Toxics

Category archives for Toxics

A historical look at the ‘radium girls’ and their legacy of worker justice; OSHA’s website for receiving injury and illness logs not accepting submissions; California farmworkers sickened by pesticide after Trump’s EPA reverses course on a probable ban; and former Walmart employees file class-action lawsuit for pregnancy discrimination.

Right now, according to public health officials, about half a million U.S. kids have blood lead levels that could harm their health. However, new research finds many more children — hundreds of thousands more — are likely going unidentified.

Investigation reveals how Case Farms poultry plants exploit immigrant workers; Chinese workers who make Ivanka Trump’s clothing line are overworked and underpaid; California lawmakers consider bill to protect salon workers from harmful chemicals; and Trump’s budget would slash funds for combating child and forced labor overseas.

Revolving door from chemical industry to EPA: No way to boost public confidence

A chemical industry representative said transparency will boost public confidence in the EPA’s chemical safety program. Trump has now appointed her to that office. How transparent will she be?

Formaldehyde, scientists, and politics

A commentary by CUNY School of Public Health professor Franklin Mirer describes the ongoing interference by Congress on the science behind the designation of formaldehyde as a carcinogen. His commentary, “What’s Science Got to Do with It?” is timed perfectly for this weekend’s Marches for Science.

Bill Maher’s smackdown of Trump on asbestos

While individuals were attending an international asbestos-disease awareness conference last weekend, HBO comedian Bill Maher was skewering Republicans for their defense of asbestos.

Midnight 28 years ago: Exxon Valdez ran aground, 11 million gallons crude oil released

28 years ago today, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Alaska and released 11 million gallons of crude oil.

Occupational Health News Roundup

California farmworkers living in fear of deportation; Ontario health care workers call on officials to address violence in the workplace; West Virginia legislators consider dramatic loosening of mine safety standards; and thousands of workers get ready to strike on May 1.

Last month, California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) proposed revised and stronger regulations for oil refineries in the state after a 4½-year joint campaign by labor unions, environmental and community organizations.  The successful strategic coalition is a powerful example of how health and safety regulations can be improved despite an industry’s wealth, power and political influence.

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report finding 457 fracking-related spills in eight states between 2006 and 2012. Last month, a new study tallied more than 6,600 fracking spills in just four states between 2005 and 2014. But, as usual, the numbers only tell part of the story.