May 18, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 5Comment

Although most of us are focusing on BP because of the oil rig explosion and gushing well in the Gulf, it’s also important to consider the company’s safety record at its refineries. Because I keep track of workplace disasters, I knew that BP had earned the distinction of having the worst refinery death toll in […]

May 18, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

For several years, health professionals have been concerned about the rise in infections from methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA – a bacteria that’s resistant to several of the antibiotics generally used to treat staph infections. CDC estimates that in 2005, there were more than 94,000 MRSA infections in the US, and more than 18,000 […]

May 17, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 11Comment

We’re delighted and honored to be joining the ScienceBlogs community. It’s a bittersweet occasion, because we’re starting out here just as the Reveres are folding up their stellar public health blog Effect Measure. It’s fair to say that The Pump Handle probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Reveres; they inspired us to launch […]

May 17, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH 19Comment

Earlier this month, the DC City Council passed the Healthy Schools Act, which will raise nutritional standards for school meals, increase the amount of physical and health education students receive, create school gardens, and do all kinds of other commendable things. The difficult part is that it’ll cost $6.5 million annually, and we’re in the […]

May 15, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

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 have developed a “nanopatch” that can deliver vaccines more effectively than intramuscular injection:

May 15, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

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 […]

May 15, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

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 […]

May 15, 2010 Liz Borkowski, MPH

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 […]

December 21, 2009 Liz Borkowski, MPH

In a historic achievement, 60 Senators have agreed to a healthcare bill that will dramatically expand health insurance coverage and curb some of the insurance industry’s worst practices. Getting agreement between the Senate and the House, which has passed its own healthcare bill, will still be an arduous process, but the chambers agree on most essential elements, and this is the farthest Congress has come in decades towards fixing our healthcare system’s serious problems.