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Imprecise and potentially shaming terms like “drug abuse” can interfere with treating diseases of addiction, explain Linda Richter and Susan E. Foster in a piece in the Journal of Public Health Policy.

When President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in 2011, it was described as the most sweeping reform of the nation’s food safety laws in nearly a century. Public health advocates hailed the law for shifting regulatory authority from reaction to prevention. What received less attention was a first-of-its-kind provision that protects workers who expose food safety lawbreakers.

While the Senate is pressing the EPA to prevent future chemical disasters, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would, if enacted, make it harder for the public to obtain information about chemical hazards, either in industrial storage tanks or consumer products. While state and local governments – and many manufacturers – are responding to growing public is demand for safer chemicals and more information about chemicals used in products – industry trade associations are promoting legislation that appears to counter that progress.

Daylight saving time and public health consequences

Daylight saving time policies data back more than 100 years. What do we know about their effect on health?

Reporters investigate the impacts of hydraulic fracturing in Texas; a new poll finds widespread support for “family friendly” workplace policies, including paid sick days and paid family leave; and large-scale hog operations raise environmental concerns in Iowa.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Poultry workers travel to Washington, DC to ask the Obama administration to rescind a proposed rule that would allow for faster processing-line speeds; a camera assistant is killed during a railway film shoot; and a Tennessee lawmaker has introduced bills to improve worker health safety in that state.

Collaboration between primary care providers and public health departments is a powerful strategy for addressing the growing health toll of hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. A new Practical Playbook offers resources for practitioners — including success stories from many communities where primary care-public health partnerships are paying off.

By Jonathan Heller. Author Nicholas Freudenberg advocates that we “return to the public sector the right to set health policy and to limit corporations’ freedom to profit at the expense of public health.” We should also think specifically about obligations corporations have to their workers, at a time when the minimum wage is inadequate, wage theft is common among low-wage workers, and millions of US workers lack paid sick time.

“For us it’s personal,” said Jeannie Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator. “It’s a daily issue for us. Every day with a weaker protection standard is another day a worker is exposed to pesticides,” she said. On February 20th the EPA proposed revisions to its Worker Protection Standard for agricultural pesticides. Farm worker advocates are welcoming the proposal – the first update since 1992 – but see both improvements and what some are calling “steps backward.”

It’s probably no surprise that people who experienced foreclosures during the Great Recession may have also experienced symptoms of depression. However, researchers have found that the mental health effects of foreclosure go beyond the individual to the community at-large.