May 25, 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.
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- Top Stories
- Calendar Features
- On The Web This Week
- Federal Agency Update
- Awardee Highlights/Online Learning
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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 for 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.
Ebola Outbreak on ‘Epidemiological Knife-Edge,’ Says WHO Official
The next two weeks will tell whether a vaccination campaign and public health measures can stop the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from “exploding” in urban centers and spreading to other countries, according to a top World Health Organization official. Dr. Peter Salama, deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, said that the virus had reached Mbandaka — a city of about 1 million people on the Congo River, which leads to the capital Kinshasa — meant the situation was now “on an epidemiological knife-edge.”
Devex [Author: Vince Chadwick]
The Lancet Ebola Resource Centre
The outbreak of Ebola in west Africa—that began in 2014 and killed more than 11,300 people over 2 years—was both a public health emergency of international concern and a human tragedy. Ebola outbreaks have since been declared in 2017 and 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Efforts to control the current outbreak have commenced and the subsequent response will be crucial. The Lancet Ebola Resource Centre contains all related resources from the Lancet journals, offered with free access to assist health workers and researchers in their important work against this disease.
The Places in the U.S. Where Disaster Strikes Again and Again
In the last 16 years, parts of Louisiana have been struck by six hurricanes. Areas near San Diego were devastated by three particularly vicious wildfire seasons. And a town in eastern Kentucky has been pummeled by at least nine storms severe enough to warrant federal assistance. These places are part of a small fraction of the United States that has sustained most of the damage from major natural disasters, forming a pattern of destruction concentrated in particular areas.
The New York Times [Author: Sahil Chinoy]
New Studies Confirm A Surge in Coal Miner’s Disease
More coal miners in central Appalachia have suffered the advanced stages of the deadly disease black lung than previous government research has found, and more miners working in the region have earlier stages of the disease. Those are two of the findings in a bundle of studies just released, which focus on the epidemic of black lung disease first reported by NPR in 2016.
NPR [Author: Howard Berkes]
American Thoracic Society [Authors: K. Almberg, R.A. Cohen, et al.]
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National Environmental Justice Public Teleconference Meeting
The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) will host a public teleconference meeting focusing on several topics, including the discussion and deliberation of the final report from the NEJAC Youth Perspectives on Climate Change Workgroup. The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET. Registration is required and closes on May 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Webinar Session III: Modernizing Safety Testing
In the third session, the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) Risk e-Learning webinars on New Approaches and Alternatives for Toxicity Testing, presenters will discuss new and emerging strategies for chemical safety evaluation. This will include new and emerging in vivo, in vitro, and in silico models to address population variability, and how in vitro high-throughput assays can provide useful information for hazard assessment of complex mixtures. The webinar will be held on May 31, 2018, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET.
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, 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.
2018 National Health Security Award Application
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) are pleased to announce the third 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 due June 1, 2018.
PEPH Webinar: Translational Research Framework
NIEHS has published a Translational Research Framework. Join this NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) webinar with Kristi Pettibone, Ph.D., who will explain the framework, discuss the potential benefits to the research community, and describe some tools developed to tell a translational research story. The webinar will also include PEPH grantee Susan Pinney, Ph.D., from the University of Cincinnati. She will use the translational research framework to tell the story of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)-related work with the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program. The webinar will be held on June 13, 2018, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET.
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Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment
The draft Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) report reviewed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine addresses a wide range of topics of high importance to the United States and society more broadly, extending from human health and community well-being, to the built environment, to businesses and economies, to ecosystems and natural resources. This report evaluates the draft NCA4 to determine if it meets the requirements of the federal mandate, whether it provides accurate information grounded in the scientific literature, and whether it effectively communicates climate science, impacts, and responses for general audiences including the public, decision makers, and other stakeholders.
Keeping Your Cool – Doing Ebola Research During an Emergency
Two key international actors, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctors without Borders) and the World Health Organization, are testing an Ebola vaccine during the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in collaboration with the ministry of health. They must act in a state of extreme uncertainty: the situation is evolving by the hour, information is hard to come by, and the ethical dilemmas and practical hurdles are abundant. And they are using slightly different approaches.
The New England Journal of Medicine [Author: Charlotte J. Haug]
Toxic City: Botched Jobs
As part of its “Toxic City” series, the Inquirer and Daily News investigated environmental hazards in Philadelphia district schools. It found that the district can take months, even years, to address reported hazards that can make children sick — peeling lead paint, deteriorating asbestos, mold, rodent infestations, leaking roofs and pipes. This article focuses on recent issues with carbon monoxide poisoning among students at a Philadelphia school.
The Inquirer [Authors: Dylan Purcell, Barbara Laker, and Wendy Ruderman]
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HUD Lead and Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grant Program
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funding studies to improve the public's knowledge of housing-related health and safety hazards to improve or develop new hazard assessment and control methods, with a focus on lead and other key residential health and safety hazards. For the FY2018 Lead and Healthy Homes Technical Studies program available funds include approximately $2 million for Lead Technical Studies awards and $5 million for Healthy Homes Technical Studies awards. Applications are due by June 13, 2018.
Chemical Safety Board Chair Resigns Unexpectedly
Three years into her five-year term as chairwoman of the Chemical Safety Board, Vanessa Allen Sutherland announced she will step down from the independent investigatory agency at the end of June. Southerland was named by President Obama in March 2015 having served as chief counsel for the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Her temporary successor will be selected by the remaining three board members, unless and until the White House nominates and the Senate confirms a new chairperson.
Government Executive [Author: Charles S. Clark]
CSB Investigators Deploying to Incident at the Kuraray America EVALTM facility in Pasadena, Texas
A four-person investigative team from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying to the scene of an incident that reportedly injured 21 workers at the Kuraray America facility in Pasadena, Texas. The facility manufactures ethylene vinyl-alcohol copolymers, sold as EVALTM. Kuraray America is a Tokyo-based specialty chemical manufacturer.
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Ebola: Five Key Questions
Ebola virus has a unique set of characteristics that determines its spread and how deadly it is. To better understand Ebola, the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation poses five key questions about Ebola and compares it to twelve other infectious diseases that represent public health challenges. These different diseases vary in terms of how they are spread, how deadly they are, and whether there are vaccines, treatments, or cures to address them.
E-Learning for First Responders
Operation Lifesaver's (OLI) First Responder e-Learning Program is an interactive online program that provides training and info on scenarios for First Responders. This program brings attention to choices First Responders often make around tracks and trains and is intended to help them make safer decisions around the tracks. OLI consulted with a wide variety of subject matter experts (SMEs) who contributed their time and real-life experience with first responders to create this program.
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New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) Seeking Executive Director
The New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is seeking an Executive Director. This is an opportunity for someone with the skills, experience, and commitment needed to help build a powerful movement for social change that unites labor, environmental, and community constituencies. The Executive Director (ED) is WEC’s chief executive officer, reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the achievement of the organization's mission and programmatic and financial objectives.
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