ASTHMA FROM WORK...
with thanks to HSA.
A new website with advice on how to reduce occupational asthma, has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Aimed at employers, safety representatives and health professionals, the website is part of the Health and Safety Commission’s (HSC) campaign to reduce occupational asthma by 30 per cent by 2010. It sets out:
· The main causes of occupational asthma;
· What it is like to get the disease;
· What employers have to do to protect their employees;
· What HSE and stakeholders are doing to tackle the problem.
Visitors to the site www.hse.gov.uk/asthma
can also view video clips, read case studies, download the plan of actions on occupational asthma agreed by HSC’s asthma project board and advisory committee on toxic substances, and access guidance on the main causes of the disease.
Occupational asthma is the most frequently diagnosed respiratory disease in Great Britain, with between 1,500 and 3,000 people developing it every year.
John Thompson, head of HSE’s chemicals and flammables policy division, said:-
“This website provides key information in helping to prevent and reduce instances of this debilitating disease.
The website’s contents will be regularly updated, starting with new guidance which will be published in October on
isocyanates in motor vehicle repair, flour dust in craft bakeries and wood dust in woodworking, which are among the leading causes of the disease.”
The costs to society of new cases of occupational asthma over the next ten years are estimated to be between £579 million and £1,159 million. Some sufferers cannot work again and others may have to change jobs to avoid exposure to the substance that caused the asthma. They may no longer be able to use their specialist skills or may face a restricted lifestyle.
LORD SAINSBURY HAILS ENVISAT MISSION MILESTONE
by UK SEDS with thanks to ESA.
THE world’s most advanced Earth Observation satellite ENVISAT has successfully completed the first 12 months of its five-year mission to give the planet a health check.
European Space Agency’s 1.4 billion satellite, to which the UK contributed £300 million in funding, was launched in March 2002.
Science Minister Lord Sainsbury, of the Department of Trade and Industry, hailed the satellite’s success in its first year recording important environmental data that will help scientists study the behaviour of the planet’s climate and eco-system.
ENVISAT is the largest and most powerful Earth observation satellite ever built. The size of a double-decker bus and weighing 8000 kilos, it houses ten instruments which are currently monitoring the oceans, the land and the atmosphere to provide a better understanding of how our complex environment behaves.
Information gathered by the satellite will be shared by the 14 participants in the ESA programme and used by Governments to help determine long-term environmental policy.
BNSC and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are staging a special exhibition of images recorded by ENVISAT during its first year. It is being held at the National Space Centre in Leicester from March 7, during National Science Week.