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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: May 4, 2018 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, May 4, 2018

Weekly E-Newsbrief

May 4, 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

Rest in Power: Workplace Safety Heroes John Mehring and Samuel Epstein

The workplace safety movement lost two of its heroes in March. Sam Epstein was warmly remembered by those who entered the field in the late 1970s and 1980s. Epstein died of cardiac arrest on March 18 in Chicago at the age of 92. The New York Times calls him the “Cassandra of Cancer Prevention.” Unlike Sam Epstein, most people have never heard of John Mehring, but millions of health care workers owe their working conditions and safety to his work. In the 1980s, John made strides to protect workers from contracting HIV or hepatitis B in the workplace.

Confined Space [Author; Jordan Barab]

Labor-Management Cooperation Improves Facility Safety

A new study shows providing occupational safety and health training to the entire work force and listening to worker concerns at a chemical facility encouraged communication and led to significant safety improvements. The efforts were supported by NIEHS WTP infrastructure. Managers at the Afton Chemical Corporation's Sauget facility, in collaboration with the International Chemical Workers Union Council Local 871C, worked together to provide the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 10-hour training to all Sauget employees. They followed the training with a series of group discussion sessions in which participants were encouraged to articulate health and safety concerns.

Environmental Factor [Author: Sara Amolegbe]

Sage Journals [Authors: Mahan et al.]

Technology Could Stop Skyrocketing Hanford Costs. It Could Also Go Wrong

Some of the most challenging environmental cleanup at the Hanford nuclear reservation will be difficult to do — and do well — without technology that does not yet exist., a National Academy of Sciences panel heard when it asked for input on technology needs. But the development of new technology must not come at the expense of ongoing work to clean up the contaminated site, cautioned groups invited to provide testimony to the panel.

Tri-City Herald [Author: Annette Cary]

Researchers Think 9/11 Gave First Responders Cancer – But Proving It Will Be Nearly Impossible

Every day for almost three years, a group of firefighters would travel from a clinic in Brooklyn to a laboratory in the Bronx to deliver blood samples collected from individuals serving in the Fire Department of the City of New York, many of whom were first responders to the World Trade Center attack on 9/11. In two articles published in the journal JAMA Oncology, cancer researchers and their collaborators in the New York City fire department lay out some of the initial results of this work. Both papers argue that first responders who worked at the World Trade Center were exposed to unprecedented environmental toxins and, as a result, have increased risks of many types of cancer.

Popular Science [Author: Eleanor Cummins]

The Exide Plant in Vernon Closed Three Years Ago. The Vast Majority of Lead Contaminated Properties Remain Uncleaned

As part of a soil cleanup planned for thousands of properties surrounding the closed Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon, state regulators detected lead outside Perez's home at hazardous levels — above 1,000 parts per million. Nearly two years later, it hasn't been cleaned. Such predicaments are common across a swath of southeast Los Angeles County. An analysis of newly disclosed California Department of Toxic Substances Control data shows which homes, schools, child care centers and parks are hardest hit by lead contamination and how long they have been waiting to be cleaned.

Los Angeles Times [Authors: Tony Barboza and Ben Poston]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Webinar on a National Analysis: Racial and Economic Disparities in Residential Proximity to PM Emission Sources

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar on a recent study on disparities in pollution exposure published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). The study aimed to quantify nationwide disparities in residential proximity to particulate matter (PM)-emitting facilities by race/ethnicity and poverty status. They found that those in poverty had 1.35 times higher burden from emissions than did the overall population, and non-Whites had 1.28 times higher burden. Blacks, specifically, had 1.54 times higher burden than did the overall population. The webinar takes place May 15, 2018, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

Safe + Sound Employee Perception Survey

The National Safety Council is hosting a webinar on Employee Perception Surveys, to show how worker input can help employers achieve workplace safety excellence. Conducted in a rigorous way, employee perception surveys provide a comprehensive and sensitive set of leading indicator safety metrics that evaluate: management commitment, supervisor engagement, employee involvement, and culture. The webinar will be held on May 16, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Information and Registration

Webinar Program for National Healthy Homes Month 2018

During May and June, the National Healthy Homes Partnership is hosting webinars to support the theme of Unlocking the Potential of America’s Children: Check Your Home-Protect Your Family. This theme focuses on the importance of protecting current and future generations of children from the exposures to lead from contaminated paint, dust, and soil. The first webinar is this series, Improving Your Home Environment, will be held on May 22, 2018 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.

Webinar Registration

Webinar Program

Tribal Environmental Health Summit

Registration for the 3rd Tribal Environmental Health Summit is now open. The Summit is sponsored by Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Native Environmental Health Research Network. The theme for this year is “Sustaining Long-Term Partnerships and Projects with Native American Communities.” The Summit will be held on June 25-26, 2018, in Corvallis, Oregon. Abstract submissions are due May 31, 2018.

Summit Registration

Submit Your Abstract

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Fracking Chemicals “Imbalance” the Immune System of Mice

Chemicals commonly found in groundwater near fracked oil and gas wells appear to impair the proper functioning of the immune system in mice, according to a lab study. This is the first to find a link between fracking chemicals and immune system problems and suggests that baby girls born to mothers near fracking wells may not fight diseases later in life as well as they could have with a pollution-free pregnancy.

Environmental Health News [Author: Brian Bienkowski]

Endocrinology [Authors: Kassotis et al.]

Chemical Raises Concerns in Wake of Superior Refinery Explosion, Fire

Environmental monitoring is ongoing after an explosion and series of fires at Husky Energy's oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, prompted an evacuation order. Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the company continue to monitor air and water quality around the refinery. So far, monitoring has not shown elevated levels of hazardous chemicals associated with the incident. But as the community recovers, questions are mounting over the refinery's use of hydrogen fluoride, a highly toxic chemical.

MPR News [Author: Danielle Kaeding]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

May 2018 Issue of CDC Vital Signs Focuses on Vector Control

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Vital Signs May 2018 issue focuses on vector-borne diseases from mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. The report describes the increasing threat of these diseases, our limited capacity to respond, and what federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the public can do to help.

CDC’s Vital Signs

Fifth Annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

The National Safety Stand-Down was created five years ago as a combined effort by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training, and other partners. For the past four years, the Stand-Down Campaign has had an impact on fall prevention and on the awareness and education of millions of workers in construction. Now in its fifth year, every participant can build on their strengths and welcome millions more to safety on the job. The National Safety Stand-Down will be held on May 7-9, 2018.


Registration Now Open for EPA Safer Choice Partner & Stakeholder Summit

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is announcing its third Safer Choice Partner & Stakeholder Summit. The Summit provides an opportunity for partners, purchasers, retailers, NGOs, trade associations, chemical manufacturers, and other stakeholders to collaborate on exploring topical questions and developing solutions that can advance Safer Choice. This year’s discussion will focus on the value of the Safer Chemical Ingredients List as a starting point in identifying Low Priority Substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Summit will be held on May 14, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Summit Information and Registration

Impact of EPA’s Lack of Notice of Availability of Required Training Materials on Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Implementation

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) plans to begin preliminary research to evaluate the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lack of notice of availability of required training materials on Agricultural Worker Protection Standard implementation.

Project Notification

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index Released

The 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index finds that the U.S. is more prepared to face public health threats, such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters, than in previous years. According to the Index, the U.S. scored a 7.1 on a 10-point scale for preparedness – nearly a three percent improvement over the last year and nearly an 11 percent improvement since the Index began five years ago. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Index is a tool for identifying strengths and gaps in the protections needed to keep people safe and healthy in the face of large-scale public health threats.

National Health Security Preparedness Index

Tools and Resources

Job OpeningsBack to Top

Featured Safety Jobs with the American Society of Safety Engineers

Featured Jobs

Featured Safety Jobs with the American Industrial Hygiene Association

Featured Jobs

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