Showing 82 results
Minor Sinclair | March 6, 2023
As the Center for Progressive Reform enters our third decade of advocating for progressive policy for the public good, our country is facing wholly unprecedented challenges: A suffering climate. Unimaginable inequality and inequities that dispossess the majority. A faltering democracy. The Center is extremely gratified to have three new Board members join us and lend their deep expertise and wide range of experiences as we tackle these challenges and more.
Marcha Chaudry | February 16, 2023
February started with news that's all too familiar in the United States: An incident involving highly toxic industrial chemicals sparked a large fire, threatening an explosion, forcing evacuations, and putting workers and community members directly in harm's way. In this case, the danger came from a derailed train in Ohio that was hauling cancer-causing vinyl chloride, used to make certain types of plastic; toxic phosgene, an industrial chemical that was also used as a chemical weapon in World War I; and other substances. But extreme, acute threats like the Ohio derailment aren't the only toxic chemical dangers facing workers and surrounding communities.
Daniel Farber | February 7, 2023
In their crusade against “wokeness,” congressional Republicans are taking aim at a Labor Department rule about pension plan investments. The rule’s transgression is apparently that it makes it easier for pension plans to consider how climate-related risks might affect a company’s bottom line. To avoid being woke, the GOP would apparently prefer pension managers to close their eyes to financial realities, sleepwalking their way through the climate crisis. The real fear, of course, is that more wide-awake investment might disfavor some of the GOP’s biggest corporate supporters.
Allison Stevens, Dave Owen, Michael C. Duff, Noah Sachs | November 18, 2022
We asked several of our Member Scholars how the election outcomes will affect policy going forward in our three priority policy areas. Today’s post covers the implications for public protections such as environmental health, clean air and water, and workers’ rights.
Marcha Chaudry, Sidney A. Shapiro | September 26, 2022
As Cole Porter crooned in 1948, “It’s too darn hot.” California and other parts of the American West are heading into another week of excessive heat that not only threatens public health and safety but also power shortages, which would cut millions off from the energy they need to fuel their lives. Workers, particularly those […]
Grace DuBois | August 31, 2022
Climate change poses a serious threat to occupational health and safety. Workers — especially low-income workers and those who work outdoors — are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures and increasingly frequent extreme weather and other climate-related disasters.
Michael C. Duff | June 23, 2022
The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously struck down a Washington state law that was aimed at helping federal contract employees get workers' compensation for diseases arising from cleaning up nuclear waste. The case, United States v. Washington, concerned the federally controlled Hanford nuclear reservation, a decommissioned facility that spans 586 square miles near the Columbia River. The reservation, formerly used by the federal government in the production of nuclear weapons, presents unique hazards to cleanup workers.
Jake Moore | May 19, 2022
In 2001, an explosion at the Motiva Enterprises Delaware City Refinery caused a 1 million gallon sulfuric acid spill, killing one worker and severely injuring eight others. In 2008, an aboveground storage tank containing 2 million gallons of liquid fertilizer collapsed at the Allied Terminals facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, critically injuring two workers exposed to hazardous vapors. In 2021, the release of over 100,000 gallons of chemicals at a Texas plant killed two contractors and hospitalized 30 others. In addition to injury and death, workplace chemical spills and exposures contribute to an estimated 50,000 work-related diseases such as asthma and chronic lung disease each year, as well as nearly 200,000 hospitalizations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to reduce risks and hazards to workers, and to prevent incidents like these. However, following through on this promise has been another matter.
Marcha Chaudry | April 26, 2022
Earlier this month, HBO Max aired an important series about toxic ingredients in cosmetic products. The series also examined the professional beauty industry and the health effects to workers exposed to toxic ingredients. Toxic ingredients are found in cosmetics and other personal care products. The toxic chemicals used in them have been linked to a wide range of health problems, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, early-onset puberty, fibroids and endometriosis, miscarriage, poor maternal and infant health outcomes, diabetes and obesity, and more. As I noted in Not So Pretty, "There is a loophole in federal regulation that allows industry to use almost any ingredient and label it as 'fragrance.'"