Archives for February, 2009

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers have lots of thoughts on Obama’s budget: Merrill Goozner at GoozNews gives us the big picture Maggie Mahar at Health Beat explores the challenges of the budget’s approach to healthcare Ezra Klein explains how it addresses the question of an individual mandate for health insurance Sarah Rubenstein at WSJ’s Health Blog highlights proposed spending…

Court Defers to OSHA on HexChrome Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision this week on legal challenges to OSHA’s 2006 rule to protect workers from exposure to hexavalent chromium.  In the simpliest terms, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and the Steelworkers argued that OSHA’s rule was not protective enough, while the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) argued that they…

Lawyers Give Nanotechnology Advice

The latest piece from Rick Weiss at Science Progress is a must-read for anyone concerned about the safety of nanotechnology. Weiss attended a conference sponsored by the Food and Drug Law Institute where lawyers provided advice about avoiding nanotech-related lawsuits, and learned this: In short, if you are a nanotech company you need to start developing a…

Bayer’s Secrecy Started with Their 911 Call

By Celeste Monforton Last August 28, Bill Oxley and Barry Withrow, 45 were working at the Bayer CropScience’s plant  in Institute, WV when a massive fireball erupted in an area where methomyl for the carbamate insecticide thiodicarb (Larvin) is produced.  Mr. Withrow was killed immediately in the blast, and Mr. Oxley died after 43 days in a Pittsburgh burn center.   When I first wrote about this disaster,…

Hilda Solis Confirmed as Secretary of Labor

By a vote of 80-17, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Hilda Solis as the 25th Secretary of Labor. The Department of Labor’s website has posted photos of her arrival at agency headquarters. Solis served in Congress from 2001-2009, representing California’s 32nd Congressional District. DOL’s press release notes that she authored the Green Jobs Act, which…

HUD Moves Quickly on Stimulus Allocation

A week after President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $10 billion of its funding. The agency’s press release explains why the speed was possible: The funding announced today is primarily formula-based, meaning that it is allocated using set program criteria that do not require…

IOM Warns of Worsening Insurance Situation

Yesterday, the Institute of Medicine warned that employment-based health insurance coverage is eroding, and that the safety net (clinics and emergency rooms that provide charity and uncompensated care) won’t be able to handle the demand from the uninsured. IOM’s new report, America’s Uninsured Crisis: Consequences for Health and Health Care, notes that the decline in…

(Updated 3/2/09 below) The U.S. economy is in the tank—-the national unemployment rate for January was 7.6% and 46 States are facing serious budget shortfalls—–but these hard times are NO EXCUSE to roll-back worker safety protections.   Yet, that is exactly what some Kentucky lawmakers are proposing for workers employed at small underground coal mines.

Occupational Health News Roundup

On Sunday in China’s Shanxi Province, an explosion rocked a coal mine where 436 people were working underground. Seventy-four of the workers died, and 114 were hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning. The New York Times’ Edward Wong puts this terrible death toll in context: The mining industry in China has a poor safety record. The…

Children’s health and tobacco

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure DemFromCT continues his public health series over at DailyKos, thus also continuing to make my early week blogging easier. This week is a brief look at this year’s flu season, already in full swing, including what is happening in pediatric deaths from flu. He follows this with another interview,…