Archives for October, 2010

by Elizabeth Grossman Batam, one of Indonesia’s Riau Islands, sits across the smog-choked strait from Singapore, just one degree north of the equator. On October 21 and 22, the days that I’m there, newspaper headlines announce that Singapore is experiencing its worst air pollution since 2006 due to fires, most likely from illegal forest clearing…

Roadtrip observations of workers safety (sort of) during highway construction

I recently logged 1,300 miles in a rented white PT Cruiser traveling on I-94 from Chicago to Milwaukee and Madison, WI, down I-65 and I-74 to Cincinnati and up I-75 to Detroit. Along the way I saw dozens of road construction projects to expand traffic lanes, repair overpasses, and repave the road surface. Workers were…

Where the Healthcare Workers Are

At the Millennium Development Goal summit last month, one of the sessions addressed the issue of the global healthcare workforce. We don’t have enough healthcare workers to deliver needed care to the world’s population, and until we address this problem it’ll be next to impossible to meet the goals of reducing child mortality, improving maternal…

by Elizabeth Grossman I’m on my way home from Indonesia, where I spent part of the past week attending the annual meeting of the Asian Network for Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV), an organization that brings together NGOs working on occupational health, safety, and labor issues all across Asia. The meeting was held in Bandung, in…

As you may have noticed if you read other science blogs, several bloggers are highlighting projects that need a little cash to bring science alive for students. DonorsChoose.org lets public school teachers post requests for classroom materials — from dictionaries to dissection kits — and collects donations through its website. Once a project reaches its…

Coal miner’s widow makes worker safety a campaign issue in KY congressional race

Melissa Lee’s life changed forever on May 20, 2006 when her husband Jimmy, 33 was killed, along with four other workers, in an explosion at the Kentucky Darby coal mine. Afterwards, she not only had four sons to raise without a dad, but as soon as Melissa started speaking up to demand mine safety improvements,…

Occupational Health News Roundup

The “Brazilian Blowout” is a popular treatment administered by salons to smooth their clients’ hair. The Oregonian’s Katy Muldoon explores the experience of one hairstylist who worried about the effects of the chemicals contained in the treatment. After a few months of administering Brazilian Blowouts, Portland hairstylist Molly Scrutton began experiencing throat and chest pain.…

Months after it was hit by a devastating earthquake, Haiti is now battling an outbreak of cholera. So far, more than 1,500 cases have been reported and 142 victims have died of the disease, which causes severe diarrhea. The treatment is straightforward – rehydration therapy to reverse potentially deadly dehydration – but relies on hospitals…

Chamber of Commerce’s misinformation campaign about worker safety regulations

Updated (below) 10/22/2010 Industry trade association are masters of using scare tactics and misinformation about environment, health and safety regulations to recruit and retain members. The latest evidence is the Chamber of Commerce’s “This Way to Jobs” propaganda campaign, with the worn out message: regulations on workers’ safety and environmental protection hurt the economy and…

Aging and Transportation

The New York Times’ latest “Room for Debate” discussion is entitled “2025: A Lot of Old People on the Roads,” and it introduces the topic this way: …the number of drivers 70 and over is expected to triple in the next 20 years in the United States. Older drivers are more likely to be injured,…