From: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
Published September 16, 2004 06:59 PM

Public officials and worker health and safety advocates call on state to clean up its occupational health track record

(Mountain View) Experts on worker and community health will be speakers at "Silicon Valley: Protecting Our Workforce," a symposium that will examine how California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) can strengthen its administrative and enforcement policies to protect worker health. The symposium, initiated by Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-San Jose), will include testimony by representatives of the Department of Health Services, experts in the fields of toxicology, epidemiology, worker health and compensation issues. The symposium will take place at 12:30 PM on Saturday, September 18th, 2004 at the Mountain View City Council Chambers, 500 Castro Street in Mountain View.

"The human and economic cost of occupational illness is huge," said Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, who represents the heart of Silicon Valley. "We can no longer afford to ignore the toll workplace exposure to dangerous substances is taking on workers, their families and our state's economy."

A recent study by the University of California, reveals that the cost of occupational and illness in America is over $171 billion per year, which is five times greater than the costs of AIDS and equal to the economic costs of all cancers. This study was conducted on behalf of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The symposium is prompted by the increasing attention to the cancers and other health problems among construction industry and semiconductor workers. Long-time advocates for worker health and safety, who will speak at the symposium, believe that greater awareness of the issue will encourage the development of health-protective policies.

Speakers will include Sarah Muller, Working Partnerships; Ted Smith, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition; Barbara Materna, California Department of Health Services; Dr. Richard Clapp, cancer epidemiologist, Boston University; Len Welsh, Cal-OSHA; and Amanda Hawes, Alexander Hawes and Audet, who has represented workers in the high-tech industry.

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For more information, contact:

Leslie Byster, Communications Director 503-957-6253 pr
Corinna Dixon, Executive Assistant, 408-281-6707
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
Web site:

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