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health 164 articles

Government Shutdowns Can Turn Deadly For U.S. Workers

Government shutdowns are dreaded by government employees and anyone depending on the services of the federal government, but they can also be deadly for the average U.S. worker. Newsweek recently took a look at how government gridlock has a ripple effect throughout the country that can go deeper than meets the eye. Literally. Four coal miners died in 2013 when the government idled for more than two weeks, furloughing almost all the federal regulatory workforce that inspects workplaces and jobsites for safety lapses and enforces penalties on employers that put the lives of their workers at risk of serious injury ... Read More

Reduced Staff, Budget Cuts Making OSHA ‘Invisible’

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has shrunk significantly under the Trump Administration, escalating concerns that the agency is effectively being rendered ineffective and that U.S. workers face an increasing risk of injury and death on the job. Since Trump took office, OSHA lost 40 inspectors through attrition and its total inspector force – the ground troops responsible for ensuring employers are taking the proper precautions to keep workers safe – fell below 1,000. According to NBC News, “OSHA’s reduced staff reflects Trump’s broader effort to slow the growth of the [government] and is a part of the mass departure of ... Read More

Study Links Flint Water To Infant Deaths, Decreased Fertility

The health problems stemming from the Flint water crisis may not be revealed for years to come, but already there is evidence that the lead-tainted water increased infant mortality and lowered fertility rates among women in the city. According to MLive.com, a new analysis published Wednesday, Sept. 20, Dr. David Slusky and Dr. Daniel Grossman of the University of Kansas found that fetal death rates rose 58 percent after Flint’s water supply was switched in 2014. The fertility rate among women in Flint dropped 12 percent during the same time, the research indicated. Other findings included disparities in the health ... Read More

N.Y. Home Destroyed by Tractor Trailer After Driver’s Medical Emergency

A family whose New York home was struck by a tractor trailer in May told reporters that the damage was so extensive that their only option was to demolish the house. According to WIVB Channel 4 Buffalo, the May 28 crash occurred when driver David Raney, 57, of Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, suffered a medical emergency and lost control of the tractor trailer while driving along Interstate 90 in Hamburg, New York. The tractor trailer struck a utility pole and crashed through a chain-link fence before careening into the home. Hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene of the crash, ... Read More

Vaping Causes Significant Lung Damage, Australian Study Shows

Australian researchers looking at the effects of vaping on human health found that it is not without its own serious risks, despite being widely touted as a safer alternative to conventional cigarette smoking. According to The West Australian, researchers from Perth’s Telethon Kids Institute, a medical research institute focused on the prevention of pediatric disease and better treatments, compared the lung health of mice exposed to tobacco smoke to the lungs of mice exposed to e-liquids used in vaping devices. After eight weeks, the researchers found that the mice exposed to vaping fluids developed “significant lung damage,” some more so than others, depending on the ... Read More

New Study Links Vaping to Two Bladder Cancer Toxins

A pilot study looking at the potential impact of vaping on human health found a strong correlation between vaping and the presence of two carcinogens known to cause bladder cancer. The preliminary study analyzed the urine of 13 vapers and 10 non-user controls. The people who vaped had a median of 26 months of use. Researchers found two known carcinogens, otoluidine and 2-naphthylamine, in the samples of all but one of the vapers. Neither toxin was found in the nonuser samples. The study suggests that vaping is not without its own risks, despite being widely touted as a safer alternative ... Read More

Accidental Amputation Leads To $570,000 Fine For Ohio Plant

A grisly amputation at a Toledo, Ohio-area auto insulation and parts manufacturer prompted an investigation that ended with nearly $570,000 in proposed penalties for violations that put workers at serious risk of injury and death. On Dec. 23, 2016, an employee of Autoneum North America in Oregon, Ohio, was guiding waste materials into a shredding machine when his arm became caught in the machine’s circular shredding drum, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said. The 46-year-old worker couldn’t free his arm and the machine amputated his hand, wrist, and part of his arm. OSHA investigators looking into the amputation ... Read More

Non-Profit Groups Sue Monsanto Over Roundup Label Safety Claims

Agrochemical giant Monsanto is being sued by two nonprofit organizations over the labeling on its widely used herbicide Roundup, which claims that it is formulated to “target an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” Beyond Pesticides and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) assert in their lawsuit that the statement is false, deceptive, and misleading since the enzyme targeted by Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate is also found in people and pets, Beyond Pesticides reports. The nonprofits filed the lawsuit jointly against Monsanto on behalf of the general public in Washington D.C. under the District of Columbia’s Consumer ... Read More

Construction industry Silica exposure Safety Rule Delayed

Another workplace safety rule has been delayed by the Trump administration’s regulation rollback, this time pushing back a new rule reducing silica dust exposure in the workplace and mandating other safety measures to enhance the safety and health of workers in the construction industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced April 6 that its crystalline silica standard has been delayed and will take effect Sept. 23 – 90 days past the original effective date of June 23. The agency said the delay will allow “the construction industry to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for ... Read More

New App Aims To Protect Workers From Hazardous Workplace Noise Levels

A new smartphone app designed to measure workplace noise levels helps workers monitor their exposures to potentially damaging levels of noise, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which released the app, said. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter application, available for iOS (Apple) devices, can help reduce the rate of occupational noise-induce hearing loss if workers with compatible smartphones and other electronic devices use the app. According to NIOSH, the app provides a readout of the sound level using either the built-in microphone or an attached microphone and reports the instantaneous sound level in the workplace accounting for ... Read More