regulation

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Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers at an Alabama car seat manufacturer speak out about workplace illnesses; worker death at a Pennsylvania sugar plant could have been prevented; Los Angeles activists join fight for a living wage; and income inequality gets a laugh.

Crystalline silica, hydrofluoric acid and formaldehyde. Those are just three of the dozens of air toxic chemicals that oil companies have used thousands of times in southern California in just the past year.

The U.S. Supreme Court deals a blow to union fair-share fees; Massachusetts raises minimum wage to $11 an hour; and Texas lawmakers scoff at the idea of better safeguards in the wake of the West fertilizer blast.

When a widely used chemical is identified as an environmental health hazard and targeted for phase-out and elimination, among the most challenging questions for those involved with making such a chemical are: What to use instead? and Will the replacement be safe? The US Environmental Protection Agency’s report identifying alternatives to the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) illustrates how difficult those questions can be to answer.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The White House is poised to take action on workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers; Washington farmworkers make history with wage settlement; and OSHA investigates Amazon.com fulfillment centers after two worker deaths.

Childhood lead poisoning is one of those health risks that everyone has likely heard about, but many probably think it’s a problem of the past. However, a recent study reminds us that in just one state — Michigan — the effects of childhood lead poisoning cost about $330 million every year. And that’s a conservative estimate.

Following the deadly April 17, 2013 explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer plant – and a series of other catastrophic incidents involving hazardous materials – President Obama directed federal agencies to improve chemical facility security and safety. Their report makes recommendations but does not mandate any immediate action. Meanwhile, dangerous chemical releases occur at workplaces around the US almost daily.

Five million dollars. That’s how much the fast food industry spends every day to peddle largely unhealthy foods to children. And because studies have found that exposure to food marketing does indeed make kids want to eat more, advertising is often tapped as an obvious way to address child obesity. Fortunately, a new study finds that the public agrees.

The Huffington Post investigates how the mining industry cheats worker safety; Seattle set to raise minimum wage to $15; and the death of a hummus plant worker could have been prevented with better safety practices.

The heath effects of occupational solvent exposure don’t always fade with time. A new study has found that years — sometimes even decades — down the road from their last workplace exposure, some workers are still experiencing very real cognitive impairments.