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Five on Friday: Workers' Memorial Week

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Five on Friday: Workers' Memorial Week


Earlier this week, we marked the end of Workers’ Memorial Week. Workers encounter hazards every day that cause needless injuries, illnesses, and even deaths. We commemorate this week to honor those who have died, and to strive to prevent future preventable deaths related to work. This week’s Five on Friday explores articles and resources related to worker health and safety, recommended by MCN staff.



1 ban methylene chloride


Kate shared this Earthjustice press release, detailing the new lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for excluding workers from a rule banning methylene chloride from use in paint strippers. A quote from the Earthjustice attorney: “If dozens of confirmed deaths are not enough to get the Trump administration to protect workers from methylene chloride paint strippers, nothing short of a court order will.”

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2 ny bands chlorpyrifos


Amy celebrated New York State’s legislature passing a ban on chlorpyrifos this week, protecting workers and their families in rural New York communities from exposure to the neurotoxin.

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3 children in the field


Children are also at risk of dying because of their work -- and many children are still toiling in the fields around the US. Amy also shared Children in the Fields: The Stories You Should Know, which highlights the story of a 17-year-old migrant farmworker who, while riding home on his bike, collapsed and died, after a week of farmwork where he endured multiple exposures to pesticides. “Every child should have a childhood, but many farmworker children do not,” the report says. Amy contributed to the health hazards section.


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4 Dirty Dozen


Amy also shared, “Migrant child died after release from detention, attorneys group alleges.”

Candace shared the National COSH’s Dirty Dozen for 2019, “the employers who put workers and communities at risk,” which include Amazon, McDonald’s, johns Hopkins, and Perdue, plus lesser-known names like Bedrock Detroit and Atlantic Capes Fisheries.

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5 air pollution as normal odors


Karen reminded us of an article from last year on a new EPA rule that amends emergency release notification regulations, enabling industrial agricultural operations to avoid reporting on emissions from animal waste, “This is despite the mountain of evidence that shows concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) produce toxic air that can be lethal for farm workers and nearby residents,” the article notes.


Have a safe and healthy weekend.


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