Archives for April, 2008

The winners of the 92nd annual Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, and reporting on veterans’ care and on drug and product safety scored top honors in the journalism category: The Public Service prize went “to the Washington Post for the work of Dana Priest, Anne Hull and photographer Michel du Cille in exposing mistreatment of…

New Resource from OMB Watch

The watchdog group OMB Watch does a terrific job staying on top of all of the proposed rules, executive orders, and other federal government actions that have far-reaching effects but can be easy to miss. Now, they’ve launched a new initiative to educate people about the regulatory process and show them how they can participate in…

How’d that C8 get into your blood?

No, not V-8 the vegetable drink, but C8, the common name for ammonium perfluorooctanoate, an ingredient in Teflon and other non-stick products.  Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette reports today on the levels of perfluorooctanoic acid in the blood of about 69,000 residents living near the DuPont Co.’s Parkersburg, WV plant where C8 was manufactured. The results are posted on the West Virginia University’s Health…

Friday Blog Roundup

Several bloggers have addressed occupational health and safety issues this week: Revere at Effect Measure considers the factors affecting healthcare worker behavior during a pandemic, and whether it’s advisable for state authorities to order HCWs to work.   John Astad at OSHA Underground describes three combustible-dust explosions and fires that occurred in a single day, and…

States Back in Court over EPA and Emissions

One year ago yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that EPA must formally declare whether greenhouse gases could harm human health, and if they find that they do, regulate automobile greenhouse-gas emissions. Last week, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson revealed the Bush administration’s response to the Court’s requirement: they’re going to drag their feet some more, using…

Consumer Reporting of Adverse Events to FDA

by Susan F. Wood, PhD  The FDA Amendments Act (FDAAA) of 2007 includes a small section addressing direct to consumer (DTC) advertising.  The bill doesn’t limit advertising to consumers, nor does it give FDA authority to put a moratorium on advertising while more data on safety or effectiveness is collected during the first months or years…

My book Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health (Oxford University Press, 2008 ) will be officially released May 1st (though it’s available now through Amazon and Powell’s), and I’ll be writing and speaking more about it over the next several weeks. The book reports on the way scientists working…

Occupational Health News Roundup

On March 27th, South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism announced a prohibition on the use, processing or manufacturing, of any asbestos or asbestos containing products. The regulation’s objectives are: To prohibit the use, processing or manufacturing, of any asbestos or asbestos containing product unless it can be proven that no suitable alternative exists,…

IG Report on MSHA and Crandall Canyon

The Department of Labor’s Inspector General (IG) issued a report yesterday about the Utah Crandall Canyon mine, saying: “MSHA was negligent in carrying out its responsibilities to protect the safety of miners.” The investigation was carried out in response to a request from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and documented in…

What are we, a discount house?

This was one of the first-class quotes from former OSHA Assistant Secretary Jerry Scannell (1989-1993) during today’s hearing on workers’ safety and health before the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety.  His comment came in response to discussions about OSHA’s and the Department of Labor’s Solicitor’s Office’s practices of  reducing penalties, even in cases of serious…