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News Archive

July 2009

Scientific Hearing on Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies, Brussels, 10 September 2009

Venue: Centre de Conference A. Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, 1040 Brussels

On 10 September 2009, the European Commission (DG Health and Consumers) is organising in Brussels a Scientific Hearing on the risk assessment of nanotechnologies.

The main objectives of this Hearing are to identify:

As space at the venue is limited, the registration is password-protected. The user name and the password, as well as any further clarification regarding this hearing, can be obtained by contacting the following e-mail address:

Deadline for registration is: 25 July 2009

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The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is starting a new "International Programme on Occupational Health Practice" (390 hours)

The training programme is designed for company health professionals worldwide (doctors, nurses and others) but it is also open for other professionals (technicians, managers, engineers). It is specifically aiming at professionals who work in global companies or in institutions in developing countries.

Teaching is in English but assignments can be sent back in four different languages (English, French, German, Spanish). The program starts on August 31st 2009. Enrolment is open now for the entire program and the individual courses.

The course information website is available at with more information on the content of courses, faculty, application process etc.

Because UIC is a collaborating center in Occupational Health, The Occupational Health Programme of WHO has posted a link to the program at

Norbert L. Wagner MD PhD, Research Associate Professor, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. MDC 56, TAMPA FL 33612-3805 USA | phone office: +1 813 974-2908 | Fax office: +1 813 974-4986 [please notify before sending a fax] | Mobile: +1 813 362-4896 | Skype: NL.Wagner | Email: | |

G8 Nations Agree to Cut Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2050

The effects of climate change are putting every country at risk and no one nation can address it alone, President Obama says, adding that the United States and other developed countries have a responsibility to take the lead in reducing carbon pollution that is causing global temperatures to rise.

Speaking at the 9 July 2009 Group of Eight (G8) meeting in L'Aquila, Italy, Obama said climate change is one of the "defining challenges of our time," and the scientific research pointing to its existence is conclusive and can no longer be ignored.

"Ice sheets are melting. Sea levels are rising. Our oceans are becoming more acidic. And we've already seen its effects on weather patterns, our food and water sources, our health and our habitats," Obama said.

On July 8, the G8 countries - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States - reached a "historic consensus" on goals for reducing carbon pollution, the president said. By 2050, developed nations will reduce carbon emissions 80 percent below a base year that was not specified. They also agreed to work with other nations to cut overall global emissions in half.

"This ambitious effort is consistent with limiting global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius, which, as our declaration explicitly acknowledged for the first time, is what the mainstream of the scientific community has called for," Obama said.

The president acknowledged that developed and developing nations have different priorities because of their differing levels of economic development. Developing nations do not want to "sacrifice their aspirations for development and higher living standards," but they must be active participants in a solution because they will be the source of most of the growth in projected emissions, Obama said.

On the other hand, developed nations have "the much larger carbon footprint per capita," he said, which carries a "historic responsibility to take the lead," and he pledged U.S. leadership on the issue.

"I know that in the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities. So let me be clear: Those days are over," Obama said.

Discussions on climate change expanded July 9 to include Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea, who are participating in the Major Economies Forum (MEF) along with the G8 nations.

For the first time, developing nations at the MEF "acknowledged the significance of the two degrees Celsius metric and agreed to take action to meaningfully lower their emissions relative to business as usual" over the next 10 years, Obama said. They also agreed to negotiate concrete goals to reduce their carbon emissions by 2050 before an international summit on climate change scheduled to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009.

The MEF agreed to establish a "peak year" for global carbon emissions, after which overall levels would start to fall, and the president said the reductions would be "measurable, reportable and verifiable." Developing nations will also have access to more financial resources to help them deploy clean-energy technologies and create low-carbon growth plans.

There will also be a global partnership established with the goal of doubling research and development of transformational clean-energy technology and bringing it to the global marketplace.

Despite the difficulty of getting MEF leaders to agree on climate change within the context of a global economic recession, Obama said the forum has "made a good start."

The president outlined steps the United States has taken in 2009, such as investing billions of dollars in developing clean technologies, raising auto fuel efficiency standards, and drafting pending legislation that would cut U.S. carbon pollution by more than 80 percent by 2050.

"I've come to see that it is going to be absolutely critical that all of us go beyond what's expected if we're going to achieve our goals," he said.

Urging global cooperation, Obama said the world is facing the choice of either shaping its own future or letting "events shape it for us."

"We know that the problems we face are made by human beings. That means it's within our capacity to solve them," he said.

What foreign affairs decisions should President Obama consider? Comment on's blog: Day 1: What should Obama’s top priorities be?

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

PCIH 2009 registration open now

The Professional Conference on Industrial Hygiene (PCIH) is THE conference to attend if you are an occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) professional looking to stay abreast of current trends, find solutions to everyday issues, and network with experienced OEHS professionals.

Sponsored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association's Academy of Industrial Hygiene, PCIH provides a forum to discuss current trends, to learn from experts, and to develop practical applications to tackle the issues you face daily.

Professional development courses, workshops and small group discussions leave you equipped with the information you need excel and let you stay on top of your field by earning up to 6 CM points.

PCIH is also a great place to network with other leaders in your profession. Join us at Steamworks Pub, a favourite Vancouver landmark for one of our fun-filled networking events.

Enjoy the incredible mountains, sparking ocean and cosmopolitan flair that make Vancouver perfect for work and play. Exceptional cuisine, a walk-able downtown, and all the energy of a dynamic, multicultural city set in a spectacular natural environment are just some of things that will make your Vancouver experience unforgettable.

Discounted online registration only until 24 August 2009.

BOHS Bedford Prize awarded posthumously to lead author for paper on occupational hygiene research among drug manufacturing workers

BOHS's latest Bedford Prize has been awarded to a team from the University of Leuven in Belgium for a paper about the protection of pharmaceutical production workers from the potential harmful effects of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The 'Thomas Bedford Memorial Prize' is BOHS's oldest award, presented to lead authors of the most outstanding paper published in the Society's journal, Annals of Occupational Hygiene. Sadly, the lead author of this paper, Nadine Van Nimmen, died of cancer at the age of 42, and was awarded her PhD posthumously. The paper was based on part of this work; the Bedford Prize, which would have been presented to her at the BOHS Annual Conference in 2009, was sent to her family, also posthumously.

This paper presents very relevant occupational hygiene research into worker exposure to APIs, something which poses a significant challenge for the drug manufacturing industry. The authors have dealt with a particular agent, opioid narcotic analgesics, from the beginning to the end - by developing analytical methods for analysing both dermal and air samples at very low concentrations, and then evaluating actual exposures in the field and recommending optimal control measures. Commenting on the paper, the Editor in Chief of the Annals, Dr Trevor Ogden, said, "This study is a very nice example of what occupational research is all about and how it should be performed." The paper can be read in full or in abstract on the Annals website:

The Bedford Prize is awarded every other year. Anyone can nominate papers to the shortlist, and the choice is then made by a panel of the journal Editorial Board and recent presidents of BOHS.

Contact Anthea Page, Communications Manager, by email:, or by telephone: +44 (0)1332 250701

9th International Mine Ventilation Congress to be held 10-13 November 2009, New Delhi, India

Sponsor: Department of Mining Engineering, Indian School of Mines University

Safety inspectors join forces to tackle £20 billion toll of workplace injury and illness

Local and national safety regulators have struck a new deal to tackle the £20 billion toll of injury and illness in Britain's workplaces.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has signed a commitment with the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS), the body that represents safety inspectors in hundreds of town halls throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The deal was announced a week after new figures revealed that the number of workers fatally injured had fallen to 180 in 2008/09 - the lowest level since records began in 1974.

Official figures show that 34 million working days are lost each year due to work-related ill health and injury - costing the economy some £20 billion a year.

LACORS and HSE said the commitment would help give every worker in Britain access to a safe place to work.

Geoffrey Podger, HSE's Chief Executive, said:

"A good health and safety regime, focused on real risks, will have a positive impact on local communities and businesses.

"No single organisation can successfully tackle the challenge of reducing work-related deaths, injuries and ill health in Britain.

"By working together, HSE and local authorities can put in place a robust, modern regulatory system that helps us improve protection for employees and support for employers in understanding how to comply with the law."

LACORS Executive Director, Derek Allen, said:

"Having a healthy and safe place to work is a fundamental right of every employee. But it is not a right that everyone enjoys. The new statement of commitment defines how LACORS, the HSE and councils in England, Wales and Scotland will work together to ensure that we continue to improve our safety record.

"We must join together to reject the trivialisation of the health and safety agenda - we cannot afford to be distracted by silly or frivolous issues, and must concentrate on protecting workers from serious injury or death."

"Councils, as both leaders and practitioners, are perfectly placed to build a common-sense approach to health and safety to improve the well-being of people and communities."

A new health and safety strategy for Great Britain was launched in June, which encourages a proportionate and common sense approach preventing the death, injury or ill health in the workplace and builds on the successful co-regulator partnership between councils and HSE.

The new commitment binds councils and HSE to implementing a new standard of enforcement by 2011 - the so called Section 18 standard places a duty on HSE and local authorities to put adequate resources into enforcement, work together effectively and take a sensible approach to risk management.

The Statement of Commitment has been agreed by the key local government representative bodies the Local Government Association (LGA), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA), the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Copies of the Statement of Commitment are available on and

HSE's new strategy "The Health and Safety of Great Britain - Be part of the solution" was published on 3 June 2009. It is available on

The division of responsibilities for enforcement is governed by specific regulations (Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998). Local authorities are responsible for enforcement in over a million workplaces, employing around half the British workforce. They are generally responsible for offices, shops, warehouses, call centres and similar premises. HSE is responsible for the remainder of activities and the workers involved.

LACORS is the local government central body providing support, coordination and promotion of local health and safety regulation, representing local government on behalf of LGA, WLGA and COSLA.

2011 NORA Symposium Announced!

The next US National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Symposium is planned for the spring of 2011 in Washington, DC.

It will mark the 15th anniversary of NORA and the 40th anniversary of the creation of NIOSH.

A NORA symposium is held every few years to celebrate successes and work toward future achievements (see the "Historical Information" section of the NORA Web site:

Contact the NORA coordinator ( with your suggestions for a great NORA symposium

Research to Practice Launches New Website

The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of Technology Transfer has launched a new research to practice (r2p) website, Learn about r2p across NIOSH, r2p success stories, and partnership opportunities and resources.

The site will be updated as new NIOSH licensing and partnership opportunities become available for collaboration on occupational safety and health research. For additional information about r2p, please email or call 513-533-8662.

Dramatic New Video From the CSB

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a 20-minute safety video, Emergency Preparedness: Findings From CSB Accident Investigations.

This video dramatically demonstrates the need for emergency response agencies, companies, and communities to work closely together to prepare for the kinds of tragic chemical accidents the CSB has investigated over the past decade.

The video is available online at and on YouTube.

First Europe-wide photo competition on safe and healthy workplaces

A new photography competition focussing on safety and health at work has been announced by the European Agency for Safety and Health (EU-OSHA). All photographers - professionals or amateurs - are invited to join the competition and submit their photographs before 15 August 2009.

An international jury of professional photographers selects the best entries from a special competition website. Prizes totalling € 7,000 await the winners.

19-20 November 2009 - Tank Storage Asia Expo and Conference, Suntec Exhibition Centre, Singapore

Once again the region's oil and chemical storage tank owners and operators will gather in Singapore to listen to and network with key industry decision-makers. Building on the success of previous StocExpo events, Tank Storage Asia, organized by market leading publication Tank Storage magazine, will go one step further in 2009 by incorporating the very first Biofuels International Asia Expo & Conference so providing delegates and visitors even more reasons to attend. Dual conference sessions will attract terminal managers, CEOs, business development managers, as well as technical personnel to discuss an array of topics ranging from the commercial drivers for the Asian storage sector to best practices for terminal operators. With Singapore being one of the world's leading refining and trading centres, as well as a major petrochemical hub, it is the perfect location to host this year's premier tank terminal related conference and exhibition.