Archives for March, 2011

True or false: Vast majority of employers care deeply and passionately about their employees

Imagine testifying before a congressional committee as the head of the FDIC and you’re asked “do the vast majority of banks care deeply and passionately about their customers?” Or as the head of the FAA and you’re asked “do you think the vast majority of airlines care deeply and passionately about their passengers?” Or the…

In the early hours of March 11th, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan, and a massive tsunami followed. More than 5,000 people are dead and almost 10,000 are missing. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, and those living near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been told to evacuate – while a small crew of…

Earlier this week, the Geiger Gibson/ RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative released a policy research brief that estimates the impact of the House of Representatives’ proposed reduction in funding to community health centers. (Full disclosure: the Geiger Gibson program is part of the George Washington University’s School of Public Health & Health Services, where…

The workers remaining at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station are braving extremely risky conditions as they try to avert a nuclear catastrophe. They are working to keep fuel rods – both those inside reactors and in the spent rods stored in ponds – cool enough to avert a Chernobyl-type meltdown, which would spew radioactive…

Counting work-related injuries, disease and death among U.S. workers: Part 2

Les Skramstad was a good, decent man who died in January 2007 from mesothelioma at 70 years young. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mr. Skramstad was a miner and laborer at the infamous vermiculite mine at Zonolite Mountain in Libby, Montana. Mr. Skramstad’s death was clearly work-related, but when the…

By Elizabeth Grossman After posting yesterday’s story, I began to learn what a hub of chemical-intensive industry the region of Japan most directly affected by the earthquake an tsunami is. Hit with varying degrees of damage from the earthquake and tsunami are more than a dozen major petrochemical plants, most, according to a March 14…

by Elizabeth Grossman Even before news of the crisis at the Fukushima and other Japanese nuclear power plants damaged by Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami arrived, raising public health concerns to an alarming level, the scenes of destruction prompted many questions about how public health – and that of first responders – would be protected…

With nearly one-third of US healthcare spending going to hospital care, it’s natural that people would be looking for ways to trim spending on hospital services. A new study just published in the journal Health Affairs reports that seriously ill hospital patients receiving consultations from palliative care teams can incur lower costs. For this study’s…

Winners and Losers in Agroecology

Earlier this week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food released a report stating that agroecology – basically, sustainable agriculture – can double global food production over the next decade. Specifically, agroecology can raise production in the poor, food-deficit countries that most need additional crops. The techniques, which include using plants and beneficial…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Celeste wrote last week about how the Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. broke the story of how a previously unpublished report sent to Congress by the Mine Safety and Health Administration two weeks before the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster warned about serious enforcement lapses, including incomplete inspections and inadequate enforcement actions. In addition to…