Archives for June, 2007

Friday Blog Roundup

Climate change is a big issue in DC these days, and the folks at Gristmill are following the drama. David Roberts updates us on some of the recent developments in Congress, Kate Sheppard tracks efforts to eliminate tax breaks for Hummer purchases, and Van Jones applauds the House Education and Labor Committee’s passage of the…

MSHA Opens Office of Accountability

MSHA’s Assistant Secretary announced that he is creating an Office of Accountability to provide “enhanced oversight, at the highest level in the agency, to ensure that we are doing our utmost to enforce safety and health laws in our nation’s mines.” The announcement came with the release of three internal investigation reports which Asst. Sec.…

My colleague Celeste Monforton has just posted a new case study at DefendingScience.org, and it’s worth a read for anyone interested in industry attempts to bury information about products’ potential harmful effects. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is a private, not-for-profit, professional organization for practitioners in the field of workplace and environmental…

As Dick Clapp wrote earlier this month, Rachel Carson’s critics have used the 100th anniversary of her birth as an occasion to attack the influential environmental author. In the New York Times, columnist John Tierney (sub only) called Carson’s classic work Silent Spring “a hodgepodge of science and junk science.” Barry Commoner, himself an author…

Occupational Health News Roundup

In the Chinese provinces of Henan and Shanxi, police have raided 7,500 brick kilns and rescued hundreds of slave laborers, many of them children. Victims were kidnapped or entrapped with offers of work and then sold into slavery; officials report arresting 250 people for the crimes. Jane Macartney of The Times describes the horrific conditions at…

Doctor Gifts and Drug Company Favors

By Peter Lurie, MD, MPH, Deputy Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group Dr. Lurie is a contributor to Public Citizen’s drug newsletter, available at www.worstpills.org. He will present testimony on state doctor gift disclosure laws before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on Wednesday, June 27, 2007.  This article originally appeared in the May 2007…

By Liz Borkowski When EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced last week that the agency would lower the limit for ground-level ozone pollution, he acknowledged that the current standard of 0.08 parts per million was insufficiently protective of public health. This was an appropriate rationale for changing the limit, since the EPA is required to establish air…

Do I Expect Too Much of MSHA?

Last Wednesday, June 20, I learned from a newspaper reporter that a gold miner was missing at the Newmont company’s Midas mine near Winnemucca, Nevada.  I checked MSHA’s website, but nothing was posted about the accident.  No problem, I’ll cut them some slack.  Maybe within 24 hours they’d provide some details. 

Whitman & Henshaw on WTC Dust

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)  will chair a hearing today (June 25) on the federal government’s failure to protect workers’ and residents’ health from the toxic dust cloud created in NYC after the September 11, 2001 attacks.  The premiere witness will be Christine Todd Whitman, who was EPA administrator at the time of the attacks and reported that…

Louisville-Courier Journal reporters Laura Unger and Ralph Dunlop offer us the voices and faces of miners who are suffering from coal workers’ pneumoconiosis.  Their special report, Black Lung: Dust Hasn’t Settled on Deadly Disease, includes an on-line version which features five compelling videos featuring 40- and 50-year old coal miners who are now suffering with the…