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NIOSH Program Portfolio

 

Manufacturing

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

9277204 - Energy-Related Research Development and Planning

Start Date: 1/1/1991
End Date: 9/30/2012

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Elizabeth Whelan
Phone: 513-841-4437
E-mail: eaw0@cdc.gov
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DSHEFS
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goals Addressed
6.0 , 6.0

Secondary Goal Addressed
None


Attributed to Manufacturing
70%

Project Description

Short Summary

The primary purpose of this project is to support strategic planning and feasibility studies for the Occupational Energy Research Program in IWSB. Other activities provided for under this project include research support activities such as vital status ascertainment, freedom of information (FOI) responses and records management.

This project contributes to the goals of the Cancer, Reproductive, and Cardiovascular Disease (CRC) Cross-sector; the Respiratory Diseases (RDR) Cross-sector; the Exposure Assessment (EXP) Cross-sector; and the Manufacturing (MFG) Sector.

The prioritization effort resulted in an electronic database that contains important descriptive data for all 70 IWSB cohorts. The spreadsheet includes links to relevant publications from prior updates, a rationale for updating (or not), and priority designation for those selected for update. The spreadsheet is used to decide which cohorts are the most important to update. Prior to this effort, there was no systematic process for approving update requests from internal or external investigators. Emerging problems and support activities, such as FOI requests, are handled on an as-needed basis throughout the year.

Each fiscal year we submit quarterly reports, as well as monthly projection and actual budget reports (due by the 15th of each month) to the Department of Energy.



Description

The primary purpose of this project is to support strategic planning and feasibility studies of workers at DOE facilities; to identify and evaluate gaps in our understanding of the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation and other hazardous agents that can be filled by directed research; and to assure that the results of these studies are disseminated through scientific publications, presentations, and other appropriate media. The research focuses on whether exposure to ionizing radiation or other hazardous physical and chemical agents in energy-related industries and occupations result in an increased risk of adverse health outcomes in workers. The research is being conducted through a mixture of in-house and extramural means including contracts, cooperative agreements and grants.

In FY10, the cohort prioritization effort resulted in a spreadsheet that contains important descriptive data for all 70 IWSB cohorts.

The spreadsheet includes links to relevant publications from prior updates, a rationale for updating (or not), and priority designation for those selected for update. The spreadsheet is used to decide which cohorts are the most important to update. As a result of this effort, in FY10, a project concept memo was approved for a pooled study of uranium exposure among workers at three gaseous diffusion plants. In FY11, the protocol for this study will be developed and the study initiated. In FY10, discussions between DOE and NIOSH were initiated regarding a possible study of workers at the Hanford Tank Farm.

Each fiscal year we submit quarterly reports, as well as monthly projection and actual budget reports (due by the 15th of each month) to the Department of Energy. Response to emerging problems and support activities, such as FOI requests, are handled on a continual basis throughout the year.



Mission Relevance

The mission of the Occupational Energy Research Program in IWSB is to plan and conduct rigorous etiologic and exposure assessment research studies of workers at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facilities and to provide data for the development of protective standards. This project provides guidance and support for the analytic epidemiology research program concerned with energy-related health effects experienced by workers at DOE facilities. Over 600,000 workers have been employed by DOE, its predecessor agencies, and its contractors at more than 100 sites around the U.S. since the Manhattan Engineering District was formed in 1942. Workers have been exposed to ionizing radiation, other physical hazards and a wide variety of chemicals. The results of this research can be used by DOE to conduct risk assessments in establishing exposure standards for its workers and to develop and implement intervention methods, where indicated, to reduce worker exposures. Research results may also be of use to DOE for former worker medical surveillance activities. These actions would also be applicable to workers exposed under similar conditions in private industry. Thus, workers, DOE management and contractors, community residents, and the scientific community will benefit from this research.

Feasibility studies determine availability of data for specific hypotheses to be tested in future research efforts. The feasibility of potential studies may be evaluated through the use of literature searches and evaluation of existing records at NIOSH.

Strategic planning and priority-setting ensure that branch resources are directed toward the highest priority work of the Institute, and allow the branch to create a roadmap for conducting OERP studies among DOE workers that have maximum impact and utility for standard-setting. Once a study is determined to be feasible and relevant, a protocol is developed and submitted for approval.

Other activities provided for under this project include: 1) research support activities such as coordination with federal agencies for acquisition of vital status data, freedom of information (FOI) responses and records management; and 2) follow-up of unexpected opportunities and emerging occupational health problems that may arise during the year.



Page last updated: June 3, 2011
Page last reviewed: May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director

 

NIOSH Program:

Manufacturing