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News Archive

March 2014

International Women’s Day 8 March 2014: Theme – Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day (IWD) originated in 1911, when women garment workers in New York held demonstrations protesting against their appalling and dangerous working conditions, after a fire engulfed their factory.

Women in the textile and readymade garment industries remain at the forefront of campaigns for health and safety, for decent wages and conditions, and against state repression and tyranny. We need only look to women workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand to see these struggles.

The value of women’s unpaid housework and community work is estimated to be up to one third of GDP worldwide, or about US$ 11 trillion. Nearly 70 per cent of the world’s 1.3 billion people living in poverty are women. 80 per cent of the world’s 27 million refugees are women and children. An estimated 20 million unsafe abortions are performed worldwide every year, resulting in the deaths of 70,000 women.

Women still face domestic violence and rape in all countries. Basic rights including free and safe abortion are still illegal in many countries. Women’s rights at school and at work are very restricted in many countries. Equal pay for work of equal value still has not been achieved anywhere.

In cities across the world on 8 March 2014 women and men will be marching to advance the fight for women’s rights.

For more details see www.internationalwomensday.com

USA EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Updates EDSP Comprehensive Management Plan

The USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Comprehensive Management Plan to emphasize the utilization of advanced informational technology and computational methods. The mission of the EDSP is to protect people, wildlife and our environment from chemicals that adversely affect endocrine systems by screening pesticides, chemicals and environmental contaminants for their potential effects on estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormone systems.

The updated 2014 EDSP Comprehensive Management Plan provides strategic guidance for agency personnel and outlines the critical EDSP activities that are planned for this program over the next five years. Among the many critical activities is a core focus on using informational technology to enhance data interpretation and applying computational methods to more efficiently prioritize and screen the universe of EDSP chemicals for potential effects on the endocrine system. This document is made available to the public as a source of information and to ensure open transparency.

Detailed information is available at www.epa.gov/endo

IPAF supports ALH Conference and Awards in Miami

IPAF – the International Powered Access Federation is pleased to announce its support of the first-ever ALH Conference and Awards that will be held on 11 November 2014 at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, Florida, USA.

The North American-focused event will feature a day-long conference followed by an awards event in the evening, and is organised by Access Lift & Handlers (ALH) magazine. IPAF will provide speakers and input into the conference topics. ALH is the official magazine of IPAF in North America.

Together with the event, the IPAF North American Regional Council will meet on 10 November 2014 and IPAF will organise an IPAF members’ breakfast meeting at the Biltmore hotel on the morning of 11 November 2014.

“This is a great opportunity to promote the IPAF brand and the Federation’s work in the North American access sector,” said IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman. “We look forward to providing additional support for our US and Canadian members and meeting them at this new event.”

IPAF members can book conference and gala dinner tickets at a discount. For more information, e-mail marketing@ipaf.org

More details are at www.ipaf.org/events or www.khl-group.com/events/alh-ca

IPAF is a not-for-profit members’ organization that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide.

Contact: Berlinda Nadarajan, IPAF Information Officer | Tel: +1 518 280 2486 | Fax: +1 518 689 6800 | media@ipaf.org | www.ipaf.org

7th Annual ABSA/Emory/ERGF Leadership Institute for Biosafety Professionals

Taking the Lead-Building and Sustaining Partnerships in Safety – 21-24 April 2014 – San Diego, California, USA

Biosafety officers face several organizational challenges – long hours, short deadlines, and limited resources that produce unmanageable situations that biosafety officers must overcome. These situations influence safety practices and require the biosafety officer not only to remain engaged at all times, but to build partnerships that foster a culture of safety.

The Leadership Institute for Biosafety Professionals was developed to provide those serving biosafety an opportunity to get away, brainstorm, regroup, mentor, and refresh for the challenges ahead. It is important for all professionals to take the time to review outside perspectives, gather thoughts, and listen to experienced experts and peers so they may return to their institutions and continue to manage very challenging situations.

The Leadership Institute is a unique collaboration of internationally-recognised organisations and institutions in biosafety and biosecurity. An experienced and diverse faculty share their expertise and experiences in a leadership programme designed specifically for people who have responsibilities in managing risks and compliance in research environments.

Leaders get it done and this programme provides sound strategies from experienced leaders so participants return to their organisations re-energised, engaged, and strategic in their safety management decisions.

Contact ABSA at info@absa.org | Tel: +1 866-425-1385

REACH Evaluation Report 2013: Results and recommendations from dossier evaluation

ECHA’s annual evaluation report 2013 gives recommendations to all registrants on how to improve the quality of their dossiers. As a consequence of ECHA’s evaluation decisions, two thirds of evaluated registrations were brought into compliance following an update. In the course of 2013, the Agency forwarded 32 non-compliant cases to national enforcement authorities for their action.

The annual evaluation report covers the Agency’s evaluation activities and the corresponding output. In 2013, the focus of dossier evaluation activities was on compliance checks: 928 checks were concluded during the year. Altogether, ECHA has checked 1 130 dossiers, thereby exceeding the 5 % target of the total number of dossiers submitted for the 2010 registration deadline. In 61 % of the cases concluded in 2013, ECHA found that the dossiers did not comply with one or more REACH information requirements and sent draft decisions to the registrants. Due to the selection of dossiers with clear indications of potential non-compliance, this proportion is not a reliable indicator of data quality in all dossiers. Most of ECHA’s information requests were related to substance identity, physicochemical properties, sub-chronic toxicity studies, pre-natal developmental toxicity studies and exposure assessment.

Regarding testing proposals, ECHA focused on decision-making for sets of dossiers relying on read-across and category approaches. The Agency concluded 157 examinations and took 111 decisions. In 71 cases, ECHA accepted the tests proposed by the registrants and in 37 cases, it modified at least one of the proposed tests. There were three decisions rejecting testing proposals.

ECHA conducted 222 follow-up evaluations in 2013, examining whether the registrants had provided the information requested in the ECHA decision by the set deadline. In 147 cases, the evaluation could be completed as the registrant had complied with the decision. In 43 cases, the requests in the decision have been complied with, but new requests for data are needed. For 22 compliance checks and 10 testing proposal decisions, ECHA concluded that they were not properly implemented; the Member States authorities were invited to start enforcing these evaluation decisions.

After the successful completion of the first substance evaluations initiated in 2012 by 17 Member States, ECHA adopted the first substance evaluation decisions with the agreement of the Member State Committee.

The report gives specific recommendations for both future registrants for the 2018 deadline and existing registrants who may need to update their dossiers. The recommendations cover these subjects:

Further information: http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/evaluation

Public Health Victory as European Parliament Backs Tobacco Products Directive

Campaigning public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomed the large majority vote today by the European Parliament passing the revised and strengthened EU Tobacco Products Directive. The Directive means that all European Union countries will have to put in place a series of tough legal measures to curb smoking and tobacco use.

Key elements of the new Directive include:

Following formal adoption by the European Council, Governments in the EU Member States will have two years to include the Directive’s provisions in national law, with an extension to six years for prohibiting menthol flavouring.

The 2010 Eurobarometer survey showed that 29% of EU citizens smoke either cigarettes, cigars or a pipe. According to the World Health Organisation, 16% of adult deaths in Europe are due to tobacco use.

Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH, commented:

The European Parliament’s vote today is a victory for public health across the continent. The Directive, which will come into effect by 2016, will encourage many existing smokers to quit, and stop many children and young people from starting to smoke in the first place. It also provides for countries that are leaders in tobacco control, particularly the UK, to go further, by introducing standardised “plain” packaging for cigarettes.

Contact: Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) | Tel: 020 7404 0242 | www.ash.org.uk

Cochrane South Asia is privileged to host the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium

Hyderabad in India – September 2014

2014 heralds the 21st anniversary of The Cochrane Collaboration’s pioneering global initiative. We celebrate Cochrane’s rite of passage into its prime with a Colloquium that we hope will challenge, stimulate, and empower us to face our responsibilities as global leaders in research synthesis for better health.

The 2014 Cochrane Colloquium will focus on ‘Evidence-Informed Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges;’ a theme that is apt for the setting of the Colloquium in India and South Asia. We hope that September 2014 will see history, geography, altruism, pragmatism, and good science meld seamlessly to help improve the health of the millions of people in the region, and around the world.

We sincerely hope that people from all over the world, particularly people from low- and middle-income countries in Asia and the Pacific and in other parts of the world, will attend this Colloquium and add their voices and experiences to those of people from high-income countries. We are sure that wider participation of people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world will enrich the discussions, debates, presentations, and workshops at Hyderabad. This will help Cochrane to better face the challenges of providing credible and relevant evidence to inform health decisions that can improve the health of people all over the world.

In order to facilitate the wider participation of people from the poorer countries in the world at the 2014 Hyderabad Colloquium, we offer considerably lower registration fees than offered in previous Colloquia. We hope that this will help towards reducing the barriers to your participation.

Swagatham! We welcome you warmly to the planet called India, the land of a thousand Gods, where every guest is treated like a god.

http://colloquium.cochrane.org

HSE showcases this year’s scientific research achievements

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its sixth annual Science Report highlighting the year’s achievements in science and engineering research.

The report reveals the breadth of work undertaken by the Health and Safety Laboratory, HSE’s principle provider of forensic support, HSE’s own analysts and contractors – more than 500 projects in total – which are aimed putting science at the heart of efforts to improve management of work-related risks.

Highlights this year include:

Other achievements noted include HSE and HSL staff being presented with awards such as the IChemE Frank Lees medal, a Police Divisional Commanders Award and a 150th anniversary prize from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Director of Science, Engineering and Analysis at HSE, Dave Bench, said:

HSE is a strongly scientific and evidence-based organisation with a quarter of its staff being qualified scientists or engineers.

Our scientific activities enable us to gather evidence, identify and develop practical solutions, and monitor and evaluate their success in helping Britain to remain one of the safest places in the world to work. The ability to anticipate and evaluate future challenges is critical to maintaining HSE’s position as a forward thinking regulator.

The Science Report 2014: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/meetings/hseboard/2014/290114/pjanb1406.pdf

HSEs Science Plan 2012-15: www.hse.gov.uk/research/content/science-plan-2012-15.pdf

What is the issue over copper ionisation in legionella control?

Latest update – Important information for users and suppliers of water treatment systems that use elemental copper for legionella control

The Health and safety Executive (HSE) submitted an application for ‘essential use derogation’ to the EC to allow for the continued use of copper in Legionella control systems within the UK, as the Biocidal Products Directive and the national Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 (which implement the Directive in Great Britain) no longer allowed the marketing and use of elemental copper as a biocide from 1 February 2013.

The Commission have, of 15 February 2014, formally granted the UK essential use derogation which allows the placing on the market of biocidal products containing copper (EC No 231-159-6; CAS No 7440-50-8) for Product Types 2 (control of Legionella in water for human use, such as bathing and showering water) and 5 (control of Legionella in drinking water). The Commission formally published their decision in the Official Journal of the European Union on 15 February 2014.

The Q&A below should help address any further questions you may have. Alternatively, further advice about the biocidal use of elemental copper can be sought from the biocides helpdesk biocides@hse.gsi.gov.uk and about responsibilities to control the risk of exposure to legionella from COSHH.enquiries@hse.gsi.gov.uk.

For more details on the biocides directive please see HSE Biocides web site.