Archives for June, 2007

Working too Many Hours? You’re Not Alone

By David Michaels Seventy years ago, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that his grandchildren’s generation would enjoy three-hour workdays. Instead, a new study reports, one in five workers worldwide logs “excessive” hours. The study, Working Time Around the World, reviews global working time issues, including national laws and working time policies, trends in actual working…

Friday Blog Roundup

This week, Congress has been wrestling with the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act; Merrill Goozner at GoozNews reports from Capitol Hill about the questions that FDA Acting Deputy Commissioner for Policy Randall Lutter couldn’t answer at a hearing and about the provisions that should be in the bill but aren’t. Matt Madia…

By David Michaels The National Football League, like many trade associations, has been disputing the long-term risks associated with employment in that industry. We’ve written about the league’s Committee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, supposedly independent but in fact dominated by individuals who work for NFL teams or the league itself. The Concussion Commission has…

MSHA’s Stickler & A Stick (Maybe)

MSHA issued a news release yesterday announcing that eight mine operators have been put on notice for potential enforcement under the “pattern of violation” provisions of the Mine Act.  MSHA’s release does not list the names of the mining operations, but the Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward is reporting that two of the mines are metal/non-metal operations and six are coal mines,…

ACSH Attacks Animal Science on Carcinogens

By Ruthann Rudel and Dick Clapp Two recent papers by Ruthann Rudel and Julia Brody published in the journal Cancer compiled a list of 216 chemicals shown to cause mammary gland tumors in animal studies and presented a comprehensive state-of-the-science review of environmental factors in breast cancer.  When such important studies are published, it’s typical for…

Occupational Health News Roundup

As David Michaels reported earlier today, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey has introduced legislation that would force OSHA to issue standards for occupational exposure to diacetyl (an interim standard within 90 days and a final standard within two years). This artificial butter-flavoring substance has been linked to severe lung disease in workers exposed to it in airborne…

By David Michaels The simple, powerful statement on the website of FEMA, The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States, summarizing the trade association’s position: The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States supports H.R.2693, legislation to assure workplace safety in flavor manufacturing. Thank you FEMA. Read their press release here.…

By David Michaels Regular readers of this blog are probably aware of the many workplace hazards that OSHA has failed to address, including silica, beryllium, and, of course, diacetyl – the artificial butter-flavoring chemical that’s associated with severe lung disease in workers at flavoring, food, and microwave popcorn plants. (Click here for our past posts…

OSHA and Refinery Inspections

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that over the next two years, OSHA will be sending 300 federal inspectors to petroleum refineries to evaluate operators processes for handling hazardous chemicals.  This announcement comes after the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued its comprehensive investigation report of the BP Texas City refinery explosion which took the lives of 15…

Senate to Hold Asbestos Hearing Tomorrow

Tomorrow (June 12th), the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing entitled “An Examination of the Health Effects of Asbestos and Methods of Mitigating Such Impacts.” The first witness listed is Senator Patty Murray, who for the past several years has been pushing to ban asbestos in the U.S.; as chair of…