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Occupations with High Obesity Prevalence in Washington State

Categories: Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Safety and Health Data, Smoking, Total Worker Health, Transportation

If work and the workplace contribute to poor health behaviors, should employers attempt to improve those behaviors?  It likely is in the employer’s best interest to do so.

Poor health behaviors can lead to chronic disease.  Workers with chronic disease may be at higher risk for workplace injury, have more absenteeism, and diminished productivity at work. Once injured, workers with chronic diseases take a longer time to return to work.  So the best strategy would be for employers to promote healthy behaviors to prevent the occurrence of these chronic diseases.

Silica Hazards from Engineered Stone Countertops

Categories: Construction, Manufacturing, Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Health

A new engineered stone countertop product known as “quartz surfacing,” was created in the late 1980s by combining quartz aggregate with resins to create a product for use in home building and home improvement.  Manufacturing of this material, including products such as CaesarStone™, Silestone™, Zodiaq™, or Cambria™ is a fast growing industry.  First made in Israel and Spain, production of these materials has grown world-wide, driving quartz slab imports to the U.S. up 63% between 2011 and 2012 and 48% between April 2012 and April 2013 (Schwartzkopf 2013, StatWatch 2013).  Quartz surfacing materials may contain up to 93% crystalline silica (Dupont 2010).  In contrast, the percent of crystalline silica in a slab of granite is less than 45%, darker color granite has a lower percentage (Simcox et al. 1999).  Workers who fabricate and install quartz surfacing are at risk for overexposure to silica released during sizing, cutting, grinding and polishing.  Prolonged inhalation of dust from silica-containing materials can lead to silicosis (scarring of the lungs).  In addition to silicosis, scientific evidence indicates that occupational exposure to crystalline silica puts workers at increased risk for  other serious health conditions: chronic obstructive lung disease, lung cancer, kidney and connective tissue disease, and tuberculosis.  The focus of this blog is on silicosis, which has occurred in multiple workers in this industry.

World Cancer Day – Cancer Detectives in the Workplace

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Cancer, Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Manufacturing, Mining, Transportation

Today is World Cancer Day. Around the world, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and the number is expected to increase due to the growth and aging of the population, as well as reductions in childhood mortality and deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries (ACS 2011). Cancer is the leading cause of death in developed countries and the second leading cause of death in developing countries.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death.

Powerful New Videos Encourage Those Who Qualify to Seek Care through the World Trade Center Health Program

Categories: Cancer, Chemicals, Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Respiratory Health

Glenn, a retired New York City police officer, shares how the World Trade Center Health Program helped him regain his health.

Though the September 11th attacks were over a decade ago, thousands of people who were in the affected areas continue to experience physical and mental health symptoms as a result of their experience in the days, months, and even years following 9/11. They may not recognize that some cancers, a chronic cough, difficulty sleeping, or frequent heartburn that they— or their children— experience could be a 9/11 related health condition.

NIOSH is teaming up with our community partners to spread the word that help is available through the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program. Created by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, the WTC Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders at the World Trade Center and related sites in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA, and for survivors who were in the New York City disaster area. All care for covered conditions is provided at no out of pocket costs for those who qualify.

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