Archives for July, 2009

OTC Painkillers Need More Scrutiny

by Erika Furlong I recently attended the June 29th-30th FDA advisory committee meeting that voted for a reduction in the maximum daily over-the-counter (OTC) dose of acetaminophen and the ‘unbundling’ of narcotic-acetaminophen prescription medications. While I agree ultimately with many of the recommendations that were made, I can’t help but feel that there is a…

Wal-Mart Trying to Measure Sustainability

by Kas On July 16, 2009, Wal-Mart announced that it will develop a sustainable product rating system that can be used to evaluate the sustainability of the products they sell in their stores.  As a reminder, Wal-Mart sells a lot of products to a lot of people.  According to its website, Wal-Mart “serves customers and…

Interpreting OSHA’s on-line data

Last fall, Mr. Rosaulino Montano, 46, a worker on my campus at the George Washington University, died when he fell seven stories while installing windows on a new $75 million residence hall.  Mr. Montano was an employee of Engineered Construction Products,  and because his work-related death occurred at my place of employment, I was particularly interested in tracking the…

Swine flu: prepping for tough times

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure We’ve been talking about the possibility of a flu pandemic here for four and a half years. The cliché during much of that time was that the right way to think of a flu pandemic was not “if,” but “when.” As long as no pandemic materialized, however, there was…

OSHA, SBREFA and diacetyl

Last week, the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel submitted its “Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act” (SBREFA) Panel Report to acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab, on the draft proposed rule on worker exposure to diacetyl.  The 259-page document summarizes (and attaches) the comments of 16 “small entity representa-tives” (SERs) who would be potentially affected by the…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure Data from the Emerging Infections Program (EIP), one of the component parts of the CDC national influenza surveillance system, is showing that for some segments of its population the US did indeed experience a second flu season. The segment of particular concern are children between the ages of 5…

Among the problems with our country’s system of meat production is the routine use of antibiotics in livestock. Dosing the animals regularly helps them grow faster and survive cramped factory-farm conditions, which means cheap, abundant meat for consumers. The problem is that overusing antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance. Cheap meat doesn’t seem like such a…

ConnectiCOSH and Sotomayor

Updated below (7/18/09) What does Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee have to do with a COSH group, specifically the Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health (ConnectiCOSH)?

Occupational Health News Roundup

Last year, coal miner Scott Howard of Letcher County, Kentucky sued the Mine Safety and Health Administration for failing to “promulgate a respirable dust regulation that will eliminate respiratory illness caused by work in coal mines.” Howard alleged that this failure left him in unsafe working conditions; he filed his suit after new studies found…

Yesterday, President Obama announced his choice for the Surgeon General post: Regina Benjamin, a family doctor who built and repeatedly rebuilt a rural health clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. She was the first African-American woman to be named to the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees, became President of Alabama’s State Medical Association in…