Archives for April, 2008

Water Fixes Needed Nationwide

Most of us probably take our tap water for granted, but recent events remind us that we shouldn’t. Salmonella contamination of the water supply in Alamosa, Colorado sickened over 300 people and left residents avoiding showers and drinking bottled water for a week. Abel Pharmboy explains that the city was one of the few that didn’t…

One of the nation’s top advocates for miners’ health and safety, Tony Oppegard, sent a scathing letter last week to the Deputy Solicitor of Labor (SOL), Ronald G. Whiting, mincing no words about their pitiful performance.  Oppegard’s letter concerned a particular case involving a worker who was fired for complaining about safety, but its content speaks volumes…

by Emilie Hedlund A recent article in the New York Times (“Flooded Village Files Suit” 2/27/08 ) focuses on the Alaskan village Kivalina, which is disappearing because of flooding caused by the changing climate.  The residents are accusing five oil companies, 14 electric utilities and the country’s largest coal company of creating a public nuisance.  Similar suits which blame…

Friday Blog Roundup

It’s been a while since I highlighted some of the great blogging on healthcare topics: Anna Wilde Matthews at the WSJ’s Health Blog reports on a new analysis that finds the U.S. wastes more than half of our health spending. Merrill Goozner at GoozNews explains why comparative effectiveness agencies are important and considers the hurdles…

The first story about the death of Mr. Ricky “Mud Puddle” Collins came on Thursday afternoon (3/27) in an AP story Massey Miner Killed in Logan County. The short news clip mentioned a miner employed at Massey Energy’s Freeze Fork Surface Mine in Logan County, who we later learned was Mr. Collins, 43, of Dan’s…

We’ve written before about how the beryllium industry – and Brush Wellman in particular – staved off OSHA’s attempt to revise the beryllium exposure limit (blog post here, article here). Their chief tactics were denying the validity of evidence showing the existing standard was insufficiently protective, and then, when that was no longer credible, insisting…

What Do You Get for an Ounce of Prevention?

Proposals for reforming our country’s dysfunctional healthcare system often emphasize that prevention can save us money, but the Washington Post’s David Brown cautions that it doesn’t always work out that way. He notes that some interventions, like uniform childhood immunization and colonoscopies for men ages 60-64, are clear financial winners, either because they don’t cost…

Vanity, Vanity

Even though the Vanity Fair Green Issue features an excellent piece on Monsanto (which, in addition to its long history of toxic contamination, now has a reputation for ruthless legal campaigns against small farmers), we here at The Pump Handle were most excited to see this sentence on the book review page: In Doubt is…

Occupational Health News Roundup

A new UK law now in force should make it easier to prosecute companies accused of causing death because of negligence. BBC News explains: Under the new offence of corporate manslaughter, employers may face large fines if it is proved they failed to take proper safety precautions. The old law was criticised for making it…

Overheated and Undernourished

Major public health organizations are drawing attention to climate change’s effects on health: the American Public Health Association has chosen “Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance” as the theme for National Public Health Week (April 7-13), and the World Health Organization used World Health Day (April 7th) to remind us that we’re already starting…