NIOSH Diversity Project
The 2nd Annual Diversity Solutions Conference was held on October 27, 2003 in Atlanta Georgia. NIOSH along with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and the Epidemiology Program Office were co-sponsors of the conference.
Division of Applied Research Technology (DART)
A new DART reproductive health study will evaluate bicycling policemen using “no-nose” bicycle seats (saddles) over a six month period. This proposed study is a follow-up to previous DART research which found that bicycling police officers had significantly shorter nocturnal erections, a measure of erectile function. In that study, the effect was associated with pressure caused by the projecting noses of the saddles that the policemen used. For more information on this research, contact Steven Schrader at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the NIOSH topic page http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bikerepro/bikepagetop.html.
Division of Respiratory Disease Studies (DRDS)
NIOSH Researchers have developed the first in a series of communications between NIOSH and the employees of Brush Wellman, Inc. highlighting information on completed NIOSH research studies, current research activities and future planned activities. Since 1998, NIOSH and Brush Wellman, Inc., the largest U.S. producer of beryllium and beryllium products, have collaborated on research focused on beryllium and its associated health effects. The current newsletter describes NIOSH activities related to beryllium skin sensitization and the genetics research that NIOSH is conducting. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/beryllium/newsletter.html.
Division of Safety Research (DSR)
Highway crashes are the leading contributor to occupational injury deaths in the United States, accounting for 25% of work-related injury deaths in 2002. NIOSH announces a new resource to help prevent these deaths and injuries, Work-related Roadway Crashes: Challenges and Opportunities for Prevention. This publication provides in-depth data, analysis, and concrete steps that employers and others can take to prevent this leading cause of job-related fatalities. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2003-119.
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies (DSHEFS)
The Dose-Response Specialty Group of the Society for Risk Analysis has selected James Yiin as this year’s winner of the student merit award for graduate research in dose-response assessment. This work was done in conjunction with the Risk Evaluation Branch, EID, while James was a student at the University of Cincinnati. The award recognizes him for conducting “a novel and sophisticated quantitative exposure-response analysis of diesel exhaust and lung cancer among workers in the trucking industry."
Education and Information Division (EID)
The Risk Evaluation Branch of the EID was pleased to host a visiting scientist, Yeon-Soon Ahn from the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) in South Korea for the past ten months. Dr. Ahn brought with her data from 45,000 Korean iron and steel workers and worked with NIOSH researchers to describe the mortality experience of the workers. Collaboration will continue when Dr. Ahn returns to Korea, including analyzing cancer incidence and longitudinal data on hearing threshold levels and exposures to noise and carbon monoxide. This collaboration provides opportunities to enlarge the international occupational safety and health community and to test new quantitative methods in risk assessment
Health Effects Laboratory Division (HELD)
The genetic susceptibility team in HELD has been examining the genomic changes in malignant melanoma to classify the stage specific changes in diseases at the molecular level, identify molecular targets for treatment, and identify people at risk for melanomas. Through their research, the team, in collaboration with scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has identified a unique chromosomal alteration association with the development of malignant melanoma. This identification has led to development of a Letter of Intent for a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with a biotechnology firm, Spectral Genomics, Inc., to examine its utility as a genetic screening approach for staging melanomas. Melanomas are of concern to workers in outdoor industries such as agricultural and construction.
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL)
Staff from NPPTL have been invited to serve on the inaugural roster of the newly formed American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee on Homeland Security Applications. The goals of this new committee are to develop standards and guidance materials for homeland security applications and to coordinate existing ASTM standardization related to homeland security needs. The first meeting of the committee will be held in January 2004.
Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL)
Under a National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) PRL researchers have been investigating the use of lasers in atmospheres containing flammable dusts and gases, including Powder River Basin coal dust, Pittsburgh coal dust, and methane. Recent tests using an iron-oxide target on a single-mode optical fiber have determined that the minimum time-to-ignition varies inversely as the square of the igniting power. This finding is important in defining the operating characteristics of a system designed to protect against ignitions in methane-laden atmospheres. Recommendations resulting from this project are expected to help in the development of good safety practices.
Spokane Research Laboratory (SRL)
Researchers from SRL in cooperation with mine operators conducted a study of heat stress exposures among mine rescue workers in underground mines. Ambient environmental conditions and heat strain indicators were measured using conventional ventilation monitoring tools during mine rescue training exercises. Heat strain was measured with an ingestible temperature-sensing pill and a heart rate monitoring chest strap was used to indicate physical strain resulting from physical activity and heat. The effectiveness of the study was investigated as to possible heat strain preventive action.