Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.
No-one should miss out on sick pay, for safety’s sake
Patchy sick pay cover undermines coronavirus prevention
Health crisis exposes sick pay and zero hours peril
GMB wins full pay for ISS staff if self isolated
Government cuts created coronavirus ‘hygiene nightmare’
UK workers are overworked and underpaid
New union network to improve North Sea helicopter safety
Underground drivers demand tests into 'toxic' particles
FBU blasts ‘endless delays’ to the Grenfell inquiry
HMRC strike ballot over taxing working patterns
MPs echo union call for tighter controls on deadly silica
Young black and minority workers stuck in bad jobs
Union calls for civil service bullying inquiry
Action call as retail violence increases
Australia: Government bankrolls bid to cut sick leave
Global: Union action call on ‘crucial’ coronavirus action
Italy: Shop union secures coronavirus protection
Global: Time for a world of work free of violence
USA: White House doctored chemical warning
A common workplace solvent linked to fetal heart deformations, cancer and other serious health disorders has been given a healthier spin after a draft report from a US government agency was doctored by the White House prior to publication. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an official assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE), which rejected fetal heart malformations as a benchmark for safe exposure levels to the chemical. However a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has discovered that in coming to this conclusion, the report downplayed years of established science. CIR reporter Elizabeth Shogren learned that the report were altered radically at the direction of the Trump White House. Shogren has obtained a copy of the roughly 700-page draft assessment that EPA scientists initially signed off on. That internal draft went to the White House and other federal agencies for review. According to two government scientists, EPA scientists were directed to substantially rewrite their evaluation by discarding the science on TCE’s role in fetal heart defects. The instructions, they said, came from the Executive Office of the President. According to CIR: “Put another way, the White House had directed the EPA to override the findings of its own scientists.” It details several instances where wording on the risks to workers was revised, and notes that the Trump administration listened to John DeSesso, who is “a contract scientist for chemical companies and their trade associations, promoting their positions on toxic chemicals from arsenic to Roundup.” DeSesso had published one paper on the TCE issue. The CIR report notes that by contrast, four acknowledged experts in the field who had previously “publicly rebutted DeSesso’s study” and who between them “have 16 peer-reviewed lab studies of TCE under their belts” were “shut out” of the process.
Center for Investigative Reporting report and The Weekly Reveal podcast.
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