Case and Deaton’s analysis of increasing mortality rates among white middle-age Americans made a connection to economic phenomena, but their analysis didn’t discuss specific pathways that might lead from one to the other. A group of doctoral students at UMass Lowell’s Work Environment Program set out to explore those causal pathways.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Navy shipbuilders get lucrative contracts despite worker safety violations; Baltimore airport executive cited in worker retaliation case; thousands of California workers have potentially harmful blood lead levels; and immigrant workers lose their jobs after joining national protests.

Andrew Schneider: “I rarely ignore whistle blowers, no matter how crazy they sound.”

From gaps in airline safety and railcars filled with toxics, to the respiratory hazard of food flavorings and an asbestos disaster in Libby, Montana, Andrew Schneider made his mark on public health. The investigative journalist and two time Pulitzer Prize winner died on February 17 at age 74.

The anti-vaxxers were out again this week, spreading misinformation and debunked science about an intervention that’s saved millions of lives and prevented immeasurable human suffering. It’s unconscionable.

Recent pieces address why public-health issues get polarized, how New Orleans schools are tackling trauma, home-health workers defending the ACA, and more.

Pruitt in, Puzder out, Acosta waiting in the wings

At the end of President Trump’s fourth week in office, Scott Pruitt was narrowly confirmed as EPA administrator, a fast-food mogul withdrew as Labor Secretary nominee, and a labor and civil rights lawyer was named as Trump’s second choice for the Labor Department position.

Fewer economic opportunities may be exposing black and Hispanic workers to an increased risk of workplace injury, according to a new study.

A recently published book– “Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon” by occupational health physician Paul Blanc – is an historical investigation of the use of carbon disulfide throughout the world to make products. The book describes how the making of rayon led to suicides and caused neurologic deaths of workers exposed to the toxic chemical… and it “names names” of those involved … during two World Wars. We have all heard about lead and asbestos and the legacy of death they created… but none of us has heard this meticulously researched investigative story before.

Kleen Energy disaster anniversary, new worker safety bill introduced

Seven years ago this week, six workers were killed in a massive explosion at the site construction site for the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, CT. Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), along with Democratic colleagues from the House Education and the Workforce Committee, marked the occasion by introducing the Protecting America’s Workers Act.

The Trump Administration is gearing up to make Federal OSHA as under-resourced and ineffective as it can. Our strategic response has to be more than simply defending the status quo ante; we have to rebuild the social movement that was powerful enough 50 years ago to force another right-wing Republican president, Richard Nixon, to support and sign the OSH Act in the first place.