Archives for July, 2010

ScienceBlogs Screws Up

ScienceBlogs has made a distressing move: they’ve given PepsiCo a blog. It’s called Food Frontiers and will feature content written by PepsiCo scientists. For now, I’m not going to get into PepsiCo’s contribution to public health problems or what kind of content we might expect to see on the blog. Instead, I want to focus…

The ScienceBlogs Book Club continues the discussion on Mark Pendergrast’s Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. In my post this week, I look at how Congress influences federal agencies’ work on public health – an issue that crops up throughout the book. Here’s an excerpt: Congress’s creation of federal…

Waiting for OSHA report cards on State OSH programs

Last fall, acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab said the agency would be beefing up oversight of the 27 State programs that operate their own worker health and safety regulatory and enforcement systems. The OSHA State Plans, as they are known, are typically subject to annual reviews by federal OSHA, but after major lapses in the…

by Eileen Senn, MS In their new respirator recommendations discussed in my July 1 post, OSHA and NIOSH allow, but do not recommend, the voluntary use of filtering facepiece respirators (dust masks) for Gulf spill workers “when an individual is bothered by non-hazardous levels of hydrocarbon odor and cannot be relocated to another work area.”…

MSHA seeks White House approval on rule to prevent black lung disease

The Mine Safety and Health Administration took an important step yesterday to meet a goal set in the Labor Secretary’s regulatory agenda: proposing a rule to prevent black lung disease. According to data on RegInfo.gov MSHA submitted yesterday a proposed rule entitled “Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Coal Mine Dust Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors”to OMB’s…

by Eileen Senn, MS OSHA and NIOSH have now officially recommended the use of respirators by the offshore Gulf cleanup workers closest to the crude oil, including those drilling relief wells, applying dispersant, and providing support and supplies. While respirators are not generally recommended for onshore and nearshore workers, there are exceptions for workers if…

New worker safety bill introduced in House, protects whistleblowers, targets bad actors

Cong. George Miller (D-CA) is a man of tough talk and swift action. Today, along with 15 other House members, he introduced H.R. 5663 a bill to upgrade provisions of our nation’s key federal workplace health and safety laws. Every year, tens of thousands of workers are killed and made ill because of on-the-job hazards,…

Developing a Zombie Vaccine

It’s Zombie Day on ScienceBlogs! Scicurious at Neurotopia kicked things off, and Joseph of Ataraxia Theatre (whose other projects include the GearHead roleplaying game) provided the cool zombie illustrations. Thanks to the DC Department of Health’s excellent disease surveillance system, a recent outbreak of zombies in the nation’s capital was detected quickly enough to allow…