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Chemical Suicide Dangers for First Responders

TASA ID: 18027

Chemical suicides are defined as “self inflicted death by mixing various chemicals designed to release toxic fumes in an enclosed space.”  This type of incident is also referred to as a “Detergent Suicide.”  It is “advertised as a quick and painless way to end one’s life.

This technique that is credited with starting in Japan and has gained popularity in the US thru instructions posted on the internet.  It is estimated that 500 Japanese men, women and children took their lives in the first half of 2008. There were a total of 208 persons that committed chemical suicide in a three-month period alone. They did so by following instructions posted on various Japanese websites that describe how to mix bath sulfur (bath salts) with a toilet bowl cleaner to create a poisonous gas (H2S). One site goes so far as to include an application to help calculate the portions needed of each ingredient in order to correctly fill a rooms volume with the deadly gas. It also has a downloadable PDF consisting of a ready-made warning sign to alert neighbors and emergency workers to the deadly hazard.


11 YEARS LATER: THE WORSENING OPIOID EPIDEMIC

TASA ID: 13340

Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) is currently providing input to the U.S. Dept. of HHS to preserve the 2016 CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline which is under some threat from the influence of the opioid pharmaceutical industry and some members of the pain community. This could also have positive implications for future legal cases for victims of opioid over-prescribing, especially in regard to the continued profit-driven malfeasance of these two sectors which have been largely responsible for the creation of the opioid epidemic. Will have more to say about this over the next few months.

Perils of Pain Meds

TASA ID: 13340

This article originally appeared in The Rheumatologist, 2008 - https://www.the-rheumatologist.org/article/perils-of-pain-meds/ and has been granted permission to be republished on The TASA Group website.

Over the last decade, an expansion in the use of opioids has been advocated by certain pain specialists as well as pharmaceutical companies. In my opinion, this has occurred in the absence of valid data that support the claims that opioids can effectively and safely be extended beyond cancer to most patients with chronic non-cancer pain with a low risk of addiction. Such claims have subsequently been found to be inaccurate, and the original
statement about the low rate of addiction to a common oxycodone sustained-release formulation has been shown to be false (as recently admitted by pharmaceutical company executives as a result of a Federal indictment).

OVERVIEW OF BENZENE TOXICITY

TASA ID: 1351

I.  Background Information

Benzene is a clear, colorless liquid at ambient temperatures.  Benzene has a relatively high vapor pressure and thus evaporates quickly into the air.  The odor threshold for benzene has been reported as 12 parts per million.  Benzene occurs naturally in crude oil and is widely used in industry as a raw material for the production of other organic chemicals.  Most gasolines sold in this country contain between one and two percent benzene (World Health Organization, 1993; ACGIH, 2001; Bruckner, et al., 2008).  Benzene is present in most outdoor and indoor environments.  Most benzene exposures to the general public are associated with the use of gasoline powered vehicles and other equipment.  Benzene is also found in some consumer products and is present in main stream and side stream tobacco smoke (Wallace, 1996).

“Who Wrote That Email?”

Forensic Authorship Attribution and Stylometry

TASA ID: 3949

Some cases hinge on the authorship of a document.   Whether we want to know about the author of a defamatory email, the source of a ransom note, or the authenticity of a will, one of the most important pieces of evidence is the one that establishes who wrote it.    Historically, most documents were handwritten and handwriting experts (today they go by the title “forensic document examiners”) could determine who wrote something from the slant of an f or the height of a t.  Even with typewritten documents, they could notice a chipped or an out-of-line c and identify the specific typewriter that created the document.   Physical creation also produces physical variance.
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