June 30, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

Mine explosions in China and Columbia in recent weeks have killed a total of 120 mineworkers. An explosion in a coal mine in Antioquia, Colombia, killed 73 mineworkers; a total of 160 were in the mine at the time of the blast, and 90 escaped. Gas accumulations prevented rescue and recovery teams from entering the […]

June 29, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 2Comment

The ScienceBlogs Book Club continues the discussion on Mark Pendergrast’s Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service – come on over and join in! In my post today, I look at the difference between solving disease puzzles (figuring out what the agent is, how it’s being transmitted, etc) and solving […]

June 25, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 4Comment

New Solutions: The Drawing Board is a monthly feature produced by the journal New Solutions. Read more about it here. By Richard Clapp The President’s Cancer Panel report released on May 6 had some strong findings and recommendations on ways to reduce the cancer burden caused by workplace exposures. This is welcome news to U.S. […]

June 24, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

If you haven’t already, go read Katy Butler’s powerful New York Times Magazine piece about her aging father’s years of decline and the hard decisions she and her mother had to make about his care. Butler’s father suffered a stroke at age 79, and she writes of its effect:

June 22, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 2Comment

The ScienceBlogs Book Club has come back to life, and is now featuring Mark Pendergrast’s Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. Mark Pendergrast’s introductory post is well worth a read. He describes Alexander Langmuir, the “visionary leader” who founded the Epidemic Intelligence Service within the CDC in 1951; gives […]

June 17, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 4Comment

It’s appropriate for BP to dedicate $20 billion to an escrow fund for oil-spill claims, and I hope the fund’s independent administration will allow for quick payment of claims. Nicholas Beaudrot points out that the fund’s structure means BP has an incentive to resolve claims quickly – in contrast to the 20 years that it […]

June 16, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

In 1999, two machinists who worked next to each other at a Pratt & Whitney jet engine plant in North Haven, Connecticut were diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare and fatal brain cancer. Their wives started compliling information about other employees at the same company who’d received similar diagnoses, and focused attention on the workers’ illneses […]

June 14, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 1Comment

It’s been good to see OSHA adding more Gulf sampling data to its website, but the presentation of the information there isn’t quite as detailed as we were expecting to see. We asked an industrial hygienist colleague for a reaction to the web pages, and got an in-depth response. Here are one industrial hygienist’s recommendations […]

June 11, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 8Comment

James Surowiecki’s latest New Yorker piece tackles the problem of weakened federal agencies failing to get tough on companies that need it. He notes that leading up to the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Minerals Management Service officials “had let oil companies shortchange the government on oil-lease payments, accepted gifts from industry representatives, and, in some […]

June 10, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 4Comment

Senator Chris Dodd held a hearing yesterday to discuss his Livable Communities Act, which would provide grant funding for communities to plan and implement strategies to improve livability. In his statement, he explains: This legislation will provide resources for comprehensive planning. The design of our communities is often seen as primarily a local issue, but […]