Archive for September, 2009


In a recent NY Times article, a hospital worker explained her reasoning for not getting the H1N1 vaccine offered to her:

“Some people’s immune system is good, like me,” Ms. Newton said. “I’ve been here five years and never been sick. Why mess with something that’s not broken?”

In a unique move, the NY State Health Department created an emergency regulation that required all hospital, hospice and home care workers to receive seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations.

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, a coalition of unions, is considering legal action to prevent the requirement.  The unions are not necessarily opposed to the vaccine but take issue with linking it to employment.



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“Crocidolite” Rock

Advertising for asbestos flooring circa 1965. How could you not want one after this commercial?

Asbestos is possibly one of the most notorious silicate minerals in history. There may be evidence of its problematic pulmonic properties as early as 3000 BC.  Certainly, Emperor Charlemagne might have preferred a less toxic choice of table cloth.

The CDC, whose website has seen a recent aesthetic upgrade, has some handy workplace recommendations for those who work in environments where asbestos is present. Among those at an increased exposure risk are automotive places (brakes & clutches), railroads and maritime operations.

Be healthy,


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Beware the Break Room

On April 7th, five Los Angeles preschool teachers began behaving strangely. The preschools’ director and administrator noticed one teacher who demonstrated shortness of breath, tingling extremities, loss of balance and drowsiness. A few sought medical attention and some reported their odd experience the following day. Before the strange episode, these teachers shared a common contact. A fellow pre-school teacher had purchased individually wrapped brownies and placed them in the break room to share. Each of the teachers had consumed one brownie.

These brownies, purchased April 5th, were bought at a sidewalk fundraiser for a church. When the pastor was questioned, he reported that the church was not holding a fundraiser. Two teachers of the teachers who sought medical attention tested positive for cannabinoids.  The brownies, sold at $1.50, were laced with marijuana. The streetvendor has not been found.

Get the full story from the CDC.

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