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Keep Houston Press Free
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Web Extra: Cancer and Birth Defects in Somerville

As part of our coverage on the unfolding public-health situation in Somerville, here are four clips of videotaped depositions from two former railroad tie-plant superintendents and a veteran employee on the failure to provide workers proper safety equipment and inform them on the long-term health hazards of working with coal-tar creosote and other heavy-duty pesticides.

In this April 2003 video, Samuel Barkley, who served as superintendent of the tie plant from 1971 to 1986, discusses the lack of safety precautions given to employees.

During the same videotaped deposition, Barkley offers his opinion on the potential hazards of working with coal-tar creosote.

In this April 2003 video, Vernon "Gene" Welch, who served as superintendent of the tie plant from 1986 to 1994, discusses workplace safety.

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In this November 2002 video, Don "Slim" Hightower, who worked at the tie plant from 1969 to 1995 and later developed an aggressive skin cancer that killed him, discusses how his job duties regularly forced him to come into contact with coal-tar creosote.

-- Todd Spivak

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