January 3, 2007 The Pump Handle

by Dick Clapp  The latest issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine contains a commentary from Ken Mundt, a consultant with ENVIRON International Corporation, on “Cancer incidence among semiconductor and electronic storage device workers,” an IBM-funded study by Bender et al appearing in the same issue. Mundt says that “the study offers some reassurance that at this […]

December 22, 2006 The Pump Handle

By David Michaels In July, two unions, backed by a group of scientists, petitioned both federal OSHA and California OSHA to issue rules to protect workers from diacetyl, the chemical implicated in dozens of cases of lung disease in the food industry (See our earlier post “Artificial Butter Flavor is (Still) Killing Workers”). Federal OSHA […]

December 20, 2006 The Pump Handle

Thousands of hotel workers in Boston are awaiting the results of contract negotiations between Unite Here! Local 26 and the city’s major hotel operators.  Although their current contract expired on November 30, both sides agreed to extend it until February 1, 2007 while they continue to meet at the bargaining table.  Unite Here! Local 26 represents […]

December 15, 2006 The Pump Handle 3Comment

Earlier this week, the Bush Administration released its semi-annual regulatory plan (71 Federal Register 72725, Dec 11, 2006).  The 473-page document describes the President’s regulatory priorities, with the “aim of implementing an effective and results-oriented regulatory system.”  The document, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), […]

December 8, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Health and environmental bloggers have covered a wide array of topics this week. Some highlights: Steve at Omni Brain (don’t click the link while eating) displays graphic warnings from Belgian and Thai cigarette packs Merrill Goozner at GoonzNews posts an excerpt from his just-published article (cover story of The Scientist, for those with subscriptions) on […]

December 7, 2006 The Pump Handle

Earlier this year, President Bush nominated Susan E. Dudley of the Mercatus Center to replace John Graham, PhD, as the head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The office oversees all of the Administration’s regulatory policies, including public health and environmental rules, and is often the last major hurdle faced by agencies like […]

December 6, 2006 The Pump Handle

By David Michaels In my post Monday, I wrote that breathing diacetyl, the chemical in artificial butter flavor, is killing and crippling workers around the country. It is now more than six years since the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was first notified that workers in a popcorn plant in Missouri had developed […]

December 4, 2006 The Pump Handle

By David Michaels Every year, Marion Ohio (nickname: “popcorn capital of the world”) hosts the largest popcorn festival in the world, with 250,000 attendees. The Orville Redenbacher Parade is one of the festivals’ highlights. Redenbacher, who developed the hybrid corn strain that pops so uniformly, was actually from Indiana, but ConAgra Foods manufactures the best […]

December 1, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Today is World AIDS Day, and there’s no shortage of coverage in the blogosphere. Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake combines links to news stories with her own reflections, and Izzy at Unbossed remembers 1982, before they called it AIDS. Michael Bernstein and Nandini Oomman of Global Health Policy report from the World AIDS Day Event […]

December 1, 2006 The Pump Handle

by OSHAL It is worthwhile reading the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (report PDF here; Jordan Barab’s take here) that recommends a review of the effectiveness of current strategies for workplace safety and health. Of particular interest to me is the attitude and direction of this Administration’s OSHA, in particular for those workplaces with the […]