Archives for June, 2012

New study shows black lung and silicosis among U.S. surface coal miners, not just a problem for underground miners

A x-ray surveillance program finds nearly four dozen cases of coal workers pneumoconiosis among surface coal miners in the U.S., while coal operators including Alpha Natural Resources and CONSOL Energy insist that workers on strip mining jobs aren’t exposed to enough dust to cause disease.

When most of us think of sustainability and construction, the usual suspects probably come to mind: efficient cooling and heating, using nontoxic building materials, minimizing environmental degradation — in other words, being green. But in Austin, Texas, a new effort is working to expand the definition of sustainability from the buildings themselves to the hands that put them together.

Occupational Health News Roundup

A stagehand’s death is a grim reminder of hazards in the theater; it takes OSHA an average of nearly eight years to issue a new standard; and a federal decision clears the way for 50 cancers to be added to the list of WTC-related diseases eligible for compensation and treatment.

The National Academies Press celebrates its first year of offering free PDF books for downloading. Several important public health publications are among the free offerings.

To understand the current boom in frack sand mining, the place to look is Wisconsin. What’s happening in Wisconsin also shows how limited current information is regarding potential air quality and environmental health effects this industrial activity, which is a source of silica dust – a known human health hazard.

At a Congressional hearing on emergency preparedness, APHA’s Georges Benjamin warns about the impact of budget cuts on the public health system.

When an explosion on the BP-operated drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused what would be the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Glenda Perryman’s friends and neighbors answered the call for clean-up workers.

Diesel exhaust a human carcinogen concludes WHO’s cancer panel

A panel of scientific experts convened by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded today that diesel engine exhaust is carcinogenic to humans. Previously, the classification for diesel exhaust had been “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Trying to avoid the “cancer-causing” label, diesel manufacturers join the club

An expert panel convened by the WHO’s Int’l Agency for Research on Cancer is evaluating the scientific evidence on the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. In preparation for the meeting, diesel engine manufacturers, oil companies and mining firms hired consultants to re-analyze and critique the epidemiological studies conducted by others to manufacturer doubt about

A delegation of family members who lost loved ones in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine met with senators and representatives of both political parties to urge them to pass legislation for stronger penalties for upper-level officials who violate safety laws.