Archives for February, 2007

By David Michaels In the issue of Science Magazine on your virtual newsstand today, Don Kennedy has written a powerful editorial entitled “Science, Information, and Power.” (sub required) Dr. Kennedy observes that the confrontation between Congress and the White House over the production and control of science used in regulation is about an issue fundamental…

MSHA’s New Rules on Counting Fatalities

MSHA’s Assistant Secretary Richard Stickler revealed yesterday the agency’s new procedures for determining whether a work-related death “is to be counted as a reportable death in MSHA’s official statistics.”  In my post “Counting (or Not) of Workers’ Deaths,” I pushed Mr. Stickler to share the results of his review of MSHA’s fatality accounting system.  After…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The state of Kentucky has been in the spotlight lately as legislation to protect social workers and mineworkers has failed to live up expectations. The state’s House of Representatives stripped funding from the Boni Bill, named after social worker Boni Frederick, who was killed when she took a child to a final home visit with…

When Reviewing Records Gets Really Dangerous

By David Michaels Sometimes reviewing records of past exposures to toxic materials can be pretty dangerous itself. AP carried the story: Records buried in a landfill used for radioactive waste may be dug up to determine whether cancer-stricken workers from a defunct nuclear-weapons plant qualify for compensation, a federal official said. At least a dozen…

Coal Miners’ Safety “Shafted” by Bush

The Washington Monthly’s February issue features “Shafted” by Ken Ward, Jr., an article critiquing the Bush Administration’s mine safety policies.  The Charleston Gazette reporter provides some interesting historical mine safety facts, such as the 1891 federal law prohibiting the employment of workers younger than age 12, and offers something new when he juxtaposes the Clinton-era versus…

By Anthony Robbins It has been many years, 26 in fact, since I left NIOSH, victim of the Reagan landslide of 1980.  It is fair to say that I have spent little time engaged in worker health issues since then. Yet Michael Silverstein’s future oriented document offered surprisingly few new or unexpected insights as it…

By David Michaels How did the Congress pass legislation that not only cut EPA out of chemical plant safety, but also ensured that the job would be given to the Department of Homeland Security, which has neither the authority nor the commitment to do it right? The job was done by Philip Perry, general counsel…

By David Michaels The changes President Bush made last month to Executive Order 13422, requiring, among other things, that certain agency guidance documents be reviewed by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), within the Office of Management and Budget, has caused a great deal of consternation in the public health community. (We’ve written…

By Dick Clapp This week, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued preliminary health-based guidance to local water companies on levels of perflurooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water (PDF). Based on current knowledge of cancer and non-cancer effects of this chemical, they recommended a limit of 0.04 parts per billion, and they say this…

Friday Blog Roundup

Matt Madia at Reg Watch and Ian Hart at Integrity of Science report on the two House hearings held last week on how the new executive order will affect regulatory agencies. (See our take on the Science & Technology Committee’s hearing here.) In climate change blogging, Jim Hoggan at DeSmogBlog is critical of Canada’s climate…