Recent Blog Posts

EPA outlines global strategy for combating marine litter

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EPA has released a comprehensive strategy for combating marine litter throughout the world. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said it is estimated that 11 to 28 billion pounds of waste fill the world’s waterways, harming marine life and coastal economies. “The United States Federal Strategy for Addressing the Global Issue of Marine Litter” outlines the four pillars for success — building…

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EPA takes action to protect public from coronavirus protection scam

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EPA Region 2 (N.J., N.Y., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and eight Native-American nations) has issued 29 advisory letter and eight notices of warning to entities operating in New York and New Jersey to address pesticide products and devices that were found to be marketed with unsubstantiated claims of efficacy against the novel coronavirus (the cause of COVID-19) and other…

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The epidemic lurking in the shadow of the pandemic

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Twenty-seven hundred dead through July. Not coronavirus. Opioids, according to Tucson.com.  In the first seven months of 2020, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported over 2,700 newly suspected opioid overdose deaths in Arizona. What makes this figure more startling is that there were just over 3,800 suspected opioid deaths in the preceding 30 months. The problem is escalating, and rapidly.  While navigating…

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States submit COVID-19 vaccine plans to CDC

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After the October 16 deadline, states have submitted their plans for distributing the coronavirus vaccine per the CDC’s request, according to Occupational Safety and Health magazine. States such as Texas, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maryland and California rolled out distribution plans that vary in detail. California: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on October 19 that California will review the safety of coronavirus vaccines…

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OSHA stops issuing press releases on enforcement cases

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The Department of Labor is prohibiting its worker protection agencies from issuing press releases announcing when they issue citations and sanction employers, according to Bloomberg Law. The DOL policy targets the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Wage and Hour Division. “As a matter of Department policy, in general, enforcement agencies should not issue…

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Beyond Sustainability: Companies begin to pursue regeneration

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In recent years, U.S. manufacturers have taken major steps to make their supply chains more sustainable to fight climate change, according to an article in Forbes. Levi Strauss is shaking up the apparel sector by committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions within its own facilities by 90% by 2025. Earlier this year, GM appointed its first chief sustainability officer…

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2020: Confronting wildfires, weather extremes & the pandemic

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By Dave Johnson, Phylmar newsletter editor EHS professionals are confronting a series of crises in 2020 that impact – and expand — their job responsibilities unlike anything encountered before: COVID-19 has infected more than 7.4 million U.S. citizens, caused approximately 210,000 deaths, and forced at least 163,000 businesses to close their doors since March 1, with 60% of those operations…

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Pfizer plans DTC effort to pitch COVID-19 shot safety, joining a fall flurry of vaccine messaging

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Pharma companies, industry groups and even the federal government are putting out information about vaccine availability and safety, and Pfizer is set to be the latest to join them Vaccine marketing messages are flooding media channels this fall. Pharma companies, industry groups and even the federal government are putting out information about vaccine availability and safety, and Pfizer is set…

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Cali. Farm Workers Face Double Threat and Wildfire Smoke Harming Health

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Farm workers face double threat: wildfire smoke and COVID-19 Workers say they can see haze and feel a burning sensation in their eyes A year ago, Cal/OSHA implemented new standards for protecting outdoor workers from wildfire smoke. It requires employers to provide proper respiratory protection equipment, such as N-95 masks, when air quality is harmful. Whether or not use of a…

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