Lax Environmental, Health And Safety Standards Made Houston More Vulnerable to Harvey
As National Nurses United deploys more than a thousand nurses to Houston, NNU’s Bonnie Castillo says once the immediate crisis is over the focus has to be on public health. She says a lack of environmental, health and safety regulations and planning helped make the Hurricane Harvey disaster worse for the people of Houston. Castillo says nurses are holistic about health, realizing that public health of communities leads to healthier people living in these communities. Therefore, she says, strong health, safety and environmental regulations and funding are critical.
[Bonnie Castillo]: “Health and safety regulations have been lax. And in fact right now what we see is the federal agencies have been historically underfunded but now even more so, in terms of the rollback of the EPA. In Texas you don’t even have a state-based OSHA. And the worker safety regulations are very lax there. They don’t even have a worker’s comp system that is enforceable. So we know that all of this contributes to making these communities even more vulnerable.”