After a record number of brain tumors at a chemical plant, industry launched a flawed study that obscured the extent of the problem
TEXAS CITY, Texas — It began with a headache; then came shaking of the hands. Leuvell Malone’s wife noticed unusual behavior. He struggled to button his shirt straight and crashed the car into the hot-water heater in the garage. Finally, a seizure landed the 55-year-old chemical worker in the hospital.
His doctor at first thought Malone might have suffered a stroke. But it turned out to be worse than that. The father of four had a rare and deadly brain tumor.
During his 32 years of greasing machines at the sprawling Union Carbide plant south of Houston, Malone feared the chemicals he breathed might one day make him sick, his sons recall. So he reported his illness to the local office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.