Archives for November, 2006

By Laura H. Kahn The medical community is devoting a lot of effort to researching bioterrorism agents and diseases that could become human pandemics. But in many cases, they’re overlooking a potentially critical resource: veterinarians. Zoonoses are diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans. These diseases include: SARS, West Nile virus, HIV/AIDS, and…

What is next?

 by PotomacFeverish  What is on the agenda for science during the last 2 years of this Administration?  Many believe that with the change in Congress, now we can relax regarding the abuse of science that we have seen in recent years.  The scientific community needs to be aware that much of the actions taken by…

KETEK Watch

by Susan F. Wood Much has been written about the antibiotic drug, telithromycin, otherwise known as Ketek. It seems to combine a host of concerns all in one place (see also Matthews, AW, WSJ, May 19, 2006:B1). Critically, concerns about safety, from visual effects to fatal liver toxicity, are paired with questions about lack of…

EPA Retreats (a Little) on Rolling Back TRI

By David Michaels In a move that recognizes the post-election climate change in Washington, the EPA has told two Democratic Senators that it is revising plans to roll-back the reporting requirements of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). In a post yesterday, I wrote about TRI as an important (and cost-effective) example of “Regulation by Shaming”…

Regulation by Shaming

By David Michaels Last week, public scorn forced Rupert Murdock, powerful chief executive of the News Corp, to cancel “If I Did It,” OJ Simpson’s book and Fox TV tie-in. While shaming has fallen out of favor in the field of criminal justice, the heaping of public scorn and anger – dating back to putting…

E-wasting Away

by Liz Borkowski  Parties to the Basel Convention—the international treaty dealing with the transport and disposal of hazardous wastes—are meeting this week in Nairobi, and e-waste is on their agenda. Each year, consumers generate 20 – 50 million tons of e-waste (waste from electrical and electronic equipment), and it’s full of hazardous substances: heavy metals…

America’s Most Dangerous Factories

By David Michaels Meat factories continue to be among the most dangerous places to work in America. According to a devastating article in the Dallas Morning News, “thousands of illegal immigrants gravitate toward meatpacking plants in places like Cactus, Texas” where each year more than one out of every ten workers gets injured carving meat…

Getting the word out on cancer in IBM workers

by Dick Clapp The publication of my article on mortality among IBM workers was the culmination of a two and a half year process. I obtained the data, which included information on the deaths of nearly 32,000 former workers who had died between 1969 and 2001, when I served as an expert witness in a…

Money vs. Conscience

by Liz Borkowski If you haven’t read Laurie David’s op-ed, “Science a la Joe Camel,” in yesterday’s Washington Post, I recommend clicking over to it. David was a producer of Al Gore’s climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” and reports that the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) turned down 50,000 free DVDs of that movie,…

by revere [This is another cross-post from Effect Measure but it fits here because it lays out some of the history of the progressive public health blogosphere and welcomes The Pump Handle as its newest -- and we hope brightest -- member!] This weekend is Effect Measure’s Second Blogiversary and it coincides with two other…