The NIOSH Criteria Documentation Program is evaluated. The evaluation was conducted by 45 panelists who were experienced in chemistry, environmental health, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, toxicology, occupational medicine and nursing, safety engineering, law, economics, political science and related areas. NIOSH criteria documentation and OSHA standard setting programs are described. The panelists evaluation of and recommendations for improving the NIOSH Criteria Documentation Program are presented. The panel noted that the NIOSH/OSHA relationship was not working very well and should be improved. They recommended that NIOSH establish a standarized method for collecting data and a common data framework that can be used nationwide. NIOSH should expend more effort to obtain more and better data for use in setting priorities (and eventually in criteria documents). Priorities should be established by expert judgment. NIOSH should be concerned with developing criteria documents of high quality without regard to producing a prearranged number of documents (currently 24 a year). The criteria documents should include such information as properties and description of hazards, industries, extent of use and exposure, health and biological effects, existing control technology, and gaps in knowledge that might bear on recommending a standard.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Cincinnati, Ohio