Archives for October, 2007

A lot of people who care about the high rates of uninsurance in the U.S. do so because it just seems wrong that the wealthiest country in the world leaves a large swath of its population without healthcare – and, thus, facing employment difficulties, financial ruin, years of unnecessary pain or disability, and an overall…

The demand for coal is going through the roof.  Do giant U.S. energy companies really need a handout? Apparently, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opporunity thinks so. Yesterday, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced the awarding of millions of dollars in economic development aid to some of the biggest coal mining companies in the country. 

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a state law that will require manufacturers to remove six types of phthalates from products intended for children under the age of three. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma:

Occupational Health News Roundup

Gold mining is in the news this week after a makeshift gold mine in Colombia collapsed and killed 22. The dead were mostly women, many of them single mothers digging for a few grams of gold that would allow them to feed their families. The Guardian’s Rory Carroll explains, “An informal agreement with the site’s…

Will OSHA Prove Us Wrong?

Just before the House passed legislation last month requiring OSHA to regulate diacetyl, OSHA’s press office went into high gear, announcing the agency was getting to work on just that issue. Two days before the vote, OSHA announced it was initiating rulemaking under section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In other words,…

Bees as Canaries

You’ve probably heard about “colony collapse disorder,” the mysterious widespread die-off of bees that’s been worrying commercial beekeepers in recent years. Last month, researchers suggested that Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus was playing a role; parasites and overwork (and mobile phones) have also been suggested as possible causes. But Gina Covina, writing in Terrain magazine (via…

DuPont’s “PR” on PFOA Studies

After reviewing previously undisclosed documents*, the Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward writes how a group of notable occupational health scientists and epidemiologists felt DuPont misrepresented the scientific evidence to-date about the health risks associated with PFOA (ammonium perfluorooctanoate, a.k.a. C8).  Ward writes about concerns expressed in private email exchanges among scientists on the firm’s Epidemiology Review Board (ERB), an independent and external committee, when DuPont…

Blog Action Day: EPA in the News

Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers around the world post about environmental topics. It seems like a good time to take a look at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has been in the news lately. Late last month, as Carol Leonnig reported in the Washington Post, EPA issued new national water regulations that…

Strengthening the Surgeon General

In an editorial in the October 12th issue of Science, former Assistant Surgeon General Fitzhugh Mullan highlights the challenges inherent in the position of Surgeon General. Mullan recounts a July hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which featured testimony from former Surgeons Generals from the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush administrations:…

Friday Blog Roundup

This week saw several new policy statements from presidential hopefuls, and bloggers have opinions about them. David Roberts at Gristmill responded to Barack Obama’s energy plans, while Amie Newman at RHReality Check focused what Obama’s saying in Iowa about abortion and abstinence-only sex ed. Jacob Goldstein at the WSJ Health Blog reported on John McCain’s…