July 27, 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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- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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Presentations from the Trainers’ Exchange Now Available
Presentations from the 2018 National Trainers’ Exchange are available on the meeting website. The National Trainers’ Exchange was held on May 10-11, 2018, in Phoenix, AZ and was hosted by the Western Region Universities Consortium (WRUC) in conjunction with the (NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP). A trainers' exchange is designed for trainers to share best practices and new techniques through a series of workshops conducted by the trainers themselves. Additional presentations will be posted during the coming weeks.
Ebola Outbreak in Congo Has Ended, W.H.O. Says
The Ebola outbreak that began in the Democratic Republic of Congo in April 2018 was declared officially over this week in what appeared to be twin triumphs for a new vaccine and rapid response. Just 33 people died, even though the outbreak reached Mbandaka, a river port city of over one million people. At one point, experts had feared the virus might spread throughout Central Africa. The last known case in Congo occurred in early June, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak “largely contained” three weeks later. Declaring it officially over, however, required waiting 42 days — the length of two viral incubation periods.
The New York Times [Author: Donald G. McNeil Jr.]
Black Lung Rate Hits 25-Year High In Appalachian Coal Mining States
One in five working coal miners in central Appalachia who have worked at least 25 years now suffer from the coal miners' disease black lung. That's the finding from the latest study tracking an epidemic of the incurable and fatal sickness. It's the highest rate in a quarter century and indicates that the disease continues to afflict more miners in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. The study's researchers reviewed nearly fifty years of coal miner X-rays taken as part of a national effort to identify disease among working coal miners.
NPR [Author: Howard Berkes]
American Journal of Public Health [Authors: Blackley et al.]
A Toxic Town, A Search for Answers
Industrial chemicals dumped long ago still haunt Minden, West Virginia., a community beset by cancer and fear. Minden’s history of pollution has prompted decades of suspicion that PCBs were responsible for an untold number of deaths, miscarriages and other health problems here. The long search for answers got a boost during the summer of 2017 when the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to undertake new rounds of testing in the area. Those found continued contamination but did not suggest an “immediate threat to human health,” according to regulators.
The Washington Post [Author: Brady Dennis]
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Annual Call for Measures for the National Health Security Preparedness Index
The National Health Security Preparedness Index invites nominations for new measures to be considered for future releases of the Index. The Index tracks the nation’s progress in preparing for disasters, disease outbreaks, and other emergencies that pose threats to population health. Recommendations for new measures that reflect environmental and occupational health capabilities and capacity for planning for, responding to, and recovering from health emergencies are especially encouraged, as are measures that reflect the social, economic, and/or environmental dimensions of preparedness and resiliency. Recommendations are due July 31, 2018.
Webinar: Data Management in Disasters & Public Health Emergencies
Nicole Strayhorn, National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellow, will discuss the results of her project to identify open data sources and data sharing policies used during disasters and public health emergencies. For the purposes of this short-term project, she narrowed her research to the data needs of stakeholders, and the challenges of sharing and accessing data around the ongoing Zika virus outbreak. The webinar will be held on August 9, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
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.
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Crosswalk of the 2007 Requirements in 10 CFR Part 851, and the 2018 Incorporation by Reference Technical Amendment Requirements
A crosswalk of standards incorporated by reference in 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 851, Worker Safety and Health Program, has been posted at the IH/OS SIG website at https://orau.org/ihos/doe-worker-safety-health/10-cfr-851.html (under “Comparisons of Former to Updated Standards”). The crosswalk compares the requirements in 10 CFR part 851 published on February 9, 2006 and the requirements in the 10 CFR part 851 technical amendment published on December 18, 2017. The implementation date for the technical amendment is January 17, 2019.
Smell of An Industrial Past
People living, working, or passing through the western edge of downtown Fargo, ND have probably caught a whiff of a mothball-like smell – an unmistakable odor that may stick around through the fall. Trucks started hauling away contaminated dirt from the site of an old manufactured gas plant that operated from 1885 to 1960. Xcel Energy, whose subsidiary Northern States Power was the last owner of the plant, is overseeing the cleanup with help from the city, Fargo Cass Public Health and the state Department of Health.
The Bismarck Tribune [Author: Robin Huebner]
State Construction Group Launches Opioid Awareness Week
Pennsylvania’s Keystone Contractors Association is hosting a Construction Opioid Awareness Week. The event, designated by a Pennsylvania House resolution, aims to draw attention to a problem that disproportionately affects those in the construction trade—the abuse of opioids. The event comes as the issue becomes acute both nationally and within the state—with construction more severely affected than other industries.
Associations Now [Author: Ernie Smith]
U.S. Is Unprepared for the Health Challenges of Climate Change, Experts Warn
The United States isn’t ready for the public health problems climate change will bring, experts warned Congress. From the spread of insect-borne disease to the risks to public health centers and outpatient facilities from environmental disasters, public health professionals on Capitol Hill told congressional staffers there is much work to be done to prepare for potential health risks to the American public at the federal, state, and local levels.
Scientific American [Author: Niina Heikkinen]
WHO/ILO: Protocol for Systematic Reviews of Occupational Exposure
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are developing a joint methodology for estimating the national and global work-related burden of disease and injury, with contributions from a large network of experts. In the papers below, the authors present the protocol for two systematic reviews of parameters for estimating the number of deaths and disability-adjusted life years attributable to 1) pneumoconiosis from occupational exposure to dusts and/or fibres, and 2) stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours.
Environment International [Authors: Mandrioli et al.]
Environment International [Authors: Descatha et al.]
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Expanding and Improving Occupational Safety and Health Content in Wikipedia. It Matters.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is one of the first US federal agencies to collaborate with the Wikimedia organizations and it is doing so by actively contributing data and the latest research to help improve the health of the population. NIOSH’s effort involves examining mechanisms to help make sure that the occupational safety and health information that reaches Wikipedia’s millions of readers is complete, up-to-date, and free of errors. In this and subsequent blogs NIOSH will describe some of the approaches it has used so far.
Final National Occupational Research Agenda for Construction
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced the availability of the final National Occupational Research Agenda for Construction. The National Occupational Research Agenda for Construction is intended to identify the knowledge and actions most urgently needed to identify occupational risk factors to prevent avoidable adverse health outcomes among workers. This agenda provides a vehicle for stakeholders to describe the most relevant issues, research gaps, and safety and health needs for the Construction sector.
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Chris Cain – Promoting Training and Career Opportunities for Construction Workers
NIEHS grantee Chris Trahan Cain is passionate about improving the health and safety of workers in the construction, trade, and energy industries. Cain became executive director at CPWR in 2017. One of her primary roles is to oversee, manage, and develop training programs that target various levels of skilled construction workers and tradesmen from underrepresented, minority populations.
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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.
The BlueGreen Alliance Seeks Minnesota Field Organizer
The BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) is a national partnership of America’s largest labor unions and its most influential environmental organizations working to turn today’s biggest environmental challenges into our biggest economic and job-creating opportunities. The Minnesota Field Organizer (MFO), will work closely with the Minnesota Regional Program Manager (MNRPM) to design and implement an organizing plan that brings unions and environmental organizations together to advance key priorities in the state. The MFO will build engagement with BlueGreen Alliance’s partner organizations to grow the breadth of supporters for these key priorities in the future through organizing, public events, and other activities.
The BlueGreen Alliance Seeks Eastern Pennsylvania Field Organizer
The Field Organizer (FO), based in Philadelphia or surrounding communities, will work closely with the Pennsylvania Regional Program Manager (PA RPM) to design and implement an organizing plan that brings unions and environmental organizations together to advance key priorities in the state. The FO will build engagement with BlueGreen Alliance’s partner organizations to grow the breadth of supporters for these key priorities in the future through organizing, public events, and other activities.
Recruiting Cal/OSHA Safety and Health Inspectors
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is hiring safety and health inspectors throughout the state. These are field positions that conduct compliance inspections in many different settings and consult with employers on a wide range of health and safety issues. The upcoming application deadline is July 31, 2018, and the next deadline is October 31, 2018.
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