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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: August 17, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, August 17, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

August 17, 2018

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

Registration Now Open for WTP Fall Meeting

Registration for the 2018 NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) Fall awardee meeting and workshop is now open! The WTP Awardee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The WTP Workshop will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, October 24 – 25, 2018. Both events will take place on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. The WTP workshop will focus on opioid-related hazards in the workplace and developing a training framework to address exposure, use and prevention. Registration closes Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Information and Registration

Tri-City Mayors Worry About ‘Catastrophic’ Hanford Tunnel Collapse

Tri-City-area mayors say the public is at risk of a “potentially catastrophic tunnel collapse” if work doesn’t start soon to stabilize a Hanford tunnel storing radioactive waste. The Department of Energy recently asked the Washington State Department of Ecology to allow Hanford nuclear reservation workers to fill the longer of the two tunnels with concrete-like grout. Many federal officials worry about the decaying tunnel and upcoming winter weather, especially after a video inspection of the inside of the second tunnel showed corrosion of bolts and weld plates.

Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]

Lung Transplants on Rise for Black Lung Disease

The number and rate of lung transplants for black lung disease is increasing, according to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (AJIM). This increase mirrors the rising prevalence of black lung disease among coal miners in Appalachia. In this study, investigators described trends in lung transplantation for patients with black lung disease using records from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

NIOSH Research Rounds

AJIM [Authors: Blackley et al.]

Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Operational Readiness and Preparedness in Neighboring Countries

Following the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a formal rapid risk assessment, which determined that the public health risk for this outbreak is high at the regional level. The WHO Regional Office for Africa also identified nine neighboring countries where Preparation Support Teams were deployed to assess countries’ readiness using the WHO standardized checklist, and to provide technical support to countries to develop and initiate national contingency plans.

WHO News

Beyond the Clinic – Describing Success in Environmental Health

When it comes to telling stories of success, scientists in the field of environmental health face a challenge distinct from other biomedical researchers — there is no pill or clinical intervention at the end. As a result, an advisory board charged NIEHS in 2015 to draw up a framework that scientists and those who oversee their grants can use to tell — and evaluate — their translational research stories. A paper published July 16 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives offers a new way for environmental health scientists to describe what is known as translational research.

Environmental Factor [Author: Kelly Lenox]

Environmental Health Perspectives [Authors: Pettibone et al.]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Webinar: Preventing Valley Fever in Construction Workers

California saw a significant increase in new Valley Fever cases in 2016 and again in 2017. To prevent future cases, the California Occupational Health Branch (OHB) is offering a webinar on Valley Fever in construction work to discuss the findings from OHB investigations. A California employer will also share how Valley Fever impacted his employees and business. The webinar will be held on August 21, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

SRP Progress in Research Webinars - Session I

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) is hosting a series of webinars to highlight work by SRP Centers that received grants in 2017. Session I will highlight Duke University and University of Arizona. The Duke University SRP Center focuses on early, low-dose exposures to toxicants and developmental impacts. The University of Arizona SRP Center is addressing the risk and remediation of metal mining wastes in arid and semi-arid environments. The webinar will be held on August 23, 2018, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET.

Information and Registration

September Is National Preparedness Month

The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to focus on how we all should improve our preparedness efforts. This year’s NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Explore the link below to find NPM resources and ideas to promote preparedness.

National Preparedness Month

NASEM Health and Medicine Workshop: Medical Product Shortages during Disasters: Opportunities to Predict, Prevent, and Respond

Recent disasters and public health emergencies, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the treatment of Ebola patients, highlight the impact that shortages of commonly used medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals can have on health care delivery and emergency response. This workshop hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will explore opportunities to improve and build upon the current evidence base on the effects of medical product shortages. The workshop will be held September 5-6, 2018, in Washington, DC.

Information and Registration

Disaster Health Education Symposium 2018

The Uniformed Services University National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) will be hosting the Disaster Health Education Symposium at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. This symposium will provide a forum with a specific focus on education and training in disaster medicine and public health. The event will: 1) Highlight current and future education initiatives in disaster medicine and public health education; 2) Present a unique forum for collaboration and networking among disaster medicine and public health professionals; and 3) Explore the challenges and opportunities for the current state of disaster education. The Symposium will be held on September 12, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.

Information and Registration

National Academies’ Gulf Research Program Announces Grant Opportunity for Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience in the Gulf of Mexico Region

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced a new grant opportunity focused on enhancing coastal community resilience and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico region. Applications for this funding opportunity have two stages, including a required letter of intent due September 19, 2018, by 5 p.m. ET. A full proposal is then due by November 28, 2018, by 5 p.m. ET.

News Release

Funding Information

PEPH Webinar: Air Sensor Stories

In response to growing interest in exploring local air quality concerns, NIEHS grantees developed an interactive workshop for audiences seeking to understand the potential benefits and challenges associated with using air sensors. This webinar will discuss how workshop materials were developed by a collaboration between four NIEHS-supported community engagement cores and pilot tested with diverse community partners. The webinar will be held on September 24, 2018, 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET.

Information and Registration

Registration Now Open for COSHCON18, Dec. 4-6, 2018, Baltimore, MD

The National Conference on Worker Safety and Health (#COSHCON18) will take place December 4-6, 2018, at the Maritime Conference Center (MCC), located in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. #COSHCON18 will be an exciting gathering of grassroots health and safety groups. The MCC is just outside Baltimore and minutes from the BWI airport.

Information and Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

ASPR’s Vision for Building Readiness: Sustaining Robust and Reliable Public Health Security Capabilities

This multi-part blog series focuses on how the Office of the Assistance Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) advocates for the sustainment of robust and reliable public health security capabilities. This is fostered primarily through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but also through other components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This blog looks at how HHS enhances disease situational awareness, strengthens disease containment, improves risk communication, and improves medical countermeasure distribution and dispensing.

ASPR Blog [Author: Robert P. Kadlec]

The “Safety Triangle”: A Useful, Yet Complicated, Theory

More than 80 years ago, the occupational safety and health pioneer Herbert Heinrich devised the “safety triangle.” After questions arose about the safety triangle’s validity, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study found that the safety triangle is a useful, yet complicated, theory when considering how to prevent severe work-related injuries. In this blog post, lead author Patrick Yorio, Ph.D., NIOSH statistician, explains the Risk Analysis study.

NIOSH Research Rounds

Risk Analysis [Author: Patrick L. Yoro and Susan M. Moore]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

GAO: DHS Should Take Actions to Measure Reduction in Chemical Facility Vulnerability and Share Information with First Responders

This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress assesses the extent to which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has 1) enhanced the process for identifying high-risk facilities and assigning them to tiers; 2) conducted facility inspections and measured facility security; and 3) ensured that information is shared with emergency responders to prepare them for incidents at high-risk facilities.

Government Accountability Office

Proceedings from the 2017 Fentanyl Working Meeting

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sponsored a two-day working meeting on September 6 – 7, 2017, entitled "Protecting First Responders on the Frontlines of the Fentanyl Epidemic." These proceedings summarize the key messages of the meeting and provide scientifically derived, evidence-based, and practitioner-informed recommendations. This report serves as a guide to inform strategy, policies, and procedures to prevent and mitigate unintended fentanyl exposures across first responder occupations.

DHS Report

DOE Submits Proposed Revisions to Nuclear Safety Management Rule

The Department of Energy (DOE) published a proposed rule to amend regulations concerning nuclear safety management. The rule governs the conduct of DOE contractors, personnel, and other persons conducting activities that affect, or may affect, the safety of DOE nuclear facilities. The proposed revisions reflect the experience gained in the implementation of the regulations over the past seventeen years. Public comment on this proposed rule will be accepted until October 9, 2018.

Federal Register

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

NACCP Recognizes WTP Grantee, Unity in the Family Ministry

Unity in the Family Ministry, Inc. supports worker training initiatives at strategic sites across the Gulf Coast through the Environmental Career Worker Training Program. Their work is sponsored by Texas Southern University’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, an NIEHS awardee. Unity in the Family Ministry, Inc. and its Executive Director, Calvin Avant, Ph.D., were recently honored as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Pensacola Branch’s “Organization of the Year” for their work in the community.

Unity in the Family Ministry, Inc.

Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D. – Advancing Infectious Disease Preparedness Beyond Healthcare

NIEHS grantee Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D., is a certified industrial hygienist and professor of environmental and occupational health at the Indiana University School of Public Health, Bloomington. Building on his research experience in environmental microbiology, his current efforts are focused on preventing the spread of highly infectious diseases both in the workplace and within communities.

NIEHS Grantee Highlights

Job OpeningsBack to Top

UniteHere! Seeks Senior Occupational Health Specialist

Unite Here! seeks an occupational health specialist to support campaigns, training programs, research and policy activities, and requests for technical assistance from union locals. The specialist will also assist in the development of training programs to develop health and safety capacity of campaigners, union staff, members and unorganized workers to improve working conditions. Position is based out of Oakland, CA. More information available via link below.

Job Description

NCOA Seeks Director of Center for Healthy Aging

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) seeks a Director for their Center for Healthy Aging to oversee programs with partners across the country, including public and private organizations at the national, state, and local levels. The director will oversee two established national programs – the National Chronic Disease Self-Management Resource Center and the National Falls Prevention Resource Center. To apply for this position, email your resume to Aileen Hedden at with “NCOA-Director, Center for Healthy Aging/2018-2364 CW” as the subject of the email.

Job Description

City of Albuquerque Seeks Environmental Health Director

The City of Albuquerque seeks qualified candidates to apply for its Director of Environmental Health position. The Director manages and oversees a wide range of programs and activities within the Environmental Health Department. The Environmental Health Department is responsible for promoting and protecting public health, by preventing disease, and by preserving the integrity and quality of our environment through sustainable management and responsible stewardship.

Job Description

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