Archives for February, 2007

By David Michaels Here at the Pump Handle, we’ve been trying to follow up some of the issues that Confined Space covered better than anyone else. One of these is chemical plant security. Many chemical plants are filled with explosive or toxic substances, making them appealing targets for terrorists. Congress considered bills to force chemical…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Since today is Valentine’s Day, it’s worth remembering the conditions that floral workers have to deal with. The Associated Press reports on the Colombian flower industry, where workers are exposed to heavy doses of pesticides, and current efforts to reduce those hazards. In other recent occupational health news:

Congressional Oversight Moves FDA

by Susan F. Wood  Yesterday’s hearing (Feb 13, 2007) before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee was amazing in several ways.  What struck me was the willingness of senior FDA physician-scientists (who have recently left FDA) to speak publicly about their concerns about the ignoring of safety and efficacy data quality when…

Counting (or Not) of Workers’ Deaths

The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. reports that the State of West Virginia has added another worker’s name to the list of 2006 workplace fatality victims.   In the State’s coal mining industry alone, 25 workers lost their lives last year. 

By Liz Borkowski Earlier today, the House of Respresentatives Committee on Science and Technology held a hearing on President Bush’s amendements to Executive Order 12866, and three of the witnesses painted a dismal picture of regulation under these new rules. (The fourth, William Kovacs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, suggested that small businesses are…

New Chromium Standard in NJ – Thanks Reporters!

By David Michaels “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” – Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1914) According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Lisa B. Jackson, Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has just issued a tough new standard for removing chromium 6 (a powerful…

By Celeste Monforton  Last month, David Michaels wrote about a newly amended executive order from President Bush that gives the executive branch (through the Office of Management & Budget) more control over the work of federal agencies. This order seems designed to constrain the regulatory activities of federal agencies like EPA, FDA, and OSHA in…

Judges See Through Industry’s Diesel Exhaust

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled today in favor of the United Steelworkers and MSHA in their efforts to protect underground miners from diesel particulate matter (DPM).  The mining industry plaintiffs have claimed for years that MSHA’s 2001 DPM health standard was neither scientifically valid nor feasible, but the three-judge panel denied…

Libby miner honored

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) announced today that deceased Montana miner Les Skramstad has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Alan Reinstein Memorial Award in honor of his “unwavering commitment to justice and asbestos disease awareness.” In spite of his own lengthy battle with asbestosis and mesothelioma, Les remained a true hero–…

Friday Blog Roundup

In addition to writing about the IPCC report itself, bloggers are dissecting the media and public responses to it. RealClimate wonders why the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board still has its head buried in the sand; Matthew C. Nisbet at Framing Science thought the report should have made more of a splash than it did;…