January 11, 2016
The gang now running DuPont Co. , that incubator of 20th-century U.S. industry, is scrapping many of its Wilmington headquarters institutions, as if they were old Rust Belt factories. Glowing paints and super plastics, miracle fabrics and insulators, electronics and fuel additives and their often toxic by-products are just a few of DuPont's highlights. Its science and engineering created that new-car smell, the snug and cleanable feel of a mass-marketed American home, and the security and menace of a fully equipped American soldier.
February 13, 2014 |
IN 2012, A TRAIN derailment spewed a toxic cloud over the small South Jersey town of Paulsboro, prompting safety concerns and major lawsuits over the chemical industry there. Now more lawsuits are being filed over an invisible, unrelated threat some say is lurking in Paulsboro's water supply. "This isn't just a concern for Paulsboro, it's for everybody in the area," attorney David Cedar said yesterday. Cedar and his firm are representing three Paulsboro families against Solvay Polymers, a plastics and chemicals manufacturer in nearby West Deptford, claiming the company contaminated drinking water with dangerous chemicals.
April 11, 2013 |
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), plans Wednesday to introduce what he hopes will be signature legislation for his final term in office - a bill aimed at ensuring the safety of the many chemicals that Americans come in contact with every day. The measure would give regulatory officials the authority to evaluate the safety of the flame retardants in couches, the phthalate compounds responsible for the smell of new vinyl shower curtains, the bisphenol...
March 28, 2013
Georg W. Claussen, 100, who was the longest-serving chief executive officer at Nivea skin-cream producer Beiersdorf A.G., died last Thursday in his hometown of Hamburg surrounded by his family, Beiersdorf said. He was the grand-nephew of Oscar Troplowitz, who invented Nivea in 1911, it said. Mr. Claussen joined Beiersdorf's management board in 1954 and was CEO from 1957 until 1979. Nivea, which Troplowitz developed from the discovery of water-and-oil emulsifier Eucerit, is Hamburg-based Beiersdorf's biggest source of revenue.
February 27, 2013
Directives issued by New Jersey's water quality advisory board could be polluted if a bad bill pending in the Legislature passes. Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D., Gloucester) not only wants the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute to use chemical industry-funded research. He wants it to ignore the possibility that the data might be biased. Burzichelli's proposal would also put more industry members on the board, which makes critical decisions about the level of pollutants it will allow in the state's drinking water.
February 5, 2012 |
As much as I would like to deny it, I am creeping ever closer to retirement, and adding my name to the rolls of all of those who receive government assistance - in my case, Social Security. After 42 years of steady labor - two years as a high school chemistry teacher, 30 years in the chemical industry, and the last 10 years on the faculty and staff of Ursinus College, I have decided to retire from full-time employment in June. Thereafter, I plan to become an adjunct faculty member at Ursinus, do some consulting for industry, and tackle the huge stack of topics that I have been wanting to write about.
January 5, 2012 |
Parents often start a new year resolved to take steps to improve their families' well-being: more fruits and vegetables and less junk food, more exercise and less TV. But there is a danger in our homes that parents can do little to address: Toxic chemicals in toys, electronics, cleaning supplies, cookware, and other everyday products that can find their way into small mouths and bodies. Doctors and scientists increasingly point to toxic chemicals in consumer products as contributing to serious diseases and disabilities, especially when developing fetuses, infants, and young children are exposed to them.
February 15, 2009 |
Nancy Kolb, president of the Please Touch Museum, has tapped a source of charitable funding that's as unique to Philadelphia as cheesesteaks. To help with an expansion of the children's institution in Fairmount Park, she garnered checks for almost $1 million in the last two years from three Haas family charitable trusts. Kolb didn't have to fill out a slew of paperwork for the grants. And when the private trusts sent the checks, no press announcement trumpeted the gift. The process was discreet and efficient.
December 11, 2008
Oil prices are a double-edged sword for the energy industry. High prices slow demand, but they still can boost profits, though the equation looks different to a refiner such as Philadelphia's Sunoco Inc. than to oil-rich competitors. "They like to say that they don't widen their margins, but when you've got a $100 barrel of oil and your margin is 10 percent, you're making $10. When it's $50, you're making $5," said Joel Naroff, chief economist for TD Bank N.A. Naroff said the whole energy sector faced lingering effects from this year's spike in oil prices above $147 a barrel, even though some analysts expect prices to stay in the $40 to $50 range next year.
October 22, 2008 |
There are lessons for other sectors of the economy in the Wall Street chaos. For example, commonsense regulations reduce risk and protect the public. But the chemical industry today resembles nothing more than Lehman Bros. circa 1999. Since Sept. 11, 2001, industry titans such as Dow and DuPont have lobbied against requirements that they use safer chemicals at 7,000 high-risk chemical plants identified by the Department of Homeland Security. These facilities use and store highly toxic, volatile chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and chlorine gas. A terrorist attack or accident at one of them could form a toxic cloud capable of injuring or killing more than a million people.