Americans with lower incomes and educational attainment often live shorter, sicker lives than their wealthier, more educated counterparts. Contributors to these disparities can include access to care, hazardous living conditions, nutrition in early childhood, and personal behaviors. But what about workplace conditions? Do certain groups of people get sorted into jobs that exacerbate inequalities in life expectancy?

Anyone who’s lived in a big, dense city is familiar with the sight of bicycle messengers weaving their way in between metro buses and taxi cabs, down side streets and around packed crosswalks, pedaling at impressive speeds and often with remarkable agility. Surprisingly, however, there’s little data on these workers, even though it seems they’d be particularly susceptible to injuries on the job.

New EPA rule offers better protection from pesticides for US farmworkers

US farmworkers, many of whom move from state to state following crops, will now have better access to information about the pesticides used at the farms where they work. Among other things, a new EPA rule will require employers to provide annual pesticide-hazard training to farmworkers.

Volkswagen’s deceit: public health and my neighbor’s dilemma

My neighbor shares her thoughts about being part of VW’s “clean diesel” charade, while a reporter estimates the premature deaths associated with the corporation’s fraud.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Union fair-share fees at stake in upcoming Supreme Court case; United Arab Emirates announces labor reforms for migrant workers; taxi drivers in Chicago stop service in protest of proposed Uber rules; and health privacy at risk in workplace wellness programs.

The death toll from last week’s stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has passed 700; on Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry reported 769 deaths and 934 people injured. Basma Attasi reports for Al Jazeera that the stampede occurred when two waves of pilgrims collided — but that there are conflicting reports about why…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it one of five neglected parasitic infections in need of targeted public health action. And while it’s still considered rare in the U.S., it seems residents of Texas may be at greater risk than scientists previously thought.

Asbestos, disease burden, and TSCA reform

Senators should mark Mesothelioma Awareness Day (September 26) by considering asbestos as the litmus test for the adequacy of any TSCA reform legislation. They’ll see that S.697 fails the test.

In the U.S., the gap in life expectancy by income is getting wider. To be even clearer: Life expectancy for people with higher incomes has gone up over time, while life expectancy for people earning lower incomes has actually declined.

For years, scientists have described climate change as a slowly emerging public health crisis. But for many, it’s difficult to imagine how a complex planetary phenomenon can impact personal well-being beyond the obvious effects of natural disasters, which climatologists say will happen more frequently and intensely as the world warms. That disconnect is what piqued my interest in a new study on old infrastructure, heavy rainfalls and spikes in human illness.