Archives for January, 2011

This week, House Republicans are voting on whether to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Their bill, misleadingly titled “The Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” has a good chance of passing the House but virtually none of passing the Senate or being signed by the President. It’s a chance for House…

A burger, two tacos and fries: Jumbo Deal provides 93% of daily saturated fat

Have you seen the new TV commercial for Jack-in-the-Box set in a busy police precinct? A confident, all-business police detective barks into the phone: “Tell the Mayor to shove it.” He slams down the phone, walks purposely across the room and asks outloud: “Hey rookie, did you get lunch?” A guy in a black police…

by Rena Steinzor, cross-posted from CPR Blog Sixteen months ago, President Obama stood in the well of Congress and issued a ringing call for a progressive vision of government. Working to persuade Members of Congress to adopt health care reform, he said that “large-heartedness…is part of the American character.” Our ability to stand in other…

Tracking investigators’ findings about on-the-job fatalities

Hedilberto Sanchez, 26, was killed on Monday (Jan 11, 2010) at a construction site in Elmhurst, NY when an 18-foot high cinder block wall collapsed on him. He leaves behind his wife, and two sons, Luis, 6 and Edison, 3. Three other workers were injured in the incident, including Mr. Sanchez’s brother. The men worked…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Travis Saunders at the Scientific American Guest Blog: Can sitting too much kill you? Tanya Snyder in Streetsblog Capitol Hill: Actually, Highway Builders, Roads Don’t Pay for Themselves Tina Rosenberg for the New York Times’ Opinionator: To Beat Back Poverty, Pay the Poor Ilan Greenberg in Guernica:…

OSHA must wash its hands of PELs

by Eileen Senn, MS The multiple options that OSHA is considering to address their badly outdated rules for chemical hazards were described in my November 17 post. They include updating OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) which are erroneously considered to be safe levels for chemicals in workplace air. In reality, it’s wrong to call them…

One year after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed more than 200,000 Haitians and left 1.5 million homeless, conditions in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation are still grim. Cholera has killed 3,600 people and weakened many more; the UN warns that 650,000 may be affected over the next several months, and the death rate from the disease…

Paid Sick Leave and Public Health

According to new research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in 2010 44 million private-sector US employees, or 42% of the workforce, lacked access to paid sick time. This IWPR analysis distinguishes between employees who are eligible for paid sick time vs. those who can actually access it, because employers often don’t allow for…

Injury and illness prevention strategy can’t ignore working conditions

Lena works in a turkey processing plant in Iowa. She’s up by 5:30 am, eats sensibly, is not overweight and has never smoked tobacco. Lena should be the picture of health, but her job makes her feel much older than her 32 years. Over her 10-hour work shift, she makes about 20,000 cuts on the…

Earlier this week, riots erupted over food prices in several Algerian cities – according to Reuters, prices for flour and salad oil there have doubled over the past few months. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index is now slightly higher than it was during the last global food crisis in 2008, though…