‘Upset’ emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground by Kristen Lombardi & Andrea Fuller for Public Integrity BATON ROUGE, La. — Shirley Bowman noticed the smell after 8 a.m. on June 14, 2012, her 61st birthday. […]
Lowe’s, the nation’s No. 2 home improvement chain, is offering as much as $100,000 in cash to customers who can prove they bought drywall from the retailer and also prove that it caused at least $4,500 in damages. The contaminated drywall releases high amounts of sulfur gas, which can corrode copper wiring and cause air conditioners and other electrical appliances to fail. Some homeowners have also complained that the drywall has affected their health by triggering respiratory problems, bloody noses and headaches.
Hydrofluoric acid, known for its ability to race long distances in a cloud, is extremely toxic. It causes lung congestion, inflammation and severe burns of the skin and digestive tract. It attacks the eyes and bones. Experiments in 1986 detected the acid at potentially deadly levels almost two miles from the point of release.
Here’s the problem: Credit rating companies have long contended that their conclusions are protected by the First Amendment, much as if their ratings were as irrelevant to the markets as, say, your average financial column. Dodd-Frank tried to change that, designating the agencies “experts,” just like lawyers or accountants, when their ratings were included in S.E.C. documents for certain kinds of offerings. That would make them liable for material errors and omissions in their ratings.
Eighteen months after the Environmental Protection Agency announced reforms to its controversial process for evaluating health hazards posed by dangerous chemicals, significant problems continue to hamper the program and leave the public at risk, according to a new report by a nonprofit research group.