Archives for July, 2007

Don’t Let Unethical Lawyers Off the Hook

By David Michaels Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director R. David Paulison needs to pursue disciplinary charges against the attorneys who advised the agency to ignore its responsibility to take care of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Last week, we reported on the revelations that FEMA attorneys advised the agency not to test for the…

Two Workers Dead at Alaska Gold Mine

Congress has given significant attention over the last 18 months to the dangers facing US coal miners, but many fatal hazards claim the lives of other miners, such as those working at sand and gravel quarries, limestone and salt mines.  This year, nearly twice as many miners have died at US metal and non-metal mining…

Friday Blog Roundup

Promoting public health depends on having good information. Much of the information we rely on comes from studies published in journals, but we often learn of these studies from news outlets that present distorted pictures of the findings. Going straight to the source limits that distortion but can be difficult for a number of reasons.…

In Oakland, Who Pays the Shipping Costs?

By Liz Borkowski  In the latest issue of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Joseph Plaster explores how the system for trucking imported goods from the Port of Oakland keeps both truckers and residents struggling. Truckers scrape by on meager earnings and can only afford the oldest, most polluting vehicles; pollution from hundreds of dirty trucks…

Foulke’s Case Study on S&H Programs

This week, OSHA posted on its website a case study designed to show the benefits of implementing a comprehensive workplace safety and health program.  In announcing the case study, Assistant Secretary Edwin Foulke, Jr said the report “is a good example of what can happen when management and employees dedicate themselves to workplace safety and health.” …

FEMA Attorneys: Don’t Test for Toxics

By David Michaels More sickening revelations about FEMA’s lack of concern for the health of Americans, this time concerning their actions months after Hurricane Katrina. Spencer S. Hsu of the Washington Post reports that The Federal Emergency Management Agency has suppressed warnings from its own Gulf coast field workers since the middle of 2006 about…

NIOSH Research Program Saved

Last night, the Barton Amendment to the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill was defeated by a vote of 181-249. All the Democrats, along with 19 Republicans, voted against the amendment. If it had been enacted, it would have resulted in a cut of more than 20% of NIOSH’s budget, and would have killed the National Occupational Research…

Occupational Health News Roundup

According to an American Road and Transportation Builders Association analysis, roadway construction workers are killed at a rate nearly three times higher than other construction workers. Tom Demeropolis at the Cincinnati Post reports that roadway construction workers safety is on officials’ minds right now in Kentucky, where highway speed limits have just increased. In the…

Tripoli 6: not done yet

Yesterday the Libyan Supreme Council commuted the death sentences of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian-Bulgarian doctor to life in prison. The Tripoli 6 became a cause célèbre in the scientific and diplomatic communities when Libyan courts, after holding them in prison for eight years, refused to hear solid scientific evidence exonerating them from a…

By David Michaels We’ve gotten news that Republicans in the House are planning to introduce a very destructive amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, probably later today. This amendment will have a devastating impact on NIOSH’s research program, and it is important that we act to stop it. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) will offer an…