Volume 3 Number 7 November 2005
NIOSH eNews Web site
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New in Nanotechnology
Protective Equipment Electronic Listserv Available
presents University Safety Award
NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory Announces
Issues First Two Air-Purifying Escape Respirator Approvals for
Meeting Highlights Outreach on Occupational Energy Research Program
NIOSH Chartbook receives CDC Communication Awards
View the Redesigned and Improved Mining Safety and Health Web Page
NIOSH Morgantown Wellness Center receives Silver Award
As the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) approaches a 10-year milestone, NIOSH is requesting your assistance in planning for the future of occupational safety and health research for the nation. During the next several months, NIOSH and our partners will be conducting over a dozen public meetings throughout the country to address regional and sector-specific needs in occupational safety and health research. We request your input on identifying specific diseases, injuries, exposures, populations at risk and needs of the occupational safety and health systems.
The first three town hall meetings include a focus on the construction sector; the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector; and a more general regional session in Iowa. The town hall meetings are structured so that any occupational safety and health topic can be considered. The details concerning the three initial meetings are as follows:
The public meetings are open to all employers, workers, professional societies, organized labor, researchers, health professionals, government officials and other interested parties. Please join us to make a five minute presentation describing a significant occupational safety and health problem affecting your geographic area or sector-specific issues. Everyone is invited to speak, but to ensure adequate time for all, speakers must register at the NORA Town Hall Meeting Web site to be added to the agenda.
All presentations will be entered into the NORA Docket, and will be used by NORA Research Councils to help shape sector-specific and related cross-sector research agendas for the nation. If you cannot participate in or attend one of the public meetings, you can submit your comments online at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.
These meetings are the first of many public meetings which will occur
in the months preceding the NORA
Symposium (April 18-20, 2006 in Washington, DC). Stay tuned to eNews for information on future town hall meetings.
I encourage you to consider ways in which you might participate.
Key themes emerge
from 2nd International Nanotechnology Symposium
NIOSH, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research, the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology at Rice University, and the Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored this international nanotechnology symposium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 3-6, 2005.
The symposium provided a range of opportunities for individuals from various disciplines to build on the global dialogue launched during the 1st International Symposium held last year in Buxton, England. Health and safety experts also had the opportunity to discuss the latest research being conducted around nanotechnology and establish new national and international partnerships.
The main meeting was preceded by a comprehensive array of tutorial courses presented by national and international experts on topics ranging from nanotechnology overviews to technical details of toxicological studies. Approximately 70 platform presentations and 40 posters were shared during the 4-day symposium. Presentations and posters focused on topics including toxicology, exposure assessment, measurement of nanomaterial properties, nanoparticle classification, regulatory policy, occupational safety and health, and public health risk.
Several consistent themes emerged throughout the symposium.
There was also strong agreement among the presenters, participants, and sponsors that interdisciplinary global collaboration continues to be vital in order to keep up with the advancements in nanotechnology and ensure proper safety and health for all workers.
In a unique addition to the content of the 1st symposium, day 4 of the 2nd symposium was dedicated solely to industry. Attendees heard from industry leaders about what industry is doing to advance nanotechnology, how nanotechnology is being used, and what industry needs to stay abreast of potential occupational safety and health concerns. Day 4 also included an open forum. As part of the forum, individuals were asked, “What issues keep you up at night?” Issues discussed included:
Future Plans for Continued Progress
RAND holds nanotechnology policy and planning workshop.
Speaking to participants at the meeting, NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., said “NIOSH believes that for its work to achieve real value, we must engage with you as our partners--partners in field and laboratory studies; partners in surveillance and data collection; partners in risk assessment; and partners in critical review of the accumulating evidence about both the implications as well as the applications of the emerging field of nanoengineering.”
The panel addressed near-term needs including identifying where the greatest need is for NIOSH involvement, how to establish and communicate “best practices” to employers and workers, and types of nanomaterials where government resources should be focused. The discussion of long-term needs centered on determining the best approach for controlling exposures to nanomaterials, recognizing the importance of harmonization between government agencies and with key U.S. trading partners, and identifying ways NIOSH can more effectively interact with stakeholders as NIOSH develops and implements workplace nanotechnology research programs. The RAND Corporation will prepare a report summarizing the workshop proceedings.
Researchers discuss nanotechnology health questions in JAMA.
interested in receiving information about personal protective equipment
(PPE) can sign-up for a new electronic mailing list available through
the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory. You can
sign-up by going to the Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/sub-NPPTL.html.
NIOSH’s collaboration with the American Chemical
Society (ACS), Division of Chemical Health and Safety resulted in funding
the second annual national College and University Health and Safety Award
among university chemical laboratories. This year’s $1,000 award
was equally shared between two universities – the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Nevada-Reno. The
two recipients of the safety award were Louis DiBerardinis representing
the MIT Environmental Health and Safety Office and Steven Oberg representing
the UN-Reno Environmental Health and Safety Department. Mr. DiBerardinis
presented a paper entitled “Building and Implementing an Environmental
Health and Safety Management System in an Academic Environment,” and
Dr. Oberg’s paper was entitled “Integration is a Key to University
Lab Safety Program Success.”
of October 6, 2005, NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology
Laboratory (NPPTL) has reorganized into three branches. The branches
are Technology Evaluation, Technology Research, and Policy and Standards
Development. The Technology Evaluation group is responsible for the respirator
certification program as well as the quality audit program. This quality
program addresses periodic audits of respirator performance or reported
problems with deployed units. The Technology Research branch will carry
on research related to innovative technologies for respiratory protection,
sensors for personal protective technologies, human performance, and
PPE ensembles for first responders that provide improved protection against
chemical and biological agents. The Policy and Standards branch will
continue to develop and update standards to improve safety and health
of respirator users, and produce user guidance documents.
also created four new positions for NPPTL called program managers.
The four managers will provide global direction for the respiratory
protection, sensors, personal protective equipment ensembles, and
human performance program.
As the clean-up continues and rebuilding begins in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, NIOSH has assembled additional materials for workers and volunteers. Among these are the following:
Additional resources on hurricane clean-up can be accessed on the Hurricane
Katrina Response page, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/flood.
NIOSH issued the first two certificates of approval for air-purifying escape respirators (APER) with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection. Approval was granted on October 24, 2005, to Mine Safety Appliances Company for the Safe Escape CBRN APER and on October 28, 2005, to ILC Dover for the SCape CBRN APER.
The approvals signify
that the products are expected to protect the general working population
in escape scenarios from chemical, biological, radiological, and
nuclear exposures that could be seen at a terrorist event. NIOSH
based its determinations on positive results from rigorous laboratory
tests, evaluation of product specifications for the devices, and
assessment of the manufacturer’s quality control procedures.
The action allows the manufacturers to label the approved devices
as NIOSH-certified for occupational use. It does not constitute a
commercial endorsement of the product. The approvals are posted on
the NIOSH Web page at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl.
Wanted: Comments, questions, and recommendations by stakeholders on NIOSH’s Occupational Energy Research Program. In an October 27 public meeting in Washington, NIOSH convened interested partners to discuss the program’s background, accomplishments to date, ongoing research, and potential future directions. The floor remains open for further input.
So far under the program, NIOSH has completed 54 research projects, published 151 peer-reviewed products, and compiled a rich database of health and exposure information for more than 300,000 workers at 15 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons sites in 13 states. The program began in 1990 under a memorandum of understanding with DOE, to address the question of whether potential work-related exposures at DOE sites were associated with risks for cancer or other illnesses.
“Thanks to the efforts of the past 15 years, scientists no longer are working from a virtually blank slate to address questions of potential health effects from low levels of work-related radiation,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Many directions for strategic research present themselves, and priorities must be set so that the research dollar is spent as wisely as possible. Transparency and outreach are critical parts of that process.”
Presentations and proceedings from the October 27 meeting will be made available on the NIOSH Web site when finalized. NIOSH is seeking ideas for future research related to the program. Suggestions for research can be sent to Patty Gudlewski at PGudlewski@cdc.gov. Questions related to the research program can be sent to Doug Daniels at RDaniels@cdc.gov or Steve Ahrenholz at SAhrenholz@cdc.gov. NIOSH will hold periodic future public meetings like the one on October 27, dates to be determined.
On a separate but
related matter, a public review is being conducted by the National
Academies (NA) at the request of DOE. The review will assess the
NIOSH Occupational Energy Research Program, as well as public health
activities conducted under the agreement with DOE by NIOSH’s
fellow agencies in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC): the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency
for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. From the review, the NA
will recommend ways to enhance the scientific merit, focus, and effectiveness
of the initiatives, as well as their impact on DOE’s policies
and decisions. A public meeting of the NA has been scheduled for
November 3-4, 2005. More information can be found at the NA Web site, http://www4.nas.edu/cp.nsf/Projects+_by+_PIN/NRSB-O-05-01-A?OpenDocument.
October 27, the NIOSH Worker Health Chartbook 2004 received two awards
at the annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Communicators
Roundtable Awards ceremony. The Chartbook received first place in the
communications more than 16 pages.” NIOSH staff receiving the award
were John Sestito, Alan Lunsford, Anne Hamilton and Roger Rosa. The Chartbook
also received first place in the category “computer-based communications.” Awards
went to NIOSH staff John Sestito, Chris Gjessing, Glenn Doyle and Vern
Anderson and to Constella staff Jane Chen, Joe Cauley and Chris Storms.
Chartbook [DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-146] is a descriptive
epidemiologic reference of occupational morbidity and mortality
in the United States. The document consolidates and presents an integrated
view of occupational safety and health surveillance data and information
from 19 surveillance programs and surveys of occupational injury
and illness in the United States. The Chartbook includes over 400 figures
and tables describing the magnitude, distribution and trends of the
occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. It is a valuable
resource for agencies, organizations, employers, researchers, workers
and others who need to know about occupational illnesses and injuries.
The Chartbook can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/chartbook.
|NIOSH has redesigned its Mining Safety and Health Web page.
The updated page incorporates a significant amount of new safety and health
information plus an improved layout to better serve customer needs. It
also provides background information about the NIOSH Mining Research Program
including research awards, core competencies, unique laboratories, community
and educational outreach, and a brief discussion on how the research program
The redesigned page features improved search capabilities. The “Search Mining” feature on each page lets one search only the NIOSH Mining Safety and Health page. The user can still search all of NIOSH using the “Search NIOSH” option. The expanded “Safety and Health Topics” have been reorganized for ease in finding information. Each topic page now has a significant amount of new and updated information, as well as links to related topics of interest. All topics can be accessed from the home page.
More than 650 mine safety and health publications are now downloadable from the page. Short summaries let the user quickly identify publications of interest. The updated page offers over 120 NIOSH mine safety and health products, including training exercises, toolbox talks, videos, computer software, guides and checklists, many of which are downloadable.
NIOSH Morgantown Wellness Center has received the Silver Well Workplace
Award from the Wellness Council of West Virginia. This organization
is part of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) which “focuses on building Well Workplaces—organizations
that are dedicated to the health of their employees.” The Well
Workplace process provides organizations with a structure or blue print
to help them build results-oriented wellness programs. This prestigious
initiative recognizes quality and excellence in worksite health promotion.
Driven by a rigorous set of criteria, organizations of all kinds compete
to be recognized as one of America's Healthiest Companies. Two years
ago the NIOSH Morgantown Wellness Center received the Bronze award. More
and more employees are becoming aware of wellness and are starting to
make lifestyle changes that will benefit their health for years to come.
Exploring the Modern Mineral Renaissance-Northwest Mining Association 111th Annual Meeting and Exposition will be held December 5-9, 2005 in Spokane Washington. For more information contact Pay Heywood at email@example.com.
Safety Seminar for Underground Stone Mines will be held
December 6-7, 2005 in Louisville, Kentucky. More information can be found
at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/calendar/2005StoneFlyer.pdf or by
contacting Lou Prosser at LProsser@cdc.gov. For registration information
contact Kim Mitchell at KAMitchell@cdc.gov.
and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) signed a memorandum
of understanding on October 31 to facilitate partnering, cooperation,
and coordination of activities involving personal protective equipment
(PPE). The primary focus of the agreement will include emergency responder
protective clothing and equipment, including PPE for response
to all emergency incidents involving fire, technical rescue, hazardous
materials, emergency medical, special operations, and terrorism incidents
involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive
hazards. Primary focus also will include the development of standards
for emergency responder organizations and personnel concerning the
safety, deployment, operations, and protection of emergency responders.
The agreement was signed by NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., and NFPA
President and Chief Executive Officer James M. Shannon.
In last month’s eNews we reported on comments submitted in preparation for the next decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). This month we take a closer look at the over 40 comments which focused on cross sector issues. Cross sector issues affect multiple sectors and encompass numerous safety and health topics. The following chart describes the most frequently mentioned topics submitted to the NORA Web site.
The full set of comments can be viewed on the NORA Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.
Concerned your topic is not on this list? Submit your thoughts at the
NORA Web site.
Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health
Program has released the Fall 2005 edition of Connecticut Occupational
Health eNews (COHeN). COHeN is a quarterly electronic newsletter for
professionals interested in the protection and promotion of worker
health in all work environments. You can access COHeN at http://www.dph.state.ct.us/BRS/EOHA/enews.htm.
of public meeting to seek input on gaps in chronic lymphocytic
leukemia (CLL) radiogenicity research held on July 21, 2004
of Storytelling for Safety Training Explored in New Report
Tell Me a Story: Why Stories are Essential to Effective Safety Training, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-152, is based on a seven-year research project. The intent was to develop and assess new materials for training miners in ways to work safely in a challenging and inherently dangerous setting. The effort was designed to replicate traditional industry practices in which beginning miners are mentored by older, more experienced miners, and to reflect cultural values in mining. The new report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/. For further information on the story-based safety training model, contact Elaine Cullen, NIOSH Spokane Research Laboratory, firstname.lastname@example.org. Printed copies of the report are available from Candace Pickett, NIOSH Spokane Research Laboratory, at email@example.com. A listing of NIOSH miner training videos is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/products/#Videos.
Deadline Approaches: Call for Abstracts for the 2006
The symposium will be held on April 18-20, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Several hundred occupational safety and health researchers, stakeholders, and policymakers from the public and private sectors will convene 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 by NORA. For more information about the symposium, please visit the NORA Web site or e-mail the NORA coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second Symposium on Beryllium Particulates and Their Detection
International Symposium: Biomedical Aspects of Nano-Toxicology
Work, Stress and Health 2006: Making a Difference in the Workplace
Call for Abstracts: 13th International Respiratory Protection of Healthcare
Workers and Emergency Responders
Escape Respirators (APER) are air-purifying
devices which use a chemical cartridge combined with a particulate filter
to purify contaminated air.