A grab-bag of links from OEHS in the news…
EPA announced on Nov. 28 that BP will be temporarily suspended from new contracts with the federal government. According to EPA, the agency “is taking this action due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response, as reflected by the filing of…criminal information.” Read the press release
Whistleblower Protection Program.
OSHA has announced Beth Slavet as the new director of the agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program. According to OSHA’s press release
, “Slavet is an experienced administrator and manager with more than 30 years of experience with the enforcement of federal whistleblower statutes.”
According to study results
published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine
, older farmers who spend more time operating heavy machinery may have a higher risk of injury. Researchers found that farmers age 45 to 64 spent six to eight more days a year operating heavy machinery than younger farmers.
Work and depression. Researchers found
that workers who experienced repeated “job strain” had the highest prevalence rates of major depressive disorder. According to the study’s authors, workplace interventions could make a difference. The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health
There’s been a rise in injuries and illnesses in recovery workers and others helping with Hurricane Sandy cleanup, The New York Times reports
. The mess the hurricane left behind is making them sick: “mold from damp drywall; spills from oil tanks; sewage from floodwater and unflushable toilets; [and] tons upon tons of debris and dust.”
Methyl iodide, a suspected carcinogen, won’t be used in the U.S. by the end of the year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle
. Arysta, the company that manufactured methyl iodide, requested voluntary cancellation of its product registrations and agreed to end sales permanently in the U.S.
Chemical regulation. Scientific American
has published an interview with toxicologist Linda Birnbaum, who leads the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). Birnbaum discusses the link between environmental and toxic chemical exposures and poor health.
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) addressed carbon black as a potential workplace hazard in a co-sponsored video
last month that discusses carbon black and exposure risks to workers. Read more
Garment factory fire.
Over 100 workers were killed in a garment factory fire that occurred last weekend outside Dhaka, Bangladesh. The New York Times
reported the fatal fire as “one of the worst industrial tragedies in that country.” Read more