Great opportunities exist to harness twenty-first century technologies to improve and develop new direct-reading analytical techniques and direct-reading instruments to accurately assess exposures in time-sensitive ways and to support appropriate actions to assure worker and public health.
The unique requirements and applications of direct-reading methods in both routine occupational activities and emergency preparedness include the need to develop improved laboratory and field test capabilities, along with a comprehensive suite of standard reference materials and values that can be used to evaluate and validate the method or instrument performance and the interpretation of their results.
NIOSH looks forward to working with stakeholders to assess and improve methods and guidance for assessing a range of workplace stressors and agents including ergonomic factors, dusts, mists, fumes, nanoparticles and other aerosols, biological agents, gases and vapors, metals, noise, radiation, pesticides and other chemicals.
More information will be available on this website as the initiative proceeds.
The purpose of the workshop was to gather stakeholder input from academia, labor, management, developers, governmental agencies, and manufacturers on the research needs in the area of direct reading methods for assessing occupational exposures. The workshop was open to the public and was attended by 200 invited experts, invited stakeholders and other interested registrants. The workshop discussed the state-of-the-science, the state-of-the-art, and the critical research needs of direct-reading methods. There was a general session attended by all meeting registrants and a breakout session. The general session included a group of plenary state-of-the-art presentations by invited speakers that address direct reading exposure assessment methods for workplaces. Issues relevant to the broad range of employment sectors and occupational hazards, such as method selection, validation, data handling, interpretation, data integration, etc. were discussed. Following the general session, there was six concurrent breakout sessions divided by hazard. The occupational hazards were: aerosols, gases/vapors, ergonomics, noise, ionizing radiation, and surface sampling/biomonitoring. Each hazard breakout session discussed the needs of the various sectors for direct-reading methods. The sessions were led by invited subject-matter expert facilitators. The breakout sections developed the specific research needs for each type of occupational hazard. Research priorities for direct reading exposure assessment methods were developed from the input received at the workshop.
2008 NIOSH Direct-Reading Exposure Assessment Methods Workshop
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-133
Aerosols Topic Page
This page provides links to a variety of information regarding the measurement, control, exposure characterization and health effects associated with aerosols in the workplace.
Nanotechnology Topic Page
A number of direct-reading methods are described in the on-line document Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology: An Information Exchange with NIOSH.
Health Hazard Evaluations (HHE)
Direct-reading methods are used in an extensive variety of the Health Hazard Evaluations conducted by NIOSH. These evaluations are conducted to find out whether there are health hazards to employees caused by exposures or conditions in the workplace.
eNews is the monthly newsletter of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Interested individuals are invited to subscribe online to receive this monthly update of NIOSH activities.
NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM)
The NIOSH NMAM provides a wide range of analytical methods, including direct-reading methods.
- Chapter D - General Considerations for Sampling Airborne Contaminants [PDF - 74 KB]
- Chapter G - Aerosol Photometers for Respirable Dust Measurements [PDF - 56 KB]
- Chapter H - Portable Electrochemical Sensor Methods [PDF - 18 KB]
- Chapter K - Determination of Airborne Isocyanate Exposure [PDF - 115 KB]
- Chapter L - Measurement of Fibers [PDF - 145 KB]
- Particulates not Otherwise Regulated, Total 0500 [PDF - 186 KB]
- Ethylene Oxide by Portable GC 3702 [PDF - 26 KB]
- Organic and Inorganic Gases BY 3800 [PDF - 832 KB]
- Carbon Monoxide 6604 [PDF - 20 KB]
- Oxygen 6601 [PDF - 16 KB]
- Nitric Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide 6014 [PDF - 30 KB]
- Fluoride in urine 8308 [PDF - 17 KB]
NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG)
NPG is intended as a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. The information found in the NPG should help users recognize and control occupational chemical hazards.
Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS)
RTECS is a compendium of data extracted from the open scientific literature. The data are recorded in the format developed by the RTECS staff and arranged in alphabetical order by prime chemical name.
NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH. A pre-defined list of searches follows.
Note: The following searches are based on keywords and may include publications that are not relevant.
- Direct reading
- Gas, vapor, or aerosols
- Biological agent
PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 17 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.
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