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by Symptom Advice on April 8, 2012

Japan setting stricter safety guidelines for nuclear power plants. the government’s aim is to ease public concern about restarting reactors idled after last year’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Facing a national power crunch, the government is anxious to restart two reactors in Fukui, western Japan, before the last operating reactor of the 54 in the country goes offline in May. the guidelines follow Thursday’s disclosure that water containing radioactive substances may have leaked into the ocean from the Fukushima site, the latest example of problems more than three months after the government declared conditions there stabilized. The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal

Global fight against malaria is threatened by growing drug resistance. Experts say the potency of artemisinin-based compounds, once remarkably successful, is weakening among patients around the Thailand-Myanmar border. Doctors say the time could come when the drugs won’t work at all. Malaria parasite resistance to the drugs was previously identified in western Cambodia but it was hoped that tough controls would contain it. now scientists say the emerging problems must be tackled to keep resistance from spreading worldwide. An author of one of two new studies exploring the issue warned of a “public health disaster” if resistance emerges in sub-Saharan Africa. The Guardian, Time

San Francisco judge dismisses suit that sought to force McDonald’s to stop putting toys in Happy Meals. the proposed class-action suit was filed in 2010 by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest and Monet Parham, a mother, to try to prevent the restaurant chain from using toys to entice children in California to eat its meals. the judge did not give a reason for his decision. The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it hasn’t decided whether to appeal, but called the McDonald’s toy giveaways a “predatory practice that undermines parents, causes rifts in families and harms kids’ health.”  Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press

California authorities accuse a state mental hospital of failing to protect employees from assault. the state’s workplace safety agency, known as Cal/OSHA, also charged Coalinga State Hospital with failing to have an adequate employee alarm system. the hospital, which is located in southwest Fresno County in Central California and mainly treats sex offenders deemed too dangerous for community release, faces possible fines of more than $20,000. the citations are similar to those imposed by Cal/OSHA since last year against the other four state mental hospitals. All told, regulators have called for fines of more than $200,000. Los Angeles Times, The Business Journal (Fresno)

Federal safety regulators seek $151,300 in fines against Ohio factory. the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration accused the Blanchester, Ohio plant run by American Showa of putting employees to work on electrified equipment without providing protective gear or proper training. OSHA accused the plant, an aluminum die-casting and auto parts manufacturing operation, of 13 violations.  that included two willful violations, the agency’s most serious offense. OSHA

Recalls: Chrysler Jeep Patriot and Compass SUVs and Town and Country and Grand Caravan minivans, Office Depot leather desk chairs, Public Bikes 2010-2012 bicycles, Los Olivos bread, Kypoyka Bisquits

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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