Environmental Health

Category archives for Environmental Health

With agriculture ranked one of the most dangerous industries in the country, many Americans might be surprised to know that it’s still perfectly legal for farms to officially employ children. For years, advocates have been working to address this gaping loophole in the nation’s child labor laws, often citing children’s increased vulnerability to workplace-related injury, illness and exploitation. A new study confirms those concerns, underscoring the need to better protect the children and youth working in American fields.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Staten Island worker death highlights risks facing Latino construction workers; fight continues to ban asbestos; Minnesota minimum wage increase in jeopardy for tipped workers; and researchers look for ways to protect respiratory health among dairy farm workers.

2012 train derailment, first responders and “indefensible actions”

Emergency responders to a 2012 train derailment were exposed to vinyl chloride. Many did not wear respiratory protection, and some suffered acute health effects. An MMWR report describes those findings, but an NTSB report illuminates how and why their safety was compromised.

Courtney, Stephanie and Paul: three too many asbestos disease stories

Reporter David McCumber introduces us to three individuals whose lives forever changed because of asbestos exposure. There will be more of them if companies, like the ones just cited by OSHA, continue to violate asbestos regulations.

Chronic work exposure to lead and risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Individuals with chronic occupational exposure to lead have an 80 percent higher odds of developing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) than individuals who do not have the exposure.

“In the 602 days since the West, Texas tragedy there have been 355 chemical accidents resulting in 79 deaths and 1500 hospitalizations,” said Committee Chair Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) opening the hearing. “Essentially,” said Boxer, since the West, Texas accident, there’s been a U.S. incident involving hazardous chemicals every other day. “This,” she said, “is absolutely outrageous.”

When compared with gasoline-powered cars, vehicles fueled with electricity from renewable sources could cut air pollution-related deaths by 70 percent, according to a new study, which noted that air pollution is the country’s greatest environmental health threat.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Petrochemical companies spend millions to undermine the science on benzene; in-depth series sheds light on the horrific working conditions in Mexico’s agricultural sector; National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of worker organizing; and federal officials grilled on response to West fertilizer explosion.

“Too many oil and gas industry workers are being hurt or killed on the job,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels in remarks delivered to the more than 2,000 people who gathered last week in Houston for the 2014 OSHA Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference. As part…

As public health practitioners increasingly look upstream to identify the determinants that put people on a trajectory toward lifelong health and wellbeing, early childhood is often tapped as a pivotal intervention point. Now, a new tool is available that practitioners can use to measure neighborhood-level opportunity indicators that are fundamentally linked to children’s health.