Archives for September, 2009

Surgeon General warns about asbestos, or not??

Today, Andrew Schneider at Cold Truth tells us  that way back in April, acting Surgeon General Steven Galson issued a long-awaited statement about the dangers of asbestos, a statement urged for years by asbestos-disease victims, their families and public health advocates.   Galson’s action was so stealth (intentionally, perhaps?) that the individuals who had been calling for it were never even notified–Not the Senators who marshalled…

A Waste of Life

The environmental and occupational health impacts of end-of-life management of stuff (not people!) are often downplayed.  Unless the landfill or incinerator is in your backyard, the management of stuff as waste is generally ignored.  Throwing away stuff is a subconscious activity for most people, but probably not the families and friends of the waste management…

Seasonal flu: Why I got vaccinated

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure I just got my seasonal flu shot. It was free and my medical center is encouraging everyone to get one. I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said I didn’t feel it at all, but in all honesty, I hardly felt it. They must be using smaller needles…

Has the U.S. Chemical Safety Board gone toothless?

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its report and recommendations yesterday on the December 19, 2007 explosion at the T2 laboratory in Jacksonville, Florida.  The violent explosion took the lives of four individuals: Charles Budds Bolchoz, 48, Karey Renard Henry, 35, Parish Lamar Ashley36, and Robert Scott Gallagher, 49.  The CSB compared to blast to one…

Capturing What the GDP Can’t

A country’s gross domestic product, or GDP, is often used as shorthand for its success – but, as Robert F. Kennedy pointed out four decades ago, it doesn’t capture the toll of our damaging practices or the benefits of hard-to-measure qualities like the ability of the public to have high-quality debates about important issues. If we…

What would Carolyn Merritt say?

The Associated Press is reporting that urgent recommendations proposed by the Chemical Safety Board’s (CSB) hands-on investigators of the ConAgra Slim Jim factory explosion, which killed three workers in June 2009, were rejected by the CSB’s Board.  The AP story reads: “Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that staff members of the U.S. Chemical…

MSHA urged (again) to end black lung disease

 Earlier this month, the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center (ACLC)  sent a petition to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) urging the agency to revise its regulations on respirable coal mine dust to better protect mine workers from pneumoconiosis and other disabling respiratory ailments.   The ACLC’s motto is “Working for Justice in the Appalachian Coalfields.” …

The American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) has teamed with stakeholders from industry, non-governmental organizations, and Federal and State agencies to develop a Sustainable Chemical and Process Technology Standard for the chemical industry.  As stated in the January 2009 memo from the ACS GCI, the new Standard is intended to… …establish consistent requirements…

Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein Confirmed

by Rena Steinzor, cross-posted from CPR Blog After weeks of sustained attack from the right-wing on issues that are marginal to the job the President asked him to do, Cass Sunstein has emerged from the nomination process bloody but apparently unbowed (here’s this afternoon’s roll call). He is now the nation’s “regulatory czar,” Director of…

My favorite part of the President’s speech

President Obama’s address to Congress last night on health care had its high points and low points.  You can tune into your favorite spin-masters to hear those recaps.  My favorite part of the President’s speech was when he spoke of our “large-heartedness” and our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others to offer assistance, provide comfort…