Archives for October, 2011

The American Public Health Association is having its annual meeting in DC this week, and the theme is “Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds & Bodies.” The APHA YouTube channel features several clips from yesterday’s opening session, including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who spoke about the Affordable Care Act, and APHA President Dr. Linda…

by Elizabeth Grossman Bananas in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Belize, and the Philippines; broccoli in Guatemala; carpets in India, Nepal, and Pakistan; cocoa in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon; coffee in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and Panama; cotton in Egypt, Brazil, China, Uzbekistan, and Turkey; electronics and toys in China, clothing in China,…

The Obama administration has asked a federal advisory committee, the National Biodefense Science Board, to make recommendations about testing the anthrax vaccine in children. The vaccine has been tested in adults, administered to military personnel, and stockpiled so it can be administered quickly should an attack occur in the US. The Washington Post’s Rob Stein…

Upper Big Branch disaster called industrial homicide by United Mine Workers

In big bold orange letters, the cover of the United Mine Workers of America’s (UMWA) report on the Upper Big Branch mine disaster reads “Industrial Homicide.” The union’s 154-page report says: “Massey Energy must be held accountable for the death of each of the 29 miners. Theirs is not a guilt of omission but rather,…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: Maryn McKenna at Superbug: Scathing Report: Polio Eradication “Not … Any Time Soon” Douglas Starr at Discover Magazine: Sparks of Truth: Can Science Bring Justice to Arson Trials? Scicurious at The Scicurious Brain: Grab your Coffee, I think this paper may depress you Patricia Leigh Brown at…

New data shows nursing home workers suffer more injuries than construction, factory and mine workers

We’ve seen reality shows featuring dirty jobs, cops and coal miners. I wonder if it’s time for one showing a day-in-the-life of nursing home workers. Most of us don’t give much thought to what goes on inside of nursing homes, that is until a friend or family member needs to reside in one. What might…

The Institute of Medicine has released a report recommending that the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture consider “a fundamental shift in strategy” when it comes to nutrition labeling.” While the recommendation for a “front-of-package” (FOP) labeling system is not new, the IOM authors don’t just want the usual nutrition facts…

OSHA adds 25 employers to Severe Violators list, 163 employers named in total

Tucked away on federal OSHA’s website is a list of 163 employers with the dishonorable label “severe violator.” The designation comes from an enforcement program launched in April 2010 to identify “recalcitrant employers who endanger workers by demonstrating indifference to their responsibilities under the law.” The label is not easy to get. In any given…

Coal mining industry insisted on new dust sampling technology, now they don’t want MSHA to use it

It’s too late for Ronald Martin of Dema, Kentucky. “I’m in last stage of black lung,” he wrote in shaky script, “please help the miners so they won’t suffer like I suffer. I can’t breathe but a little.” Mr. Martin sent his note to the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to comment…

by Kim Krisberg Mark Martin isn’t inclined to sit down and shut up — well, unless it’s on the seat of a bicycle. “More people need joy in their lives and there’s a real simple way to get it: ride a bicycle,” Martin told me. “It’s a joyous thing to ride a bike.” The Baton…