Archives for March, 2008

Occupational Health News Roundup

On the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the toll on members of the military is substantial: at least 3,988 U.S. personnel have died in Iraq and 29,395 more have been wounded. iCasulties.org estimates the total number of Coalition force fatalities at 4,298 and Iraqi Security Force fatalities at 6,727. What these numbers don’t…

Ruminations on Combustible Dust

Despite the excellent presentations by USMWF’s Tammy Miser, the Chemical Safety Board’s William Wright and NFPA’s Amy Spencer, the image that remains in my head from last week’s congressional hearing on combustible dust was Ranking Member Howard “Buck” McKeon’s performance.  After the aforementioned witnesses made common-sense appeals in support of an OSHA standard modeled on National Fire Protection Association…

Environmental Film Festival in DC

Just a heads-up for our DC readers: the Environmental Film Festival is going on right now. On Saturday, the last day of the festival, there’s a special World Water Day tribute at the Carnegie Institution (1530 P St. NW, DuPont Circle Metro) featuring the following: Welcome by Peter O’Brien, Managing Director, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s…

Good Environmental News

There’s plenty of worrying environmental news out there, but over the weekend bloggers and reporters highlighted a few glimmers of hope, too:

No Apologies for Standing Up for Workers

Yesterday we learned that former Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) passed away at age 90.  His former colleague, Sentor Edward Kennedy issued a statement, saying: “He was the conscience of the Senate, who never shied away from the difficult fights, and never apologized for standing up for workers.” I had the unforgettable opportunity to watch Senator…

Friday Blog Roundup

A group of concerned universities put out a statement about how flat funding for the National Institute of Health “puts a generation of science at risk,” and the House Committee on Science and technology has been holding hearings. Naturally, science bloggers have some thoughts on this: Janet Stemwedel at Adventures in Ethics and Science explains…

New Ozone Standard Leaves Smog in the Air

EPA has set the limit for pollution-forming ozone in the air to 75 ppb, despite the unanimous advice of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to set it between 60-70 ppb (more here on the health effects of ozone). This is hardly a surprise, given the Bush Administration’s record. But in this case, it’s apparently…

Another Study of C8-Exposed Workers

My experiences tell me that journalists play a critical role in public health improvements; my evidence is anecdotal, but my examples continue to mount.  Take Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette and his coverage of the toxic substance ammonium perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8.  It’s the chemical used to make Teflon non-stick surfaces.  Recently, Ward wrote about…

In the largest Superfund cleanup settlement ever, W.R. Grace has agreed to pay $250 million to cover government investigation and cleanup costs associated with the asbestos-laden ore the company mined in Libby, Montana. EPA has already spent roughly $168 million removing asbestos-contaminated soils and other dangerous materials, EPA Emergency Coordinator Paul Peronard told the Missoulian.…

Occupational Health News Roundup

On Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released a report on the Crandall Canyon mining disaster that claimed nine lives in Utah last August. (Celeste’s posts on the disaster are in our August archive.) A Salt Lake Tribune editorial opines that “Most damning is the revelation that the coal company ignored a…