Kim Krisberg

Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for more than a decade. You can reach her at

In September 2015, New York farmworker Crispin Hernandez was fired after his employers saw him talking with local workers’ rights advocates. But instead of backing down, Hernandez filed suit against the state. And if he prevails, it could help transform the often dangerous and unjust workplace conditions that farmworkers face to put food on all of our tables.

In troubling public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported just yesterday that combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia in the U.S. have climbed to the highest number on record.

After years of alarming increases in child and adult obesity and billions spent to treat related medical problems, one might think health organizations and soda companies would be on firmly opposite sides of the fence. But a new study finds that a surprising number of health groups accept soda sponsorship dollars, inadvertently helping to polish the public image of companies that actively lobby against obesity prevention efforts.

Another day, another study on the benefit of vaccines. This time, it’s a study on the economic cost of vaccine-preventable diseases among U.S. adults — a cost that likely surpasses your wildest guesses.

If you look at the numbers, there’s no doubt that the Affordable Care Act is making a positive difference. In fact, just last month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the nation’s uninsured rate had hit a record low. At the same time, the health reform law wasn’t intended as a silver bullet and a number of problems remain. One of those problems is known as “churning.”

Occupational Health News Roundup

Denver Post reporters investigate the lives and deaths of Colorado’s oil and gas workers; employees from Donald Trump’s California golf club say he only wanted to hire “pretty” women; cobalt mining in Congo comes with dangerous risks for adult and child workers; and Harvard’s dining staff goes on strike for living wages.

Corporal punishment in America’s public schools seems like a relic of the past — a practice we had surely banned long ago. The reality, however, is that it’s perfectly legal to physically discipline students as young as preschoolers in 19 states. And according to a new report, corporal punishment is most often used against black students and students with disabilities.

By now, the enormity of America’s opioid abuse and overdose epidemic is common knowledge. With 78 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose and with enough painkillers prescribed to give just about every U.S. adult their own bottle of pills, there’s hardly a community that’s gone untouched by the deadly problem. And a new study reminds us that we’ll be dealing with the aftermath far into the future.

Just 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible to bring leading physicians, scientists and advocates together in a consensus on toxic chemicals and neurological disorders in children, says Maureen Swanson. But with the science increasing “exponentially,” she said the time was ripe for a concerted call to action.

Occupational Health News Roundup

New Jersey’s growing temp industry is rife with labor violations, worker mistreatment; advocates in North Carolina demand safer conditions for poultry plant workers; former Wells Fargo workers sue over aggressive sales quotas that led to fraud; and an investigation into northern California’s marijuana industry finds rampant sexual abuse and assault.