February 10, 2023
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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NIEHS/DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program 2021-2022 Factsheet
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)/U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Worker Training Program provides high-quality health and safety training to DOE site workers to ensure they are prepared to work safely in hazardous environments. The factsheet provides an overview of the program activities during the 2021-2022 program year.
Firefighters’ Union Mounts Legal Push Against ‘Forever Chemicals’: ‘It Stops Now’
The International Association of Fire Fighters called on Monday for the elimination of protective gear that contains “forever chemicals,” saying swift regulatory action is needed to address the toxic substances.
The Hill [Author: Sharon Udasin]
No, You Can't Predict Earthquakes, the USGS Says
"We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future," the agency says. "U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists can only calculate the probability that a significant earthquake will occur (shown on our hazard mapping) in a specific area within a certain number of years."
NPR [Author: Bill Chappell]
Inhalable Agents in Workplace ‘Important’ Triggers for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Inhalable substances associated with occupational settings may act as “important” environmental triggers for developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to data published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Healio News [Author: Erich Martin]
Why Higher Winter Temperatures are Affecting the Logging Industry
It's been an unusually warm winter in the Northeast. Loggers there need frozen ground to reach some forested areas. The frozen ground allows the machinery to move through sensitive forest areas with limited distribution to the soil. Also, the frozen ground prevents loggers from putting in extra work during the summer to repair logging trails for next winter season.
What if Indigenous Women Ran Controlled Burns?
The two-week inaugural Karuk Women’s TREX, or prescribed fire training exchange, is tailored specifically for Indigenous women and seeks to extinguish hypermasculinity in firefighting culture. Indigenous women travel from communities across the continent — even from as far as Australia — to attend the event and share their knowledge.
High Country News [Author: B. ‘Toastie’ Oaster]
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Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Construction Materials Prioritization and Environmental Data Improvement
This webinar will ask for feedback on how to prioritize construction materials and products and how to improve data on embodied greenhouse gas emissions through measurement, standardization, transparency, and reporting criteria. The webinar will be held on March 2, 2023, 2:00 p.m. EST.
NOAA Seeks Public Comment on a Draft Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan for the U.S. Steel Site in Duluth, Minnesota
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other federal, state, and tribal natural resource trustees have released a Draft Damage Assessment Plan for the St. Louis River / U.S. Steel site in Duluth, Minnesota, and are soliciting public comments. The draft plan describes studies and data analysis the trustees may conduct to determine the nature and scale of injuries to natural resources from releases of hazardous wastes at the site. Comments will be accepted through March 23, 2023.
The 2023 Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program (EJCPS) Request for Applications is Now Open!
The Environmental Protection Agency is solicitating applications for projects that support community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) in their collaboration with other stakeholders (e.g., local businesses and industry, local government, medical service providers, academia, etc.) to develop solutions that significantly address environmental or public health issue(s) in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms. Applications must be submitted on or before April 10, 2023.
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New Study Will Determine Strengths and Gaps in Buffalo’s Emergency Preparedness and Response
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown recently announced that New York University (NYU) Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (Wagner) Rudin Center for Transportation, headed by Sarah Kaufman, will lead a review to determine strengths and gaps in the city’s preparations and response, and what kind of steps could be taken to help gird the region for future weather events of this magnitude.
The Intersection of Housing and Hurricanes: How Communities Cope After a Disaster
Dr. Shannon Van Zandt is a professor based at Texas A&M University where she focuses on the intersection of affordable housing with natural disasters. The last few hurricane seasons have provided no shortage of research material. Storms like Katrina, Maria, Harvey and now Ian are among the cases that have revealed the inability of some communities to bounce back after a storm.
California Town Wonders if Restored Floodplain Prevented Disaster
When devastating floods swept California, the community of Grayson — a town of 1,300 people tucked between almond orchards and dairy farms where the San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers converge — survived without major damage.
Reuters [Author: Daniel Trotta]
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Biden-Harris Administration Releases New Guidance to Disclose Climate Impacts in Environmental Reviews
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released updated Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change to help Federal agencies better assess and disclose climate impacts as they conduct environmental reviews, delivering more certainty and efficiency in the permitting process for clean energy and other infrastructure projects.
As Winter Surges, OSHA Reminds Employers of Carbon Monoxide Risks When Using Portable Generators, Other Equipment Indoors
As frigid temperatures and sleet, ice and snow blanket states from the south to the northeast, millions of Americans are facing power outages. As many turn to portable generators and other fuel-burning equipment for electricity and warmth, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges employers to take appropriate precautions to protect workers from carbon monoxide exposures in enclosed spaces.
NIOSH Centers Meeting 2022 Recordings Available
The meeting theme was preparing for the future of worker safety, health, and well-being through innovations in training, research, and practice. Attendees included the leadership of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-funded research and training centers and NIOSH researchers.
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WTP Resources: Earthquakes
The NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) has been actively involved in earthquake response and cleanup activities, including those related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. The following resources provide health and safety information for workers who may be involved in earthquake response and cleanup operations.
Center for Public Health Workforce Development’s First Annual Impact Report
The Center for Public Health Workforce Development’s (CPHWD) first annual impact report from program year 2021-22 showcases the important programs and work conducted through the CPHWD. From ensuring clean environments to safe workspaces, CPHWD supports public health professionals in their mission to prevent disease and promote health across communities and populations.
Reporting Results Empowers Communities, Advances Health Equity
With support from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) and other sources, collaborators across the U.S. created the Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface (DERBI), an interactive, web-based tool that presents complex chemical exposure data in an easy-to-understand way.
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OHIP Summer Internship Program Deadline Extended
The Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) is a full time, paid summer internship designed to link the skills and interests of students with the needs of workers employed in an under-served or high hazard job. Teams of two interns are assigned to a union or worker organization where they receive supervision from a designated staff member and an academic mentor. The deadline has been extended to February 17, 2023, 11:59 p.m. PST.
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