Occupational Health News Roundup

Following up on their investigative series on conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Washington Postâs Dana Priest and Anne Hull have written a series of wrenching articles on veterans returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder. Bureaucratic confusion and a shortage of mental health resources leave many PTSD sufferers with little hope, and the problem is expected to worsen as fighting continues. Visit the series home; find information and resources on PTSD; or read individual articles:

  • The War Inside: Troops Are Returning From the Battlefield With Psychological Wounds, But the Mental-Health System That Serves Them Makes Healing Difficult
  • Soldier Finds Comfort at Dark Journey's End: Army Lt. Sylvia Blackwood made it out of Iraq unharmed physically, but as a psychological casualty who would not acknowledge it to herself
  • Little Relief on Ward 53: At Walter Reed, Care for Soldiers Struggling With War's Mental Trauma Is Undermined by Doctor Shortages and Unfocused Methods

In other news:

The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC): In the worst single loss of firefighter lives since 9/11, nine firefighters lost their lives fighting a blaze in a furniture store.

Occupational Hazards: New research from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization finds that asbestos disease patients are almost 20 years younger than asbestos patients 20 years ago, and that that approximately 50 percent of asbestos patients had occupational exposure.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Democrats have introduced new mine safety legislation, which includes a requirement that mine operators evacuate workers in lightning storms unless they can assure workers' safety, and the possibility of temporary shutdowns of mines for unpaid civil penalties. 

Charleston Gazette (op-ed): MSHA Assistant Secretary Richard Stickler marks the one-year anniversary of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act, "the most significant mine safety legislation in 30 years."

MedPage Today: Researchers at the Associate Professional Sleep Societies Meeting report on a survey of 5,296 police officers in North America, which found that 38.8% of active-duty officers suffer from sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.

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