February 23, 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.
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Radioactive Contamination Found in ‘Clean’ Cars, Says Hanford Watchdog
A small amount of radioactive contamination has been found in the air filters of two vehicles parked at the Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation, according to a Seattle-based Hanford watchdog group. Hanford Challenge took five filters from four vehicles in Richland and Pasco that Hanford workers parked at the plant. The cars previously were checked at Hanford and declared clean of contamination, according to Hanford Challenge. In response, an employee issued a stop-work order on the use of government vehicles at the plant until more checks for radioactive contamination could be done.
Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]
Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Kratom
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella I 4,,12:b:- infections. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that kratom is a likely source of this multistate outbreak. Kratom is a plant consumed for its stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute. At this time, CDC recommends that people not consume kratom in any form. This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates as needed.
AJPH: Work as a Social Determinant of Health
The March 2018 issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) showcases articles on health inequities, preventing violence against sex workers, public health education, and the effects of household medical expenditures on income inequality. Worker health related articles include: Work as an Inclusive Part of Population Health Inequities Research and Prevention, A Healthy Public Cannot Abide Unhealthy and Unsafe Workplaces, and The Changing Nature of Work.
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PEPH Webinar: Bridging the Cultural Divide – The Role of Community Health Representatives/ Workers in Environmental Public Health
Community health workers (CHWs) and community health representatives (CHRs) play an instrumental role in community-engaged research. These frontline public health workers are often trusted members of partner communities and serve as liaisons between researchers and residents. Bridging the cultural divide is a major contribution of CHWs/CHRs. This webinar, hosted by NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH), includes two project teams that have worked closely with CHWs/CHRs in the conduct of community-engaged research. They will discuss the value and importance of working with CHWs/CHRs to address environmental public health issues. The webinar will take place on March 2, 2018, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.
Call for Abstracts and Session Proposals: National Occupational Injury Research Symposium
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and partners are hosting the 7th National Occupational Injury Research Symposium, known as NOIRS 2018. NOIRS is the only national forum focused on the presentation of occupational injury research. This year’s theme is Advancing Worker Safety in the 21st Century Through Research and Practice. Abstracts and session proposals are due March 2, 2018.
Webinar: Superstorms and Superfund Sites: Preventing Toxic Exposures from Climate Change Disasters
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) and the Boston University Superfund Research Program (BUSPR) are hosting a webinar to describe the range of toxic exposures and mixtures of chemicals that may be encountered during climate disasters from water, air, and industrial sources. Panelists will discuss community prevention plans and policies that can help protect human and environmental health when the next disaster strikes. The webinar will take place on March 13, 2018, 2:00 p.m. ET.
Total Worker Health Webinar Series: Numbers to Know How: Linking Research to Healthier Workplace Practices
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is hosting a webinar to discuss the challenges facing today’s workplaces and the role of health survey data to inform Total Worker Health interventions. Speakers will discuss results from the Workplace Health in America Survey, the National Health Interview Survey, and the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance System. The webinar will take place on March 21, 2018, 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET.
Registration Now Open: 2nd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) symposium will be held May 8-11, 2018, on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. This year’s theme is “Work & Well-being: How Safer, Healthier Work Can Enhance Well-Being.” The symposium will bring together more than 500 scientists and practitioners from around the world to learn about the latest science and practice for Total Worker Health approaches.
Registration Now Open for Spring 2018 National Trainers’ Exchange and WTP Awardee Meeting
The 7th National Trainers’ Exchange is hosted by the Western Region Universities Consortium (WRUC) in conjunction with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP). The Exchange will bring together safety and health trainers and training stakeholders from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the NIEHS WTP to exchange ideas about how to make training for hazardous materials and emergency response workers more effective and empowering. The Awardee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018; the National Trainers’ Exchange will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 10-11, 2018. The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel. The hotel room block and registration are now open!
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Resources for Creating Workplace Emergency Plans
Recent floods, wildfires, mudslides, and outbreaks demonstrate the powerful impact emergencies have in California. The February edition of Occupational Health Watch features resources to help workplaces prepare for the unexpected. These resources include a fact sheet on preparing for emergencies, which provides an overview from the California Department of Industrial Relations-funded Worker Safety & Health Training & Education Program (WOSHTEP). The emergency preparedness resources from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) can also help with developing a workplace emergency plan.
Coming Soon to a Workplace Near You: Field-based Respirable Crystalline Silica Monitoring
Worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS)—which can cause severe lung diseases—remains a major health concern in mining as well as in construction, oil & gas, and general industry. Having a quick, effective way to monitor RCS concentrations is crucial to combatting the potential negative effects of RCS exposure. Researchers and engineers in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Program are addressing this problem by developing a novel, field-based monitoring approach that enables dust samples to be analyzed for RCS right at the mine site in a few minutes.
Public Health Handbook for Communities Under Emergency Management – A Case Study of the Flint Water Crisis
The Flint, Michigan, water crisis—a manmade disaster that resulted in the poisoning of thousands of children and adults after lead leached into the city’s drinking water—is a terrible tragedy, and one that was far from inevitable. A recently released handbook can help policymakers and practitioners incorporate the lessons learned from this preventable disaster to avert and/or mitigate future crises. Specifically, the handbook is designed to serve three primary goals: 1) facilitate the communications and coordination among multiple levels of governmental agencies, 2) facilitate legal preparedness among agency staff, and 3) build an agency culture that is flexible and prepared to respond quickly to crisis.
America’s Most Toxic Town Is Not Where You Think
Data from the 2016 TRI was released last year, and according to this metric, Kotzebue was the most toxic community in America. The Alaskan town released an astonishing 756 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the environment—that’s more than the famous factory town of Gary, Indiana, the notorious mining town of Battle Mountain, Nevada, and Luling, Louisiana, located along a stretch of the Mississippi River dominated by petrochemical plants and nicknamed Cancer Alley.
National Geographic [Author: Justin Nobel]
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FEMA Seeks Youth Leaders for National Youth Preparedness Council
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking applicants for the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC), which brings together teens from across the country who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national leaders for preparedness. Students in 8th through 11th grade are eligible to apply and must submit a completed application form, provide two letters of recommendation, and academic records. Applications are due March 18, 2018.
EPA’s Management of Counter Terrorism and Emergency Response Equipment
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to begin preliminary research of the EPA’s management of counter terrorism and emergency response (CT/ER) equipment in February 2018. The OIG’s objective is to determine whether the EPA has the needed and required CT/ER equipment and whether the equipment is efficiently managed, tracked, and available for potential incidents.
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Social Media Analysis During Disasters
Social media is everywhere, with trending stories at our constant disposal. For emergency managers, information specialists, and other decision makers responding to large-scale disasters, it is challenging to filter through the volume of noise on social media to identify valid, actionable information. The NIH National Library of Medicine (NLM) offers a self-paced course to help participants develop and implement a plan that will help effectively monitor and analyze disaster information on social media. The course provides three Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education (CE) credits and fulfills one of the requirements of the MLA Disaster Information Specialization, Advanced Level.
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CPWR Seeks to Fill Deputy Director Position
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) seeks a full-time deputy director. Please visit the page below for specific job description. CPWR is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD. Interested candidates should email their resume and a cover letter detailing their experience related to the position to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UIC Seeks Division Director for Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health (SPH) is seeking an innovative leader and accomplished scholar to direct the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS). The EOHS Division serves about 90 students in MPH, MS, and PhD programs with nine tenure-system faculty, and twice that number of research and clinical faculty. The Director is responsible for operation of the EOHS Division, which includes, but is not limited to: promoting a collaborative environment that fosters success through strong leadership and shared governance; representing the division at the School and University levels; managing the division’s budget, and more. The application deadline is March 15, 2018.
Holy Cross Health Seeks Coordinator, Community Health
Holy Cross Health is seeking a community health coordinator who will support the department in fulfilling the following community health goals: 1) decrease avoidable hospital utilization, 2) improve overall health through strategic partnerships, particularly with those addressing social determinants of health, and 3) strengthen integration and linkages by wrapping community health programs and services around defined populations, services of the Network, and both hospitals.
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