The airports across the United States have been using aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), the premier firefighting foam in the United States for several decades. AFFF contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which are a large family of man-made fluorinated chemicals with thermal stability that enhances its ability to rapidly extinguish hazardous fires.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) announced changes to the self-insurance process for coal mine operators that it says will better support the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.
The Black Lung Benefits Act requires each coal mine operator to secure the payment of its potential benefits liability by either qualifying as a self-insurer or by purchasing and maintaining a commercial insurance contract.
Over 300 workplace substances have been identified to cause new-onset asthma and the list continues to grow 1, 2. Other substances can aggravate pre-existing asthma, causing increased illness and medication requirements. Work-related asthma (WRA) comprises both new-onset and work-aggravated asthma3. An estimated 15-55% of all adult asthma is related to work4-7.
OSHA has made changes to its national emphasis program (NEP) on silica, which is intended to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in general industry, maritime, and construction. The NEP targets specific industries expected to have the highest exposures to RCS.
There were 24 mining fatalities in the U.S. in 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports. This is the fewest annual fatalities ever recorded, and only the fifth year in MSHA’s 43-year history that mining fatalities were below 30.
Australia’s largest union representing workers in construction, forestry, maritime and mining and energy is demanding urgent national action on silicosis after revelations that 1-in-5 Queensland stone workers tested positive to the potentially fatal disease.
The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU ) says the severity of the risks associated with engineered stone products calls for a nationally coordinated approach rather than piecemeal regulations and health monitoring programs.
Artificial stone countertops, also known as "quartz stone countertops," are made by polymerizing quartz aggregate and resin binder. These materials look similar to natural stone and are increasingly used in residential construction and home furnishings. Between 2010 and 2018, imports of quartzite countertops in the United States have increased by nearly 800% (US International Trade Commission).
The Spanish government’s recent proposal to double the occupational exposure limit value (OELV) for silica is being met with opposition by worker safety advocates. The current limit is 0.05 mg/m³. Under a draft decree presented to the national occupational health and safety commission earlier this month, OELV would be raised to (0.1mg/m³).
Contrary to previously announced plans, OSHA will not revoke all of the ancillary provisions in its Beryllium Standards for Construction and Shipyards. Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal used in the aerospace, telecommunications, information technology, defense, medical, and nuclear industries. Workers who are exposed to beryllium – by inhaling or contacting it in the air or on surfaces - are at risk for developing beryllium disease and lung cancer.
On-the-job exposure to high levels of pesticides raised the risk of heart disease and stroke in a generally healthy group of Japanese American men in Hawaii, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the open access journal of the American Heart Association (AHA).