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NIEHS WTP: April 8, 2022 Newsbrief

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Weekly E-Newsbrief, April 8, 2022

Weekly E-Newsbrief

April 8, 2022

The E-Newsbrief of the National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. Each issue provides summaries of the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the Web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured each week are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others.

Subscribing to the National Clearinghouse Newsbrief is the best way to stay on top of the worker health and safety news.

Top StoriesBack to Top

NOSI: Promoting Health, Safety, and Recovery Training for COVID-19 Essential Workers and their Communities

NIEHS WTP issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI). The purpose of this supplement is to provide support for successful applicants to develop partnerships with local worker centers and community organizations specifically targeting under served and disadvantaged communities with higher-than-average COVID-19 transmission rates. The deadline to apply is June 6.

NIH Grants

Officials Finish Buried Nuclear Waste Cleanup at Idaho Site

Work to dig up and remove radioactive and hazardous waste buried for decades in unlined pits at a nuclear facility that sits atop a giant aquifer in eastern Idaho has been completed, federal officials said. The U.S. Department of Energy held a celebration to mark the completion of removing specifically-targeted buried waste.

U.S. News and World Report

Study Shows Potential Epigenetic Basis for Increased Health Risks in Firefighters

A new study led by researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zukerman College of Public Health identified changes in the cellular mechanisms controlling gene expression, called epigenetics, that may contribute to an increased risk of diseases including cancer in firefighters.


The White House is Expanding its ‘Whole-of-Government’ Approach to Long COVID

The White House announced it’s furthering its “whole-of-government” approach to treating long COVID, which could be affecting millions of Americans. President Biden issued a presidential memorandum directing the Health and Human Services secretary to coordinate a new initiative across the federal government to work on the first national research action plan on long COVID.

Government Executive [Author: Courtney Buble]

Tomorrow’s COVID Safety Guidelines Will Be Different from Today’s – but that Doesn’t Mean Yesterday’s Were Wrong

The continued evolution of the coronavirus and resultant public policy changes don’t look like a normal public health crisis. In a little over two years, researchers have found dozens of COVID-19 variants. Many of these have clinically important differences in their transmissibility, the severity of the illness they cause and the degree to which they are preventable and treatable with existing therapies.

Government Executive [Author: Michael Williams]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs

A new National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) publication, “Initiatives to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs,” highlights training programs, toolkits, resources, and initiatives from NIEHS and other agencies and organizations. The webinar will highlight some of these initiatives and will be held on April 11 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

What is Safety Climate? Definition and Practical Applications

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Worker Health program is hosting a webinar on April 20 on the topic of safety climate in occupational safety and health. The discussion with experts will be on what safety climate is, its impact on worker health, and practical applications.

Webinar Registration

U.S. Department of Labor Reopens Rulemaking Record, Schedules Public Hearing on Proposed Final Rule to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19 Exposure

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reopened the rulemaking record partially and scheduled an informal public hearing to seek comments on specific topics that relate to the development of a final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from workplace exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The deadline to submit comments is April 22.

OSHA National News Release

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium Registration is Now Open

The National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) is the only national forum focused on occupational acute traumatic injury research. NOIRS brings together experts to advance the public health mission of keeping workers safe on the job. NOIRS will take place May 10-12 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. ET.

Symposium Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

This Daughter and Father Founded a Company to Bury Nuclear Waste by Drilling Deep Boreholes

There is no permanent nuclear waste depository in the United States. Instead, nuclear waste is stored in dry casks at the locations of currently operating and former nuclear power plants around the country. Deep Isolation, a start-up founded by a daughter-father team in Berkeley, California, is aiming to change that.

CNBC [Author: Catherine Clifford]

How Coloradans Can Prepare for a Wildfire Emergency

Climate experts have weighed in and said that as the climate continues to change and water dries up, more fires can be expected. In addition, traditional notions of “fire season” could be a thing of the past as fires become a year-round problem. After the NCAR Fire in March of 2022 in Boulder, chief of the Boulder Fire Rescue Wildland Division Brian Oliver said, "the concern is that any time there's not snow, it's fire."

Rocky Mountain PBS [Author: Corbett Stevenson]

New Wine Industry Group Forms in Debate Over Worker Safety in Sonoma County

A new wine industry coalition has been formed to advocate for wineries and vineyard operators in the debate over complaints about worker safety, especially during wildfire evacuation. The Sonoma Wine Industry for Safe Employees has been established in response to concerns raised by local labor groups, such as North Bay Jobs with Justice.

The Press Democrat [Author: Bill Swindell]

Expungement Clinic Offers One-Stop Shop for a Clean Slate

Hundreds will get an opportunity for a second chance. An expungement clinic will be held Tuesday at Pursuit of God Church in Frayser. The event won’t just help people clear their criminal records, but it’ll provide a one-stop-shop for a fresh start.

FOX 13 [Author: Carolyn Cerda]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

NIEHS Congressional Justification

The NIEHS receives its funding through an annual Congressional appropriation. Each year, congressional subcommittees conduct hearings on the accomplishments and needs of the NIEHS before its budget request is approved by Congress. The Fiscal Year 2023 NIEHS Congressional Justification and Superfund Congressional Justification is now available.

NIEHS Congressional Justification

NIEHS Congressional Justification Report

Superfund Congressional Justification Report

EPA Proposes to Ban Ongoing Uses of Asbestos, Taking Historic Step to Protect People from Cancer Risk

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to protect people from asbestos exposure by releasing a proposed rule to prohibit ongoing uses of the only known form of asbestos currently imported into the U.S. This proposed rule is the first-ever risk management rule issued under the new process for evaluating and addressing the safety of existing chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was enacted in 2016.

EPA News Release

OSHA Initiates Enforcement Program to Identify Employers Failing to Submit Injury, Illness Data

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is initiating an enforcement program that identifies employers who failed to submit Form 300A data through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application.

OSHA Newsroom

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

CSEA Clean Up Safety Application

CSEA has launched an updated version of its Clean Up Safety smartphone app, available for Apple and Android devices. The updated app, developed in collaboration between the CSEA Occupational Safety and Health and Information Technology Department, was first developed in 2015 through a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The updated app launched April 1.

CSEA Clean Up Safety

New NIEHS Resources to Prevent and Address Opioid Misuse and Promote Recovery Friendly Workplace Programs

The opioid crisis has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2020 there was a 29% increase in the number of overdose deaths compared to the same time frame the previous year. This crisis has severely impacted the U.S. workforce, especially industries with a high risk of injury.

NIOSH Science Blog [Author: Jonathan Rosen, Jamie C. Osborne, and L. Casey Chosewood]

Training Program Focus Is on DOE Site Jobs

For Kessler Stacy of Paducah, an area workforce training program offers many advantages over the traditional experience, including job security, salary, and flexibility. However, one benefit trumps all others for the 20-year-old. Stacy is one of 20 locals training through the United Steelworkers Union Local 550 chapter to work at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Paducah site as radiological control technicians.

The Paducah Sun [Author: Mason Blanford]

Language Justice Boosts Worker Safety, Empowers People, Experts Say

Inclusivity requires greater effort to create multilingual spaces, according to speakers at a March 2 webinar titled “Promoting Environmental and Occupational Public Health Through Language Justice.” NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health hosted the event. Language justice is the right of every person to speak, understand, and be understood in the language they prefer and in which they feel most articulate and powerful, according to the American Bar Association.

April 2022 Environmental Factor [Author: Jennifer Harker]

Computer Modeling Teases Out Chemical Toxicants in Wildfire Smoke

During a March 8 webinar sponsored by the NIEHS Mixtures Cross-Divisional Group, toxicologist Julia Rager, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), discussed her efforts to model and sample toxic exposures from wildfire smoke. Rager combines computer modeling with cell- and animal-based testing to study the complex exposure conditions of wildfires.

April 2022 Environmental Factor [Author: John Yewell]

Oil-Spill Cleanup May Raise Blood Pressure

Cleanup work in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was associated with an increased risk of later developing high blood pressure, according to NIEHS researchers and their collaborators. The Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20, 2010, caused the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history.

April 2022 Environmental Factor

WTP Spring Workshop Registration Is Now Open

The Spring 2022 NIEHS WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop registration is now open. This workshop’s theme is “Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change through Training.” The awardee meeting will be held on Tuesday afternoon, May 17. The technical workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, May 18-19. The workshop will focus on sharing strategies regarding mitigating occupational hazards related to climate change.

WTP Spring Workshop

Job OpeningsBack to Top

OCWR Seeks Executive Director

The Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (OCWR) is hiring for an executive director. OCWR is charged with providing an alternative dispute resolution process, adjudicative hearings and appeals for covered legislative branch employees and education and information. The executive director will serve as the chief operating officer and provides overall leadership and operational direction for effective office management.

Job Posting

MTA Seeks Environmental Health and Safety Organizer.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) Field and Organizing Division is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Environmental Health and Safety Rep/Organizer. The role will provide access to environmental health and safety resources, including health and safety training, to MTA staff and local leaders.

Job Posting

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