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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: March 15, 2019 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, March 15, 2019

Weekly E-Newsbrief

March 15, 2019

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

As Wildfires Devour Communities, Toxic Threats Emerge

As an uncontrollable wildfire turned the California town of Paradise to ash, air pollution researcher Keith Bein knew he had to act fast: Little is known about toxic chemicals released when a whole town burns and the wind would soon blow away evidence. Fires like the one that razed Paradise in November 2018 burn thousands of pounds of wiring, plastic pipes, and building materials, leaving dangerous chemicals in the air, soil, and water. Lead paint burned asbestos and even melted refrigerators from tens of thousands of households only add to the danger, public health experts say.

Reuters [Author: Sharon Bernstein]

Bill to Help First Responders with Occupational Diseases Moves to the House Floor

Chiefs and firefighters on the Coast are pushing for a new law designed to help Mississippi first responders facing life-threatening illnesses they may have contracted while performing life-saving acts. Studies have proven that first responders, who are exposed to multiple risk factors, have a higher chance of certain diseases than the general public. Mississippi is one of only three states in the country that does not have legislation protecting first responders.

WLOX [Author: Mike Lacy]

The Battle Against One of the Worst Ebola Epidemics Ever Is in Trouble

Despite the use of promising antiviral drugs and a vaccine that were not available in past epidemics, the Ebola epidemic has no end in sight. The deadliest outbreak of the disease occurred from 2014 to 2016, in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to officials from aid groups and doctors who have worked in the region, efforts to stamp out the disease are failing in some areas because many people still don’t understand Ebola, and because heavy-handed measures by outside organizations, local police, and the military have alienated the communities.

New York Times [Author: Denise Grady]

EPA Announces $16 Million Annually for Tar Creek Superfund Site Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a way forward for the cleanup of the Tar Creek Superfund Site with continued commitment of more than $16 million annually on the effort. The draft plan lays out goals for federal, state, and tribal cooperation over the next five years. EPA, in cooperation with the state of Oklahoma and the Quapaw Nation, announced that the plan is open for a 30-day public review, with a final Tar Creek Strategic Plan anticipated in Summer 2019.

Tulsa World [Author: Kelly Bostian]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

PEPH Webinar: Citizen Science

Collaborations between citizens and researchers can take many forms along a continuum of public engagement in scientific research. In the context of environmental health science, citizen science is considered a part of this community-engaged research spectrum. However, an important distinguishing factor is the motivation for being involved in the research process. This webinar will describe how citizen science approaches are being used to address environmental health disparities. The webinar will be held on March 27, 2019 at 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

WTP Spring Meeting on Addressing Workplace Stress – Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the WTP Spring Awardee Meeting and Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization (USW SCEO)/WTP Workshop being held May 14-16, 2019, at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The workshop will explore training interventions to address workplace stress, fatigue, and addiction. The awardee meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 15 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m. – noon.

WTP Spring Awardee Meeting and USW SCEO/WTP Workshop

Apply Now to the 2019 Health Disparities Research Institute

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will host the Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) from August 12-16, 2019, in Bethesda, MD. The HDRI aims to support the research career development of promising minority health/ health disparities research scientists early in their careers and stimulate research in the disciplines supported by health disparities science. The program is intended for early-stage research investigators and will feature lectures on minority health and health disparities research; mock grant review; seminars; and small group discussions. Applications are due March 22, 2019, 5:00 p.m. ET.

2019 HDRI Application

NACCHO Preparedness Summit 2019

The 2019 Preparedness Summit, sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), will look at how threats to our national health security have evolved significantly. The summit will feature experts from the healthcare and emergency management fields as well as public health preparedness professionals, looking at opportunities to address the gaps between these life-saving industries and work more collaboratively in the face of emerging threats. The summit will be held on March 26 - 29, 2019, in St. Louis, MO.

Preparedness Summit

Registration Information

Webinar: Robotics and Workplace Safety and Health

The first in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) webinar series, Expanding Research Partnerships: Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health, this webinar will discuss the work of innovative and impactful intramural and extramural research partnerships. This upcoming webinar is on Robotics and Workplace Safety and Health and will delve into three topics from three experts in the field: human-robot collaborations, ergonomic benefits of robot collaborations, and the future of occupational robotics safety and health. The webinar will be held on April 10, 2019, at 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET.

Expanding Research Partnerships

Training: Systematic Reviews: A Course for Humanitarian Decision Makers

This one-day Evidence Aid course will place systematic reviews in the context of disasters and the provision of humanitarian aid. The course will provide learning and practical experience in a small group setting for many aspects of systematic reviewing. These include question formulation and eligibility criteria, searching for eligible material, data extraction, analysis, and reporting. The course will be held on April 10, 2019, in Oxford, UK.

Training Description and Application

2019 National Health Security Award Application

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) are pleased to announce the fourth annual National Health Security Award! This award recognizes local health departments that have demonstrated significant accomplishments in implementing health security-related initiatives within their jurisdictions. Applications are being accepted now through April 26, 2019.

2019 National Health Security Award Application

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Impacts of Climate Change on Workers’ Health and Safety

Climate change has increased the risk to workers’ health and safety. Workers, especially those who work outdoors or in hot indoor environments, are at increased risk of heat stress and other heat-related disorders, occupational injuries, and reduced productivity at work. A variety of approaches have been developed to measure and assess workers’ occupational heat exposure and the risk of heat-related disorders. Reducing the risks of work-related illnesses and injuries from climate change requires a three-pronged approach.

Global Public Health [Authors: Barry S. Levy and Cora Roelofs]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

EPA Applauds Presidential Signature of Key Pesticide Fees and Worker Protection Law

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) Assistant Administrator, Alexandra Dapolito Dunn offered praise in response to President Donald Trump signing into law the “Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018,” also known as PRIA 4. PRIA 4 reauthorizes and updates the fee collection provisions and authorities available under the “Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act” and addresses worker protection matters.


Comment Request: Hazardous Waste Worker Training Grantee Data Collection

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Written comments and/or suggestions from the public and affected agencies are invited to address a number of focus areas. Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of the date of the publication, Hazardous Waste Worker Training Grantee Data Collection.

Federal Registrar

GAO Report: Nuclear Waste Cleanup – DOE Could Improve Program and Project Management by Better Classifying Work and Following Lead Practices

The Cold War arms race created a buildup of nuclear waste in the United States that needs to be cleaned. The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) mission is to complete the cleanup of nuclear waste at 16 DOE sites and to work to reduce risks and costs within its established regulatory framework. In December 2018, DOE reported that it faced an estimated $494 billion in future environmental cleanup costs—a liability that roughly tripled during the previous 20 years. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examines the EM’s operation activities through this report.

GAO Report

ASPR TRACIE Webinar: Hospital-Based Incident Command Systems: Small and Rural Hospitals

The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) held a webinar on March 12, 2019, titled “Hospital-Based Incident Command Systems: Small and Rural Hospitals.” The PowerPoint presentation and webinar recording are now available via the links below.


ASPR TRACIE Webinar Recording

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

NIOSH Curriculum: Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others

Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others is a free and active curriculum developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to assist trainers in meeting the health and safety training needs for homecare workers and to enhance communication between homecare workers and their clients. The activities in this curriculum are designed to encourage participants in promoting safe and healthy work environments – for their clients and for themselves.


Capacity-Building Toolkit for Including Aging and Disability Networks in Emergency Planning Toolkit

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in collaboration with the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the HHS Administration for Community Living (ACL) have developed a capacity-building toolkit. The toolkit will serve as a resource to guide the aging and disability networks in increasing their ability to plan for and respond to public health emergencies and disasters.


New EXAMiner Software for Mineworkers Now Available

The NIOSH Mining Program recently released a preview version of EXAMiner software for Windows PCs that’s interactive and allows mineworkers to practice finding, assessing, and mitigating hazards virtually before watching for the real thing out in the field. Intended for both experienced and novice workers, the software offers more than 30 preloaded scenes from a surface stone mine, or mine safety trainers can upload their own panoramic images taken by smartphones or digital cameras in any mine to personalize training sessions.


Online NCDMPH Disaster Health Core Curriculum

The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) is offering a free, eight-hour, online Disaster Health Core Curriculum intended for a wide range of health professionals. The course consists of eleven, 20-minute to one-hour online modules covering a variety of disaster health topics such as personal or family preparedness, communication, ethical and legal issues encountered in disasters, and much more. This curriculum is free and designed to be flexible for the healthcare professional learner.

NCDMPH Disaster Health Core Curriculum

Webinar Recordings and Slides Now Available: National Library of Medicine Exhibits: Managing Information Around Public Health Emergencies and Pandemics

The February 14, 2019 webinar featured speakers from the National Library of Medicine. Patricia Tuohy introduced the Exhibition Program’s new Exhibitions Connect initiative, curated resource guides of health information resources related to individual banner exhibitions. Christie Moffatt discussed how NLM’s Web Collecting and Archiving Working Group collects born-digital web resources on public health emergencies, such as the Ebola outbreak of 2014, the 2016 Zika Virus health threat, and most recently, on the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Webinar Recording and Slides

Job OpeningsBack to Top

CSB Seeks Chemical Incident Investigator

The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is seeking a Chemical Incident Investigator. The position is located in the Office of Investigations. The incumbent serves as an expert in industrial chemical safety and nationwide incident investigation and analysis of major incidents involving the accidental release of hazardous materials and, developing and presenting reports with safety recommendations for adopting by the Board.

Job Description

District Council 37 Seeking Principal Program Coordinator

District Council 37 is seeking a Principal Program Coordinator to serve in the Safety and Health Department. The Principal Program Coordinator will be responsible for the research, development, and implementation of safety and health training programs and materials for union members; research and analysis of technical safety and health information; worksite inspections; the coordination of activities for the join labor-management safety and health committees; and the production of reports of work-related safety and health issues.

Job Description

TURI Seeks Multiple Positions

The Toxic Use Reduction Institute is seeking applicants for the following three positions: Toxic Use Reduction (TUR) Science/ EHS Support Specialist; TUR Learning Support Specialist; and Research Center Director and Associate/Full Professor in Environmental Health. For more information, please see links below.

TUR Science/EHS Support Specialist Description

TUR Learning Support Specialist Description

Research Center Director and Associate/Full Professor in Environmental Health Description

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