Archives for January, 2014

In a first-of-its-kind study, a researcher has estimated that the health-related economic savings of removing bisphenol A from our food supply is a whopping $1.74 billion annually. And that’s a conservative estimate.

“Millions of Americans use antibacterial hand soap and body wash products. Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water,” wrote the US Food and Drug Administration…

In last night’s State of the Union speech, President Obama addressed several ways to “make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American.” Legislation already introduced in Congress would raise the minimum wage, expand access to paid sick days, and create a social insurance system for paid medical and family leave — but Congress hasn’t voted on the bills. In the absence of federal action, state and local governments are stepping up.

Reality check on USDA’s claims about its plan to privatize poultry inspection

The wisdom of USDA’s plan to privatize poultry inspection is striking newspaper editors as an unwise move. USDA is rebutting the opinion pieces, but their assertions need a dose of reality.

Three articles just published in the American Journal of Public Health address home-visit programs for expectant and new parents. As accumulating research finds these interventions to improve children’s health and development, will the Affordable Care Act’s funding for home-visit programs be renewed?

The day I spoke with Idaho minimum wage activist Anne Nesse, it was quite cold in her hometown of Coeur d’Alene — 29 degrees, to be exact. The harsh winters came up more than once during our conversation about low wages in the northwestern state.

“Let’s find out what happened to make sure it never happens again”

If combustible dust played a role in the January 20 disaster at International Nutrition which killed two workers, will Labor Secretary Tom Perez get the ball rolling on a regulation to address this deadly hazard?

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse walk off the job in sub-zero temperatures and demand heaters, while Walmart faces a federal complaint for retaliating against striking workers; lobbyists mount campaigns against worker centers; and OSHA offers new resources for hospital safety.

For the first time, Congress has specified how Prevention and Public Health Fund money will be allocated — a move that helps assure it won’t be shifted to other healthcare priorities that don’t significantly advance prevention.

Not a good week to learn about backsliding on chemical warnings

In the wake of the WV water contamination, the public dialogue revolves around the need for more information and disclosure about the potential health effects of toxic chemicals. A newish OSHA regulation does just the opposite for workers exposed to chemical hazards.