Environmental Health

Category archives for Environmental Health

White House is the reason children are still working in US tobacco fields

A Human Rights Watch report on children working in US tobacco fields resurrects Obama Administration decisions to abandon a Labor Department regulation to protect youngsters working in agriculture.

California’s workforce has grown by about 22 percent in the last 20 years but the number of safety inspectors for the 17 million people employed in the state’s 1.34 million workplaces has decreased by about 11 percent. This leaves California’s workforce – the largest of any US state – with the lowest number of inspectors per workers of any state with its own occupational safety and health plan for private-sector workers. California has so few workplace safety inspectors that it would take 173 years to inspect each workplace in the state just once.

In New York, construction is the deadliest industry, with immigrant workers experiencing half of all occupational-related fatalities. In Massachusetts in 2013, it’s estimated that upward of 500 workers died from occupational disease, at least 1,800 were diagnosed with cancers associated with workplace exposures and 50,000 workers experienced serious injury. In Wyoming, workplace deaths climbed to a five-year high in 2012.

Conditions on Florida tomato farms improve thanks to the Fair Food Program; federal officials are developing a protective inhalation screening level for the West Virginia chemical spill region; and a Government Accountability Project expert testifies on whistleblower protections in observance of Workers Memorial Day.

Community organizer turned CDC epidemiologist, Frank Bove, ScD honored

ATSDR epidemiologist Frank Bove, ScD is awarded the 2014 David Ozonoff Unsung Hero Award. He is recognized for his work, most notably, studies examining the relationship between water contamination at Camp Lejeune and birth defects, cancer and other adverse health conditions.

The World Health Organization has released a new estimate of the number of premature deaths linked to air pollution: In 2012, approximately seven million deaths — one in eight of those occurring worldwide — resulted from exposure to air pollution. The vast majority of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, with much of the burden falling in South East Asia and the Western Pacific.

Pictures say a thousand words: OSHA Silica Hearings week #3

OSHA’s public hearing on its proposed regulation on respirable crystalline silica concluded last week. Some of the final witnesses included the American Petroleum Institute and the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund.

This year’s County Health Rankings once again illustrate why geography and good health go hand-in-hand. They’re also a poignant reminder that there may be no better way to improve health for all than by focusing on the social determinants of health.

Thanks to a unanimous vote of California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board last Thursday, workers get to hold on to a robust chemical right-to-know rule that puts their health and safety first. The vote also means that California workers will reap the benefits of more meaningful right-to-know rules than those at the federal level.

Recent US events have highlighted how the use of coal for energy can endanger the health of our rivers.