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Your Environment. Your Health.

NIEHS WTP: October 15, 2021 Newsbrief

Weekly E-Newsbrief, October 15, 2021

Weekly E-Newsbrief

October 15, 2021

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

Agendas Now Available for Fall 2021 NIEHS WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop

The agendas for the semi-annual WTP Awardee Meeting and Workshop are now available. The awardee meeting will be held the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 19 and the workshop will be held the afternoons of Oct. 20 and 21. The topic of the workshop is “Advancing partnerships to improve worker health and safety.”

Awardee Meeting Agenda

Workshop Agenda

New Solutions Special Report

The latest issue of New Solutions is now published. This edition is a special issue on Opioids and the Workplace: Risk Factors and Solutions. The issue was organized by guest editors Jonathan Rosen, Jennifer Zelnick, Jeanette Zoeckler, and Paul Landsbergis. Ten of the twenty articles are open-access, and freely available to read.

New Solutions Journal

Effectiveness and Efficiency of Defense Environmental Cleanup Activities of DOE's Office of Environmental Management

This first report provides background information on the sites currently assigned to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management that are undergoing cleanup; discusses current practices for management and oversight of the cleanups; offers findings and recommendations on such practices and how progress is measured against them; and considers the contracts under which the cleanups proceed and how these have been and can be structured to include incentives for improved cost and schedule performance.

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

California's Justice Department Is Now Investigating the Cause of The Oil Spill

The California Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the oil spill that occurred off the coast of Huntington Beach this month. California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that authorities from his office will work to determine the cause of the spill and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent or minimize it.

NPR [Author: Jaclyn Diaz]

Exposure to COVID-19 During Daily Commutes Is Just One Danger

Measures for protecting workers from exposure to and infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), depends on exposure risk. Employers should adopt infection prevention and control strategies based on a thorough workplace hazard assessment, using appropriate combinations of engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment to prevent worker exposures.

Bolly Inside

California’s Dirty Little Secret: Oil Wells in the Backyard

Wilmington and the neighboring community of Carson are home to five oil refineries, as well as the Wilmington Oil Field — the third-most productive patch in the United States. More than 3,400 onshore wells have been drilled in the field since oil was first discovered there in 1932; today, the site pumps out 46,000 barrels per day from 1,550 active wells.

Capital and Main [Author: Alexandria Herr]

As Masses of Plaintiffs Pursue Roundup Cancer Compensation, Migrant Farmworkers Are Left Out

In 2018, a California school groundskeeper took Monsanto Company to court, alleging that Roundup, one of America's most popular weed killers, caused his Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer. The jury agreed and ordered Monsanto to pay the man $289 million in damages, concluding the world's first Roundup cancer trial.

Environmental Health News [Author: Huanjia Zhang]

Calendar FeaturesBack to Top

Assessing Ventilation for COVID-19 Mitigation

The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of California Berkeley is offering a course on ventilation. Adequate ventilation is a key mitigation factor in the global fight against COVID-19. This hybrid, online and in-person course will review the basics of assessing ventilation at the occupant level and help you establish a framework to identify ventilation vulnerabilities. It will be held on Oct. 26-27.

More Information

APHA Occupational Health and Safety Section Awards Luncheon

The Occupational Health and Safety Section (OHS) of the American Public Health Association (APHA) will be recognizing the contributions of seven exceptional leaders in the fight for worker health and safety during its annual OHS awards luncheon. The luncheon will be held virtually on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Registration Link

NIHB Save the Date for the 2021 Infectious Disease Regional Institute

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is excited to announce the 2021 Infectious Disease Regional Institute. The Institute will be virtually held on Thursday, Nov. 4. NIHB is hosting three free regional institutes to provide a learning environment for Tribal frontline personnel and communities experiencing significant disease outbreaks.

More Information Coming Soon

Texas A&M Superfund Research Center Disaster Research Training Workshop

The Texas A&M Superfund Research Center is sponsoring a two-day, hands-on workshop that will be held at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Disaster City, Emergency Operations Training Center, College Station, Texas, on Dec. 2-3. Registration and the workshop agenda are now available.

More Information

Workshop Agenda

COSHCON Registration Now Open

Registration for the National Conference on Worker Safety and Health (#COSHCON2021) is now available. The conference brings together a diverse, inclusive and bilingual group of workers, occupational health and safety experts, unions, activists and academics united around common goals. It will be held Dec. 7-9 and 14-16.

Registration Link

National Brownfields Training Conference Postponed to 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ICMA are committed to ensuring the National Brownfields Training Conference provides the safest and most effective networking and learning environment possible for the brownfield community. Unfortunately, ongoing public health concerns, travel restrictions, and uncertainty related to COVID-19 have yet again driven the difficult decision to postpone the Dec. 8-11, 2021, conference to a later date.

Brownfields 2022

On The Web This WeekBack to Top

Back to Basics: Preventing Work-Related Hearing Loss

Back to Basics is a weekly feature that highlights important but possibly overlooked information that any EHS professional should know. This week, we examine how to reduce risks from noise exposure in the workplace.

EHS Daily Advisor [Author: Jay Kumar]

Cal/OSHA Getting New Enforcement Powers in 2022

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) will have expanded enforcement authority starting January 1, 2022, with the creation of two new classes of violations: enterprise-wide and egregious. Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed S.B. 606 into law, authorizing the new citation and penalty authority.

EHS Daily Advisor [Author: Guy Burdick]

‘We’re Taking Action into Our Own Hands’ — A Community Stands Against a Landfill

Brookhaven, located on ancestral Unkechaug land, opened in 1974 as a dumping ground for municipal solid waste. That changed in 1991, when the landfill switched to accepting ash from garbage collected and incinerated elsewhere on Long Island, along with local construction, demolition and street debris.

The Revelator [Author: Erica Cirino]

Tensions Erupt Between Environmental Justice Leaders and White House

Members of the environmental justice movement sent an email blast more than 5,600 times over a 48-hour period to top Biden administration officials, disrupting White House communication and sparking a tense exchange between the administration’s chief environmental outreach official and one of the key leaders of the movement.

Politico [Author: Zack Colman]

Hazardous Waste Management Among Focal Points for State Board

The Virginia Waste Management Board has adopted amendments to the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations as part of the annual update of these regulations. The board, at its meeting last week, also approved proposed amendments to the Solid Waste Management Regulations to move forward to public comment.

Augusta Free Press

Letting the Sunlight in: When Appalachian Solar Dreams Become Realities

The promise of solar energy for small, rural communities, and particularly those recovering from the decline of the coal industry, is twofold: job creation, and revenue. Money is flowing into solar energy – the Appalachian Regional Commission just funded a major regional solar financing program, and a massive solar farm may be coming to Martin County, Kentucky.

Resource [Author: Katie Myers]

Federal Agency UpdateBack to Top

New, Highly Innovative NIH Research Awards to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity

The National Institutes of Health is funding bold, new research ideas that focus on interventions to address health disparities and advance health equity. Eleven grants were awarded to support the work of exceptionally creative researchers across the United States through the NIH Common Fund’s Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity initiative totaling $58 million over five years.


CSB Urges EPA, OSHA to Revise Chemical Safety Rules

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) called for stricter environmental and occupational safety regulations to help prevent reactive chemical accidents, like an explosion and fire at AB Specialty Silicones’ Waukegan, Illinois, facility. CSB reiterated earlier recommendation for the EPA to revise its risk management plan regulations and for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to revise its process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals standard.

Safety BLR

Awardee Highlights/Online LearningBack to Top

WTP MUSTID Now Available

The Material Upload and Search Tool for Infectious Disease (MUSTID) is a searchable portal that provides easy access to resources on infectious disease and worker safety shared by and relevant to WTP and others interested in worker safety and health. It is now available to the general public.


WTP COVID-19 Brief Now Available

The WTP COVID-19 Brief titled, “Building an Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Plan” provides key elements for employers and training providers to include in their infection prevention and control plans to facilitate readiness and preparedness in occupational settings. The plan components include required controls, resources, training, and key elements to protect workers from exposure to infectious diseases.

WTP COVID-19 Resources

WTP Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change and Securing Environmental Justice through Safety and Health Training

WTP produced a fact sheet on the impacts of climate change and the need for safety and health training to further the goals of environmental justice. The fact sheet demonstrates how WTP addresses environmental and climate justice and prepares workers for climate change impacts through a variety of activities, supporting the Justice40 initiative.

WTP Fact Sheet

Job OpeningsBack to Top

New Labor Seeks Positions in Domestic Worker Campaign Organizer and Donor Relations and Grant Writing

New Labor is hiring for a Domestic Worker Campaign Organizer based in Lakewood, New Jersey, and a Donor Relations and Grant Writing Specialist based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. New Labor is an organization of mostly low-wage immigrant workers that educates, organizes, and fights for better conditions of work.

Job Postings

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