September 28, 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
- Job Openings
- We Want Your Feedback
- Newsbriefs Past Issues
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Registration Now Open for WTP Fall Meeting
Registration for the 2018 NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) Fall Awardee Meeting and Workshop is now open! The WTP Awardee Meeting will be held on October 24, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The WTP Workshop will be held from October 24 – 25, 2018. Both events will take place on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. The WTP Workshop will focus on opioid-related hazards in the workplace and developing a training framework to address exposure, use, and prevention. The Hyatt Place Durham Southpoint Hotel block reservation deadline is October 5, 2018. Registration closes October 10, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
WHO Concerned as Congo Faces 'Perfect Storm' for Ebola to Spread
The Democratic Republic of Congo's northeastern region Ministry of Health reported Ebola virus disease has sickened 150 people and caused the deaths of at least 69 people. After weeks of implementing control efforts, the World Health Organization (WHO) Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response expressed concern the outbreak could worsen due to attacks in the region, movement of people and distrust in the community. Congo is concurrently experiencing a long-term humanitarian crisis that includes intermittent armed conflict. As a result, other health epidemics, including cholera, measles and polio, as well as human trafficking, are flourishing there.
CNN [Author: Susan Scutti]
Testing and Cleaning North Carolina’s Water Supply Post-Florence Could Prove Tricky. A Microbiologist Explains Why
Hurricane Florence dropped record-breaking amounts of rain as it hovered over the Carolinas. The resulting floodwaters killed dozens of people and created a lingering crisis for drinking water supplies. Across North Carolina, lagoons full of livestock waste, enclosures full of dead chickens and hogs, raw sewage from wastewater treatment plants, and coal ash ponds are all overflowing. Rachel Noble, a microbiologist at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and her team are working to track potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses as they flow through North Carolina’s water system.
Science [Author: Frankie Schembri]
NASA Captures Polluted Carolina Rivers Spilling Into the Ocean After Hurricane Florence
Flooding from Hurricane Florence, which battered the Carolinas this month, is so severe that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was able to spot darkened, contaminated rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. NASA satellite images reveal just how engorged and polluted the rivers and other waterways became. One image, captured on September 19, indicates that “soils, sediments, decaying leaves, pollution, and other debris have discolored the water in the swollen rivers, bays, estuaries, and the nearshore ocean,” according to NASA.
Time [Author: Eli Meixler]
Is Your Local Coffee Shop a Low-Key Opioid Clinic?
Overdoses in public bathrooms are turning baristas and other service workers into unwitting first responders. People overdose in the easily accessible restrooms of popular businesses. As a result, service workers are finding themselves in an unexpected position in America’s opioid crisis: They’re the unwitting first line of medical responders. As debates rage over the legality and benefit of so-called safe-injection sites, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, and libraries can sometimes function as de facto opioid clinics.
The Atlantic [Author: Lolade Fadulu]
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Wildfire Smoke: Impacts on Public Health and Lived Experience
This webinar will feature Colleen Reid, Ph.D., assistant professor in geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who will provide an overview of the latest research on the various health impacts of exposure to smoke from wildfires. Warren Dodd, Ph.D., assistant professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, Canada, who will discuss his team's qualitative study that explored how the 2014 wildfire season in the Northwest Territories affected mental and physical health. The webinar will be held on October 1, 2018, at 2:00 pm ET.
APHA-Occupational Health and Safety Section Webinar: Preventing and Reducing Opioids Use and Exposure in the Workplace
Co-sponsored by the NIEHS WTP and the Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, this webinar will discuss the opioid epidemic and review strategies for prevention of occupational exposure. The webinar will discuss development of workplace programs and training to prevent opioid abuse and addiction, and increase access to treatment and recovery resources for workers with opioid use disorder. The webinar will be held on October 17, 2018, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET.
After the Storms: Lessons from Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and Efforts to Protect Workers
A Protecting Workers Alliance webinar, hosted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), will host a conference call on efforts to protect workers after the storms. After a series of devastating storms and now Florence, call participants will hear about lessons from post storm clean-up; learn how past experiences are being put to work in the Carolinas; and discuss policy and training needs and opportunities, in a climate-changed world. The call will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET/ 11:00 a.m. PT.
Implications of Substance/ Opioid Misuse and Addiction for the Workforce Development System
Substance abuse, and in particular opioid misuse and addiction, is a national epidemic. Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Workforce development professionals must have increasingly greater awareness of the issue and its impact on participants and employer partners as well as on workforce service delivery. This webinar will discuss federal efforts to support communities in addressing these challenges. The webinar will be held on Thursday, October 18, 2018, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET.
New Insights into the Opioid Crisis and Work: Information for Workers and Employers
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health (TWH) Webinar Series is hosting a webinar focused on new research at the important intersection of work and the nation’s opioid crisis. This webinar features national experts, Chris Cain, C.I.H., of the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Letitia Davis, Sc.D., of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Sara Luckhaupt, M.D., of the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies. The presenters will share their latest insights related to the risks of opioid use, misuse, and overdose in worker populations. The webinar will be held November 6, 2018, from 1:00-2:30 pm ET.
COSH National Conference on Worker Safety and Health
Hosted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Conference on Worker Safety and Health is bringing together a diverse group of occupational and environmental community leaders, professionals, students and faculty, working together to make workplaces safer and reduce the toll of on-the-job injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. The conference will be held in Baltimore at the Maritime Conference Center December 4 – 6, 2018.
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Worker Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals Is A 'Global Health Crisis'
A United Nations expert has proposed 15 principles that aim to help governments and businesses better protect workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals – an issue he calls a "global health crisis." The report sets out findings from four years of monitoring industries and countries around the world. The report argues that many companies and national governments are not meeting their duty to uphold the rights of workers under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Chemical Watch [Author: Leigh Stringer]
Flooded South Carolina River Within Inches of Spilling into Coal Ash Pit With 200,000 Tons of Waste
Santee Cooper Grainger power station, a state-owned power company, says there’s little more it can do now: The floodwaters are here, lapping up to the edge of its ash pit. On the other side is some 200,000 tons of ash, which contains toxic metals like arsenic, lead and mercury. It will all come down to inches of spilling over part of Santee Cooper’s temporary dam.
The Post and Courier [Author: Thad Moore]
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Think Fungus: Fungal Disease Awareness Week
Fungal Disease Awareness Week is October 1–5, 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners have organized this week to highlight the importance of recognizing serious fungal diseases early enough in the course of a patient’s illness to provide life-saving treatment. After natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, excess moisture and standing water contribute to the growth of mold in homes, office buildings, schools, and other nonindustrial buildings. When returning to home or to other buildings that have been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk, including people with weakened immune systems, asthma, mold allergies, chronic lung conditions, and other breathing problems.
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Planning for Disaster: Partnerships Ensure Continuity of Operations
The recording and slides from the webinar “Planning for Disaster: Partnerships Ensure Continuity of Operations” hosted by the National Disaster Information Management Research Center on September 20, 2018. Speakers from the National Library of Medicine and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center described steps that libraries can take to develop Continuity of Operations plans to deal with the new realities in disaster preparedness. They explored the development and maintenance of a real life collaboration between two military libraries, one federal library, and one local hospital library.
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Director of Occupational Health Surveillance Program
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is seeking an experienced occupational health professional to lead the Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP), a nationally renowned state program that conducts surveillance and prevention activities to ensure that Massachusetts workplaces are safe and Massachusetts employees are healthy. The Director of OHSP has lead responsibility within MDPH for overseeing the collection, analysis and interpretation of data to identify priority occupational health concerns that threaten the health of Massachusetts workers, identifying data gaps and developing plans to address those gaps, tracking emerging issues and trends related to workers’ health, and fostering internal and external collaborations.
Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship
In the U.S. and across the globe, people are taking community-building into their own hands to promote well-being and enable a high quality of life. To amplify these voices, the Aspen Global Innovators Group and the Aetna Foundation have launched a new fellowship for community leaders addressing health inequities through the lens of the social determinants of health. The Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship will select five leaders working on these issues to participate in a curated, one-year fellowship program. Applications are now being accepted until November 16, 2018.
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