Blog Profile / The Pump Handle

Filed Under:Health / Epidemiology
Posts on Regator:644
Posts / Week:1.9
Archived Since:November 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

We’ve Moved!

We’ve moved The Pump Handle to ScienceBlogs! Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly....

As We Rush To Protect the Gulf Coast Environment, are Responders Being Protected?

We’re delighted to welcome journalist Elizabeth Grossman as a new writer for The Pump Handle. Elizabeth Grossman is the author of Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry, High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health,  and other books. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications [...]

Nano Vaccination?

We keep writing about the risks involved with nanotechnology, so it’s nice to be able to highlight a potential benefit. Andrew Schneider reports for AOL News that researchers from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology...Show More Summary

Fighting Malaria with Fewer Chemicals

In Yale Environment 360, Sonia Shah highlights a promising trend: communities in Mexico, China, Tanzania, and elsewhere are adopting non-chemical methods to control the populations of mosquitos that transmit malaria. They’ve seen their numbers of malaria cases drop, and dramatically reduced their use of the pesticide DDT. In addition to the environmental health risks that [...]

Occupational Health News Roundup

The nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch has just released a report describing the risks faced by child farmworkers in the US. Their findings include the following: Children risk pesticide poisoning, serious injury, and heat illness. They suffer fatalities at more than four times the rate of children working in other jobs. Some work without even [...]

Sequestered Science: Oil Cleanup Workers’ Health

Elizabeth Weise’s USA Today article about potential health effects of the Gulf oil disaster and its cleanup notes that we don’t have a whole lot of research to draw on about this kind of exposure. Residents and cleanup workers alike will be exposed both to the oil itself and to cleanup agents, particularly the chemical [...]

Dr. John M Peters: a gentle, witty and brilliant man

John M. Peters, MD, DSc, MPH, the Hastings Professor of Preventive Medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine passed away at age 76 on May 6 from pancreatic cancer.  The School’s dean, Carmen A. Puliafito, said “one of the legends of environmental and occupational health.  His work took him from the freeways of Los [...]

Using Facebook to react to MSHA chief’s latest on Massey investigation

I can’t keep up with Ken Ward Jr.’s coverage of the trouble brewing,  battle, strong difference of opinion between Secretary Hilda Solis/MSHA Asst. Secretary Joe Main and the United Mine Workers (UMWA), family members of deceased coal miners and journalists about the Department of Labor’s decision to have closed-door interviews of witnesses as part of the Massey Upper Big [...]

Integrity Watch

Thank you to the 255 signatories for their recently-published letter to the editor “Climate Change and the Integrity of Science” in the 7 May 2010 issue of Science. The letter, a polite request to de-escalate political assaults on scientists, is concise, direct, and refreshing (almost radical). Here’s an excerpt: We also call for an end [...]

MSHA’s Joe Main sticks with closed door probe

by Ken Ward Jr., cross-posted from CoalTattoo There’s been no formal announcement yet today from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration about how it plans to proceed in its investigation of the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster — no word on public hearings or opening up the interviews to the victims’ families or taking [...]

Yes, Virginia (and all 49 other States,) chemicals do cause cancer

by Richard Denison, PhD, cross-posted from EDFBlog Please help me welcome to the true mainstream of scientific and medical thought the seemingly radical yet commonsense notion that chemical exposures are a significant contributor to cancer, many types of which are rising in incidence even as overall rates decline. This morning, the President’s Cancer Panel released its [...]

Puzzled by MSHA’s latest reg agenda

As I noted in “Perplexed by OSHA’s reg agenda,” I’ve made a habit of commenting on the content of the Dept of Labor’s semi-annual regulatory agenda  [see links below].  I’ll be the first to admit that our system for protecting workers from well-known hazards with new regulations is onerous and anything but nimble.  It needs an overhaul.   The [...]

Eye on OIRA, Coal Ash Edition: Putting Lipstick on a Not-so-cute Little Pig

by Rena Steinzor, cross-posted from CPR Blog EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was in a tough position on coal ash.  If you are African American and low-income, you have a 30 percent greater chance of living near a big pit of this toxic brew than a white American, so Jackson correctly decided that such an important [...]

Labor Secretary announces regulatory priorities for worker health and safety

Last week Labor Secretary Solis released in the Federal Register on April 26, 2010, her Spring 2010 regulatory agenda for the Department, including her rulemaking priorities for MSHA and OSHA.  As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act it was published on time in April, in contrast to her Fall 2009 agenda which was six weeks late.  This document [...]

Perplexed by OSHA’s latest reg agenda

Beginning in December 2006, I’ve written five blog post commenting on the content of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulatory agenda for worker health and safety rulemakings.  Most of my posts [see links below] have criticized the Labor Secretary and senior OSHA and MSHA staff for failing to offer a bold vision for progressive worker protections.  Now that the Obama & [...]

Obama EPA punts on coal ash regulations

by Ken Ward Jr., cross-posted from CoalTattoo U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials just finished their phone-in press conference to announce their action regarding regulation of toxic ash from coal-fired power plants. In its press release, EPA describes its action this way: The U.S. Show More Summary

Lessons from Exxon Valdez on Worker Health and Safety

A month after the March 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, a small team of public health experts prepared a report identifying the potential health hazards and making strong recommendations for protective action for the cleanup workers.   The team included Eula Bingham, PhD (former OSHA chief), Matt Gillen (now at NIOSH), Mark Catlin (now at SIEU), Don Elisburg, and Jane Seegal.  [...]

Book Review: The Fatal Strain: On the Trail of Avian Flu and the Coming Pandemic

By DemFromCT, cross-posted from Daily Kos The Fatal Strain: On the Trail of Avian Flu and the Coming Pandemic Alan Sipress Viking Adult Hardcover, 400 pages, $27.95 list Kindle Edition $13.49 November, 2009 Money quote: CDC and WHO epidemiologist Tim Uyeki is in Indonesia, collecting flu specimens from a very sick bird flu patient who [...]

Workers Memorial Day 2010

In just the last several weeks, we’ve seen a series of horrific workplace explosions that have claimed a total of 52 workers’ lives: five at the Kleen Energy Systems plant explosion in Middletown, Connecticut; seven at the Tesoro Refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington; 29 at the Massey Energy Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West [...]

PCBs in Schools

Dear readers, We’re doing something different with this month’s post. Robert F. Herrick of the Harvard School of Public Health wrote an excellent article on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) exposure in schools, which was published in the most recent issue of New Solutions. This article has been made available for free download by the journal’s publisher, [...]

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