Archives for January, 2008

Lead on the Brain

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience last week reports a link between lead exposure and accumulation of Alzheimer’s-type plaque in the brains of primates. The National Institutes of Health-funded study examined the brain tissues of 23-year-old monkeys that had been exposed to lead for the first 400 days of their lives (resulting in…

Congress left town last month without passing legislation that would overhaul the Consumer Product Safety Commission, whose weakness has been apparent in recent problems with toys containing lead, dangerous magnets, and a chemical that metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. They did pass a ban on industry-sponsored travel (after the Washington Post reported…

Science Debate on Science Friday

Tomorrow’s Science Friday radio program will feature a segment on the Science Debate 2008 campaign, which calls for the presidential candidates to devote a debate to science-related issues. You can listen live online from 2 – 4pm Eastern time, or check your local NPR station’s listings to see when the show airs. Here’s what we…

Occupational Health News Roundup

It’s been almost a decade since U.S. corporations, facing a consumer outcry over sweatshops, launched high-profile efforts to ensure that their products were manufactured under fair labor conditions. David Barboza of the New York Times reports that investigations by labor rights groups find dangerous and unfair working conditions persisting nonetheless: The groups say some Chinese companies…

NIOSH Too Slow Answering Simple FOIA

Several months ago, I tried to get a simple question answered by NIOSH about part of its process for awarding mine safety research grants.  The technical staff with whom I spoke probably knew the answer to my question, but they weren’t sure whether the information could be disclosed or not.  Fair enough.  They suggested that…

Salvaging EPA Libraries

Remember how EPA library closures and record purges were threatening public access to important environmental information? Now Congress is requiring the agency to restore library services, reports Katherine Boyle of Greenwire: U.S. EPA must craft plans to reopen regional libraries shuttered from a Bush administration cost-cutting effort under a provision in the agency’s fiscal 2008…

Open Laboratory 2007

Science bloggers Bora Zivkovic (also known as Coturnix) and Reed Cartwright, assisted by a panel of judges, are putting together an anthology of science blog posts from the past year – and I’m honored to report that my post “Popcorn Lung Coming to Your Kitchen? The FDA Doesn’t Want to Know” is included. Open Laboratory…

Where Old Computers Go to Die

The latest issue of National Geographic includes a story on e-waste that’s worth reading – especially if you got a new computer, TV, or other electronic gift over the holidays and now need to figure out how to get rid of the old one. Discarded electronic goods often contain a few useful bits – drives,…

It’s been three weeks since the deadly explosion at the Jacksonville, Florida T2 laboratory which claimed the lives of four workers and injured others on and off the site.  The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), along with OSHA and other agencies, is investigating the disaster and lead CSB official, Robert Hall, offered the following information on Jan…

Mazzocchi Book Events in DC

There are two terrific book events scheduled for Monday January 7th, here in Washington DC. Les Leopold, author of The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi, will be in town to talk about Tony’s life and legacy. Les’ book is a great read, an inspiring and illuminating…