Independent from Long Beach, California on March 18, 1976 · Page 16
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 16

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 18, 1976
Page 16
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A06-- INDEPENDENT (AM) PRESS-TELEGRAM (PM) un 9 cam.. T»mr«.. March n, itn Job-related ills called monumental problem Woody's World By LEE DKMBART New York Timts Service · N K W Y O R K - A Ford Foimilalion study of (he problems of occupational s a f e t y a n d h e a l t h concludes lhat they are more widespread lhan almost everyone had thought ami l h a t t h e federal govcrn- menl alone cannot handle (hem. "A significant p r o p o r - tion of heart disease, can- c e r a n d r e s p i r a t o r y disease may stem, from the industrial process," says t h e author of Hie s t u d y , Dr. Nicholas A. A s h f o r d of t h e M a s s a - chusetts Institute of Technology, a lawyer with a Ph.D. in chemistry. "This i n c l u d e s w h i l e - c o l l a r workers, not jusl blue-collar workers," he said. "THE TASK is monumental," Ashford said in an interview recently. "It involves redesigning tech- n o l o g y in some cases, r e d e s i g n i n g jobs in others." 'The study, which cosl the Ford Foundation some fft.OOO, argues that [he Occupational Safety a n d I ton l l h Administration should bo run by a professional in (he licld, and not a Apolitical appointee. This change has already been nVjide, with the naming of Morion Corn lo head the agency. .Ashford says he is impressed w i t h Corn's approach, but he warns, "1 don'l think OSHA can do (he joh alone." lie contends thai organized lalxir mlist play a grealer role if improvements arc In be mjidc on a broad scale. findings in the . Uvo-year study are being published this month by the MIT Press as a BSD- page book, "Crisis in the Work Place: Occupational Disease and Injury." John T. Dunlop road a draft of the study while he was still secretary of labor and ordered everyone in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to read it. Several of Ashford's suggestions have already been implemented, and the agency has engaged him as a consultant. Unlike previous studies, which Ashford says wore largely a recounting of "horror stories," his book presents the sober a n a l - ysis of the technical, legal, e c o n o m i c and political sides of the problem. "U is a prescription for change which should be u s e f u l to labor, management and government," said Ashford, who is a senior research associate at MIT's Center for Policy Alternatives. "It will at least give some suggestions for what to do." SAFETY ON the joh has long been recognized as a proper concern of m a n - agement, but job-related disease has only recently become a social issue. "The insidious effect of carcinogens which lake 20 years tn do their harm is much less dramatic than a worker losing his arm," Ashford said. "The problems of health rather than safety have only recently become known." M a n y c r i t i c s h a v e argued recently that the cost of ridding the work place of physical, chemical, biological and stress hazards -- which is d i f - ficult in itself -- outweighs the benefits of doing so. Hut Ashford argues that the long-range cost is small. However, he concedes t h a t c o m p a n i e s operating on a marginal profit may be unable lo meet it. "The occupational setting can be made much safer and much healthier than it presently is -- in my view at small long- term cost," he said. "The short-term cost m a y be high, and some marginal producers may be forced out of business." Contaminated intravenous- drugs linked to 54 deaths Manna Loa eruption due WASHINGTON (AP) Interior Department scientists predict that Mauna Loa volcano on the Island of Hawaii probably will produce a major eruption some time within the next t w o y e a r s t h a t c o u l d endanger the port city of Hilo. Volcano experts of the U.S. Geological S u r v e y s a y contingency p l a n s should be prepared lo divert large lava flows away from the city. The Survey s e n t its warnings last month to the governor of Hawaii, the Hawaii County mayor, and the state's congressional delegation. It said it was providing guidance to agencies plan- n i n g w a y s of diverting lava f r o m p o t e n t i a l l y harmful paths. Mauna Ixia is the largest of five volcanoes forming the Island of Hawaii. It reaches a h e i g h t of nearly 13,700 feet above sea level, but its f u l l height above the ocean floor is more lhan 31,000 feet. Ixist July, there was a relatively small eruption f r o m the s u m m i t of Mauna loa, but Survey scientists warned that it may have been the advance signal of a v e r y large eruption expected . any time between now and July 1978. They pointed out that M a u n a L o a e r u p t i o n s seem lo follow a threes t a g e pattern: a small s u m m i t eruption, t h e n another summit eruption ( l u i c k l y followed by a large eruption from one of (he mountain's flanks. Furthermore, (hey said Mauna Loa had been dormant for 25 years before last year's summit eruption, the longest quiet period in its recorded history. Seismic r e a d i n g s indicate the nexl big eruption will probably break out of a r i f t zone on Mauna Loa's southeastern f l a n k , the side with potential flow channels toward Hilo some 30 miles away. WASHINGTON AF) Fifty-four persons died of blood poisoning over the past 10 years after being g i v e n c o n t a m i n a t e d in- t r a v e n o u s d r u g s , t h e General Accounting Office said Wednesday. A n o t h e r 410 injuries were associated with the intravenous s o l u t i o n s , GAO said in a report that criticized manufacturing practices and s a n i t a r y conditions in plants where the drugs were made. THK STUDY was released by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., who re- q u e s t e d it a f t e r two women died in a \1 ilwau- kec hospital in 1973 after injections of a s u s p e c t drug. As a result of the GAO investigation, t h e Food and Drug Administration h a s b e g u n d e v e l o p i n g regulations to tighten control over the intravenous s o l u t i o n s , k n o w n as "large-volume p a r e n t e r - als," which include dialysis s o l u t i o n s a n d irrigating compounds used during surgery. During the period of the investigation, said GAO, an arm of Congress, the solutions were involved in COS r e c a l l s ordered by FDA. Nelson said in a statement thai (he GAO report "clearly indicates thai these products either are not adequately controlled by federal regulators, by the companies that manufacture Ihcm, or by those who administer them in the health-care sector." "We are talking about v i t a l life-sustaining s u b stances that are administered about 100 million times each year in t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s d u r i n g minor as well as major s u r g i c a l a n d m e d i c a l procedures," Nelson said. HE CRITICIZED federal agencies and manufacturers (or what he termed slowness in responding to findings of contamination of the drugs. During such lapses. Nelson a d d e d , "people continued to be exposed lo hazardous substances." According to the GAO study, 50 of the reported deaths and 395 of the in- j u r i e s w e r e associated with -- but not proved to have been caused by -- use of injectablc drugs made by Abboll Laboratories. The dealhs and most of the injuries were associated with t h e recall of solutions because of contamination due lo inadequate closure design. In a letter contained in' the GAO report, Abbott' criticized Ihe agency -'civ grounds il used inaccurate: information and omilled relevant facts. - r "In view of such inaccu-- racies and omissions, your draft (report) does not, in. our opinion, provide even an appropriate s t a r l i n g , point for an accurate and objective report of these events" surrounding ( h e r e c a l l of t h e s u s p e c t drugs, Abbott complained. A PRESENT TO THE AMERICAN P E O P L E . . . and weather forecasters of the U.S. weather service, Air Force, and Navy to help make better (ore- casts. SINGERS LOCK: A storm center cannot pass the first (rarely the second) low center that is at right angles lo its direction oi movement. 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