California

Category archives for California

If you’re in the market for a paint remover and head to your local hardware store, most of the products you’re likely to find will contain methylene chloride. These products carry hazard warnings that say “Danger!” and “Poison” along with cautionary statements about the chemical’s nervous system effects and the possibility that exposure can cause blindness, birth defects, cancer and respiratory harm. But there’s little – if anything – to suggest such products are so hazardous that they were responsible for at least 14 deaths in the United States between 2000 and 2011. These products are banned in the EU. Are there alternatives and why are they still for sale in the U.S.?

Occupational Health News Roundup

The top worker victories of 2014; work-related deaths in coal mining industry projected to reach new low; police officer deaths reach new high; and a major Southern grocery store chain offers benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Occupational Health News Roundup

New report chronicles the low wages of child care workers; Johns Hopkins black lung review still unfinished; California nurses go on strike; and OSHA calls on retailers to protect their workers during Black Friday.

As paid sick leave policies gain momentum across the country, a new study finds that such policies do indeed improve worker morale and have little overall effect on employer profitability.

In the span of just a couple years, five of Heather Buren’s colleagues at the San Francisco Fire Department were diagnosed with breast cancer. At first, Buren thought the diagnoses were part of the unfortunate toll that comes with age. Still, something felt amiss — “it just felt so disproportionate to me,” she said.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Dangerous workplace speedups a hidden side of the economic recovery; California recycling workers vote to unionize; emergency responders in west Texas face new challenges during energy boom; and the U.S. lags in eliminating the gender pay gap.

“If the California Public Health Department had been able to find out that my company was using a chemical that was killing people, I might never have gotten so sick that I had to have a lung transplant,” Ricardo Corona told a California Judiciary Committee last April, testifying in favor of California Senate Bill (SB) 193 that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on September 29th.

Occupational Health News Roundup

McDonald’s ruling could be a major turning point for the fast food worker movement; federal commission clarifies rules for pregnant workers; miners with black lung may have been wrongly denied benefits; and a new OSHA whistleblower partnership is launched to support commercial carrier workers.

Crystalline silica, hydrofluoric acid and formaldehyde. Those are just three of the dozens of air toxic chemicals that oil companies have used thousands of times in southern California in just the past year.

When a widely used chemical is identified as an environmental health hazard and targeted for phase-out and elimination, among the most challenging questions for those involved with making such a chemical are: What to use instead? and Will the replacement be safe? The US Environmental Protection Agency’s report identifying alternatives to the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) illustrates how difficult those questions can be to answer.