Archives for March, 2008

The Associated Press has another following up on yesterday’s investigative report about pharmaceuticals found in drinking-water supplies. They delve into the issue of who’s studying water supplies, and whether they’re revealing their findings. Accompanying the article is an alphabetical list of cities, so you can see whether your area’s water has been tested, and whether…

No new whistleblower protection for WV miners

A group of state legislators in West Virginia introduced a bill earlier this year to strengthen the State’s laws to protect mine workers who raise concerns about unsafe working conditions.  The lead sponsors were Delegate Bill Hamilton (R) who represents the region where the now-abandoned Sago mine and State Senators Jon Blair Hunter (D) and Randy White (D).  (I…

Senate Votes to Strengthen CPSC

On Thursday, the Senate approved legislation that will boost funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, increase the agency’s enforcement power, and effectively ban lead in all children’s products. The House bill passed in December contained similar provisions, although that chamber raised the maximum fine for companies that fail to report product hazards immediately to…

AP Finds Drugs in Water Nationwide

The Associated Press conducted a five-month investigation and found that drug residues have been detected in the drinking water of 24 major U.S. metropolitan areas, which serve roughly 41 million Americans. Concerns about these drug residues have largely focused on wildlife, as estrogen from birth control pills and other hormonal drugs has been interfering with…

“We could not rely on OSHA”

That’s the word from Georgia’s Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, John Oxendine, during his announcement that the State will impose new safety requirements to prevent combustible dust explosions.  The Commissioner’s new rule comes one month after a deadly explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia, which killed 12 and severely injured scores…

When the Road is Your Workplace

The scene was an icy morning in western Maryland, along the Garrett County and Allegany County lines.  Mr. Dwight Samuel Colmer, 41, a truck driver with Western Maryland Lumber Company was hauling a load of coal just before 11:00 AM when his truck began to slide.  The State of Maryland’s “Motor Vehicle Accident Report” says:…

Friday Blog Roundup

It’s been a particularly busy week in global warming news: Andrew Schneider at Secret Ingredients reports that unions representing EPA staff have cut off future discussion with EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. Although the unions cite numerous problems with Johnson ignoring scientific and legal staffs’ advice, the release of Johnson’s ridiculous rationale for denying California’s waiver…

14,000 Employers Get OSHA Warning Letter

(Updated 3/7/08)  OSHA announced yesterday that it sent letters to about 14,000 employers across the country, letting them know that their work-related injury rates are higher than the national average.  The Agency’s news release does not mention any company names, but an OSHA spokesperson told me that the list of employers will be posted on…

Administration Lets Murrelets Keep Habitat

Some good news on endangered species, for a change (via Dateline Earth): the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will retain existing critical habitat currently designated under the Endangered Species Act for marbled murrelet populations on the West Coast. This is a reversal from the Bush Administration, which had been trying to reduce the habitat in…

Occupational Health News Roundup

In Forbes (via Gristmill), Megha Bahree reports on child labor in India. Children chisel stones, weave carpets, and work in fields for low wages, with little time off. Bahree notes that there’s a particular demand for cheap labor and small, nimble fingers in crops that require manual pollination, like Monsanto’s high-tech cotton. The biotech giant tries to…