctional facility where an execution has been scheduled
  • At polling places during elections
  • At any racetrack
  • Attending an interscholastic event except when the event involves handguns (shooting competitions)
  • Inside a school or education building or transport vehicle
  • At any bar or restaurant that derives more than 50% of its income from selling alcoholic beverages
  • In secured areas of any airport except if the weapon is packaged and encased as check in baggage subject to regulations

A violation of any of these conditions constitutes a gun crime and carries stiff penalties. Nevertheless, according to the website of Inglis Defense, if you are charged with a gun crime in Texas, don’t think that friendly gun laws mean you are going to get off easily, even if you had no intention of doing harm to anyone or didn’t know you were violating any laws. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. You need to consult with competent gun crime lawyers practicing in the area to get you out of this type of sticky situation.

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Have You Been Injured? Tips For Dealing With It Legally

So, you have been involved in an accident. Maybe you have been bitten by a neighbors’ dog, or run over by a bicycle. No matter what type of injury you have received, it can end up being very costly for you. This article will give you some great advice about what to do in the event that you sustain a personal injury.

Even if you are in an accident and you do not feel like you are injured, you should go see a doctor. There are many times that injuries come up later as a result of an accident. Seeing a doctor will show that you had some concerns about your condition early on.

During your initial consultation with your personal injury lawyer, check to see how organized he is. This is important because you will want someone who is on top of their game to represent you. Small personality traits like this can make all the difference when the lawyer is making your case in court.

Never commit to a personal injury lawyer until you have the breakdown of your fees in place. If you are short on money at the time, speak with your lawyer to determine if a payment plan can be set up so that you do not face additional stress after your case.

Don’t be afraid to question your personal injury attorney. For instance, understanding their education background is important. If they have been out of school for a while, also ask about their efforts to continue their education. Have they attended any conferences or seminars? Have they completed online work? You want the person you work with to have fresh, current information about personal injury law.

As you can see, sustaining a personal injury can be very costly to you. If this injury was not your fault it can leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Hopefully this article has helped you to feel a little more at ease about what to do in the event that you sustain a personal injury.

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Carmakers Push Crash Prevention Technology

According to statistics, more than 2.3 million American citizens have reportedly been rushed to hospitals due to injuries caused by auto accidents. The Majors Firm reports that auto accidents kill an estimated 8,000 drivers aged 16 to 20 years old every year. Auto accidents have become one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the United States, and the impact of these car crashes to the economy has become more and more noticeable: every year, road crashes have cost the government $230.6 billion dollars.

With auto accidents causing 37,000 deaths each year, the government has been strongly advocating safe and defensive driving. State laws have started implementing increased and heavier penalties to motorists who violate traffic and road rules and regulations. Aiding to keep auto accidents to a minimum, car manufacturers have also developed technologies that provide safer vehicles. These cars can alarm motorists of possible collisions and have additional automatic braking systems to help prevent car crashes. According to Russ Rader, spokesperson for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), vehicles that provide services such as forward collision warnings and automatic braking systems reduce the chances of an auto accident by as much as 15 percent.

Car manufacturers Honda, Subaru, and Volvo are among the leaders in these types of car crash prevention technology – they have scored top rating in four types of car crash tests as well as having collision alert signals that warn drivers of possible collision, as tested by the IIHS. Manufacturers are taking the results of these tests seriously because, aside from protecting their customers from accidents, these results can give them positive marketing to boost their sales. The increased need in using high-tech features to improve vehicle safety has been encouraged by the IIHS to lower the incidents of auto accidents, therefore reducing the number of injuries and fatalities (as well as costs) for everyone.

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New York Scaffold Collapses, Injures Two

December 18, New York – A strong gust of wind brought about by a storm resulted in an accident in a Times Square where are scaffold used in a construction site collapsed and trapped two. According to news reports, the scaffold was said to be 15 feet high and was made of poorly-constructed plywood which then fall over two Chinese women who was said to be near the construction site.

According to witness Aziz Ahmady, a 52-year old coffee cart vendor along the area, two older Chinese women became trapped under the fallen debris. After rushing to their aid to remove the pieces or rubble over the women, they we rushed to Bellevue Hospital along with one more person for treatment of their wounds.

Although the injuries were not serious, incidents such as these can be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. It is the construction company’s responsibility to ensure that their site (scaffolds, equipment, and other matters) are safe and will not cause harm to their workers and civilians. Aside from personal injury lawsuits, the construction company may be held accountable through premises liability because they have neglected their duty to properly ensure the safety of their site.

Premises liability is an area of law that is designed to protect the public from dangerous conditions. It requires property owners to maintain their premises in a condition that is at least reasonably safe. This includes cleaning up spills that may cause people to slip and fall, or, as in this New York case, build the scaffolding properly so that it doesn’t collapse and hurt anyone. In addition to keeping people safe, protecting yourself from premises liability lawsuits can help a property appear cleaner. For example, shoveling away snow can help prevent people from being injured winters while keeping storm drains clear can fight flooding in Florida summers.

Construction site accidents are a common cause for many personal injury claims. Experienced attorneys have represented many people who suffered not only physical harm but financial and emotional harm from accidents such as these. These damages are subject for compensation to help relieve their victims’ pain and suffering.

In the case of the above scaffold accident, it would be more advisable for the victims to file for personal injury claims to ensure that the guilty party will pay for the damage. Filing a claim can also help in guaranteeing that future incidents would be prevented through proper safety procedures and practices. Even though the injuries the victims suffered from the accident were not severe, it does not mean that the company should neglect the safety of their working site.

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Understanding Drunk Driving Crimes

drunk drivingHaving drinks with a group of friends is fun, but make sure that you have a way to get back home. Driving while intoxicated puts yourself and other drivers around you in danger. Most people are not really aware, but driving while intoxicated or DWI (also called driving under the influence or DUI) is generally considered a crime. Intoxication can be due to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. Depending on the state that the offence was committed, it can either be a misdemeanor or a criminal offense.

Driving while intoxicated is considered as among the serious driving offenses and accounts to a third of road accidents and traffic deaths. There are heavy penalties for DWI or DUI, and lately there have been pressure in increasing the punishments to violators these traffic offences. There are presently three laws that pertain to drunk driving: first, driving under the influence where it is considered a crime to drive while impaired with alcohol, drugs or narcotics, second, having a blood alcohol (BAC) level of over 0.08% where all states consider it a crime to drive with such BAC levels regardless of whether the ability to drive was impaired or not, and lastly, felony DWI/DUI where some changes can be accounted as a felony and could lead to a prison sentence.

There are certain differences between a misdemeanor DWI offense and felony DWI offense. Whereas a misdemeanor only needs a light DWI defense since a violator who choose to settle for the damages they caused can lead to compromise where the violator can have a reduced or no penalties at all, a criminal defense may be necessary when felony DUI/DWI is committed. DUI/DWI can escalate to a felony charge if the violator had similar past offenses within seven years (depending on the state or jurisdiction). When the victim of the DUI/DWI accident died as a result, then the violator can be charged with felony DUI/DWI. Repeat offenders can be charged with felony DUI/DWI regardless of whether the accident caused a fatality or none.

Anyone who has experienced being caught driving while intoxicated or under the influence knows the value of having the right lawyers or legal help. Other than keeping or getting back your driver’s license, having proper legal representation could help in lowering penalties and fines, as well as settle possible compensation for the victim of the accident.

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OSHA Safety Standards in the Work Area

Construction site workers are the ones regularly exposed to large and sharp construction tools and equipment, making them easy victims of injuries even due to simple careless acts of those who use, store and maintain these. Studies made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that tools dropping from high working areas, workers falling off from scaffolds, being caught between two solid objects or being struck by construction vehicles or equipment, and electrocution are the most common accidents and causes of severe injuries in construction areas. There have also been many instances when accidents involving any of those mentioned above result to a worker’s death.

Construction areas in the United States are very common sites. Some of these are high-rise constructions, while others are restoration or improvement of any part (interior and exterior) of an existing building. Workers, meanwhile, are required to work at great heights (with all the necessary hand-held tools strapped to their belts) on scaffolds, usually suspension scaffolding platforms which hang close to the exterior of high buildings and supported only by an overhead structure with ropes and pulleys. (In the US, there are about 2 million individuals working on scaffolds every day).

To ensure the safety of workers using scaffolds, OSHA released its scaffolding standards or requirements in 1971. OSHA also publicized the different scaffolds it recognizes for construction work use, with consideration to the type and weight of materials to be load and the weather condition. Some of the scaffoldings that appear in OSHA’s list are the mobile, suspended, frame, tube and coupler, pole and specialty, pump jack and ladder jack.

OSHA’s recognition, however, does not mean such scaffoldings are free from accidental collapse. The sturdiness of scaffolds depends on how these have been assembled; thus, poor or wrong assembly would only mean great danger to those who will work on them. It is important, therefore, to always double check the strength of the scaffolds before workers actually get onto them.

In the event of an accident, the victim, with his/her family, should consider hiring a good personal injury lawyer, who will help them go through the process of applying for benefits, from the doctor’s evaluation of the injury sustained to the filing of the claims form. The assistance of your chosen lawyer will also ensure that you are able fill-out the long and complex benefits claim form correctly, that all documents proving your injury are attached and that the filing is done within the stipulated allowable filing period.

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Commercial Insurance Claims

For business owners, commercial insurance may be the most important thing when it comes to their business investments. Commercial insurance is insurance given for businesses, and it is instrumental in safeguarding any business from possible loss due to unforeseeable and disastrous circumstances. This type of insurance helps cover from damages brought about by theft, natural disasters, property damage, liability, and even on situations such as employee injuries and interruption of business.

Commercial insurance comes in many forms – from auto insurance to commercial property insurance – therefore it should be important for business owners to know which ones they should get and which ones they don’t necessarily need. Business owners should know the various types of available even if they won’t be getting each one. A growing and expanding business may eventually need these different types of commercial insurance.

For most businesses, it is fairly easy to acquire insurance, but others find it hard securing such coverage. Insurance companies look into the possibility of businesses who can become high-risk clients, which could be costly for the insurance companies. There are even cases where many insurance companies become hesitant to perform their obligations when their clients file for commercial insurance claims after an unfortunate event. This often leaves business owners paying for repairs with their own money, and could eventually lead to business being ruined.

A good option for business owners to secure the right coverage is to find a reliable agent who specializes in commercial insurance, someone who can provide in detail the best type of insurance the business needs and knows how to comb through various insurance companies through interviews and research. Legal help could also become handy, especially when finding assistance regarding choosing the best type of insurance for a business company’s particular need.

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