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EPA announces research strategy to study nanomaterials (9/30)

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EPA yesterday outlined a new research strategy to better understand how manufactured nanomaterials may harm human health and the environment. Nanomaterials are materials that are between approximately one and 100 nanometers. A nanometer is approximately 1/100,000 the width of a human hair. These materials are currently used in hundreds of consumer products, including sunscreen, cosmetics and sports equipment, says EPA.
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"Effective workplaces" urged to counter rise in employee distress and depression (9/30)

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The overall health of U.S. workers declined between 2002 and 2008, and employers should promote "effective workplaces" to improve employee health and productivity, according to a report released Sept. 22 by Families and Work Institute (FWI), as reported by global occupational health and safety consultants, ORC Worldwide, based in Washington, DC.
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OSHA pressed to issue reactive hazards rule (9/29)

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Two House Democrats have written acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab urging him to expand the agency’s process safety management standards.
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"Inattention" to process safety management program results in $124,500 in proposed OSHA penalties (9/29)

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OSHA has cited Hiland Dairy Foods Co. in Wichita for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and has proposed $124,500 in penalties.
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WHO: 300,000+ cases of H1N1 virus confirmed worldwide (9/29)

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As of 20 September 2009, there have been more than 300,000 laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1, 3917 deaths, in 191 countries and territories reported to the World Health Organization.
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CDC: Increase in visits to physicians for flu-like symptoms "every unusual" (9/29)

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Each week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzes information about influenza disease activity in the United States and publishes findings of key flu indicators in a report called FluView. During the week of September 13-19, 2009, a review of the key indictors found that influenza activity continued to increase in the United States compared to the prior weeks.
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Final CSB report on Imperial Sugar disaster: inadequate equipment design, maintenance, and housekeeping led to fatal sugar dust explosions (9/25)

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In a final draft report released yesterday, CSB investigators said the February 7, 2008, explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia, resulted from ongoing releases of sugar from inadequately designed and maintained dust collection equipment, conveyors, and sugar handling equipment. Inadequate housekeeping practices allowed highly combustible sugar dust and granulated sugar to build up throughout the refinery’s packing buildings, CSB investigators concluded.
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System safety "glitches" contributed to fatal D.C Metrorail crash; NTSB warns agencies and rail transit operators nationwide (9/25)

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued nine safety recommendations, six of which are urgent, to address concerns about the safety of train control systems that use audio frequency track circuits.
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Cave-in results in $69,300 in proposed OSHA fines (9/25)

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OSHA has cited Lawrence-Lynch Corp. of Falmouth, Mass., for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards following an excavation collapse at a worksite at 396 Gifford St. in Kingston, Mass. The construction contractor faces a total of $69,300 in proposed fines.
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EPA releases priority list of 116 drinking water contaminants for regulatory consideration (9/25)

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EPA is releasing its third list of drinking water contaminants that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation. EPA will continue to evaluate and collect data on the contaminants, and determine by 2013 for some of them whether or not to propose drinking water regulations.
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