Archives for May, 2010

Trying to keep track of the Gulf Investigations

I began writing this post as an open letter to Senator Graham and Administrator Reilly as they embarked in their work as co-chairs of the Presidential Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig catastrophe. I planned to urge them to read investigation reports on the BP Texas City disaster because both the US Chemical…

The New York Times’ Clifford J. Levy reports on violence against at journalists investigating corruption in the Moscow suburbs: Mikhail Beketov had been warned, but would not stop writing. About dubious land deals. Crooked loans. Under-the-table hush money. All evidence, he argued in his newspaper, of rampant corruption in this Moscow suburb. “Last spring, I…

By Elizabeth Grossman If the recommendations of the just published President’s Cancer Panel report, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, become part of a comprehensive national policy agenda, the United States will have a remarkable new cancer prevention strategy – one that includes aggressive efforts to reduce and eliminate chemical exposures that…

More Cyclists, Fewer Deaths

This week is Bike to Work Week, and tomorrow is Bike to Work Day (the League of American Bicyclists lists events here). I wouldn’t have realized this if it weren’t for this Washington Post article; cyclists are common enough here in DC that I’m not sure I’d notice a small uptick in their numbers. What…

By Elizabeth Grossman It’s now a month since the Deepwater Horizon well exploded, and the oil continues to flow. By official count, the response now involves 27,400 civilian and military personnel, 11,000 volunteers, more than 1040 boats, dozens of aircraft, and multiple offshore drilling units. As more and more people become involved, health and safety…

Who Put BP in Charge?

It’s only right that BP bear the cleanup costs in the Gulf – but their cleanup responsibilities shouldn’t interfere with federal agencies doing their jobs. Two recent news accounts paint a disturbing picture of federal employees taking orders from the multinational corporation that’s turned an already hard-hit part of our coastline into a disaster zone.

Although most of us are focusing on BP because of the oil rig explosion and gushing well in the Gulf, it’s also important to consider the company’s safety record at its refineries. Because I keep track of workplace disasters, I knew that BP had earned the distinction of having the worst refinery death toll in…

For several years, health professionals have been concerned about the rise in infections from methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA – a bacteria that’s resistant to several of the antibiotics generally used to treat staph infections. CDC estimates that in 2005, there were more than 94,000 MRSA infections in the US, and more than 18,000…

OSHA defines a “severe violator,” but would your bad actor make the cut??

Late last month, OSHA chief David Michaels announced the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, (SVEP) a new iniative targeted at “recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law.” OSHA says once these bad actor employers are identified, it will conduct inspections at other worksites controlled by the same employer where…

Hello, ScienceBlogs!

We’re delighted and honored to be joining the ScienceBlogs community. It’s a bittersweet occasion, because we’re starting out here just as the Reveres are folding up their stellar public health blog Effect Measure. It’s fair to say that The Pump Handle probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Reveres; they inspired us to launch…