Archives for December, 2007

Flawed Study Gets Congressional Hearing

Tomorrow, the House Small Business Committee will convene a hearing based on a study that is so flawed it could be used to teach students how not to do survey research. Last month, we wrote about this “survey,” conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce, purporting to show that compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley rules would be…

Reform to 1872 Mining Law Long Overdue

The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act (H.R. 2262) would revamp the 1872 federal law governing hardrock mining (mining for metals and gems, not for coal), and a new article from Business Week reports that the Act has the support of many local officials who worry about mining’s effects on air, water, and tourism. Industry officials…

Friday Blog Roundup

Gristmill has been doing an excellent job of tracking the progress of energy legislation in Congress this week; highlights include: Nancy Pelosi’s ass-kicking, which allowed the House bill to return to something close to its former strength; A marathon session in the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, featuring an endless stream of amendments; The…

A quick look at two papers and an editorial on the effects on lung function of exposure to levels of air pollution below current EPA standards, published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. Epidemiologic studies of the health effects of air pollution keep improving, with scientists designing studies able to measure small but…

The New York Times’ headline read: 350 Men Entombed in Mine Explosion. Rescue Force at Work in the Debris of Two Shattered Mines at Monongah, West Va.  Poisonous Gas Pours Out. At about 10:00 am on Dec 6, 1907, a violent explosion of methane gas and coal dust killed hundreds of workers at two adjacent underground…

Journal Scan: Speed Kills. So Does Piece Work

A quick look at “Predictors of Psychostimulant Use by Long-Distance Truck Drivers” by Ann Williamson in the American Journal of Epidemiology. An Australian study finds that paying truck drivers by the job (instead of by the hour or week) leads to increased driver use of amphetamines and other stimulants, which is associated with increased risk…

Once again, toys are turning up with high lead levels – and, once again, it was an advocacy group, rather than the Consumer Product Safety Commission, that did the tests and broke the news. The nonprofit Ecology Center, working with other groups across the country, bought and tested 1,268 children’s products, and found that 35…

Occupational Health News Roundup

NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) has launched a new blog, called the NIOSH Science Blog, as a way to fulfill its mission of translating NIOSH scientific research into practice. It invites visitors “to present ideas to NIOSH scientists and each other while engaging in robust scientific discussion with the goal of…

by Susan F. Wood, PhD  It’s not often, if ever, that an FDA sponsored report calls out for more resources, more direct action and organizational change for FDA.  The recently released report (PDF) by the Subcommittee on Science and Technology for the FDA Science Board does just that.  Although I wouldn’t necessary agree with all of…

Crandall Canyon Disaster: Four Months Later

It’s been nearly four months since nine men were killed at the Crandall Canyon mine in Emery County, Utah.  Congressman George Miller (D-CA) held a hearing in early October on the disaster, but a Senate hearing, scheduled for Dec 4, for which the mine operator Robert Murray had been subpeonaed, was cancelled.  The Salt Lake Tribune’s Mike…