Archives for April, 2007

Congress asks “is OSHA working?”

Two congressional committees, one in the House the other in the Senate will hold oversight hearings this week on OSHA.  The timing is quite fitting: Saturday, April 28 is Worker Memorial Day.  On Tuesday, April 24, the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the House Education and Labor Committee’s hearing ”Have OSHA Standards Kept Up with Workplace Hazards?”…

New Weekly Toll Posted

Tammy has posted another edition of the Weekly Toll: Death in the American Workplace at her Weekly Toll blog. It gives short writeups on 117 workplace deaths, including the following: Vernon Christensen, a 72-year-old resident of Stayton, Oregon, was crushed by a reversing logging truck while working as a flagger on a logging road. Lina Shearer,…

It Takes a Tragedy

By David Michaels In the U.S., we see an average of one gun-related homicide every 45 minutes, or 32 each day.* These are usually treated as isolated incidents, until a horrific event like the Virginia Tech massacre reawakens the public and strengthens public health advocates who are attempting to prevent gun violence. That’s what has…

Friday Blog Roundup

The FDA certainly wasn’t the biggest newsmaker this week, but it did create some buzz in the blogosphere – mostly due to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, which is up for Congressional reauthorization. Matt Madia at Reg Watch and Merrill Goozner at GoozNews are tracking PDUFA’s progress through the Senate. Corpus Callosum…

Nature Calls to End Court Ordered Secrecy

By David Michaels An editorial in the latest issue of Nature takes up a problem that public health advocates have been battling for years: confidentiality orders that keep important scientific data hidden from the public, scientists, and even regulatory agencies. One recent case of such data being kept secret, which Nature reporter Jim Giles covers…

Occupational Health News Roundup

 Among the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech were five faculty members: James Bishop Jocelyne Couture-Nowak Kevin Granata Liviu Librescu G.V. Loganathan Librescu was a 76 year-old Holocaust survivor who blocked his classroom doorway from the gunman while his students leapt to freedom. The Roanoke Times has profiles of all the victims here.

By David Michaels The controversy continues over NIH’s review of Bisphenol A (BPA), and the agency’s firing of Sciences International. Members of the NIH’s BPA Expert Panel have joined the discussion, through comments to the Pump Handle, assuring the public that their work was not not influenced by any potential conflicts. In addition, today’s Washington…

Food Fight over Conflict of Interest Article

By Dick Clapp  Opponents in the debate over conflict of interest in cancer research are duking it out, and the current forum for their fight is the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. The article that touched off this particular scuffle was “Secret Ties to Industry and Conflicting Interests in Cancer Research,” by Hardell L, et…

OSHA Blasts Explosives Rule

By David Michaels We’ve been wondering why the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration still hasn’t issued new rules reducing worker exposure to silica, beryllium, diacetyl and other well-documented but under-regulated hazards. Now we understand. OSHA is hard at work, using its limited resources to weaken existing standards. OSHA has just issued a proposed rule…

Feds Drop Conflicted Contractor

By David Michaels The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has fired Sciences International. Last month, Marla Cone wrote in the Los Angeles Times about allegations that the consulting firm, hired by the NTP to run the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), had significant conflict of interest. The allegation was that Sciences…