The Pump Handle

Children breathe more air, drink more water and eat more food per unit of body weight than adults. Therefore, if a child’s air, water or food is contaminated with chemicals, children receive a larger dose per unit of body weight than would an adult in the same situation. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been unable to regulate chemicals effectively, and new chemical legislation must consider these key physiological differences.

by Anthony Robbins, MD, MPA The current issue of Mother Jones offers an article on the troubling and growing list of State “gag laws” which make it a crime to disclose contamination and abuse in animal breeding and slaughter houses.  Ted Genoways in “Gagged by Big Ag,” describes the events and players leading to: laws…

When most of us pass by a new high-rise or drive down a new road, we rarely think: Did the builders and planners consider my health? However, a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers evidence that certain types of land use and transportation decisions can indeed limit the human health and environmental impacts of development.

It seems we barely go a week now without news of another violent gun incident. Last week’s shooting rampage in Santa Monica, Calif., has resulted in the deaths of five people. And since the Newtown school shooting last December — in the span of less than six months — thousands of Americans have been killed by guns.

Every week, the Austin-based Workers Defense Project welcomes standing room-only crowds to its Workers in Action meetings. And once a month, a local OSHA representative would join the meeting, giving some of Texas’ most vulnerable workers the chance to meet face-to-face with the agency. Unfortunately, due to the federal sequester, OSHA has had to indefinitely suspend its participation. It’s a significant loss.

“If we could get growers to comply with the law, that would revolutionize agriculture in this country,” said United Farm Workers (UFW) national vice president Erik Nicholson explaining the circumstances that led to the creation of the Equitable Food Initiative.

In the United States, getting better often comes with an unfortunate and devastating side effect: financial bankruptcy. In fact, a 2009 study in five states found that between 2001 and 2007, medical-related bankruptcies rose by nearly 50 percent. And for those diagnosed with cancer, the risk is even worse.

The World Health Organization is working to address unmet needs for mental health care in low- and middle-income countries, but a lack of research is making it hard to prioritize disorders and understand how best to reach individuals in need of care.

When it comes to nonviolent drug offenses, systems that favor treatment over incarceration not only produce better health outcomes, they save money, too. It’s yet another example of how investing in public health and prevention yields valuable returns on investment.

A new book from Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner tells the disheartening story of our country’s ongoing failure to fully protect children from lead poisoning