Archives for July, 2010

Kids in the Gulf

New Solutions: The Drawing Board is a monthly feature produced by the journal New Solutions. Read more about it here. By Alice Shabecoff As the massive oil slicks from the BP disaster continue to advance upon shores and communities, worries over the effects on wildlife and the natural environment abound, and rightfully so: hailed as…

Diane Lillicrap on Crane Safety

If you’ve got four minutes, go watch OSHA’s video of Diane Lillicrap speaking on crane safety. Diane’s son Steven Lillicrap, 21, was killed by a crane at a Missouri construction site in 2009. I wrote yesterday about the importance of OSHA’s new crane rule, but Diane conveys it in a much more powerful way.

Earlier today, OSHA published its long-awaited final rule on cranes and derricks in construction. We’ve been following this rule’s slow progress for two years now, since a March 2008 crane collapse at a New York construction site killed six workers and a tourist. At the time, Celeste pointed out, “OSHA acknowledges that as many as…

The Asbestos Toll Goes Global

The Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists mounted a nine-month investigation into the global trade on asbestos, and teamed up with the BBC’s International News Services to document the asbestos industry’s activities in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and the United States. What they found is deeply troubling: Our investigation concluded…

By Elizabeth Grossman In mid-June most of the seafood shacks along the bayou roads between New Orleans and Grand Isle were closed. A seafood market that I stopped by on the western edge of New Orleans was virtually devoid of customers despite bins brimming with bright blue crab and tawny shrimp. Business was so slim…

In the New York Times, Abby Goodnough and Katie Zezima highlight the problem of “drugged driving,” or driving while under the influence of a drug that impairs driving ability: The behavioral effects of prescription medication vary widely, depending not just on the drug but on the person taking it. Some, like anti-anxiety drugs, can dull…

Immokalee farmworkers shine light on modern day slavery

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) are today’s version of David, as in David and Goliath. CIW started in 1993 as a small group of southwest Florida farm workers discussing ways to better their lives. CIW has evolved into a 4,000 strong membership organization of Haitian, Mayan and Hispanic agricultural workers. They’ve tangled with industry…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Oregonian’s Julie Sullivan has been following the story of the National Guard troops who were exposed to the carcinogen hexavalent chromium at the Qarmat Ali water plant in Iraq – which contracting giant KBR was tasked with rebuilding. (Oregonian stories are here; also see our past posts on the subject here, here, and here.)…

by Elizabeth Grossman “I want this seafood to be safe. But I want those workers to be as safe as those shrimp and I’m not just going for funny one-liner,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) at the conclusion of the July 15th Senate Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing on the…

Last year, Atul Gawande wrote an interesting New Yorker piece that compares present-day efforts to control healthcare costs with early 20th-century efforts to increase US farming productivity. The quest for more farming productivity succeeded not because of any grand, sweeping reform, he explains, but because the government, through the USDA, invested in pilot programs, scientific…