Archives for May, 2008

Friday Blog Roundup

As rising oil prices continue to grab headlines, the spotlight turns to what politicians are and aren’t doing to solve our energy problems. David Roberts at Gristmill is outraged that Senator McCain will miss the vote on the Climate Security Act (true to his pattern of missing 2007 environmental votes). Also at Gristmill, Kate Sheppard …

From April 12 to May 22, seven workers have been killed while working on antenna towers, many of which service our wireless communication system.  One worker was killed in Wake Forest, NC; another in San Antonio; a third was killed in Frisco, NC; another in Moorcroft, WY; a fifth man was killed in Natchez, MS; another…

Lead, Crime, and Environmental Lessons

A study just published in the journal PLoS Medicine (and written up in the LA Times) suggests a link between childhood lead exposure and adult arrests for violent crimes. Studying 250 adults for whom they had prenatal and childhood blood lead level measurements, University of Cincinnati researchers found that each 5-microgram-per-deciliter increase in blood lead…

Medical Product Safety: a World View

by Susan F. Wood, PhD Last year, Congress passed new legislation on the Food and Drug Administration, known as the FDA Amendments Act (FDAAA) of 2007.This legislation, while limited, made some significant steps forward, see here and here. It reauthorizes the user fee systems for drugs, biologics and medical devices, and expands FDA’s authority on…

In 1999, the CDC announced its selections for the 10 greatest achievements in U.S. public health history in the 20th century, and among them was improvements in motor vehicle safety.  I’ve nothing against looking at success over a long term, but we know that much still needs to be done.  The rate of motor vehicle fatalities…

Occupational Health News Roundup

For Memorial Day, news stories highlighted the importance of hearing, remembering, and responding to the stories of those who’ve served our country. The San Diego Union-Tribune profiled “four seemingly ordinary people who led extraordinary lives” in past wars; in the Washington Post, Edward G. Lengel suggests that a failure to listen to World War I…

How do you best teach workers about safety?  How do you change people’s attitudes?  The Workers’ Comp board in Ontario, Cananda, and many safety instructors along with them, believes that gruesome pictures or videos work best.  Like driving by the scene of a car accident, it is hard not to look.  Perhaps by showing a…

Asbestos is internationally recognized as a carcinogen and blamed for 100,000 deaths each year, but neither the U.S. nor Canada has managed to ban its use. Two mines in Quebec still produce asbestos, and about 95% of their production is exported. Last year, The Globe and Mail’s Martin Mittelstaedt reported that Canada’s government is a…

Earlier this year, a group of worker advocates sent a petition to MSHA Chief Richard Stickler asking for rulemaking to improve the training miners receive about their statutory rights.  The petition called for significant changes in the way in which all workers employed at U.S. mining operations learn about their rights, including the right to refuse unsafe work and to express concerns…

Friday Blog Roundup

Senator Edward Kennedy’s diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor is terrible news on multiple levels. While our thoughts go out to the Senator and his family, it’s also difficult to imagine Congress tackling the many important health-related issues before it without Senator Kennedy. Ezra Klein calls Kennedy “one of the few Senators who is genuinely…