Archives for April, 2011

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Ken Ward Jr. at Sustained Outrage: Protecting workers: Progress under Obama? (Also see his related Coal Tattoo piece on mine safety in the Obama administration) Maryn McKenna at Superbug: What vaccine refusal really costs: Measles in Arizona Body Horrors: Blood Money: Hookworm Economics in the Postbellum South…

Remembering Dan Middaugh on this Worker Memorial Day

“Pray for the dead. Fight like hell for the living” was the rallying cry of community organizer Mother Jones (a.k.a. Mary Harris Jones, 1837-1930) to fire up workers as they demanded better working conditions and labor rights. The motto still resonates today, especially this week when workers, human rights, and public health advocates commemorate International…

Last week, Andrew Sullivan noted that a large proportion of healthcare costs are for the last days and hours of patients’ lives and made the following proposal: If everyone aged 40 or over simply made sure we appointed someone to be our power-of-attorney and instructed that person not to prolong our lives by extraordinary measures…

Those who work to prevent death, disease, and disasters often have a thankless task – if they do their jobs well, people rarely notice. But two OSHA inspectors recently saved workers’ lives in a very visible way, and the agency wrote about it on their blog, (Work in Progress). Trench collapses are an all-too-common occurrence,…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Earlier this month, Yale University student Michele Dufault was killed by lathe equipment at the school’s chemistry lab. It appears that she was working alone late at night and her hair got tangled in the machine. Richard Van Noorden of Nature News puts the tragedy in context: Around the United States, laboratory directors and safety…

Today is World Malaria Day, and the World Health Organization reminds us that each year the world sees approximately 250 million malaria cases and nearly 800,000 deaths from the disease. In 2009, half of the world’s population were at risk of malaria. The disease is present in 106 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and…

While much of the Earth Week news coverage has dwelt on the lasting effects of the BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster, two other events have highlighted a separate but related issue: water supply. Drought conditions in the Plains and Southwest have damaged winter wheat crops and fueled the spread of wildfires in Texas. Two volunteer firefighters, Elias…

CDC’s NIOSH corrects statement about asbestos, a known human carcinogen

Earlier this month, in my post “CDC’s NIOSH says WHAT about asbestos???” I reported on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) new treatise on asbestos, and my dismay with the agency’s characterization of the mineral as a “potential occupational carcinogen.” NIOSH’s current intelligence bulletins are supposed to convey the most up-to-date scientific…

By Kim Krisberg I’ve had this conversation more times than I can count. You’re a reporter? What do you write about? Public health. (Blank stare.) Oh. What’s public health? Is that like universal health care or something? How do you describe public health? It’s a tricky question. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines public health as the…

by Elizabeth Grossman When the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 of the 126 workers on board and critically injuring three, the ruptured Macondo well – located nearly a mile beneath the sea surface about 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana – unleashed what has been called the largest accidental…