Archives for November, 2011

by Mark Pendergrast This is my second post in a series of three about the state of Japan’s renewable energy efforts, which are vital to prevent further climate change and to wean the country from fossil fuel and nuclear power. In the previous post, I covered the public-health impacts of climate change and explained why…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Although the news of a shopper using pepper spray was disturbing, I was glad that Black Friday 2011 passed without the kind of tragedy that happened in 2008, when 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour was killed by a stampede of shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, Long Island. OSHA cited Wal-Mart for a serious violation of…

Industry influence and White House obstacles hamper rules to protect health, safety and environment

A new report by the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) confirms what some of us have suspected: there’s not much difference between the Obama Admininstration’s and GW Bush Administration’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) when it comes to meetings with industry lobbyists and giving lip-service to transparency. In “Behind Closed Doors at the…

The UN climate talks going on in Durban aren’t likely to lead to any major breakthroughs, but it would be nice if the US could at least avoid backsliding on the better-than-nothing steps it’s taken on emissions. One important step for controlling emissions is ensuring the availability of affordable public transportation. Congress has helped make…

MSHA should scrap any plan to wait for OSHA action on respirable crystalline silica

Before too long the US Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal agencies should be issuing their annual regulatory plans and semi-annual agendas. These documents serve as official public notice of agencies’ regulatory (and deregulatory) priorities. The Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order (EO) 12866 direct agency heads to release these documents in April (agenda)…

A few of the recent pieces I’ve liked: A special investigative series by several reporters at Center for Public Integiryt/iWatch News and NPR: Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities Deborah Blum at Speakeasy Science: About Pepper Spray (also see her followup, Fox News Food Products) and, relatedly: Judy Stone at the Scientific American Guest Blog:…

by Kim Krisberg It’s too early to tell just how many families Elizabeth Frerking and her colleagues at the Saline County Health Department in Marshall, Mo., will have to turn away, but it’s likely to be too many. As of Oct. 1 and due to cuts in federal immunization funding, Frerking can only administer vaccines…

by Mark Pendergrast I’m going to talk about Japanese renewable energy in a minute, but first let me explain why. In 2010, I published a book on public health (Inside the Outbreaks), and as a follow-up, I concluded that the overarching threat to the world’s public health that we face in the coming decades is…

For U.S. workers, the risk of dying on the job is highest if you are employed in agricultural, fishing or hunting. These jobs are not just a little riskier than the average job, they are nearly 8 times more life-threatening. The fatality rate for all private sector workers is 3.5 per 100,000 workers; in agriculture,…

By Elizabeth Grossman We have learned from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request and released by the Center for Public Integrity earlier this month that there are currently about 465 United States industrial facilities on what the EPA calls its “watch list.” The list is made up of…