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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: March 9, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, March 9, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

March 9, 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

Opportunity to Comment on NIEHS Strategic Plan

For nearly a year, NIEHS conducted planning, collected input, and weighed priorities for its next strategic plan. The draft document, “Strategic Plan 2018–2023: Advancing Environmental Health Science, Improving Health 2.0,” is available for public comment until March 30, 2018. The goal of this strategic planning process is to define strategic objectives that support the NIEHS mission and vision by anticipating, setting, and meeting priorities in environmental health sciences research, training, and translation.

Environmental Factor [Author: Kimberly Thigpen Tart]

Strategic Plan

Is There a Cheaper Way to Treat Hanford Radioactive Waste? Northwest Officials Are Wary

Another round of looking at potentially less expensive options to treat the stew of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste stored in Hanford’s underground tanks has brought out the skeptic in some Northwest officials. Countless times since cleanup regulations were formulated in 1989, new political administrations and new Department of Energy officials have asked for a fresh look at options, saying that environmental cleanup at Hanford is taking too long and costing too much.

Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]

U.S. Utilities Find Water Pollution at Coal Ash Dumps

Major utilities have found evidence of groundwater contamination at coal-burning power plants across the U.S. where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash, according to data released by plant owners. Heightened levels of pollutants — including arsenic and radium in some cases — were documented at plants in numerous states, from Virginia to Alaska. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required the plant owners to install test wells to monitor groundwater pollution as a first step toward cleaning up the sites.

Associated Press [Author: Matthew Brown and Sarah Rankin]

New Report Predicts Rising Tides, More Flooding

Some of the worst flooding during this weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides. Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country. This new report entitled, “Patterns and Protections of High Tide Flooding Along the U.S. Coastline Using a Common Impact Threshold,” sets out to give communities a clear guide to prepare for coastal flooding.

NPR [Author: Christopher Joyce]

Superfund Research Program Research Brief: Developing Training and Education for Emerging Technologies

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Occupational and Safety Training Education Programs on Emerging Technologies (R25) grants are awarded to institutes of higher education to support activities that complement or enhance workforce training that meets the nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The following research brief highlights the development of educational activities, curricula, tools, and methods for industrial hygienists and graduate students involved in the research, evaluation, management, and handling of hazardous substances.

NIH Research Brief

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Workshop: The Opioid Epidemic and Infectious Disease Consequences

The National Academy of Sciences is hosting a public workshop on the infectious disease consequences of the opioid epidemic. Participants will discuss the scope of the problem, giving attention to viral hepatitis, HIV, and endocarditis. The workshop will focus on reducing the infectious disease co-morbidities of injection drug use, especially strategies that emphasize empathy, respectful treatment, and patient satisfaction. The workshop will be held on March 12-13, 2018 in Washington, DC and via webcast.

Workshop Information


Webinar: Coordinating Clinical and Public Health Responses to Opioid Overdoses Treated in Emergency Departments

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting this webinar to explain the latest epidemiological data on opioid overdoses. The webinar will describe ways public health and emergency departments can collaborate to advance prevention and treatment efforts, and identify steps that can be taken to establish protocols within emergency departments to prevent future opioid overdoses. The webinar will take place on March 13, 2018, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

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.

Webinar Information and Registration

National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS) Abstract and Session Submission Extension

The deadline for abstract and session submissions for the 7th National Occupational Injury Research Symposium has been extended to March 16, 2018. NOIRS will be held in Morgantown, West Virginia, at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place on October 16–18, 2018.

NOIRS Information

Abstract Submission

The National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction: Getting Ready for the 2018 Safety Stand-Down

Falls are the top cause of construction fatalities and account for a third of on-the-job injuries and deaths in the industry. In 2012, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) together launched a national construction fall prevention campaign. This webinar will bring together leaders from all three organizations to showcase the past successes of the campaign and its major event, the National Safety Stand-Down. This year's Stand-Down is scheduled for May 7 - 11, 2018. The webinar will take place on March 21, 2018, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

Public Workshop: Use of Elastomeric Respirators in Health Care

The Committee on the Use of Elastomeric Respirators in Health Care will host a public workshop on March 22, 2018, at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, DC. Topics to be discussed include, 1) elastomeric respirator efficacy and effectiveness as compared to N95s and PAPRs; 2) use and maintenance of elastomeric respirators; 3) lessons learned from elastomeric respirator use in health care and other industries; 4) challenges and opportunities for the use of elastomeric respirators in public health preparedness and emergency response.

Event Information and Registration

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Proceedings of a Workshop: A Proposed Framework for Integration of Quality Performance Measures for Health Literacy

The Roundtable on Health Literacy hosted a public workshop featuring invited presentations and discussion of the quality performance measures for integration of health literacy, cultural competence, and language access services. A commissioned paper was presented and the workshop included presentations and discussion of reactions to the paper; the relationship of quality measures to patient-centered care; and approaches to integrating measures in health care organizations. The workshop rapporteur has prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of the session discussions.

National Academies

Vital Signs: Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Suspected Opioid Overdoses — United States, July 2016–September 2017

From 2015 to 2016, opioid overdose deaths increased 27.7%, indicating a worsening of the opioid overdose epidemic and highlighting the importance of rapid data collection, analysis, and dissemination. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), emergency department (ED) visits from CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) and Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) Program were analyzed to track trends in suspected unintentional or undetermined opioid overdoses by quarter and U.S. region (Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, West, and Midwest).

MMWR [Authors: Alana Vivolo-Kantor, et al.]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

HHS Strategic Plan 2018-2022 Published

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its strategic plan defining its mission, goals, and the means by which it will measure its progress in addressing specific national problems over a four-year period. This Strategic Plan describes HHS’s efforts within the context of five broad Strategic Goals. The Strategic Goals and associated Objectives focus on the major functions of HHS and outcomes the Department aims to achieve. The Strategic Plan includes Objective 2.4, which will focus on preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

HHS Strategic Plan

OSHA Will Enforce Beryllium Standard Starting in May

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it will start enforcement of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general, construction, and shipyard industries on May 11, 2018. This timeframe will ensure that stakeholders are aware of their obligations, and that OSHA provides consistent instructions to its inspectors. OSHA enforce the new lower 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) and short-term (15-minute) exposure limit (STEL) for construction and shipyard industries. In the interim, if an employer fails to meet the new PEL or STEL, OSHA will inform the employer of the exposure levels and offer assistance to assure understanding and compliance.

Trade Release


Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

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

CPWR Job Description

Job OpeningsBack to Top

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.

UIC Job Description

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