Archives for January, 2014

“There’s a lot we don’t know about preterm birth and we know even less about the disparities in those births.” Those are words from Ondine von Ehrenstein, who recently examined the links between occupational exposures and preterm birth rates among Hispanic women.

In 2012, a Frontline and Pro Publica investigation of the cell (or wireless) tower industry found that between 2003 and 2010 the average fatality rate for the US tower industry was more than 10 times greater than that of the construction industry. A January 6, 2014 story by KUOW reporter John Ryan about the death…

Reporters and bloggers delve into the chemical release that tainted tap water for thousands of West Virginians; the problem of antibiotic overuse by livestock producers, and what to do about it; how one statistician is working to advance effective treatments for substance abuse; and more.

It’s probably my earliest public health memory — the image of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and his grandfatherly beard on the television warning my elementary school self about the dangers of smoking. He was the first doctor I knew by name.

Let’s not call it a “spill,” thousands of gallons of MCHM in water supply of 300,000 West Virginians

This is probably too much to hope: the water contamination emergency in WV be recognized as the latest example of the inadequacies in our nation’s policies on toxic chemicals.

Occupational Health News Roundup

ProPublica investigates the hazards of temporary work, while the death of a temp worker at an Amazon warehouse underscores the severity of the problem; three California counties are recognizing nail salons with worker-friendly practices; and Bangladesh charges the owners of Tazreen Fashions factory, where 112 workers died in a fire, with culpable homicide.

Unsafe building projects at Texas A&M campus keep OSHA busy

It’s time for public institutions to set a high bar in selecting firms to provide them with goods and services. Off limits should be companies with repeat or willful violations of OSHA regulations.

With so much pressure on the Affordable Care Act to immediately live up to high expectations, and with opponents who seem gleeful at the news that Americans are having a hard time signing up for affordable health care, it’s reassuring to read that the health reform law can readily take a few blows and keep moving forward.

I am always just a little skeptical about public health education. Do students learn to apply the principles they learn? Recently, I was able to answer in the affirmative, at least about a single occurrence.

No tsunami of regulations, proposals to improve safety for miners languish in White House review

The Obama Administration continues to let proposals to improve worker safety waste away in internal review.