PCBs and Cancer

PCBs and Cancer

May 04

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) is an organic compound that poses toxic risks to any person who inhales or ingests it, intentionally or unintentionally. Furthermore, humans can be affected by PCBs through direct contact or consumption of contaminated animals. In order to inform and preserve the people’s health, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an analysis of tests regarding PCBs potential to cause cancer.

The molecular structure of PCBs does not break down, therefore it persists in the environment regardless of when it was first emitted. Unfortunately, companies in the past, such as Monsanto, have produced liquids that expose the chemical to humans. Monsanto PCBs can lead to detrimental health problems depending on the severity of exposure.

The EPA conducted an inclusive analysis, of which the evidence suggested that PCBs cause cancer in animals. Through research and referencing an experimental study performed on laboratory rats, the EPA was able to determine what PCB mixtures are the most dangerous, and which methods of exposure pose the highest risks.

After analyzing the study on animals, the EPA continued to discuss the PCBs carcinogenicity for humans. Overall, the evidence proved “inconclusive” due to outside factors, such as an inability to correctly identify exposure levels, inadequate sample sizes, and each subject’s amount they smoke, or drink. Because these studies are limited in nature, the EPA was only able to identify a “probable” link between PCBs and cancer.

Overall, evidence suggested a definite link with PCBs ability to cause cancer in animals, and a “probable” link with their carcinogenicity for humans. Supporting these findings, the International Agency for Cancer Research and the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health cite a “probable” and “potential” link, respectively, and the National Toxicology Program finds a “reasonable” one.

When it is Better to Sell Mineral Rights in Texas

When it is Better to Sell Mineral Rights in Texas

Feb 23

Unlike most residents in other states, many landowners in Texas know about mineral rights; the rich oil and natural gas deposits in the area has made that inevitable. They are also aware that they have the option to sell minerals rights or lease them. What they may not be sure of is whether they should sell or lease.

Selling mineral rights is pretty much like selling any kind of real property. Once you sign the deed of sale, it passes out of your hands. This is not necessarily a bad thing; you get a hefty chunk of change and you don’t have to think about doing anything about your mineral rights anymore. On the other hand, you may regret your decision because you may have been sitting on a fortune once the mining starts.

You could lease it out instead, and hope that the developer hits pay dirt and you would be entitled to royalties (make sure your lease agreement is looked over by a mineral rights lawyer!). The upside of this is that whether your developer acts on the lease or not, you get a monthly payment per acre. The downside is you will not have to option to sell until after the lease expires, which can be a problem when you need the money fast.

If you live in an area that is known to have good sub-surface minerals, then you can probably get a very good price for either selling or leasing. If you are considering a sale, make sure that you do your research and open it up to many interested parties so that you can bid them up. You could list your mineral rights with a mineral rights auction house to get the best deal.

On the other hand, there is no certainty about the value of your mineral rights, you may want to consider leasing them first. You can always decide to sell later when you have more leverage. It is important to note, though, that a drop in the demand for specific minerals can pull down the value of your mineral rights. It is best to lock in a good offer as soon as possible, whether selling or leasing.

The Economic Value of Labor Unions

The Economic Value of Labor Unions

Jan 11

Based on the 2013 report of the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 14.5 million wage and salary workers belonging to at least 60 different labor unions all across the US. The list of members include office workers, construction workers, factory workers, plumbers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, actors, mechanics, engineers, writers, teachers, IT/computer professionals, airline pilots, police officers, government workers, and so forth.

It was in 1866 when the National Labor Union (NLU), the first union in the US, was founded. Many others got to be established, including the American Federation of Labor (AFL) which earned success in its negotiations for the wage increase of its members as well as in improving safety in the workplace.

The establishment of labor unions has greatly helped in improving the lives of workers and their families. By simply becoming a member, a worker can be assured of the following benefits:

  • Wage that is higher by as much as 30% compared to non-union members
  • Discounts in many different types of services and establishments
  • An 8-hour work day and weekends without work
  • Sick leave, paid vacation, overtime pay and holiday pay
  • Lunch breaks and other breaks at work
  • Compensation increases and evaluations
  • Protection through anti- discrimination laws, whistleblower protection law and wrongful termination law
  • Employer health care insurance, workers’ compensation insurance benefits and social security benefits
  • Pensions
  • Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
  • The right to strike

Workers, however, are not the only ones benefiting greatly from unions; the nation’s economy too. This is because labor unions help business firms grow, become more profitable and remain competitive by helping lower employee turnover, ensure higher productivity, create a better-trained and more competitive workforce, improve communication in the workplace, ensure quality of product and service, and make the workplace healthy and safe.

Since the basic and essential concerns of a union revolve around many different legal issues centered on employment, knowledge of employment laws and all aspects of employment is a must to all its officers. But there are many times too when the help of a good labor and employment lawyer becomes necessary due to the complexities of employment laws and proper dealing with government agencies.

The website of labor and employment law firm Cary Kane (http://www.carykanelegal.com/) talks about the many legal concerns a union will need to face and address.

The Nuts and Bolts of Workers’ Compensation

The Nuts and Bolts of Workers’ Compensation

May 04

Worker’s compensation is basically a mandatory insurance that every business owner must purchase. Workers’ comp is an insurance policy that would cover the business employees’ medical expenses and partially a portion of lost wages in cases of an accident while on the job. For a business, it is vital to control and lower the cost as much as possible, since it is considered illegal to conduct business if employees do not have access to workers’ comp.

Although most small-time business owners believe that workers’ comp is just another expense for them to cover that is administered by law, but it has it benefits. Having a well-drafted workers’ comp policy can be a fair deal that can benefit and protect both the business and the employees. A company that has solid workers’ compensation can provide income replacement for their injured workers while protecting themselves from lawsuits. According to the website of Williams Kherkher quite often, lawsuits result from the inability of the company owners to compute or determine the extent of the injury and if it will affect possible future employment.

The rates that each business use can vary from state to state, and even different types of jobs can have different workers’ comp rates; companies that have employees who work dangerous jobs tend to have higher insurance premiums than those who are working desk jobs. Premiums are determined through the Workers Compensation Experience Modification Rate or the Class Codes. It is vital for the business to update the payroll of the company every year, since the preliminary premiums are decided during the start of the year. The auditor (from the insurance company) will work to audit each aspect of the payroll. This would help determine the cost for each employee, where the Workers’ Comp Class Codes will be applied.

Most business owners think that workers’ comp is a costly expense, but with a good insurance plan which covers all the aspects of your payroll process, it will become an integral part of the business’s overall plan.