Archives for July, 2007

TB? You Can Breathe Now

By David Michaels Yesterday, we wrote about the efforts by Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS) to extend the prohibition on OSHA from fully enforcing its respiratory protection standard to protect health care workers and first responders from tuberculosis. Wicker successfully added this prohibition to legislation in the past, but the prohibition now in place ends in…

Another Day, Another Disaster

You may already have read about a series of chemical explosions that occurred this morning at the Barton Solvents plant near Wichita, Kansas. An estimated 650,000 gallons of an “array of chemicals” were on fire, sending flames up to 150 feet high and a steady stream of thick black smoke into the air.

TB? Hold Your Breath

By David Michaels How to not stop the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis? Give health care workers and first responders respirators that don’t fit correctly. It is hard to believe, but the House of Representatives will very soon (perhaps later today) be voting on an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill that would prohibit OSHA…

Canada’s Asbestos Problem

In Canada, asbestos is so sacred that the Canadian Cancer Society struggled with a decision about whether to call for a ban on a substance that’s internationally recognized as a carcinogen. Martin Mittelstaedt reports in the Globe and Mail:

By David Michaels Gretchen Morgenson, the terrific New York Times reporter, has a disturbing piece that describes how the toothless Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has little ability to force hazardous consumer products of the shelves of toy stores. The focus of her report is on super powerful miniature toy magnets. They are candy colored…

Stickin’ it to the Coal Industry

The Louisville-Courier Journal’s (LCJ) David Hawpe tells it like he sees it: “Coal is an outlaw industry.”  When criticized for degrading the industry and asked when he would stop calling it names, Hawpe replied when the industry started “behaving like something other than a bunch of outlaws.”  Read Hawpe’s editorial here. 

…said Melissa Lee, widow of coal miner Jimmy Lee, 33 who died at a Harlan County, KY mine.  At least 17 other families are probably feeling the same way about the improperly constructed seals at the Sago and Darby coal mines where their loved ones perished. 

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers have been focusing much of their attention on the federal government this week. The testimony of former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona about White House pressure to remain silent on stem cell research, sex education, and other topics spurred lots of reactions: Revere at Effect Measure and Cervantes at Stayin’ Alive criticized Carmona…

In Memoriam: John Martonik

John F. Martonik, 58, former deputy director of OSHA’s Health Standards Program passed away on July 11 at his home in Annandale, Virginia.  John retired from OSHA in 2002 and since then used his industrial hygiene expertise to assist workers in compensation and liability cases.  He was especially expert in evaluating occupational exposures to benzene and petroleum distillates,…

Making Health an Election Issue

The Kaiser Family Foundation has launched the website health08.org “to provide a central hub for resources and information about health policy issues in the 2008 election.” In a Boston Globe editorial, KFF president and CEO Drew Altman observes, “In a short period of time health has gone from an issue that was not even included…