Helping journalists, staffers stealthily collected dust samples from a busy hallway in an urban elementary school in Philadelphia. When sky-high asbestos results came back from the lab, the journalists, both Pulitzer Prize winners, faced an ethical and moral dilemma unlike any other they had encountered in their long careers.
Two years ago today, President Obama signed into law bipartisan amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act. Its goal was to address the health risk of the thousands of untested and unregulated chemicals, but EPA’s Scott Pruitt is undermining the law.
Scott Pruitt announced is plan to repeal regulations designed to prevent chemical releases and explosions. Fire fighters support those rules, but Pruitt swears allegiance to the chemical industry not to local emergency responders.
Cong. Frank Pallone grilled and chastised EPA’s Scott Pruitt for failing to ban methylene chloride. The exchange felt bittersweet to the brother of a man who died from methylene chloride exposure.
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is marking International Worker Memorial Day with the release of its report, “The Dirty Dozen 2018: Employers Who Put Workers and Communities at Risk.”
With electronic cigarettes often touted as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, another study is casting doubt on that assertion.
Congress directed EPA to disclose confidential business information to health professionals in certain critical situations involving toxic chemicals. Kudos to the American Public Health Assoc., American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of OB/GYN, and the Environmental Defense Fund for not allowing EPA to wiggle away from Congress’ intent.
It’s time for federal lawmakers to catch up with the quickly changing relationship between employers and workers; an upcoming Supreme Court case could upend public-sector unions; New York farmworker loses court case to gain organizing rights, but vows to appeal; and the country’s biggest janitorial company faces new allegations of sexual abuse in the workplace.
Public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner have amassed millions of pages of chemical-industry documents. Most were obtained by attorneys through the discovery process. They revealed tactics used by corporate interests to obstruct public health protections. What had been stored in cardboard boxes are now available on-line for researchers, journalists, environmental justice advocates, and you, too.
An Oklahoma rehab center funnels forced free labor into private industry; the National Labor Relations Board reconsiders Obama-era union election rules; farmworkers at risk from California’s wildfire smoke; and domestic workers organize for greater labor rights in Seattle.