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BPA exposure by infants may increase later risk of food intolerance - Medical Xpress

BPA - 2 hours 46 min ago

Medical Xpress

BPA exposure by infants may increase later risk of food intolerance
Medical Xpress
"Food contributes over 80 percent of the population's exposure to BPA," said Sandrine Menard, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Neuro-Gastroenterology and Nutrition at INRA in Toulouse, France. "On the basis of the ...

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Categories: News Feeds

Why Rwanda’s Youth Are ‘Wired’ to Lead Africa

Triple Pundit - 3 hours 20 min ago
A shift is underway across young Africa. According to a 2012 survey by Jacana Partners, a pan-African private equity firm, 70 percent of African students studying at top 10 American and European business schools plan to work in Africa following graduation. No place does the yearning for home seem greater than in Rwanda.

Danone Waters warns EU bottled water PEF rules could cost struggling SMEs - BeverageDaily.com

Bottled Water - 3 hours 23 min ago

Danone Waters warns EU bottled water PEF rules could cost struggling SMEs
BeverageDaily.com
Speaking at the Canadean Beverage Packaging event in Brussels on Tuesday, environment director Philippe Diercxens outlined the framework of the EU Commission's pilot program on Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) rules for the bottled water ...

Categories: News Feeds

Guest Opinion: Beware bottle bill expansion boondoggle - Wicked Local Dighton

Bottle Bills - 3 hours 35 min ago

Guest Opinion: Beware bottle bill expansion boondoggle
Wicked Local Dighton
I have followed the expanded bottle bill since its inception and nothing has been added or deleted that has convinced me that it will reduce the hundreds of thousands of tons of solid waste that ends up in landfills. The bottle bill does nothing to ...

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Categories: News Feeds

Antartic Melting Prompts South Miami to Secede

Triple Pundit - 4 hours 4 min ago
The residents of South Miami, FL doesn't plan to sit around and wait for the Antartic ice cap to melt - or for Forida's capital to come up with a plan that will save their city from flooding. They've come up with a plan of their own, and so far, it's generating plenty of attention.

Wayne Farms slammed by OSHA for gaming system on poultry worker injuries

Pump Handle - 4 hours 5 min ago

OSHA proposed serious and repeat violations yesterday to Wayne Farms for a variety of safety hazards, including those that led to musculoskeletal injuries among the company’s poultry processing workers. By my calculation, it was the first time in more than a decade that the Labor Department used its “general duty clause” to cite a poultry company for ergonomic hazards.

OSHA conducted the inspection in response to a complaint filed six months ago by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of a group of workers. The complaint described the harsh working conditions in the Jack, Alabama plant, and also provided specifics on management’s retaliation against workers who are injured or complain about hazards. The workers involved in filing the complaint should feel vindicated because OSHA’s citations validate their assertions.

OSHA’s investigation involved staff from its Mobile, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia offices, as well as the agency’s top-notch ergonomist and occupational medicine physicians. They note that workers in the plant are required to perform:

“prolonged repetitive, forceful tasks, often in awkward postures for extended periods of time.”

Those tasks include cutting wings, cutting shoulders, sawing wins, pulling skin, and pulling tenders.

The OSHA team also identified gross deficiencies in the company’s lockout/tagout procedures. Such safeguards can help to ensure that workers were not caught-in or struck-by equipment when it is being cleaned or repaired. That’s bad enough, but Wayne Farms was cited by OSHA in 2011 for this same violation at one of the company’s other poultry processing plants. For the repeat infraction, OSHA has proposed a $38,500 penalty.

Besides validating the workers’ complaints, OSHA’s citations corroborate what researchers and worker advocates have been saying for decades: Injury rates based on employer self-reporting are works of fiction. OSHA assembled evidence against Wayne Farms on the ways in which the company gamed the system for recording injuries. OSHA’s Mobile, Alabama area director said,

“By failing to report injuries, failing to refer employees to physicians and discouraging employees from seeking medical treatment, Wayne Farms effectively concealed the extent to which these poultry plant workers were suffering work-related injuries and illnesses. And as a result, it reported an artificially lower injury and illness rate.”

I have no doubt that other poultry and meatpacking companies use the same dishonest practices to intentionally deceive the Labor Department and the public about working conditions in their plants. If you haven’t already, you should dismiss any assertions made by the National Chicken Council and other industry groups that poultry slaughtering plants are safe and worker injury rates low. That goes for the safety award given to Wayne Farms in 2011 for its “outstanding safety performance.” The company touts its behavior-based safety program called “WorkSAFE” which

“focuses on helping employees identify unsafe behaviors and remain conscious of their environment and potentially dangerous situations.”

What a bunch of baloney. Workers at Wayne Farms know what causes their injuries. It’s not their “unsafe behaviors.” It’s all about the incessant repetitive motions, fast work pace and deficient equipment in their jobs. These are all things that the company controls, not the workers. The “unsafe behaviors” are the company’s not the workers’.

For me, some of the most powerful language in the OSHA citations is the long list of feasible options the agency offers Wayne Farms to fix the ergonomic hazards. For workers in the chicken deboning area, OSHA explains that the company could:

  • increase the recovery of affected body parts through task rotation during the work shift (rotation to tasks without continuous use of a knife, scissors or forceful grip);
  • increase recovery time through implementation of mini-breaks, increase cycle time for each task, establish a rotation on a daily basis between departments to increase recovery time (such as rotation between debone and marination);
  • provide knives with handles designed for repetitive tasks;
  • provide hand tools with textured handles to reduce employee grip force, larger quillons (guard) before the blade to prevent hand from sliding down knife-allowing reduced grip force;
  • install mechanical skin removal equipment or provide textured gloves to reduce hand force required in pull skin;
  • provide air-assist powered scissors or wing cut;
  • position the knife sharpener to minimize non-neutral wrist posture; and
  • evaluate employees at each station to determine appropriate work platform height for each employee.

Surely, a firm with more than $1.9 billion in annual sales can afford buying some better hand tools and giving workers rest breaks.

Michelle LaPointe, senior staff attorney with SPLC remarked about the OSHA citations:

“The actions taken by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration go far beyond a company being fined for violations at a single poultry plant,” said Michelle Lapointe, SPLC senior staff attorney. …This is an industry where workers are forced to work at dangerously fast speeds that cause disabling injuries and often thrown away when they can no longer work.”

In a statement to Dave Jamieson of the Huffington Post, Wayne Farms said it is contesting the citations.

OSHA has taken an important step with these citations. It was Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole in the late 1980’s that put citations for ergonomic hazards on the radar screen. Use of the general duty clause was embraced at the time, but largely abandoned over the last decade. Our government has failed to hold poultry companies accountable for the workplace hazards that cripple the hands, wrists, shoulders and backs of workers must stop. I hope these citations are not an anomaly, but a sign of much more attention to the deplorable working conditions in poultry and meatpacking plants.

Categories: Health

Supporters Of Expanding Mass. Bottle Bill Holding Rallies - WAMC

Bottle Bills - 4 hours 43 min ago

WAMC

Supporters Of Expanding Mass. Bottle Bill Holding Rallies
WAMC
Supporters of expanding the bottle bill in Massachusetts are holding rallies at the Boston Common and in Pittsfield today. They are urging people to vote yes on Ballot Question 2 on Election Day. Question 2 on November's ballot would expand the state's ...

Categories: News Feeds

A Conservationist Sees Signs of Hope for the World’s Rainforests

Yale Environment 360 - 5 hours 23 min ago
After decades of sobering news, a prominent conservationist says he is finally finding reason to be optimistic about the future of tropical forests. Consumer pressure on international corporations and new monitoring technology, he says, are helping turn the tide in efforts to save forests from Brazil to Indonesia. BY RHETT BUTLER
Categories: Environment, Health

Chevron Tries to Buy Local City Election

Triple Pundit - 5 hours 32 min ago
Chevron is heavily invested in creating a business-friendly environment in the town where it was responsible for a massive explosion in 2012.

Costa Rica Still a Hotspot for Birders

The EnvironmentaList - 6 hours 3 min ago
Travelers flock to the Central American nation with high hopes of seeing rare and beautiful birds
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Editorial: No to Question 2, expanding the bottle bill - The Republican - masslive.com

Bottle Bills - 7 hours 16 min ago

Editorial: No to Question 2, expanding the bottle bill
The Republican - masslive.com
n this Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 photo, Jorge Pereira works at sorting bottles and cans at a redemption center in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston. If approved on Nov. 4, a ballot measure would expand the state's law by adding 5-cent deposits to ...
In support of the bottle billWicked Local Pembroke

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Categories: News Feeds

Corbion gaat zelf maar bioplastic maken - Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)

Bioplastic - 7 hours 31 min ago

Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)

Corbion gaat zelf maar bioplastic maken
Financieele Dagblad (Registratie)
Corbion heeft hooggespannen verwachtingen voor afbreekbaar bioplastic, waarvoor het melkzuurbedrijf de grondstof kan leveren, maar met de verkoop van het plantaardige plastic schiet het nog niet erg op. Het bedrijf is het wachten nu beu en heeft ...

Categories: Business

Sologic’s solar eTree that keeps on giving

Green Prophet - 7 hours 41 min ago
Many ecologists identify with it, but there is something sad about Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, about a tree that gives to a young boy until its bitter end. A parable about how us humans...
Categories: Lifestyle

Grow your own food in Dubai and plant $2,700 in your pocket!

Green Prophet - 9 hours 40 min ago
Dubai Municipality teamed up with spice giant Eastern Masala and Jaleel Holdings to launch a new project that aims to pass on a message of healthy living, encouraging residents to create home gardens...
Categories: Lifestyle

A Luxembourger in America: My polystyrene cup - Luxemburger Wort - English Edition

Polysterene - 10 hours 2 min ago

A Luxembourger in America: My polystyrene cup
Luxemburger Wort - English Edition
In her second “A Luxembourger in America” column, wort.lu/en journalist Cordula Schnuer is confronted with a polystyrene cup in Washington DC and a bad conscience for not being able to recycle it. I remember take-away coffee becoming a “thing” in ...

Categories: News Feeds

Egyptian spacecraft Rosetta attempts comet landing to study our distant past

Green Prophet - October 29, 2014
Almost exactly one year ago Green Prophet revealed that King Tut’s jewelry contains ancient comet dust. Now the ancient Egyptians will leave their mark on a passing comet as a spacecraft named after...
Categories: Lifestyle

County prepares for school water deliveries - Visalia Times-Delta

Bottled Water - October 29, 2014

Visalia Times-Delta

County prepares for school water deliveries
Visalia Times-Delta
Only schools with water that is too contaminated to meet state drinking water standards — which sometimes results from drought conditions — or wells that were contaminated before they went dry can receive bottled water under this program, Coyne said.

Categories: News Feeds

Nearly 300000 without potable water in Quebec City - MSN Canada

Bottled Water - October 29, 2014

Nearly 300000 without potable water in Quebec City
MSN Canada
Nearly 300,000 residents of Quebec City were without potable tap water Wednesday after a major pipe burst, prompting a boil water order, and a run on bottled water. Four of the city's five hospitals as well as some 40 schools were relying on deliveries ...

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Categories: News Feeds

The Closed Loop Fund Helps Cities Increase Recycling

Triple Pundit - October 29, 2014
The biggest barrier facing most cities when it comes to providing the level of innovation and infrastructure needed to reduce waste and increase recycling rates often boils down to one factor: Money—or specifically, the absence of it.

KKR Green Portfolio: A Sustainable & Lean Private Equity Machine

Triple Pundit - October 29, 2014
Dollar General and Pets at Home are among the 27 companies that have been through the KKR Green Portfolio Program.
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