NIOSH activities in protecting the health and safety of American workers are reviewed for 1980. Special initiatives are discussed that include reorganization and redirection of the respiratory program, reproductive hazards research that includes medical surveillance, epidemiology, and laboratory studies, and research into chronic effects of trauma. The health surveillance program is described. The program includes hazard surveillance and illness surveillance, data retrieval, and analytical capabilities available to respond to specific needs. Health research investigations to identify toxic substances and harmful physical agents are cited for synthetic amorphous silicas, toluidine (26915128) isomers, benzo(a)pyrene (50328), and potential occupational asthmagens. Field studies are described into excess deaths from respiratory diseases among welders, shipfitters, and metal trades workers, of cancers occurring in automobile body workers, lung cancers in welders, and problems of workers using video display terminals. The purpose of the NIOSH safety research program includes preventing or reducing the number of occupational accidents resulting in death, permanent disability, or lost weekdays. Training and workforce development efforts are described including implementing educational resource centers, assistance and direct training, and safety workshops. Information dissemination programs are discussed.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio