The feds grant billions in contracts to shipbuilders with serious worker safety lapses; Texas lawmakers want to undo an Austin initiative that protects construction workers; Chevron agrees to highest fine in Cal/OSHA history after refinery fire; and Democrats hope to ban a dangerous pesticide after EPA fails to act.
Even though farmworkers face serious hazards on the job and work in one of the most dangerous industries in the country, most young farmworkers in a recent study rated their work safety climate as “poor.” In fact, more than a third of those surveyed said their managers were only interested in getting the job done as quickly as possible.
Despite significant unanswered questions about human and environmental health impacts – and no exposure monitoring requirements – the EPA has approved a new herbicide called Enlist Duo for use on genetically engineered corn and soybeans in six Midwestern states. Environmental groups and farmers are suing to block approval, saying EPA failed to adequately assess health risks.
New herbicide and GE seeds: EPA and USDA poised to approve herbicide with insufficiently unexamined cumulative and long-term health effects
If the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department [...]
Will farm workers be better protected? EPA proposes new pesticide protection standards but farm worker advocates see some steps backward
“For us it’s personal,” said Jeannie Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator. “It’s a daily issue for us. Every day with a weaker protection standard is another day a worker is exposed to pesticides,” she said. On February 20th the EPA proposed revisions to its Worker Protection Standard for agricultural pesticides. Farm worker advocates are welcoming the proposal – the first update since 1992 – but see both improvements and what some are calling "steps backward."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposes a rule that would make large companies' injury and illness reports publicly available; Johns Hopkins Medicine suspends its black lung program after its activities are highlighted in a Center for Public Integrity report on miners denied black lung benefits; and an explosion at a Ciudad Juarez candy factory kills four workers.
Agrochemical bans have passed or are under consideration in some countries where young, previously healthy agricultural workers are developing chronic kidney disease at alarming rates; a study of cleanup workers who worked on Gulf of Mexico beaches and marshes following the 2010 BP oil spill finds "significantly altered blood profiles" associated with higher risk of some cancers; and OSHA cites a waste company and its temp labor provider following a workers' death from heat stress.
Researchers have identified the fungicide triflumizole (TFZ) as an obesogen in mice. It's one of a growing body of studies on the health effects of low-level exposure to widely used pesticides.
The New York Times' Roger Cohen may dismiss organic agriculture, but new research on the effects of pesticides on developing brains gives a reason to reduce the use of organophosphate pesticides.
Nurses' demanding jobs often leave them injured, and nurses working injured increases the risk of medication mistakes; many farmworkers never report pesticide-related ailments; and the rate of uninsurance is high among federal firefighters.