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Posts Tagged ‘public health’

The EPA, Human Studies, and Getting the Science Right

A few months ago, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology took interest in a small piece of the tremendous amount of research—and funding of research—that EPA does on air pollution and its health effects. What were the lawmakers concerned about? Read More

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Second Chance: Will EPA’s New Ozone Standard Follow the Science?

This week the EPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) meets to discuss the science behind the national air pollution standard for ozone. The independent committee, which is comprised of air pollution and public health experts from a variety of institutions outside of the EPA, meets regularly to discuss the science on air pollution and health and to make recommendations to EPA on its air pollution rules. But this meeting in particular has greater interest from scientists, industry, and the public. Read More

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Alabama Scientists Drive 900 Miles to Fill Information Gaps in West Virginia Water Crisis

In the early morning hours of January 16th, environmental engineering assistant professor Andrew Whelton and his research team left their University of South Alabama laboratory and drove 873 miles north. The team of researchers, including graduate students Matt Connell, Jeff Gill, Keven Kelly, and LaKia McMillan and environmental engineering professor Kevin White carried with them a van full of equipment to test drinking water for West Virginia residents affected by the January 9 chemical spill. Read More

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CDC’s “Get Smart About Antibiotics” Campaign Still Ignoring Animals

“Although previously unthinkable, the day when antibiotics don’t work is upon us. We are already seeing germs that are stronger than any antibiotics we have to treat them.” These are the words Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used last year to kick off the agency’s educational campaign on antibiotic resistance, “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week 2012.” Read More

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A Change We Didn’t See Coming: Hydraulic Fracturing and Sand Mining in Wisconsin

Guest Bogger

Marcia Bjornerud, professor of geology
Dept. of Geology, Lawrence University

Appleton, WI

If someone had told me 10 years ago that the rural landscape just west of my home in Appleton would be stripped down and shipped to states throughout the country, I never would have believed it. In fact, no one here in Wisconsin could have imagined that there would ever be much industrial demand for the honey-colored Cambrian sandstones that crop out in a wide swath across the middle of the state. There were a few quarries that supplied sand for foundry molds, but since foundries can reuse sand many times, these local operations had little effect on the landscape. Wisconsin’s sandstones had only two major ‘uses’: acting as groundwater aquifers and defining the shape of the distinctive chimney rocks and castellated mounds of the state’s scenic, never-glaciated Driftless Area. Read More

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White House, Finally, Releases Silica Rule

And now, for some good news. After more than two years of unnecessary delay, the White House Office of Management and Budget has finally allowed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to move forward with a proposed rule to protect workers from exposure to silica dust. I hope this is a sign that the White House will allow federal agencies to develop science-based public protections that advance their public health missions. That said, the development of the silica rule has been a fiasco, and much of the blame for delay lies with the White House.

I have written about this several times, but to recap:

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Its Master’s Voice: The FDA’s Dependence on Drug Industry Fees

I’ve spent many years wondering why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been so slow to curb the rampant overuse of antibiotics in agriculture. Read More

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Weaker Antibiotic Regulation: Another Problem with FDA’s Voluntary Cooperation Program

Last post, I described some of the features of the voluntary process that might convince veterinary drug companies to give up lucrative approvals to sell antibiotics for production purposes, like growth promotion and feed efficiency. Read More

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Shining A Light On Physician Payments: Delayed Rule Imperfect But Useful

Back in 2010, when Congress approved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” it included a requirement to help all of us become more knowledgeable about our health care, and to reduce unacceptable conflicts of interest between physicians and drug and device makers. Read More

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As White House Dawdles, More Workers Get Sick from Silica Exposure

Nearly two years after receiving a science-based proposal from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to protect workers from exposure to toxic crystalline silica dust, the White House Office of Management and Budget refuses to allow the agency to even seek feedback on its proposal. Public health advocates have put together a petition on the White House website urging the White House to act. The petition is worthy of your signature. Read More

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