Mine Safety Agency Ready to Finalize Black Lung Controls Pending White House Review

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently submitted for White House review a final rule to protect coal miners from black lung disease. Black lung, or coal workers' pneumoconiosis, is a preventable but often deadly occupational disease contracted by prolonged inhalation of coal mine dust.

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Proposed Rule to Protect Workers Released for Public Comment

On Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a long-delayed proposed rule to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica. Silica dust can be deadly; it kills hundreds of workers every year and sickens thousands more. Now, after more than a decade and a half in development and over two years of review, the proposal has been released and will soon be ready for public comment.

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A Misleading Report Obscures Sequestration's Impact on Regulators' Budgets

Last month, university-based researchers Susan Dudley and Melinda Warren released a highly misleading report claiming sequestration has not had much impact on the overall budgets of federal regulatory agencies.

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Almost 4,400 Workers Died From Job-Related Injuries in 2012

An estimated 4,383 employees died from injuries sustained while working, according to new preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today. This is a reduction from last year’s tally of 4,693. It is also a decrease in in the fatal work injury rate from 3.5 per 100,000 full time workers in 2011 to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2012. The numbers are often revised upwards, and revisions will be released in spring 2014.

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Product Safety Law Gets the Lead (and Other Things) Out

Thanks to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), toys and other children’s products are safer. Five years ago, the critical law set strict standards to protect children from exposure to lead and other harmful chemicals. These standards are crucial to ensuring that children’s products are safe and free of dangerous toxins.

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House Subpoenas Personal Medical Information in Continued Assault on Clean Air Policies

On Aug. 2, the House Science Committee issued a subpoena demanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release all underlying data and personal medical information from two crucial studies the agency has relied on in setting air quality standards since 1997.

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Five Important Reasons to Share and Gather Data on SaferProducts.gov

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), which provided a long overdue upgrade of critical safety protections for consumer products. The CPSIA revitalized the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and created the publicly available safety incident online database, better known as www.SaferProducts.gov.

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New Gluten-Free Standards Highlight Triumphs and Challenges at the FDA

Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released final standards that manufacturers must meet before labeling their food products “gluten free.” According to the new rules, a food product must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten before a producer can label and advertise the product as being without gluten.

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New Study Shows Workers at Fracking Sites Exposed to Unsafe Levels of Silica Dust

A new study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that workers at 11 hydraulic fracturing sites in five states were exposed to high levels of crystalline silica dust.

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Public Protections Take Center Stage at Committee Hearing on Toxic Substances Bill

Did you know that nearly 80,000 chemicals are currently used in the United States, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only performed a safety assessment of 200 and has only issued partial restrictions for five of these substances? This illustrates how the nation's primary environmental law on toxic substances, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), has failed to protect Americans from exposure to dangerous chemicals. On July 31, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hosted a hearing to discuss the law's failures and hear from witnesses about the strengths and weaknesses of proposed legislation introduced by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) this past May.

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