Volume 3 Number 1 May 2005
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eNews Celebrates Its 2nd Anniversary
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Honoring the U.S. Worker
Dr. Sokas Accepts the Keogh Award
MMWR: Safety Concerns of Anthrax Exposure
Study Reveals Indoor Hazard of Water-Damaged Buildings
to Practice: NIOSH Signs Agreement with Spokane Intercollegiate Research
and Technology Institute
Conditioning Lab Debuts at NPPTL
Public Comment on Expanded Chest Radiography Web site
Centers of Excellence to Further Integration of Health Protection
Vermiculite Topic Page
Two Workplace Solutions Publications Now Available in Spanish
Working Together for Safety Captures Lessons from a State Team Approach to Young Worker Safety
I am pleased to announce our preparations for the second decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). NORA recently marked its ninth year, and we are preparing to launch the second decade of NORA at the NORA Symposium, April 17-20, 2006 in Washington, D.C.
Partnerships are fundamental to providing safe and healthy workplaces. Nowhere is this principle more vivid than NORA. Nearly a decade ago, over 500 participants from diverse interests and perspectives joined NIOSH to draft a common research vision for the nation. Before NORA, no national research agenda existed in the field of occupational safety and health, and no research agenda in any field had captured such broad input and consensus.
to a sector-based approach
NIOSH and its partners will form eight Sector Research Councils. There will also be a ninth Cross-sector Research Council that will address research needs affecting multiple sectors. The Sector Research Councils will have diverse membership from industry, labor, academia, government, and professional and trade associations. Each council will identify the highest priority safety and health concerns in their sectors or sub-sectors and, with stakeholder feedback, draft research goals, objectives, and action plans. With strong input the Research Councils will develop a set of strategic research agendas for the entire nation. These agendas will drive our actions to reach safe and healthy workplaces.
The Research Councils are:
This month’s NORA column contains more information about the grouping of sectors, which are based on the new North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
Members of the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors and NORA Liaison Committee have shared their visions about the next decade of NORA. Now it is your turn. Please visit our NORA Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora to share your ideas about the future of occupational safety and health research. There you will find a stakeholder feedback form where you can submit your comments electronically. This month’s NORA column also contains more information about this new Web site.
NIOSH values your
partnership and needs your help to
advance research to practice in workplaces. I am committed to keeping
NORA vibrant and responsive to ongoing changes in the U.S. workplace,
and look forward to the increased synergy that these efforts will create.
We will continue to keep you informed about the next phase of NORA via
our NORA column in each month’s eNews. Please stay tuned
to learn more about the development of research agendas, opportunities
to participate in Research Councils, and our year-long celebration of
Day, April 28, was established in 1989 as an international day of remembrance
for workers who died or were injured on the job. The day also commemorates
the 34th anniversary of NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA). In the U.S., on average, nearly 11,000 workers
are treated in emergency departments each day and approximately 200
of these workers are hospitalized. The April 29 issue of the CDC Morbidity
and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) focuses on occupational safety
and health research and surveillance activities. Featured reports include Silicosis
Mortality, Prevention and Control—United States, 1968-2002 and Update:
Hydrogen Cyanamide—Related Illnesses—Italy, 2002-2004.
The MMWR can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/mmwr/wkrmemday05.html.
On April 28, 2005 NIOSH presented the annual Alice Hamilton Awards recognizing the scientific excellence of technical and instructional materials by NIOSH scientists and engineers. Four NIOSH technical products were recognized for demonstrating superior scientific merit and providing outstanding NIOSH contributions in the following areas:
Educational Materials Category:
Honorable Mention: Robertson SB, Mark C, Urban CW, and Caruso D. Make it safer with roof screen: video training module with instructional booklet, Pittsburgh, PA: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2004.
Honorable Mention: Porter DW, Hubbs AF, Mercer R, Robinson VA, Ramsey D, McLaurin J, Khan A, Battelli, L, Brumbaugh K, Teass, A, and Castranova V. Progression of lung inflammation and damage in rats after cessation of silica inhalation. Toxicological Sciences, Vol. 79, pp. 370-380, 2004.
Physical Sciences Category:
Honorable Mention: Chen, BT, Feather GA, Maynard A, and Rao C. Development of a personal sampler for collecting fungal spores. Aerosol Science and Technology, 38:926-937, 2004.
Human Studies Category:
information on the Alice Hamilton Awards can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hamilton.
|Colleagues from NIOSH, other parts
of the CDC, and outside organizations joined in reporting findings
and recommendations from a scientific investigation of inadvertent
exposure of some employees to anthrax spores at a California research
laboratory in 2004. The report appeared in the April 1, 2005, issue of CDC’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly
Report (MMWR). The report recommends that even
if employees work with anthrax spores presumed to be inactive, BSL-2
or Biosafety Level 2 precautions should be followed: 1) until tests
confirm the spores are indeed inactive, and 2) after inactivity is
confirmed in areas with a high potential for expelling aerosolized
spores. The MMWR can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5412a2.htm.
scientists and an outside colleague found that water-damaged facilities
had a higher prevalence of asthma and other respiratory symptoms than
expected. This research introduced more evidence that water damage
contributing to mold and other microbial growth can negatively affect
employees’ respiratory health and business productivity.
The study is part of NIOSH’s ongoing research program to improve
the understanding of indoor environmental quality, prevent building-related
illnesses, and provide practical guidance for maintaining healthy buildings.
The study, “Respiratory Morbidity in Office Workers in a Water-Damaged
Building,” was published in the April 2005 issue of the journal Environmental
Health Perspectives. It is available online at http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/7559/7559.html. More
information on indoor environmental quality research at NIOSH is available
April 28, 2005, NIOSH Director John Howard, MD and Kim Zentz, Interim
Executive Director of the Spokane Intercollegiate Research & Technology
Center (SIRTI) signed a Technology Assessment Agreement to advance
the movement of NIOSH research into workplace practice. SIRTI is a
Washington-State funded, economic development agency that advances
the growth of emerging technology companies in the inland Northwest.
Under the agreement NIOSH can offer, on a non-exclusive basis, the
opportunity to SIRTI to commercialize technology developed by NIOSH.
SIRTI will have the right of exclusive licensing of certain technology
from NIOSH, if NIOSH deems that SIRTI is the best route to fulfill
the commercial potential of the technology. The agreement marks the
first instance of SIRTI evaluating and possibly commercializing technology
from a Federal agency.
new environmental conditioning laboratory facility now operational
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) will advance NIOSH’s
in-house capabilities in testing and certifying air-purifying respirators. Employers
and users rely on NIOSH certification for assurance that a respirator will provide
needed protection against hazardous and potentially life-threatening air contaminants.
In the new facility, air-purifying respirators submitted for testing and certification
are subjected to extreme conditions by being baked, frozen, steamed, dropped
and shaken as part of testing. These conditions simulate conditions that devices
may experience in actual field use. Performing these essential tests in-house
will significantly reduce the amount of time a respirator spends in the certification
process. Before, respirators were sent to the Edgewood, Md., Chemical and Biological
Center (ECBC) facility of the U.S. Army for those tests. For more information
on NPPTL and the NIOSH respirator certification program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/.
NIOSH is inviting public comment on a draft expanded Web site describing the use of chest radiography for evaluating occupational lung disorders. NIOSH is inviting comments on the draft page at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/chestradiography until October 15, 2005.
Under a long-standing
program, NIOSH certifies "B Readers," or
physicians who review and classify chest X-rays to determine the presence
and severity of lung disorders caused by work-related exposures to dusts
such as asbestos, silica, and coal mine dust. NIOSH provides a test to
determine physicians’ proficiency in making such determinations,
based upon internationally recognized technical criteria. By passing
the test, an applicant is certified by NIOSH as a B Reader. NIOSH’s
previous Web site on chest radiography was primarily intended for physicians
who were interested in applying for B Reader certification. The draft
expanded page includes additional description, discussion, and links
to resources for practitioners and general audiences.
is inviting applications for up to $2 million in competitive funding
through a new cooperative agreement program entitled, “Centers
of Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce.” The new Centers
of Excellence will conduct trans-disciplinary research, education,
and translation programs which facilitate the integration of health
protection and health promotion in the workplace by taking a collaborative
and innovative approach. NIOSH intends to fund one to three awards
in response to this request for applications (RFA). The deadline for
receipt of applications is June 15, 2005 and the awards will be announced
in September 2005. Applications will be reviewed in accordance with
the NIOSH Office of Extramural Research (OEP) peer review policy. The
RFA, which includes all necessary information for submitting an application,
was published in the April 15, 2005 National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Guide for Grants and Contracts (RFA #OH-05-006). It can be accessed
on the NIH Guide Web site http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html or
under Cooperative Agreements on the NIOSH OEP Web site http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/oep/.
The first Bullard-Sherwood Research to Practice (r2p) Award for Outstanding Application of Occupational Safety and Health Research recognizes those projects which have successfully translated research findings through knowledge, interventions or technology into practice within the occupational safety and health arena. The award is named in honor of two distinguished individuals who made significant improvement in workplace injury and illness prevention. Edward W. Bullard invented the most widely used protective safety equipment, the hard hat, thus protecting countless workers from head injuries. R. Jeremy (Jerry) Sherwood invented the personal industrial hygiene sampling pump, making it possible to readily determine individual worker airborne exposures.
The 2005 winners are:
Honorable Mention: Reducing Underground Miners’ Exposure to Diesel Emissions and Understanding and Preventing Beryllium Sensitization and Chronic Beryllium Disease
Honorable Mention: NIOSH Safety Checklist Program for Schools
Honorable Mention: ROPS Technology Transfer Team
were judged on the basis of occupational safety and health relevance,
impact in addressing needs, development of partnerships and identification
of lessons learned. The winners were announced at the Alice Hamilton
Awards Ceremony on April 28, 2005. To learn more about these innovative
projects and view the NIOSH award winning scientists, visit the NIOSH
Web site http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hamilton/bullard-sherwood.html.
NIOSH and its partners under NORA are pleased to introduce a newly updated NORA Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora. An important feature of the updated page is an online feedback form. We hope both individuals and organizations will use this opportunity to submit comments and suggestions for guiding the design and implementation of the new NORA.
The Web site allows stakeholders to describe what they perceive to be the top research needs within each sector, sub-sector, or in multiple sectors. We invite partners and collaborators to use the electronic option to provide comments, which will automatically be entered into the NIOSH Docket for NORA.
Experience gained in the first decade of NORA indicates that the following types of information may help identify the areas where new research will make the greatest contributions to preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths:
Stakeholders can also contribute to developing the sector research agendas by providing
Alternatively, comments may be e-mailed to NIOCINDOCKET@cdc.gov or mailed to
For more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Codes Provide Basis for New NORA System
NIOSH aggregated the 20 NAICS sectors into eight sector groups according to the similarity of their occupational safety and health issues. The NORA Web site lists the NAICS sectors identified in each sector group.
Click here to learn more about the NAICS
Health, Culture and Productivity workshop
Exposure in Drycleaning Industry Prompts New OSHA Publication
Vermiculite Topic Page
Two Workplace Solutions Publications Now Available in Spanish
Workplace Solutions: Ground Fall Injuries in Underground Stone Mines http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/2004-106sp.html
Workplace Solutions: Divers Beware: Training Dives Present Serious Hazards to Fire Fighters http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/niosh/docs/2004-152sp.html
Working Together for Safety Captures Lessons from a
State Team Approach to Young Worker Safety
Occupational and Environmental Exposures of Skin
International Symposium on Modern Principles of Air Monitoring
American Congress of Clinical Toxicology (NAACT) 2005
Personal Protective Equipment - Challenges in Protecting First Responders
Attendees will learn about the hazards posed by emerging threats, the application of personal protective equipment (PPE) technology to these threats, and associated challenges with selecting and interfacing different PPE items. The emphasis of the conference will be on practical issues of threat accommodation, standards, regulations, applications of best practices, manufacturing and distribution issues, PPE decision-making and purchasing, and multi-PPE integration. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.conted.vt.edu/appe or by contacting Tom Fisher at TFisher@cdc.gov.
Work, Stress and Health 2006: Making a Difference in the Workplace