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September 19
Links of Interest: NIOSH: Former NFL Players at Increased Risk of Death from Neurodegenerative Causes
A grab-bag of links from OEHS in the news…

NFL players. A new NIOSH study finds that former NFL players may be at an increased risk of death from neurodegenerative causes, such as Alzheimer’s. The paper is published in Neurology and is titled “Neurodegenerative causes of death among retired National Football League players.”
Nanofibers and mercury. Scientists in Switzerland and the U.S. have created a “nano-velcro” textile that is able to detect mercury in water and fish. They believe this will be a fast, sensitive, and cheaper way to help detect and clean up mercury. Read more.  
Presidential election. An article in Wyoming’s Casper Star Tribune takes a look at the differences between the Democratic and Republican platforms related to energy and the environment. Read more.
Lead. A new study published in Environmental Health News examined air lead levels at Kenyan acid battery plants and found that levels were seven to eight times higher than U.S. workplace standards. The authors of the study suggest that much of the lead exposure could be reduced by “simple safety” controls.
Chemical hazards in abandoned factories. An inspection uncovered an estimated 750 pounds of copper cyanide, 27,589 pounds of nickel sulfate, 4,198 pounds of nitric acid, and 3,500 pounds of sodium cyanide in an abandoned factory in Slinger, Wis. Read more.
HCFC-22 gas. HCFC-22 gas, a coolant that has been phased out of new equipment in the industrialized world, is a target for smugglers, as it is still produced and sold cheaply in the developing world. Read more in The New York Times
NIOSH Science Blog. A new NIOSH Science Blog post discusses a recent technical assistance document called “Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance,” which provides a recommended health monitoring and surveillance system. Read “Protecting Emergency Responders.”
Chevron refinery accident. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that federal investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) found no evidence that Chevron inspected the segment of pipe that failed on Aug. 6. The pipe wall was only 20 percent its original thickness when it ruptured and lead to the fire at Chevron’s oil refinery in Richmond, Calif.
Phthalates. Researchers have found that pre-birth exposures to BBzP, a common phthalate plasticizer, puts children at an increased risk of developing eczema, a skin problem, before age 2. The findings are published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
U.S. CSB. Read the statement made by CSB Chairperson Dr. Rafael Moure at the Richmond City Council Meeting on Sept. 11. He touches on the Aug. 6 accident at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif.


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