Volume 2 Number 7 November 2004
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Partnerships in Economic-Evaluation Research
Errors Declined with Work Schedule Changes, NIOSH-Funded Studies
Mexican Experts Meet to Improve the Health of Mexican Workers
Leaders at NIOSH
Memoriam: John Odencrantz
for the NIOSH Exhibit Booth at These Upcoming Conferences.
NIOSH and EPA Partner to Reduce Work-Induced Hearing Loss
Training for Healthcare Workers on the Dangers of Bloodborne Pathogens
NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Report. HETA #2003-0328-2935
From NIOSH, Cal/OSHA: Easy Ergonomics in Hand Tool Selection
NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Reports
Technology News: NIOSH Safety Talk: The Emergency Communication Triangle
NIOSH-HSE International Symposium
Scopes Nanotechnology Research Needs
The expert group gathered for the first-ever International Symposium on Occupational Health Implications of Nanomaterials, sponsored by NIOSH and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the United Kingdom’s counterpart to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the U.S. (HSE’s Health and Safety Laboratory, NIOSH’s research counterpart in the U.K., is located in Buxton.)
NIOSH and HSE convened the research summit to examine occupational health issues related to the production and use of nanomaterials: What is currently known about potential exposures to nanoparticles in such processes? What more do scientists and policy makers need to know, in order to understand the potential occupational health impacts of this 21 st Century technology?
Nanotechnology “could be the next industrial revolution across the world,” John Ewins, head of the science strategy and statistics division of HSE, said in opening the conference.
In the United States, NIOSH is part of a multi-agency program to advance U.S. leadership in this dynamically growing field by facilitating technology transfer and coordinating research to promote wise stewardship. Through the manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular, and macromolecular levels, nanotechnology makes it possible to create new structures and systems with unique properties and benefits. These include new tools to improve medical diagnosis and treatment, clearer and more efficient energy sources, more powerful computers, and stronger building materials.
From three days of scientific presentations and workshop deliberations, several consistent themes emerged:
2005 Nanotechnology Research Symposium Planned
Under the National Nanotechnology Initiative and other
partnerships, including membership on the Nanostructed Science, Engineering
and Technology subcommittee of the National Science and Technology
Council committee on technology, NIOSH conducts a robust program of research
on nanotechnology and occupational health. More information is available
on the NIOSH nanotechnology topic page at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/nanotech.
Presentations and proceedings from the symposium will be posted on
the web page as soon as they become available.
Data from a NIOSH-funded study estimate that the costs of occupational illness in America total more than $171 billion per year, an amount five times greater than the costs of AIDS and equal to the economic costs of all cancers. Such findings point to the importance of quantifying the costs of occupational illnesses and injuries more precisely, and of advancing the methodologies needed to do so. Through collaborations with industry, government and global partners, NIOSH is engaged in several activities specifically related to characterizing the costs associated with workplace illness and injury. Below are examples of those partnerships.
Exploring Economic Evaluation of Interventions at the Company
Economic Research Groups
NIOSH has increased its investment in economic evaluation research, and its capacity to conduct such research, by hosting two Fellows under the CDC Prevention Effectiveness Fellowship program. The two Fellows are post-doctoral economists, Kwame Owusu-Edusei (hosted by the NIOSH Division of Safety Research) and Tapas Ray (hosted by the NIOSH Division of Applied Research and Technology).
Coming in the December
issue of NIOSH eNews: more coverage of NIOSH’s
economic- evaluation research, surveying examples of research projects
within NIOSH, as well as examples of outside studies funded by NIOSH, that
will further advance the measurement of economic costs associated with
occupational illnesses and injuries.
|Medical Errors Declined with Work Schedule Changes, NIOSH-Funded Studies Find|
rate of serious medical errors committed by first-year doctors in training
(interns) in two intensive care units (ICUs) at a Boston hospital fell
significantly when traditional 30-hour-in-a-row extended work shifts
were eliminated and when interns’ continuous work schedule was
limited to 16 hours, according to two complimentary studies funded
by NIOSH and the Agency for Healthcare Research (AHRQ). The studies
were published in the October 28, 2004 issue of the New England Journal
of Medicine. http://workhours.bwh.harvard.edu. “As
NIOSH works with hospital administrators, physicians, nurses, and other
partners to assess the impact of long working hours on health and performance,
studies such as these will help us better identify steps to promote
the health and well-being of health professionals, as well as the health
and well-being of their patients,” said John Howard, M.D., NIOSH
Director. A further summary of the studies is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/updates/upd-10-28-04.html.
participated in the Binational Health Conference held in Leon, Mexico
on October 11-12. The conference, sponsored by the Mexican Ministry
of Health, focused on “families in action for health.” Realizing
that the health of one family member affects the health of all and
that 40 percent of Mexicans have a family member living and working
in the U.S. , experts from both countries converged to share information
and strategize ways of improving communication with these workers and
their families. Conference speakers included former migrant farm workers,
former undocumented workers, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary
Tommy Thompson and Mexican President Vicente Fox.
Mary Lynn Woebkenberg Named New DART Director
of Spokane Research Laboratory Named
NIOSH Names Associate Director and Deputy Associate Director
mourns the loss of John Odencrantz, who died on Sept. 24 after being
struck by an automobile. John had been with NIOSH in the Division of
Respiratory Disease Studies for 13 years, most recently as a Senior
Statistician in the Field Studies Branch. In addition to his work in
the prevention of occupational lung disease, he was active with the
CDC Statistical Advisory Group in planning several symposia and with
the Statistical Science Award Committee. John was well known in the
Morgantown community for his care and concern for homeless animals.
The Northwest Mining Convention presents the 110th Annual Meeting, Exposition and Short Courses on December 6-10 in Spokane , Wash. More information on this event can be obtained from Elaine Cullen at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the web site http://www.nwma.org/pdf/04broch3.pdf.
The Ninth Safety
Seminar for Underground Stone Mines on December 7-8 at the Executive
Inn in Louisville, Ky. The seminar is sponsored by NIOSH, the Mine
Safety and Health Administration, the National Stone, Sand and Gravel
Association, and the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association. More information
can be obtained by contacting Lou Prosser at LProsser@cdc.gov.
and EPA Partner to Reduce Work-Induced Hearing Loss
Training for Healthcare Workers on the Dangers of Bloodborne
NORA’s Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment Team (CTPPE) understands the power of collaboration. A unique partnership between CTPPE team and the NORA Reproductive Effects Research team (profiled in the October issue of eNews) has resulted in new recommendations to protect the more than 5.5 million healthcare workers who may be occupationally exposed to hazardous drugs in the United States. During this four year effort, the NORA teams worked with healthcare workers, researchers, government officials, and pharmaceutical companies to review existing literature and support new research on how to best protect workers who handle drugs that are known or suspected to cause adverse health effects from exposures in the workplace.
A new NIOSH Alert
titled “Preventing Occupational Exposures to
Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings” summarizes
the group’s findings, and experts recently met in San Antonio,
Texas to discuss strategies for implementing the teams’ recommendations.
This project continues the team’s history of collaboration with
groups such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American
Society of Safety Engineers. The team also funds nearly 60 projects aimed
at developing new technologies to protect workers. For more information
about these projects and the team’s accomplishments, please visit
their web site at http://www2a.cdc.gov/nora/noratopictemp.asp?rscharea=ctppe.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Latino workers have a
much higher injury and fatality rate than non-Latinos. Prompted by
this trend, the American Society of Safety Engineers Los Angeles Chapter,
along with the newly formed Safety Professionals and Latinos in the
Workplace, will convene the “Safety for Latinos in the Workplace” conference
Nov. 18 in Commerce, Calif. NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., will
provide an update on NIOSH activities related to Latino workplace safety
and health. The conference is designed to offer practical insight and
tips into the Latino workforce including safety problems and ways to
communicate information to this population, the latest resources available
to the Latino workforce, and up-to-date information from NIOSH and
OSHA. More information on the conference is available at http://www.assela.org.
Health Hazard Evaluation Report. HETA #2003-0328-2935
From NIOSH, Cal/OSHA: Easy Ergonomics in Hand Tool Selection
NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
NIOSH Respirator Selection Logic 2004
Technology News: NIOSH Safety Talk: The Emergency Communication
Experimental Approaches for Evaluation of Toxicological Interactions
of Nanoscale Materials
Partnering in Workplace Violence Prevention: Translating Research
International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases
Fifth International Symposium on Modern Principles of Air Monitoring
Biomonitoring is the science of using biological changes within the human body as the
marker of exposure or health effect. These changes can be at the level
of cells, tissues, or organs, or even the whole body (e.g. balance as
an indicator of chemical intoxication).