Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser.

This website may not display properly with Internet Explorer. For the best experience, please use a more recent browser such as the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and/or Mozilla Firefox. Thank you.

Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: June 15, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, June 15, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

June 15, 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

DOE Faults NNSA Field Office for Lab’s Safety Issues

A May report from the Department of Energy’s Office of Enterprise Assessments gave the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) high marks for increasing its safety staffing and implementing “adequate” safety training, qualifications, and procedures. However, the same report also noted that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Los Alamos Field Office personnel and LANL officials aren’t consistently seeing eye to eye on the interpretation of safety requirements, even after LANL and the NNSA made moves to better communicate following some well-publicized safety breaches.

The Los Alamos Monitor Online [Author: Tris DeRoma]

Operations Resume at WIPP, Underground U.S. Nuclear Waste Repository

Routine operations have resumed at the U.S. government’s only underground nuclear waste repository following an evacuation in May that was prompted by the discovery of a misaligned drum of waste. Work was halted when employees found one drum wasn’t aligned with the others that made up the waste package. The package was eventually repacked and disposed of underground. Officials say no radiation was released and no injuries were reported.

The Augusta Chronicle

'We Are Still at War' with Ebola: WHO Chief

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against declaring victory too early in Congo’s Ebola epidemic, despite encouraging signs that it may be brought under control. WHO officials expressed cautious optimism that the epidemic was stabilizing, partly owing to the swift deployment of vaccines. But days earlier, Congo’s health ministry reported its first confirmed case of Ebola in over a week, in the rural community of Iboko.

Reuters [Authors: Sarah N. Lynch and Warren Strobel]

Wildfires Unfurl in Colorado, Spurring Evacuations and Closing a National Forest

Wildfires have burned across tens of thousands of acres of parched terrain in Colorado, spurring thousands of evacuations and compelling officials to seal off a national forest from the public. Six wildfires were still active in the state, which has endured months of dry weather and little snowfall. The largest, in southwest Colorado, is known as the 416 fire because it was the 416th incident to be called in to emergency officials this year. To date, the fire has consumed more than 23,000 acres on the edge of San Juan National Forest and was only about 15 percent contained.

The New York Times [Author: Christine Hauser]

Puerto Rico Releases Data on Hundreds of Deaths Following Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico's government complied with a court order and released new records of deaths following Hurricane Maria. The data reveal that there were 1,427 more deaths in the last four months of 2017 than the average over the four years before. The new count comes as legal questions swirl around the official death toll and reports that hundreds of bodies remain unclaimed in the island's main morgue. The order to release the records came in response to a lawsuit filed by CNN and Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism.

NPR [Author: Daniella Cheslow]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Webinar: Communication for the 2018 Hurricane Season

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health is joining the Emergency Partners Information Connection to discuss the 2018 hurricane season, the health risks hurricanes bring, and communication options that responders and community leaders can use to lessen those risks. The webinar will be held on June 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

Webinar: Safe + Sound Week 2018: Are You Ready to Show Your Commitment to Safety?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is hosting an informational webinar on Safe + Sound Week, a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs that includes management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces. This webinar will help viewers understand what Safe + Sound Week is, the tools and resources available, and how to participate. The webinar will be held on June 26, 2018, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET.

Webinar Registration

Healthcare Challenges After Radiological Incidents

Many resources are available for healthcare, public health, and emergency management professionals planning for a potential large-scale radiological release or nuclear detonation incident, but planning is difficult and few jurisdictions have detailed plans. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) is hosting a webinar with panelists to discuss the impact and potential solutions of different event types and provide guidance and lessons learned related to casualties of radiological and nuclear emergencies. The webinar will take place July 11, 2018 from 2:00-3:15 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information

Webinar Registration

SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to further the development of Advanced Technology Training (ATT) products for: the health and safety training of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) workers; waste treatment personnel; skilled support personnel associated with an emergency/disaster; emergency responders in biosafety response, infectious disease training and cleanup; emergency responders in disasters and resiliency training; and ATT tools to assist in research into the acute and long-term health effects of environmental disasters. Applications are due on July 31, 2018, by 5:00 pm ET.

NIEHS Grants

Registration for 2018 National Cleanup Workshop Now Open

Join senior executives and site officials, industry leaders, national and local elected officials, and other stakeholders for the fourth annual National Cleanup Workshop (NCW2018) to discuss the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress on the cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation's Manhattan Project and Cold War nuclear weapons program. NCW2018 is hosted by the Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) with the cooperation of the Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG) and the DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM). The workshop will take place September 11 – 13, 2018, in Alexandria, VA.

Workshop Information and Registration

Registration Now Open for APHA 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo

At the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo, speakers from all over the country will come together to share their stories and passion for this year's meeting theme, "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now.” APHA 2018 will be held in San Diego, California November 10-14, 2018.

APHA 2018

Conference Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Sunshine is Making Deepwater Horizon Oil Stick Around

In the days and weeks after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, sunlight hit the oil slicks on the surface of the water. That triggered chemical reactions that added oxygen to oil molecules that once were just chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These oxygenated hydrocarbons are still sticking around eight years later with little evidence of degradation, researchers report in Environmental Science and Technology.

Science News [Author: Laurel Hamers]

Environmental Science and Technology [Authors: Aeppli et al.]

Evaluation of the Impact of Ambient Temperatures on Occupational Injuries in Spain

Extreme cold and heat have been linked to an increased risk of occupational injuries. However, the evidence is still limited to a small number of studies of people with relatively few injuries and with a limited geographic extent, and the corresponding economic effect has not been studied in detail. In this new publication, researchers assessed the relationship between ambient temperatures and occupational injuries in Spain along with its economic effect.

Environmental Health Perspectives [Authors: Martinez-Solanas et al.]

Review: The Analysis of Supplemental Treatment Approaches of Low-Activity Waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Production processes at the Hanford Site generated radioactive and other hazardous wastes and resulted in airborne, surface, subsurface, and groundwater contamination. Section 3134 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 calls for a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) to conduct an analysis of approaches for treating the portion of low-activity waste (LAW) at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation intended for supplemental treatment. The first of four, this report reviews the analysis carried out by the FFRDC.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Data Science

The NIH released its first ever Strategic Plan for Data Science to capitalize on the opportunities presented by advances in data science. The plan describes NIH’s overarching goals, strategic objectives, and implementation tactics for promoting the modernization of the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem. Over the course of the next year, NIH will begin implementing its strategy with some elements of the plan already underway. During the implementation phase, NIH will continue to seek community input.

NIH Strategic Plan

The EPA 2018 BUILD Act Comment Solicitation

The Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act reauthorized the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Program and made amendments to the 2002 Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Authorized changes affect brownfields grants, ownership and liability provisions, and state and tribal response programs. As part of this process to develop policy guidance, EPA is soliciting comment on three provisions in the BUILD Act: 1) the authority to increase the per-site cleanup grant amounts to $500,000; 2) the new multi-purpose grant authority; and 3) the new small community assistance grant authority.

EPA Brownfields Broadcast

Department of Labor Issues Memorandum Outlining Enforcement of Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum outlining the initial enforcement of the standard for respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime. Most provisions of the standard become enforceable on June 23, 2018. The standard establishes a new 8-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure limit, action level, and associated ancillary requirements.

OSHA Trade Release

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Recording Now Available for ASPR TRACIE Webinar: Healthcare System Readiness for Highly Pathogenic Infectious Diseases

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) and the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) co-hosted a webinar focused on U.S. healthcare system readiness for highly pathogenic infectious diseases.

Presentation and Webinar Recording

Job OpeningsBack to Top

UCLA Seeks a Public Administration Analyst, Principal Analyst, Supervisor

Under the Director of the Southern California NIOSH Education and Research Center (SCERC), the incumbent will serve as Program Director of Continuing Education (CE) and Outreach Programs of the ERC and as public relations resource and visible link between the SCERC and the occupational and environmental health community. Other key job tasks include developing strategic relationships/alliances to offer programs directly or through other Universities, educational institutions, or agencies in Region IX, including cooperative efforts with other affiliated disciplines.

Job Description

We Want Your FeedbackBack to Top

We Want Your Feedback

What kinds of stories or other content would make this newsletter especially valuable to you?

Send your ideas for this newsletter to:

To go back and subscribe to the newsletter, click here

Back issues of our Newsbrief are available at our archives page

to Top