Environmental Health

Category archives for Environmental Health

Recycling our garbage is good for the planet, but a new report finds that the workers who process our recyclable materials often face dangerous and unnecessary conditions that put their health and safety at serious risk.

Even though farmworkers face serious hazards on the job and work in one of the most dangerous industries in the country, most young farmworkers in a recent study rated their work safety climate as “poor.” In fact, more than a third of those surveyed said their managers were only interested in getting the job done as quickly as possible.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Historic agreement reached between farmworkers and agribusiness in Baja California; New York fast food workers testify in support of higher wages; Cal-OSHA to strengthen its heat exposure oversight; and labor advocates say an upcoming visit from Pope Francis could be a boost for workers.

The science on the health effects of fracking is still very much emerging. Oftentimes, the growing body of research can’t make a conclusive link between the drilling technique and negative health impacts, but it certainly makes the case that more research is needed. Earlier this month, another study joined the pack.

Factory farms, manure, and the Empire State Building

Food & Water Watch released “Factory Farm Nation,” a report this week on the dominance of industrial beef, pork, chicken, dairy, and egg production in the US. Besides overuse of antibiotics, foodborne disease, water and air pollution, and loss of local independent farms, the mountains of manure are monstrous and largely unregulated.

Senators pushing TSCA reform bill that’s missing the law’s poster child

Public health researchers, agency officials and scholars describe the Toxic Substances Control Act as a defective, outdated law. They often use EPA’s failed effort to ban asbestos as a poster child for the broken law. A TSCA “reform” bill currently has traction in the Senate, but it’s left behind the poster child.

Today, Maine’s legislature held a hearing on the Toxic Chemicals in the Workplace Act, a proposal to require employers to identify harmful chemicals in the workplace and replace them with safer alternatives. It’s the perfect example of state action on behalf of worker safety and exactly the kind of measure that might no longer be possible under two congressional proposals aimed at overhauling the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

Chemicals at work taking their breath away: work-related asthma

A Massachusetts company that manufactures industrial floatation devices for the off-shore oil/gas industry exposed its workers to toxic dust. Nine cases of work-related asthma among its employees were reported to the state health department.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Oregon mill workers describe a workplace rife with dangerous hazards; thousands of fast food and low-wage workers take to the streets for higher wages; labor advocates file worker retaliation complaint against Walmart; and new media workers start to organize.

Labor group outlines significant flaws in chemical reform bill, joins growing list of opponents

The AFL-CIO joins a growing list of organizations which have raised serious concerns—or outright oppose—the Vitter/Udall bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act.