Archives for June, 2011

by Kim Krisberg Don’t mess with Texas. The iconic phrase was actually created as part of an anti-littering campaign more than 20 years ago, however it could be as easily applied to the state’s notorious anti-regulatory attitude and penchant for bucking convention. But despite its reputation, the Lone Star State is poised to join 29…

It’s wonderful to hear what substantial progress US Representative Gabrielle Giffords has made in recovering from the traumatic brain injury she sustained from being shot in the head in January. As the Associated Press reported this morning, Giffords has spent the past five months in a rehabilitation facility and has regained some of her speaking…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine was, as an independent investigation team documented in the report released last month, a dangerous place to work. In the immediate aftermath of the massive explosion on April 5, 2010, which killed 29 miners, it was also a dangerous place for rescue operations. A scathing editorial in the Charleston…

Republican candidates’ debate: rhetoric galore but short on policy details

When I decided yesterday to watch the Republican candidates debate, I created a scorecard to use while I observed the two-hour event. I was interested particularly in exchanges related to public health topics, such as access to health care, and clean air and safe drinking water. Within minutes of first tuning in, I remembered how…

Words I’ll be listening for in tonight’s Republican debate

Seven Republicans will meet tonight at St. Anselms college in Manchester, New Hampshire for a Presidential debate. The participants include both the declared candidates (Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santoroum) and likely candidate, Michele Bachman. Given that the event will take place in the St. Anselm Hawk’s hockey…

After blaming cucumbers, backpedaling on the cucumbers and blaming bean sprouts, then backpedaling on the sprouts, German authorities have now concluded that bean sprouts are, in fact, to blame for the spread of E. coli O104:H4, which has sickened more than 3,000 people and killed 31. Patients with the most severe cases have suffered kidney…

NBA players pay their fines for bad behavior, why doesn’t Notre Dame?

During an National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Eastern Conference finals game last month, Chicago Bulls’ center Joakim Noah directed a homophobic slur toward a fan sitting behind him in the arena stands. The next day, the 26 year old former Florida Gator’s player emerged from a meeting with NBA officials and said he expected to “pay…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Jamie Holmes in The New Republic: Why Can’t More Poor People Escape Poverty? Maryn McKenna at Superbug: 30 Years of AIDS, and How it Began (also Part II and Part III) Jesse Green in New York: “A Textbook of Trauma” (“The crash of the Chinatown charter was…

Workers die on the job, prevention tools often disregarded

It was just about this time last year when then Senate-candidate Dr. Rand Paul (R-KY) responded to a question about the 29 workers killed in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster and government’s role in enforcing workplace safety regulations. Dr. Paul said “…a certain amount of accidents and unfortunate things do happen, no matter…

I thought I was pretty well aware of the occupational hazards faced by hotel housekeepers: repetitive motions that can cause musculoskeletal disorders, exposures to chemicals and pathogens, and grueling work schedules contributing to stress and exhaustion. But the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case has made me aware of another hazard: what the New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse…