Occupational, Environmental, and
Public Health News
Global Highlights of Potential Biologic, Chemical, and Ergonomic Risk Issues, Affecting Our Workplaces and Communities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/
- COIVID-19 Variants may spread more easily and quickly. there are four notable variants in the United States.
- 1.1.7 (Alpha): This variant was first detected in the United States in December 2020. It was initially detected in the United Kingdom.
- 1.351 (Beta): This variant was first detected in the United States at the end of January 2021. It was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020.
- 1 (Gamma): This variant was first detected in the United States in January 2021. P.1 was initially identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.
- 1.617.2 (Delta): This variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021. It was initially identified in India in December 2020.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant.html
- Extreme Heat – Keep Cool in Hot Weather. High temperatures kill hundreds of people every year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet more than 700 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States.
- Get Vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick even after you have had COVID-19. Vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal. This information will help you prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination.
Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/prepare-for-vaccination.html
- Safer Travel Tips for Families with Unvaccinated Children. CDC recommends delaying travel until you are able to get fully vaccinated. If you are traveling with children who cannot get vaccinated at this time, follow recommendations for unvaccinated people and choose the safer travel options described below. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-risk.html
- FDA warns that vapors from alcohol-based hand sanitizers can have side effects. Apply hand sanitizer in a well-ventilated area. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-warns-vapors-alcohol-based-hand-sanitizers-can-have-side-effects
- Know Your Treatment Options for COVID-19. Patients today have more treatment options in the battle against coronavirus disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved one drug treatment for COVID-19 and has authorized others for emergency use during this public health emergency. In addition, many more therapies are being tested in clinical trials to evaluate whether they are safe and effective in combating COVID-19. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/know-your-treatment-options-covid-19
- FDA requests removal of strongest warning against using cholesterol-lowering statins during pregnancy; still advises most pregnant patients should stop taking statins. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-requests-removal-strongest-warning-against-using-cholesterol-lowering-statins-during-pregnancy
- FDA/CBER Current Product Shortages Include: APLISOL, Gammagard, SHINGRIX, Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombivax), BCG Live (Intravesical), Immune Globulin (many), Yellow Fever Vaccine (YF-VAX), Zoster vaccine (recombinant), Anticoagulant Sodium Citrate Solution (Fenwal), and many antivenoms. https://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/Shortages/ucm351921.htm
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/
- Protect your workers from heat stress. Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Burns may also occur as a result of accidental contact with hot surfaces or steam. Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments such as firefighters, bakery workers, farmers, construction workers, miners, boiler room workers, factory workers, and others. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat. Prevention of heat stress in workers is important. Employers should provide training to workers so they understand what heat stress is, how it affects their health and safety, and how it can be prevented. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/default.html
- Safely Administering Vaccines: Resources for Healthcare Workers. https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2021/03/02/needlestick-prevention/
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE RESOURCES: Disaster site management can be made easier by being prepared. This page provides links to work plan essentials and site safety and team leader checklists that can help you get prepared for such an event. The page also includes links to information on potential hazards (e.g. silica, asbestos, carbon monoxide, electrocution, falls, confined spaces, and chemical, structural, and mechanical hazards) and recommendations to reference in the event of a disaster. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/sitemgt.html
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: The NIOSH Pocket Guide (NPG) clearly presents key data for chemicals or substance groupings such as cyanides, fluorides, and manganese compounds, that are found in workplaces. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/ ; PDFGUIDE ; MOBILE VERSION
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) https://www.osha.gov
- Hurricane Preparedness and Response: Hurricanes are a form of tropical cyclones that are capable of causing devastating damage to communities. Hurricanes are storm systems with circulating air and sustained wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or higher. The strongest hurricanes can have wind speeds exceeding 155 miles per hour. Areas on the Atlantic Coast, near the Gulf of Mexico, as well as parts of the Southwestern United States are vulnerable to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November and peaks between August and October. Each employer is responsible for the safety and health of its workers and for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct. https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/hurricane/index.html
- Lightning Safety When Working Outdoors. Lightning strikes can severely injure or kill workers whose jobs involve working outdoors. Lightning is often overlooked as an occupational hazard, but employers need awareness about lightning hazards to ensure their workers’ safety. This fact sheet provides employers and workers at outdoor worksites with lightning safety recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3863.pdf
World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int
- WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard: This interactive dashboard/map provides the latest global numbers and numbers by country of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis. https://covid19.who.int/
- UN report: Pandemic year marked by spike in world hunger. There was a dramatic worsening of world hunger in 2020, the United Nations said today – much of it likely related to the fallout of COVID-19. While the pandemic’s impact has yet to be fully mapped, a multi-agency report estimates that around a tenth of the global population – up to 811 million people – were undernourished last year. The number suggests it will take a tremendous effort for the world to honour its pledge to end hunger by 2030. https://www.who.int/news/item/12-07-2021-un-report-pandemic-year-marked-by-spike-in-world-hunger
Public News Sources
- BUSINESS INSIDER: Do J&J vaccine takers need boosters? What we know about mixing shots. Some people who got the J&J vaccine are seeking mRNA booster shots. The CDC and FDA don’t recommend mixing vaccines, but experts say it can’t hurt. Early data on mixing vaccines suggests it could trigger a stronger immune response. See more stories on Insider’s business page. https://www.businessinsider.com/should-jj-get-booster-what-we-know-about-mixing-vaccines-2021-7