It’s not unusual for studies on community walkability to face the perplexing question of self-selection. In other words, people who already like to walk end up moving to walkable communities and so those communities naturally have higher physical activity rates. In even simpler terms, it’s about the person, not the environment. However, a new study finds that walkable community design does influence healthy behavior — even among people with no preference for walking in the first place.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Exploring the Uberization of work; big retailers fight new OSHA injury reporting rule; Congress members introduce paid leave for federal workers; and John Boehner inadvertently makes the case for a minimum wage increase.

Evidence has been accumulating about the toll of prolonged sitting, and a new systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows just how harmful sedentary habits can be.

Not an “accident”: Jason Strycharz, 40, suffers fatal work-related injury in Middletown, CT

This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on January 23, 2015 in Middletown, CT.

Vermont Yankee Closes

The closing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant didn’t make many headlines, but for me it brought back a flood of memories and an important lesson.

Rarely do poverty and optimal health go together. In fact, income is consistently tapped as a major factor underpinning a person’s opportunity to live a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, children don’t fare much better, with low-income children facing increased risks of poor health and development. So, just how many American children face this challenge today? Four out of every 10.

Coal dust, lung disease and 5 months of a new worker safety rule

MSHA fought for 20 year to eliminate the use of an average over multiple shifts to characterize miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust. It seems strange now to read MSHA announce the success of a new coal dust regulation by reporting the annual average coal mine dust levels.

As more research is emerging on the potential health effects of fracking, a new study — perhaps the largest to date of its kind — has found that people living near natural gas wells may be at increased risk for adverse health impacts, including skin and respiratory conditions.

In the week before his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama took modest but important steps toward expanding US workers’ access to paid sick and family leave.

If you’re in the market for a paint remover and head to your local hardware store, most of the products you’re likely to find will contain methylene chloride. These products carry hazard warnings that say “Danger!” and “Poison” along with cautionary statements about the chemical’s nervous system effects and the possibility that exposure can cause blindness, birth defects, cancer and respiratory harm. But there’s little – if anything – to suggest such products are so hazardous that they were responsible for at least 14 deaths in the United States between 2000 and 2011. These products are banned in the EU. Are there alternatives and why are they still for sale in the U.S.?