February 25, 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.
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New WTP Summary Report On COVID-19 Activities
The new document titled, Evaluation of NIEHS Worker Training Program COVID-19 Activities, summarizes the evaluation of the WTP’s grant-funded COVID-19 activities. This summary report includes data from training courses, progress reports, survey findings, and focus groups. It also includes background information on the evaluation and recommendations for response and preparedness for future disasters or pandemics. This document is a companion to the full evaluation of NIEHS WTP’s COVID-19 activities.
Systems for Providing Protection from Inhalation Hazards Should Extend to the Public and Broader Groups of Workers, Says New Report
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends two frameworks for providing respiratory protection for the nation — one for workers and one for the public — a need made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly frequent wildfires.
Extreme Heat Raises Risk for Mental Health Crises in U.S., Study Finds
Adults in the United States are at increased risk for seeking emergency room care for mental health crises, including substance use, anxiety and stress, when it's hot, a study published by JAMA Psychiatry found. Days with higher-than-normal temperatures during the summer in the United States saw increased rates of emergency room visits for mental health-related conditions, the data showed.
UPI [Author: Brian Dunleavy]
Plan Treats Nebraska Ethanol Plant Like EPA Superfund Site
KETV NewsWatch 7 has learned plans are underway to treat an environmentally hazardous waste pile in Mead, Nebraska, with a protective shell-type cover that’s been used at four U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Sites around the country.
KETV [Author: Julie Cornell]
Wildfires Likely to Increase by a Third by 2050, Warns UN
Wildfires that have devastated California, Australia and Siberia will become 50% more common by the end of the century, according to a new United Nations (UN) report that warns of uncontrollable blazes ravaging previously unaffected parts of the planet.
The Guardian [Author: Phoebe Weston]
IAEA Reviews Water Release from Damaged Japan Nuclear Plant
A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has visited the site at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant where more than a million tons of treated radioactive wastewater are to be released into the ocean.
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Promoting Environmental and Occupational Public Health Through Language Justice
The NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) is hosting a webinar on language justice on March 2 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will feature presenters that will describe why and how language should be considered in the context of racial and social justice. They will also identify the challenges, benefits, and opportunities for community-engaged research projects and programs.
EPA Releases Screening Methodology to Evaluate Chemical Exposures and Risks to Fenceline Communities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment and peer review version 1.0 of a proposed screening level methodology to evaluate potential chemical exposures and associated potential risks to fenceline communities in Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations. EPA will hold a public virtual meeting of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals on March 15-17, to peer review the screening level methodology.
Environmental Justice Online Survey
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Environmental Justice Team is building an email listserv to share news alerts, funding notices, engagement opportunities, webinars, and other informative announcements from the White House and across the Federal government. If you are interested in being a part of our Environmental Justice listserv, please complete this short online survey form by Friday, April 1.
Eighth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference
The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in collaboration with Texas Southern University will host the in-person Eighth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference April 13-16 in New Orleans. The purpose of the conference is to bring together HBCU faculty and students, researchers, climate professionals and environmental justice and coastal community residents impacted by toxic facilities and severe weather events related to climate change.
AIHce EXP 2022
The American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce EXP) brings together occupational emergency health and safety professionals of all levels, specialties, and expertise. Attendees can learn of tools and strategies to protect worker health while taking advantage of several networking opportunities to grow a professional network. The conference will be held May 23-25.
|On The Web This Week
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Houston’s Poorest Take Brunt of Natural Disasters, Study Finds
The Houston area’s lowest-income neighborhoods are hardest hit and slowest to recover from disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and the deadly February 2021 freeze, according to a new Rice University study. The survey of 17,000 Harris County, Texas, residents found that in poor areas basic necessities such as food and help with utility bills are more pressing in the immediate aftermath of disasters than building materials and repair crews that garner high demand in more affluent neighborhoods.
Bloomberg Equity [Author: Paul Takahashi]
Retailers Worried Over Conflicting Masking Guidance for Workers
Retailers caught between conflicting local and federal guidance on when masks should be worn are worried the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will cite employers who don’t follow the stricter federal COVID-19 recommendations. The Retail Leaders Industry Association is raising the concern as state and local public health departments drop recommendations for masks to be always worn inside stores while tougher federal guidance is unchanged.
Bloomberg Law [Author: Bruce Rolfsen]
Can the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control Be Trusted to Clean Up Vulnerable Communities?
As California Governor Gavin Newsom described it, a set of legislative reforms and financial plugs to the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) — the agency responsible for the state’s most dangerous materials and wastes — would prove a huge boon for the state, vulnerable communities in particular. “In the California Comeback, no one is being left behind,” he enthused after the bill was passed last year.
Capital and Main [Author: Dan Ross]
Houston’s Carverdale Landfill Is One Step Closer to Expanding Despite Local Protests
A two-lane road is what separates Victor Hébert’s house from the former entrance of the Carverdale, Texas, landfill. The landfill’s entrance has since moved a few blocks down the road, but truckers and industrial activity still bustle up and down Tanner Road, which cuts across Carverdale. The street is lined with industrial buildings — a concrete crushing facility, a composting facility and the Hawthorne Landfill, owned and operated by a Waste Management subsidiary.
Houston Public Media [Author: Sara Willa Ernst]
NYC Council to Weigh Ban on 15-Minute Grocery Delivery Ads over Worker Safety Concerns
On-demand grocery apps would be banned from advertising 15-minute delivery times to New York City customers under a new bill set to be introduced in the City Council. The bill, crafted by downtown Manhattan Councilman Christopher Marte, is expected to be part of a legislative package aimed at beefing up labor protections for delivery workers.
Daily News [Author: Chris Sommerfeldt]
|Federal Agency Update
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EPA Establishes an Internal Council to Identify Opportunities for Greater Partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the creation of an internal council charged with helping the agency foster stronger relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This internal council will identify enhanced opportunities for recruitment of students and support for institutions through grants, contracts, transparent data sharing and community engagement, consistent with law. This announcement comes as EPA kicks off a week celebrating HBCUs during Black History Month.
OIG Finds Outdated Emergency Relief Policies at the Federal Highway Administration
In August and September 2017, three costly hurricanes hit the United States and caused devastation to transportation infrastructure, particularly highways and bridges. The Department of Transportation (DOT) provided emergency aid for infrastructure repairs through the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) emergency relief programs. Due to the size of DOT’s investment and the speed required for emergency relief, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at DOT initiated an audit to assess FHWA’s controls over the use of its emergency relief funds.
|Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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ILO/WHO Guide: Caring for Those Who Care: Guide for The Development and Implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Programs for Health Workers
The World Health Organization and International Labour Organization developed a guide that provides an overview of the key elements of occupational health and safety programs for health workers at national, subnational and facility levels, as well as advice for the development and implementation of such programs.
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UC Berkeley LOSH Seeks Coordinator of Public Programs
The Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) is a public service program of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) at Berkeley Public Health, University of California. This position will develop and lead various programs and interventions to improve working conditions, meet the needs of a diverse workforce, and build the capacity of worker leaders, unions, and community organizations.
WINTER Seeks Construction Instructor
Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER) is a private, non-profit organization that provides young people and women with opportunities to develop themselves academically, professionally, and personally. This position is responsible for the apprenticeship readiness job training program and ensuring the recruitment and completion of 200 adult women participant’s readiness to enter union construction and placement in registered apprenticeships and related industry.
NNU Seeks Regulatory/Policy Specialist
The National Nurses United (NNU), the nation’s largest nurses’ union and professional association, seeks a committed professional who has successfully helped develop politically progressive policies for the position of Regulatory/Policy Specialist in the Oakland-based Health Policy Department.
Public Citizen Seeks Regulatory Policy Associate
Public Citizen is seeking a Regulatory Policy Associate that will support Congress Watch’s policy and advocacy on the federal regulatory process; educate the public, the media and policy makers on the need for effective public safeguards for our environment, food, pharmaceuticals, workplaces, and consumer products; and play a leading role in Congress Watch’s substantial coalition work on regulatory policy.
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