OSHA, American Chemistry Council Sign Alliance to Protect Workers from Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals


“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) established a two-year alliance today (9/13) to raise awareness of how workers are exposed to diisocyantes, and promote safe practices for their use in the polyurethane industry.

Isocyanates are raw materials used to make polyurethane products, such as insulation, car seats, foam mattresses, shoes, and adhesives. Exposure to isocyanates can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. More serious health effects include asthma and other lung problems.

The alliance calls for the creation of a web-based training program on the safe use of chemicals and the potential routes of exposure to users. It will also develop guidance on medical surveillance and clinical evaluation techniques for employers and workers using the chemicals. The agreement also calls for best practices seminars on health and safety procedures for OSHA, On-Site Consultation, and State Plan staff.”

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Firefighter equipment operational environment: evaluation of thermal conditions

“With the changes of construction materials, insulation, and furnishings, fires today are very different than they were 50 years ago. Firefighting tactics and PPE have also changed, but are the current thermal performance standards for firefighter PPE and safety equipment appropriate for the current operational environment?”

More information here.


Fire loss in the United States

“More than 1.3 million fires were reported by fire departments in 2016, resulting in an estimated 3,390 civilian deaths-the highest number of fatalities since 2008. NFPA’s new report discusses trends and statistics of structure fires, deaths, injuries, property losses, and more.”

Read more here!

New York State Security Freeze Law (Shared from Bryant Asset Management)

“As the headlines and news continue to focus on the Equifax breach, we thought the attached brochure might be helpful as you consider whether a credit freeze is in order.

Also, if you have tried unsuccessfully to log on to the Equifax link we provided, please continue to try. According to the news, the website has been overwhelmed and it may take several attempts to have success. Normally, I would tell you to call their Customer Service line, but apparently they only refer you to the website and are otherwise pretty useless. Do continue to make the effort to get registered with Equifax. This could be critical in the event that your personal information is used for fraudulent purposes.

You may want to give serious consideration to subscribing to a credit monitoring service other than or in addition to Equifax. I’m a big proponent of subscribing to a credit monitoring service and – although Equifax is providing FREE credit monitoring – they would not be my first and only choice after what has happened. I would enroll in another service as well. Credit Karma is free, or you could try a paid service like LifeLock, Identity Guard, or Privacy Guard. Check them out here:


Finally, you may also want to consider adding an identity theft rider to your homeowners insurance policy. It won’t stop fraud, but it will pay for the cost of credit repair should it become necessary. The cost in nominal. Contact your agent (hopefully US!) for details…”

Immune cells may heal bleeding brain after strokes

“Researchers studied how neutrophils may help protect the brain from damage caused by intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke.Aronowski lab, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

While immune cells called neutrophils are known to act as infantry in the body’s war on germs, a National Institutes of Health-funded study suggests they can act as medics as well. By studying rodents, researchers showed that instead of attacking germs, some neutrophils may help heal the brain after an intracerebral hemorrhage, a form of stroke caused by ruptured blood vessels. The study suggests that two neutrophil-related proteins may play critical roles in protecting the brain from stroke-induced damage and could be used as treatments for intracerebral hemorrhage.

“Intracerebral hemorrhage is a damaging and often fatal form of stroke for which there are no effective medicines,” said Jaroslaw Aronowski, M.D., Ph.D., professor, department of neurology, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and senior author of the study published in Nature Communications. “Our results are a hopeful first step towards developing a treatment for this devastating form of stroke.”

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Prepare for Emergencies

“Preparing your business for a disaster is much more than mapping out a fire escape route. There are many considerations to meet the unique challenges of natural disasters, epidemics, and acts of violence. The SBA can walk you through the steps of planning, implementing, and improving your disaster preparedness plan so that you can keep your focus on the day-to-day needs of your business.”


Free Webinar about PCBs on Monday, September 25th at noon!

“Please register for the first webinar of the Atlantic Emerging Technologies & Industrial Hygiene Training Center, a collaboration between the City University of New York School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY), the Rutgers School of Public Health (Rutgers) Office of Public Health Practice and the School of Environmental Affairs at Universidad Metropolitana (SEA-UMET) funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.”


New toolkit helps nurses use genomics in patient care

“Nurses and other health professionals looking to integrate genomics into patient care now have access to an online toolkit with more than 100 resources, part of a new website launched by the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Developed with input from clinical educators and administrators, the Method for Introducing a New Competency Genomics (MINC) website provides resources for nursing leaders at all levels of genomics competency, ranging from basic knowledge about genomics to its practical impact on healthcare systems and policies.
The website addresses the need for healthcare professionals to stay abreast with the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Its resources can help practicing nurses care for patients undergoing genomic testing and treatments, build awareness in their communities, and understand how to prepare their workforce for emerging clinical applications.
“The MINC toolkit is a starting point for healthcare providers who want to promote genomic integration into practice to benefit their patients,” said Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., director of the Division of Policy, Communication and Education at NHGRI. “It was designed based on the efforts of Magnet hospital nurses whose experiences were used in the design and foundation for the toolkit.”
The toolkit is structured in a question and answer format, allowing users to tailor their interventions based on the resources that will work best for them in their unique clinical setting. A key feature of the toolkit is “Champion Stories”. These video testimonials from health administrators and educators describe how they overcame barriers as they developed the necessary genomics knowledge to offer personalized care to their patients.”
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