Tag: Company 

 

Taxpayers, not company, will pay for massive Exide toxic cleanup, under plan OK’d by court

A bankruptcy court ruled Friday that Exide Technologies may abandon its shuttered battery recycling plant in Vernon, leaving a massive cleanup of lead and other toxic pollutants at the site and in surrounding neighborhoods to California taxpayers.



a train is parked on the side of a building: Portions of the shuttered Exide Technologies facility, in Vernon about 5 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles, are wrapped in white plastic to prevent the release of lead and other harmful pollutants. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)


© (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
Portions of the shuttered Exide Technologies facility, in Vernon about 5 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles, are wrapped in white plastic to prevent the release of lead and other harmful pollutants. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

The decision by Chief Judge Christopher Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Delaware, made over the objections of California officials and community members, marks the latest chapter in a decades-long history of government failures to protect the public from brain-damaging lead, cancer-causing arsenic and other pollutants from the facility.

The plan’s confirmation only deepens a fiasco that has subjected working-class Latino communities across southeast Los Angeles County to chronic and dangerous levels of soil contamination and made the area a poster child for environmental injustice.

Community groups have fought for years with the company and its environmental regulators to restrict harmful pollution, shut down illegal operations and clean up the toxic mess. The property’s abandonment compounds the challenges of addressing ongoing health risks to young children and others living nearby, where thousands of yards remain riddled with lead, a powerful neurotoxin with no safe level of exposure.

The decision followed a two-day court hearing with testimony from environmental regulators, company consultants and officers and health experts, much of it about the threats to the environment and the public from abandoning a hazardous facility with the remediation unfinished. The recycling operation, located about 5 miles from downtown Los Angeles, has not been fully demolished and remains partially enclosed in a temporary, tent-like structure designed to prevent the release of lead and other toxic pollutants.

In his verbal ruling, Sontchi concluded it is not an imminent threat to the public.

“The entire property is not sort of a seething, glowing toxic lead situation,” Sontchi said.

“We have a very dangerous element that will cause long-term health effects” and takes time to accumulate, he said. “I don’t think any of that indicates there’s an imminent, immediate harm to the general public if this property is abandoned.”

State officials blame decades of air pollution from the plant, which melted down used car batteries until its closure five years ago, for spreading lead dust across half a dozen communities, including Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, Commerce and Maywood. The area contains more than 100,000 people.

A state-led cleanup has so far removed contaminated soil from 2,000 residential properties, as well as as well as parks, day-care facilities and schools. But thousands more have yet to be cleaned in the largest remediation project of its kind in California.

The Trump administration, through the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency, supported Exide’s plan, which also leaves behind toxic sites in several other states. Those sites too remain a threat to public health and

FIGS ad: Popular scrubs company generates backlash from women in medicine and DOs after insensitive video

FIGS, a scrubs start-up, apologized for the video and pledged to donate $100,000 to the American Osteopathic Association, an organization for DOs, after the video generated backlash among Twitter’s vibrant medical community.

In the now-deleted video, which was meant to show how one of its pairs of women’s scrub pants looked in action, a bespectacled model played a DO and pretended to scan through the book “Medical Terminology for Dummies,” which she held upside down.

On Twitter, a handful of women health care professionals and DOs quickly criticized the video’s contents and FIGS for producing it.

Brenna Hohl, a first-year medical student from North Carolina, told CNN she found the ad disrespectful, particularly as health care workers face the brunt of coronavirus exposure.

“In the midst of a pandemic, we should be supporting and building up our health care workers, not bringing them down like this,” she said.

She tweeted a response to the video, in which she said “the disrespect for female physicians and DOs exhibited in this ad … is unforgivable.

After addressing the video briefly in two now-deleted tweets, FIGS co-founders Heather Hasson and Trina Spear apologized for publishing the video, which they said was “offensive” and “particularly disparaging” to women in medicine and DOs.

“Our mission at FIGS has always been to empower medical professionals,” the co-founders said in a statement to CNN. “Beyond a lapse in judgment, the bottom line is — our processes at FIGS failed. We are fixing that now. It will never happen again.”

Some women in medicine say video was harmful

FIGS largely caters to young women in the medical profession (though it sells men’s scrubs, too) and is popular among medical students who often serve as brand ambassadors. The company touts its line as the comfortable and fashionable alternative to the “boxy, scratchy, uncomfortable” scrubs of yore.

But some women in health care said they are turned off by the brand after the video.

Dr. Agnieszka Solberg, a radiologist and internal medicine physician in Bismark, North Dakota, has called for a boycott of the brand for its depiction of women and DOs.

“The ‘silly and dumb, but sexy’ look in ads and other media contributes to harmful gender stereotypes,” she told CNN. “When girls see this, they start feeling like this is what is ‘cool,’ and start yearning to be like this.”

In a tweet, Solberg criticized the brand for portraying DOs as less competent than MDs, or doctors of medicine.
The American Osteopathic Association says there’s a harmful stigma toward DOs, who make up 11% of the physician workforce. Both DOs and MDs are trained physicians who are licensed by the same accrediting body. (The main difference is that DOs receive additional training in “whole-body” techniques, as holistic physicians.)

YouTube influencer and family physician Dr. Mike Varshavski encouraged medical students to stop wearing scrubs from the brand.

“They’re willing to put women down; they’re willing to put DOs down to make more money,” the DO said in a

Fitness tech company JAXJOX raises $10M as it gets ready to ship AI-enabled workout system

The JAXJOX InteractiveStudio exercise system. (JAXJOX Photo)

JAXJOX, the Redmond, Wash.-based fitness technology company, has raised $10 million in a new funding round to help pay for the research and development of its signature InteractiveStudio workout equipment.

The Series A round included investors Dowgate Capital Ltd. and entrepreneur Nigel Wray, and brings total funding to $17 million for the 3-year-old company.

JAXJOX is getting set to release its InteractiveStudio smart gym, a home fitness system that includes digitally adjustable weights, AI-enabled connected tech built into the equipment, and live and on-demand classes.

With connected tech built into individual pieces of free-weight equipment, such as a smart kettlebell, users don’t have to stand a certain distance from a screen to have form and motion tracked.

“By monitoring performance metrics and using AI, we can give users a more holistic view of their health and provide recommendations on improving their wellbeing,” founder and CEO Stephen Owusu said in a news release. “We believe that, for users, tracking power generated while lifting will become as important as tracking your heart rate while running.”

The InteractiveStudio is available for pre-order on the JAXJOX website and retails for $2,199 with a $39 monthly subscription. The system will also sell as part of an exclusive retail partnership this fall with Best Buy.

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Popular scrubs company generates backlash from women in medicine and DOs after insensitive video

A popular scrubs company offended DOs and women in medicine alike with a video that appeared to mock doctors of osteopathic medicine, or DOs, and women health care professionals.



a woman holding a cell phone: A now-deleted video, seen above, shared by scrubs company FIGS offended women in medicine and doctors of osteopathic medicine who said it misrepresented women health care professionals and DOs alike.


© from FIGS
A now-deleted video, seen above, shared by scrubs company FIGS offended women in medicine and doctors of osteopathic medicine who said it misrepresented women health care professionals and DOs alike.

FIGS, a scrubs start-up, apologized for the video and pledged to donate $100,000 to the American Osteopathic Association, an organization for DOs, after the video generated backlash among Twitter’s vibrant medical community.

In the now-deleted video, which was meant to show how one of its pairs of women’s scrub pants looked in action, a bespectacled model played a DO and pretended to scan through the book “Medical Terminology for Dummies,” which she held upside down.

On Twitter, a handful of women health care professionals and DOs quickly criticized the video’s contents and FIGS for producing it.

Brenna Hohl, a first-year medical student from North Carolina, told CNN she found the ad disrespectful, particularly as health care workers face the brunt of coronavirus exposure.

“In the midst of a pandemic, we should be supporting and building up our health care workers, not bringing them down like this,” she said.

She tweeted a response to the video, in which she said “the disrespect for female physicians and DOs exhibited in this ad … is unforgivable.

After addressing the video briefly in two now-deleted tweets, FIGS co-founders Heather Hasson and Trina Spear apologized for publishing the video, which they said was “offensive” and “particularly disparaging” to women in medicine and DOs.

“Our mission at FIGS has always been to empower medical professionals,” the co-founders said in a statement to CNN. “Beyond a lapse in judgment, the bottom line is — our processes at FIGS failed. We are fixing that now. It will never happen again.”

Some women in medicine say video was harmful

FIGS largely caters to young women in the medical profession (though it sells men’s scrubs, too) and is popular among medical students who often serve as brand ambassadors. The company touts its line as the comfortable and fashionable alternative to the “boxy, scratchy, uncomfortable” scrubs of yore.

But some women in health care said they are turned off by the brand after the video.

Dr. Agnieszka Solberg, a radiologist and internal medicine physician in Bismark, North Dakota, has called for a boycott of the brand for its depiction of women and DOs.

“The ‘silly and dumb, but sexy’ look in ads and other media contributes to harmful gender stereotypes,” she told CNN. “When girls see this, they start feeling like this is what is ‘cool,’ and start yearning to be like this.”

In a tweet, Solberg criticized the brand for portraying DOs as less competent than MDs, or doctors of medicine.

The American Osteopathic Association says there’s a harmful stigma toward DOs, who make up 11% of the physician workforce. Both DOs and MDs are trained