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.

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC. Get the latest research information from NIH.

Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: March 16, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, March 16, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

March 16, 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

Liberty County Lawsuit Against Arkema for $1 Million over Harvey Disaster

Liberty County of Texas jumped into an ongoing legal fray when it filed a $1 million lawsuit against Arkema over the chemical fires that wreaked havoc at its Crosby plant in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The legal claim comes months after first responders and Harris County also filed high-dollar suits against the chemical company. The latest claim alleges air and water contamination spilled over into neighboring Liberty County, violating the Texas Clean Air Act, Texas Water Code, health and safety codes, and creating a public nuisance.

Houston Chronicle [Author: Keri Blakinger]

World Health Organization Gets Ready for 'Disease X'

The World Health Organization included "Disease X" in its most recent global plan for accelerating research and development during health emergencies like the Ebola, SARS or Zika epidemics. The strategy and preparedness plan, known as the 2018 R&D Blueprint, was recently published.

CNN [Author: Susan Scutti]

2018 R&D Blueprint

‘The Harms of Fracking’: New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects, and Cancer

Drawing on news investigations, government assessments and more than 1,200 peer-reviewed research articles, a new study finds that fracking – shooting chemical-laden fluid into deep rock layers to release oil and gas – is poisoning the air, contaminating the water and imperiling the health of Americans across the country. The researchers behind the report, titled "Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking," point out that fracking, or "unconventional oil and gas extraction," extends far beyond a single well.

Rolling Stone [Author: Justin Nobel]

Physicians for Social Responsibility

The Local Health Department Response to the Zika Virus: Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead

The National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) Voice includes a piece by Umair Shah of Harris County Public Health. The blog looks at how local health departments (LHDs) have been on the front lines of responding to the Zika virus since its emergence as a public health threat in the United States more than two years ago.

NACCHO Voice [Author: Umair Shah]

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.

2018-2030 Strategic Plan

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

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. 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 Powered Air Purifying Respirators; 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

Briefing on the Infectious Diseases Workforce: Protecting America from Global Biothreats

From antimicrobial resistance to Zika, to the next emerging infection, our communities, hospitals and health systems have never faced a more diverse range of infectious disease threats, or a world in which bacteria and viruses can travel with greater ease. Leading public health efforts, in clinics, in laboratories, and in the front lines of global health responses around the world, infectious diseases physicians chase the bugs no one wants or knows how to catch. But the future of this critical workforce is itself under threat. An upcoming briefing on March 22, 2018 at 12 p.m. ET in CVC Congressional Meeting Room South will look at needs of the infectious diseases workforce.

Infectious Disease Workforce Briefing

Briefing Registration

Webinar: Best Practices for Vision Protection

Even in 2018, eye injuries are a persistent concern for American workers, with an average of 2,000 such injuries occurring daily and more than 10 percent of the injuries causing lost time. The costs of serious injuries are significant, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, and a reduced quality of life. Yet experts agree that as many as 90 percent of eye injuries can be avoided by using the proper safety eyewear. This one-hour webinar, scheduled for April 11, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET, will outline vision protection strategies and examine personal protective equipment (PPE) choices for effective protection.

Webinar Registration

Registration for 2018 Preparedness Summit Now Open

The upcoming 2018 Preparedness Summit will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia, April 17-20, 2018. The theme is: “Strengthening National Health Security: Mastering Ordinary Responses, Building Resilience for Extraordinary Events.” Since its beginning in 2006, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has taken a leadership role in convening a wide array of partners to participate in the Summit; presenting new research findings, sharing tools and resources, and providing a variety of opportunities for attendees to learn how to implement model practices that enhance the nation’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

Summit Information

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

A Program that Builds Green Infrastructure in the D.C. Area Sustains the Environment, Local Workforce

Created through a partnership between DC Water and the Water Environment Federation, the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program educates and trains new workers in how to build, inspect and keep up green infrastructure like rain gardens, roof gardens and pavement that absorbs water. The projects can slow, clean and sometimes reuse storm water that otherwise would flow dirty and unchecked into area waterways.

The Washington Post [Author: Allyson Chiu]

How Killer Microbes Endanger Lives and Jobs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), analyses demonstrate that the number of U.S. jobs at risk rapidly goes up as an outbreak spreads from a single country to multiple countries. Depending on the disease outbreak scenario explored, the number of U.S. jobs at risk jumps from about 1,400 to more than 1.3 million. Critically, these jobs are at risk even if no person in the United States falls ill in the outbreak.

The Washington Times [Authors: Rebecca Martin and Gary Cohen]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

NIOSH Science Blog: Christine M. Branche, Ph.D., Protecting America's Construction Workers

During Women’s History Month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will highlight several female researchers and their contributions to NIOSH and America’s workers. The first post highlights Christine Branche, Ph.D., and her work to make construction jobs safer. Since its inception in 2009, Dr. Branche has served as Director of the NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health, which is responsible for addressing the unique safety and health issues facing the construction sector.

NIOSH Science Blog

EPA Seeks Input from Small Businesses for Proposed Rule on Five Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) Chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking nominations from individuals who represent small businesses, small governments, and small non-for-profit organizations to provide input to a federal panel on a proposed rule by June 2019. The proposed rule seeks to reduce exposures from five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals. Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by March 22, 2018.

More Information

CDC Accepting Grant Applications to Strengthen Public Health Preparedness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Health is accepting grant applications for a funding opportunity, titled Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services Through National Partnerships to Improve and Protect the Nation's Health. The funding is intended to "strengthen the nation's public health infrastructure, ensure a competent, current and connected public health system, and improve delivery of essential services through capacity building assistance." Application deadline is March 29, 2018.

View Grant Opportunity

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

Available Now: New CPWR Construction Chart Book

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has released its sixth edition of “The Construction Chart Book: The U.S. Construction Industry and Its Workers.” This CPWR mainstay, with its extensive statistical portrait of the construction industry, has become an essential reference for all construction stakeholders, such as policy makers, researchers, contractors, labor unions and management, construction workers, safety professionals, trainers, and reporters. This new edition offers on-demand access to the charts and data and includes interactive features that enhance the user’s experience.

CPWR’s Construction Chart Book

Job OpeningsBack 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

Featured Safety Jobs with the American Society of Safety Engineers

Featured Jobs

Featured Safety Jobs with the American Industrial Hygiene Association

Featured Jobs

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