Found: The strongest evidence so far that fracking can harm people

From Yahoo! News: Babies born within 1.9 miles of fracking sites are at greater risk of being born with low birth weight, researchers say – increasing the likelihood of infant mortality, ADHD and asthma.

Researchers led by Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago analysed records of more than 1.1 million births in Pennsylvania from 2004 to 2013.

The researchers found no health effects in babies born further away than 1.9 miles from fracking sites – but the closer babies were, the more likely they were to be underweight.

[Read full article on Yahoo! News…]

Tory trade secretary wants chlorine-washed chicken in UK shops

fox chickens guardianFrom The Guardian: Tory trade secretary Liam Fox sees no problem with chicken being washed in chlorine before being sold to the public. He supports post-Brexit food standards being lowered to facilitate a trade deal with the US.

The practice has been banned in the EU, which believes it encourages farmers to relax overall hygiene standards and pursue industrial rearing practices such as battery farms that are bad for animal welfare.

“Some US abattoirs and processing plants rely heavily on chlorination because their other hygiene standards are so poor that they would be illegal in Europe,” said Simon Dawson, a lecturer in food safety at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Pollutants from fracking could pose health risk to children, warn researchers

From The Guardian: Pollutants released during fracking processes could pose a health risk to infants and children, according to researchers studying chemicals involved in shale gas operations.

In the UK, fracking is backed by the Tory Government and the first drilling in six years is expected to begin this week in the North Yorkshire village of Kirby Misperton, despite staunch opposition from protesters.

However, other countries have banned the practice, including France, Ireland, and Germany, citing environmental concerns, with the Scottish parliament today backing the Scottish government’s ban.

Now scientists analysing studies looking into the presence of chemicals at fracking sites in the US say the presence of pollutants ranging from airborne particulates to heavy metals could affect the neurodevelopment of babies and children in the area.

Read more

Third of private rented homes fail basic health and safety standards, new analysis finds

From The Independent: The extent of the crisis facing Britain’s private renters is revealed today as new analysis shows millions of tenants are living in homes that contain dangerous safety hazards and have been deemed unfit for habitation under Government standards. 29% of homes rented from private landlords fail to meet the national Decent Homes Standard.

[Read full article on the Independent website…]

Chlorinated chicken not ruled out by Tories in pursuit of trade deals

From The Guardian: Liam Fox, the trade secretary, has accused the media of being obsessed with safety concerns about chlorine-washed chicken being sold in Britain as part of a potential trade deal with the US after Brexit.

The controversy overshadowed the first day of Liam Fox’s trip to Washington, amid worries that a trade deal with America could lead to imports of food with lower safety standards. Read more

George Monbiot: “What happened in Grenfell Tower was murder, mass murder”

George Monbiot tells Double Down News: “What happened in Grenfell Tower was murder, mass murder.

“It’s ‘let’s strip away’ all the public protections which prevent lots of people from being incinerated.

“There’s a whole infrastructure of fake think tanks, of these neoliberal lobby groups, funded by dark money, journalists, columnists in the corporate press, government ministers and advisers, whose whole role in life is to try to destroy public protections. because those public protections limit corporate profits. Read more

Fracking poses ‘significant’ risk to humans and should be temporarily banned across EU, says new report

From The Independent: A major new scientific study has concluded that the controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking poses a “significant” risk to human health and British wildlife, and highlights serious shortcomings in the UK’s regulatory regime, which the report says will only get worse as the Government makes further budget cuts.

[Read full article on Independent website…]

Watch Boris Johnson telling opponent to ‘get stuffed’ when questioned on fire cuts

From The Independent: During his time as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s cuts in 2014 led to the closure of 10 fire stations and the loss of 552 firefighter jobs, following on from an 8% reduction in fire staff between 2007 and 2012.

At the time, Labour Assembly leader Andrew Dismore raised the issue of these cuts during a meeting at City Hall.

Boris’s reply was telling him to “get stuffed”.

[Watch video on Independent website…]

Jonathan Pie: “This country spends millions papering over poverty with flammable cladding”… and it’s a metaphor for Tory ideology

Jonathan Pie on Tory Britain: “This country spends millions on social housing. Not building social housing or making it safe, clean and habitable, but where we spend millions papering over poverty with flammable cladding.”

Papering Over Poverty

Is austerity putting lives in danger?

Posted by Jonathan Pie on Sunday, June 18, 2017

“If that isn’t a metaphor for what this government’s ideology has done to our country, I don’t know what is.

“Cladding over poverty, so that posh people simply don’t have to look at it. Not in any way improving poor people’s lives, just ensuring that posh people don’t have to look at shitty houses. Priority #1.

“For an extra £2 you can make each section of cladding fireproof. ‘What’s the fucking point of that?’ Says it all, doesn’t it. Cladding over poverty, a veneer of compassion, a dangerous, sub-standard, least-amount-of-hassle-possible facade, to ensure the rich don’t have to acknowledge the existence or realities of being poor.

“We don’t need to make social housing better, we just need to make it look better. Because then property prices in the area will increase, and that is good for our economy, which is good for everyone… But mainly good for people in nice houses. Read more

Labour says government must answer ‘serious questions’ after Grenfell fire

From The Guardian: Labour has called on the government to answer “some very serious questions” about why it failed to act on coroners’ concerns about two previous tower block fires before the catastrophic blaze at Grenfell Tower.

John Healey, the shadow housing minister, demanded that a government minister come to the Commons for a special statement session on Thursday. “Overnight we have asked the government: get a minister into parliament today, let parliament recognise how serious this tragedy is,” Healey told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Read more

If you vote Conservative on 8th June, you are voting for more people to die preventably in house fires

#ToryCutsKill #FireServiceCutsKill: The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 294 people died in fires in England during 2015, an increase of 21% compared with the 242 deaths recorded in 2014 and the largest increase since figures were published in 2001-02.

Nearly 10,000 firefighter jobs have been cut in the last six years.

The Conservative minister for policing and the fire service, Brandon Lewis, says there’s room for even more reductions beyond the 30% cuts. The fire service faces cumulative budget cuts of up to 50% by 2020, from 2010 levels.

“The budget cuts have seen the loss of frontline firefighters, response times getting longer, stations closing and fire prevention measures reduced too,” said a statement from the chief fire officers from the six largest English cities outside London.

Read more

Firefighters blame cuts for 15% increase in fire-related deaths

From Sky News: Government cuts are to blame for a rise in fire-related deaths in England last year, according to the union representing firefighters.

Official figures show that 303 people died in fires during 2015/16, up 15% on the previous year.

Response times to all types of serious fires also rose, in some cases by as much as one minute and eight seconds.

The Fire Brigades Union said the figures reflect the real impact that cuts have had on the ability of firefighters to do their job in recent years.

Matt Wrack, the union’s general secretary, said: “I think fire crews are increasingly angry about how they are being treated by this Government.

Read more

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