Volume 3 Number 3 July 2005
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Award Recognizes Exemplary Work by NIOSH Scientists
Spotlights Resources During the National “Stand Down” Safety
Director John Howard, M.D. Receives ASSE President’s Award
and AIHA Partner to Advance Research and Promote Safe Workplace
of Extramural Programs
from NIOSH-Funded System Highlight Unintentional Lindane Ingestion Risk
Recognizes Professional Contributions by John Sestito
The Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention represent a major NIOSH effort to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families. The Centers were established in 1990 through the NIOSH Agricultural Health and Safety Initiative to conduct programs in research, education, and prevention. Geographically, the Centers are distributed throughout the nation to be responsive to the agricultural health and safety issues unique to the different regions.
In the 15 years since the creation of the program, the Centers have become trusted resources for farmers, farm families, and their communities. Their research has spanned the diverse range of issues that concern farmers and agricultural workers. The results have been instrumental for advancing safety and health, and include:
The Centers utilize various means of communicating with colleagues and the entire farming population to disseminate research results and new safety and health information. These activities include:
We encourage you to visit the NIOSH Agricultural Centers' topic page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/agctrhom.html, where you will find links to each of the nine Centers.
In addition to the nine Agricultural Centers, NIOSH provides funding to support the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Safety and Health. Focusing solely on the health and safety of children in relation to working and living on farms, the Center has become a leading resource for professionals and agricultural producers to obtain guidance regarding childhood agricultural injury prevention. The Center’s newsletter, Nurture, disseminates news and information on farm youth safety and health. http://research.marshfieldclinic.org/children/Resources/newsletters/news.asp. More information on the National Children’s Center can be found at http://research.marshfieldclinic.org/children.
Collaboratively, the nine Agricultural Centers and the National Children’s Center have developed recommendations for a nationwide action plan to reduce the number of tractor-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. Details of the National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative can be found at http://depts.washington.edu/pnash/files/Tractor_Initiative.pdf.
Information on agricultural
safety and health can be found by accessing the NIOSH topic page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/agriculture.
Specific information regarding children and agricultural safety and health
can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/childag.
On June 22, 2005, NIOSH researchers Justin Hettick, Michael Kashon, Janet Simpson (retired), Paul Siegel, and David Weissman along with Gerald Mazurek from the CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention were presented with the 2005 Charles C. Shepard Science Award for excellence in science. The manuscript, “Proteomic Profiling of Intact Mycobacteria by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry,” won in the category of Laboratory and Methods.
Appearing in the journal Analytical Chemistry, the article describes research which demonstrated that MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry can be used to identify species of mycobacteria, like those that cause tuberculosis. The MALDI-TOF method identifies unique patterns of protein and peptides extracted from bacterial cells. By identifying new TB proteins, this research may contribute to development of new methods for detecting TB, new tests for diagnosis of TB infection, and to TB vaccine development.
In 2004, there were
14,511 confirmed cases of TB reported in the U.S. Industries with significantly
higher TB deaths include health care, agricultural production and industries
with significantly elevated silicosis mortality. More information on
TB can be found on the NIOSH topic page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/tb.
During the week of June 20, 2005, NIOSH highlighted our web-based resources for identifying, correcting, and preventing risks to fire fighters for fatal injuries in the line of duty. This action occurred in conjunction with the “Stand Down for Fire Fighter Safety,” sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and several other agencies and organizations, including NIOSH. The safety stand down began on June 21, 2005. According to the IAFC, “a stand down is a method used by the military to correct an issue that has been identified as a problem throughout its ranks.” The stand down urges fire departments to suspend all non-emergency activity and focus entirely on fire fighter safety. It is intended to raise awareness of fire fighter safety and call attention to the unacceptable number of deaths and injuries among these workers.
available through the fire fighter topic page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/firehome.html,
include a summary of NIOSH fire fighter fatality investigation and
prevention program, copies of reports from all fire fighter fatality
investigations NIOSH has conducted under the program, and copies
of NIOSH research documents providing findings and recommendations
on specific fire fighter safety issues. NIOSH is listed on the IAFC’s
Web page, http://www.iafc.org/standdown/resources.asp,
as a resource to help fire departments plan their safety stand downs.
On June 14, 2005, Gene Barfield, past President of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) presented NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., with the ASSE President’s Award. This distinguished award recognizes Dr. Howard's "extraordinary support of the Society and his leadership in our cooperative efforts to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses."
Dr. Howard was instrumental in developing a historic partnership between NIOSH and ASSE to explore, design, evaluate, and introduce innovative tools and approaches for making workplaces safer. In accepting the ASSE President's Award, he did so on behalf of his 1500 colleagues at NIOSH who have a great interest in getting their research into the hands of ASSE members for application in the workplace.
ASSE is the oldest and largest professional safety organization with
approximately 30,000 members. ASSE is a global organization that works
to advance the technical, scientific, managerial and ethical knowledge
and skills of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals,
and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment.
More information on ASSE can be found at http://www.asse.org.
NIOSH and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) have signed an agreement to advance the protection of workers, promote the transfer of research into industrial hygiene practice and develop new and innovative prevention strategies and technologies.
The partnership will provide outreach, communication, and professional development opportunities to promote worker health and safety through:
“NIOSH and the AIHA both work to prevent workplace illness and injury; this partnership is a significant step forward in preventing health and safety problems by directly linking NIOSH researchers and AIHA practitioners,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.
AIHA has more than
12,000 members from every industry worldwide who are dedicated to health
and safety in the workplace, community, and environment. More information
on AIHA can be found at http://www.aiha.org.
NIOSH is inviting applications for Occupational Safety and Health Training Project Grants (TPGs). The new program announcement (PAR-05-126) was published on June 23 in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guide for Grants and Contracts, and the application receipt date is August 24 each year, for three years. The complete program announcement, which includes further details on the objectives of the funding, the features on which applications will be judged, types of information required from applicants, and procedures for submitting applications, can be found at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-05-126.html. NIOSH anticipates that awards will be announced in summer 2006.
TPGs are programs
at academic institutions that provide graduate training and continuing
education in the core occupational safety and health areas of industrial
hygiene, occupational health nursing, occupational medicine residency,
occupational safety, as well as other closely related occupational
safety and health fields. Special technical and other programs for
long-term training of occupational safety and health technicians
or specialists may also be supported.
Data from the NIOSH-funded Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks-Pesticides (SENSOR-Pesticides) highlight a risk of poisoning from unintentional ingestion of the pesticide lindane, according to a report in the June 3, 2005, issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Lindane is used in certain prescription shampoos and topical lotions to treat some parasitic skin infections. A study found that 870 cases of unintentional lindane ingestion occurred between 1998 and 2003, likely because the liquid was mistaken for cough syrup or similar oral medications. The MMWR article emphasizes the importance of precautionary measures, including compliance with FDA guidelines for dispensing the product from properly marked containers. Information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5421a2.htm.
While the SENSOR program
is designed to boost state and national capacity for identifying work-related
hazards associated with pesticide use, it can also help scientists flag
other potentially hazardous exposures as well.
to John Sestito who received the Occupational Health Surveillance Award
from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). John,
an Environmental Health Specialist in the NIOSH Division of Surveillance,
Health Evaluations and Field Studies, was presented the award during
the annual CSTE conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 7. John
was recognized for his outstanding commitment to improving the health,
safety and quality of life of working people through the collection
and use of health data and for his enduring support of states in their
efforts to develop effective occupational health programs.
Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in Minnesota and the United States. In rural Minnesota, adolescents are frequently employed in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs and are injured at a higher rate than older workers. Recently, with support from NIOSH the Minnesota Department of Health evaluated the effectiveness of a pilot occupational safety and health curriculum for adolescents in rural Minnesota high schools. Work Safe Work Smart contains nine lessons to enhance knowledge, attitudes and beliefs related to occupational safety and health. Evaluation measured changes in attitudes and beliefs related to prevention, identified critical factors for incorporating the curriculum into existing school curricula, and promoted dissemination and utilization of the curriculum in rural schools.
Allan Williams, Principal Investigator, reported that “adolescents exposed to the curriculum demonstrated measurable changes in several outcomes that may be associated with beneficial behaviors in occupational safety and health. The measured changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs were largely limited to the same school year in which the curriculum was taught, suggesting that adolescents may need to be exposed to concepts of occupational safety and health on an ongoing or repetitive basis.”
of the evaluation, over 4,000 copies of the curriculum were requested
on CD-ROM, and the curriculum was downloaded over 11,000 times from
the Health Department Web site. The Work Safe Work Smart curriculum
is available at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/cdee/occhealth/wsws.html. Please
send your comments about this important curriculum to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is requesting abstracts for NORA Symposium 2006: Research Makes a
Difference. This symposium, the fifth in the series, will be held
in Washington, D.C., at the Loews L'Enfant Plaza Hotel on April 18-20,
2006. It will convene several hundred occupational safety and health researchers,
stakeholders, and policymakers from the public and private sectors to
celebrate completion of the first decade of NORA, mark the 35th
anniversary of NIOSH, and inaugurate the new plan for the future of NORA.
An important aspect of this conference will be scientific presentations
addressing the original 21 NORA priorities and anticipating research areas
for the next ten years. The symposium will be a unique forum for a broad
cross-section of the occupational safety and health community to learn
about the variety of research accomplishments stimulated or anticipated
international colleagues from the Asia-Pacific Environmental and Occupational
Dermatology Group will convene the 8th Asia-Pacific Environmental
and Occupational Dermatology Symposium (APEODS) on October 25 -27,
2005 in Manila, Philippines. The symposium will bring together medical
practitioners in the fields of dermatology and occupational medicine from
about the world for discussions on the topics of contact dermatitis, occupational-related
dermatoses, cosmetics and nutriceuticals, occupational health surveillance
and the financial costs of disability. More information on the conference
can be found at http://www.apeods2005.org.
Hazard Evaluation (HHE): Dust Exposures at a Cement Company
Effects of Welding
American Congress of Clinical Toxicology (NAACT) 2005
Safety Congress and National Safety Council to Meet in September
Coinciding with the World Safety Congress, the National Safety Council Congress and Expo will run from September 21-23, 2005 at the same location. The Congress will feature over 200 sessions ranging from broad-based to industry-specific topics for the seasoned professional and newcomers to safety and health. The Expo is the world’s largest annual safety and health exhibit, where more than 750 exhibiting companies demonstrate and showcase the latest in safety materials and products. http://www.congress.nsc.org.
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.
Stress and Health 2006: Making a Difference in the Workplace
MS (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass
Spectrometry) is a method for ionizing large molecules such as polymers,
peptides, proteins, and oligonucleotides and determining their molecular
weight. It can be used to determine molecular weight of biomolecules
from both pure samples and mixtures.