Archives for October, 2017

Pollution: not “an unavoidable consequence” of development

News headlines about 9 million deaths in 2015 due to pollution were eye catching. The Lancet Commission’s Report on Pollution and Health goes much deeper than point estimates. The authors argue that governments, foundations, and medical societies pay too little attention to the local and global consequences of pollution.

In more encouraging public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccination rates among kindergarteners have remained stable, with the median vaccine exemption rate at 2 percent. Some states even reported an increase in immunization rates.

“A gift to the construction industry”: catchy quotes from Court of Appeals argument on OSHA’s silica standard

Appeals Court judges Merrick Garland and David Tatel probed and cajoled a courtroom filled with attorneys who were either challenging or defending OSHA’s 2016 silica standard. I share some of my favorite quotes from the September 26 proceeding.

Supreme Court lets criminal conviction stand against coal executive Blankenship

The Supreme Court is not interested in hearing former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s claim that he didn’t get a fair trial.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Reporters investigate a court-ordered rehab center that funnels unpaid labor to a poultry processor; Ben & Jerry’s commits to improving conditions for workers on dairy farms; Massachusetts is one step closer to providing all public-sector workers with OSHA protections; and the Trump administration rolls back protections for transgender workers.

Guns are the third leading cause of injury-related death in the country. Every year, nearly 12,000 gun homicides happen in the U.S., and for every person killed, two more are injured. Whether Congress will do anything about this violence is a whole other (depressing) article. But there is evidence that change is possible.

Trump’s mine safety nominee defends MSHA inspectors, calls silicosis “unacceptable”

Pres. Trump’s nominee to head the nation’s mine safety agency testified today at a Senate confirmation hearing. David Zatezalo answered questions about an epidemic of lung disease among coal miners and the adequacy of MSHA’s inspection force.

The ACA is still here, but funding for CHIP and community health centers has expired.