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Survey finds nurses are leaving over coronavirus stress

Nurses leaving over coronavirus stress

A survey of 2,500 nurses released Wednesday found that 64 percent are looking to leave the health-care profession, a nearly 40 percent increase from a similar survey a year ago. Three-quarters of those surveyed said they have experienced burnout since the coronavirus pandemic began, and half said they had suffered feelings of trauma, extreme stress or post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“Our nurses are the backbone of our health system,” said Dani Bowie, vice president of clinical strategy and transformation at Trusted Health, a health-care advocacy group that released the survey. “So, if they’re not operating out of their best state, it’s very detrimental to the well-being of our community and our patients.”

The pandemic has worsened the U.S. nursing shortage as overworked and ill-treated health-care workers have quit en masse. Half the nurses surveyed said they had been verbally attacked by patients or their family members; almost a quarter said they’d been physically assaulted.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an annual average of 194,500 openings for registered nurses through 2030.

— Bloomberg News

Wisconsin sues over PFAS contamination

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force nearly 20 companies that he alleges contaminated the environment with chemicals known as PFAS to reimburse the state for investigations and cleanup efforts.

The lawsuit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court, names 18 companies as defendants, including 3M, Tyco Fire Products and BASF.

The filing alleges the defendants knew or should have known that their products would have a dangerous impact on the public’s health and the environment.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages and reimbursement for the costs of investigations, cleanup and remediation.

3M communications manager Sean Lynch said in a statement that the company acted responsibly and will “vigorously defend its record of environmental stewardship.”

Roberto Nelson, a spokesman for BASF, said the company doesn’t believe the lawsuit has merit.

Media officials for Tyco didn’t immediate respond to messages seeking comment.

PFAS is an abbreviation for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The chemicals were developed as coatings to protect consumer goods from stains, water and corrosion.

Nonstick cookware, carpets and food packaging are among items that contain the chemicals. They also are an ingredient in firefighting foams.

— Associated Press

Consumers rein in home-care purchases

Higher prices for personal and home-care items are finally driving consumers to buy less.

U.S. retail unit sales for items such as laundry detergent, shampoo and diapers fell in the three months through July 10 compared with a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report citing data from the market researcher IRI. Volume declined for seven out of the nine categories tracked, with facial cosmetics and adult incontinence products being the only exceptions.

Consumer-goods giants including Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark have raised prices to counter higher costs for freight, labor and raw materials such as the pulp that goes into toilet paper.

Shoppers continue to spend, but the highest inflation since 1981 is making it harder to keep up.

— Bloomberg News

Protests against
a new California labor law that makes it harder for independent truckers to operate ground operations at the state’s third-busiest seaport to a virtual halt Wednesday, crimping a major artery in the U.S. supply chain. SSA Marine, which manages the largest terminal at the Port of Oakland in the San Francisco Bay area, decided to close operations due to the independent trucker protest, port spokesman Robert Bernardo told Reuters. The other marine terminals are effectively shut down for trucks, said Bernardo, adding that some vessel labor operations are underway. The law, AB5, also known as the “gig worker” law, sets tougher standards for classifying workers as independent contractors.

— From news services