The Pump Handle

Free satellite air quality data is available to public health agencies and researchers. A NASA team hopes to utilize it to improve human health.

Case and Deaton’s analysis of increasing mortality rates among white middle-age Americans made a connection to economic phenomena, but their analysis didn’t discuss specific pathways that might lead from one to the other. A group of doctoral students at UMass Lowell’s Work Environment Program set out to explore those causal pathways.

A recently published book– “Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon” by occupational health physician Paul Blanc – is an historical investigation of the use of carbon disulfide throughout the world to make products. The book describes how the making of rayon led to suicides and caused neurologic deaths of workers exposed to the toxic chemical… and it “names names” of those involved … during two World Wars. We have all heard about lead and asbestos and the legacy of death they created… but none of us has heard this meticulously researched investigative story before.

The public health community must fight back against President Trump’s plan to deport 2 million undocumented residents, many of whom came to the US to escape violence and poverty.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from April 2016: Reporter Andrew Schneider has written a sequel to his 2004 book “An Air That Kills: How the Asbestos Poisoning of Libby, Montana Uncovered a National Scandal.” The new book covers the unsuccessful criminal trial against W.R. Grace, and the legacy of a deadly form of asbestos from Libby that fills millions of attics across the U.S.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from January 2016: : In the midst of another national debate over gun safety regulations, some argue that higher rates of gun ownership will protect people from dangerous strangers with deadly intentions. Physician and public health researcher Michael Siegel set out to study that argument. He ultimately found no relationship between gun ownership and stranger-related firearm homicides. But he did find that gun ownership levels translated into higher homicide risks for one group in particular — women.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from May 2016: Last summer, 25-year-old Roendy Granillo died of heat stroke while he installed flooring in a house in Melissa, Texas, just north of Dallas. His tragic and entirely preventable death marked a turning point in advocacy efforts to pass a rest break ordinance for local construction workers.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from March 2016: A painter named Jason, who nearly died from using a methylene chloride-based paint stripper, teams up with the California Department of Public Health to make the case for using safer alternatives.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from July 2016: In 2005, the World Health Assembly adopted a revised version of its International Health Regulations, a legally binding treaty among 196 nations to boost global health security and strengthen the world’s capacity to confront serious disease threats such as Ebola and SARS. A decade later, just one-third of countries have the ability to respond to a public health emergency. That’s why Rebecca Katz thinks it’s time to get creative.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from August 2016: Two decades ago, President Bill Clinton signed the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” (PRWORA) and heralded the end of “welfare as we know it.” The law lived up to that promise, but the outcomes for families who depend on it have been problematic.