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Notable Milestones in NIOSH History

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.

OSH Act created NIOSH

First Criteria Document on Asbestos

First Toxic Substances List

NIOSH transferred to CDC from Health Service & Mental Health Administration

Creation of NIOSHTIC

NIOSH/OSHA Standards Completion Program was the basis for 387 new standards, immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) values and the PocketGuide

First Current Intelligence Bulletins published (chloroprene, trichloroethylene, ethylene dibromide, asbestos (during brake and clutch work), hexamethylphoshoric triamide, polychlorinated biphenyls)

First nine ERCs were awarded (Harvard, U. Cincinnati, Johns Hopkins, U. Texas Houston, U. Minnesota, U. North Carolina, U. Washington Seattle, U. Illinois Chicago, & U. Arizona)

Courts affirm authority to enter workplaces, examine medical records, and disseminate research findings NIOSH publishes Occupational Diseases: A Guide to Their Recognition

NIOSH/OSHA Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards first published

First State-based occupational health cooperative agreements

First meeting of the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC)

On the 15th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) issued a report concluding that the Act had led to the reduction of exposures to vinyl chloride, cotton dust, and lead

NIOSH releases the Proposed National Strategies for the Prevention of Leading Work-Related Diseases and Injuries (Top Ten Work-related Diseases and Injuries)

NIOSH, OSHA, and EPA establish the ONE Committee to coordinate the agencies’ research efforts

Collaboration with ILO International Programme on Chemical Safety to establish peer reviewed hazard communication cards (International Chemical Safety Cards)

Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR) program established at NIOSH

NIOSH publishes landmark studies showing hazards of vermiculite from Libby, MT

The Alice Hamilton Award for Excellence in Science in Occupational Safety and Health was initiated

ABLES program and State FACE program established

Centers for Agricultural Disease and Injury Research, Education, and Prevention established

NIOSH issues Current Intelligence Bulletin on environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace

NIOSH website launched

National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Established

NIOSH issues findings & recommendations for preventing workplace homicides and assaults

Mine safety research authority is transferred to NIOSH following the elimination of the U.S. Bureau of Mines
NIOSH issues Engineering Control Guidelines for Hot Mix Asphalt Pavers — this represents a new paradigm for conducting research by developing a partnership between labor, industry, and government

Latex Alert issued Preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex in the workplace

NIOSH issues recommendations for preventing job-related stress

NIOSH issues recommendations for preventing work-related needlestick injuries

NIOSH provides technical assistance for responder safety and health in the World Trade Center rescue and recovery

NIOSH en Espanol Web site launched

NIOSH eNews debuts

Research to Practice (r2p) Initiative established

NIOSH provides technical and humanitarian assistance after Hurricane Katrina

Second Decade of NORA begins

NIOSH partnered with SKC Inc., to commercialize two low-cost, NIOSH-designed field methods to help first responders, public health officials, and remediation workers quickly detect the presence of methamphetamine on various environmental surfaces

NIOSH Science Blog debuts

NIOSH publishes a literature review and critical analysis of Qualitative Risk Characterization and Management of Occupational Hazards: Control Banding (CB)

NIOSH provides technical assistance for responder safety and health in the Deepwater Horizon containment and cleanup

World Trade Center Health Program established


1971 – 1975
Marcus Key, M.D.

1975 – 1978
John Finklea, M.D.

1978 – 1981
Anthony Robbins, M.D.

1981 – 1993
J. Donald Millar, M.D.

1994 – 2000
Linda Rosenstock, M.D.

2002 – 2008
John Howard, M.D.

2009 – Present
John Howard, M.D.

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  • Page last reviewed: July 12, 2011
  • Page last updated: July 12, 2011 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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