The organization of NIOSH itself was briefly described and highlights of the occupational safety and health program conducted by NIOSH during fiscal year 1985 were reviewed. To combat illnesses related to work it is necessary to identify them and to establish various surveillance studies to quantify their existence. Studies conducted include the National Occupational Health Survey of Mines, a national study of coal workers' pneumoconiosis, a fatal accident circumstances and epidemiology study, an analysis of injury data bases, work injury report surveys, a health interview survey, studies of Social Security disability files, analyses of death certificates, and health studies in emerging energy industries. Health hazard evaluations were made during 1985 concerning occupational lung disease, indoor air quality, musculoskeletal injuries, occupational cancer, hazardous waste sites, severe occupational traumatic injuries, neurotoxic disorders, noise induced hearing loss, psychological disorders, and mixed categories such as exposure of roofers to chemicals and changes in lipid levels in workers exposed to cattle growth promoters. Efforts made to control exposures included studies of respirator limitations, protection against fibrous aerosols, vapor breakthrough times, physiological response to wearing protective clothing, ventilation systems, ethylene-oxide control, semiconductor manufacturing, and asbestos removal.