Archives for March, 2009

The Exxon Valdez Legacy, 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago today, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in the Prince William Sound and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil. Hundreds of miles of Alaska’s coastline were coated in oil, a quarter of a million seabirds died, and one estimate puts local fisheries’ losses at nearly $300 million, reports TIME’s Bryan Walsh.…

More Alarming Nanotube Findings

We’ve written before about the way that use of nanomaterials in consumer products is outpacing research on the materials’ occupational and environmental health effects. So, it’s good to see that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is contributing a piece to the puzzle, and getting the word out to the public about their…

Inequality kills

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure One of the nastiest things about the years after the Republicans took control of the Congress in 1994 and Bush the White House in 2001 was the increase in inequality in the US. The rich not only got richer and the poor, poorer, but rich got more comfortable and…

Friday Blog Roundup

Sunday is World Water Day, so bloggers are highlighting water issues: Ronnie Cohen at NRDC’s Switchboard and Kevin Ferguson at Gristmill report from the World Water Forum, which is going on this week in Istanbul. Melanie Nakagawa, also at Switchboard, emphasizes the economic benefits that clean water investments yield. Robert Stavins, also at Gristmill, suggests approaching water management…

By Alison Bass (cross-posted) At a talk I gave Wednesday at George Washington University, someone in the audience asked why there seemed to be an inordinate number of psychiatrists on the take to the drug industry. Was it something about the specialty of psychiatry itself or the individuals involved? I have often pondered the same, especially since…

Obama Names Solicitor of Labor Nominee

For the first second time in Department of Labor history, the Solicitor of Labor (SOL) will be a woman.*  Yesterday, the White House announced a handful of appointments, including M. Patricia Smith to the top attorney slot at DOL.   This position requires Senate confirmation. Ms. Smith is the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor…

OSHA Secrecy? Chemical Safety Board Secrecy?

The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward posted two items yesterday at Sustained Outrage: a Gazette Watchdog Blog concerning records related to the August 2008 explosion at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, WV that killed two workers  (previous posts here, here, here, here), and OSHA’s and CSB’s reticence in making certain records available to the public.  In OSHA Secrecy? Ward…

We’ve written before about Alexandra Berzon’s fantastic Las Vegas Sun articles on construction-site dangers, so we were delighted to learn that the paper has won the 2009 Roy W. Howard public service reporting award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for its coverage of Las Vegas construction deaths. In all, Berzon wrote 53 stories and the…

Call for OSHA to Update its Lead Standard

University of California Berkeley’s Health Research for Action is calling on OSHA to revise its occupational health standard on lead, which is now 30 years old.  In a report entitled “Indecent Exposure: Lead Puts Workers and Families at Risk,” the authors describe the adverse health effects of lead in workers with blood-lead levels of 5-10 ug/dL—a fraction of…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The National Air and Space Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution here in DC, has asbestos in its wall seams – a situation unlikely to pose harm to visitors, but a potential risk to workers who might be cutting or drilling into walls. Seventeen years ago, managers were informed about the presence of asbestos, and…