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Monforton Celeste

E-mail: cmonfort@gwu.edu

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH is a professorial lecturer in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA, and a lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, USA. Dr. Monforton's research and advocacy interests focus on assessing the effectiveness of US labor policies in protecting workers from illnesses, disability and death. She collaborates with community-based organizations to identify regulatory, administrative, and outreach initiatives to improve the work environment for low-wage and other vulnerable workers.

Dr. Monforton's interest in workers' rights began as a career employee at the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (1991-1995) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (1996-2001). While there she witnessed the tactics used by industry-funded groups to manufacturer uncertainty about the health risks associated with occupational exposure to diesel exhaust, respirable silica, asbestos, among other toxics. Her publications address such issues, while her commentaries over the past 10 years on The Pump Handle blog cover a wider range of worker health and safety topics.

Dr. Monforton has twice been appointed by the Governor of West Virginia to serve on independent teams investigating major mine disasters: in 2006, it was the Sago coal mine explosion which killed 12 miners, and in 2010, it was the Upper Big Branch disaster which killed 29 miners. Dr. Monforton has testified before US congressional committees, is an active member of the American Public Health Association, including co-chair of the Occupational Health & Safety Section's policy committee, and publishes annually "The Year in US Occupational Health and Safety."

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