Authoritative Recommendations Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Authoritative Recommendations Program supports the scientific assessment, development, and dissemination of NIOSH authoritative recommendations for assuring safe and healthy working conditions for all workers, particularly those who work with chemicals. Below are some examples of NIOSH authoritative recommendations:

  • Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs)
  • Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) values
  • Skin Notation assignments
  • Policy documents with NIOSH recommendations for engineering controls, safe work practices, personal protective equipment, exposure monitoring, and medical monitoring

The Program seeks to reduce and prevent occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities by developing and evaluating authoritative recommendations and guidance.

What do we do?
  • Prioritize the development of authoritative recommendations based on:
    • Requests from government agencies including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
    • Requests from labor and industry
    • The goals of NIOSH research programs
  • Develop risk assessment methodologies to ensure consistent, transparent, and rigorous processes are available for scientists, and the methodologies represent the state-of-the-sciences of toxicology, epidemiology, exposure assessment, and related disciplines.
  • Apply policies for classifying chemical hazards based on health effects such as carcinogenicity and dermal effects.
  • Conduct research, risk assessment, and document development activities leading to dissemination of RELs or risk management levels (RMLs, for chemical carcinogens) and related guidance for chemical hazards in the workplace.
  • Publish recommendations in NIOSH documents including Criteria Documents, Current Intelligence Bulletins, and Hazard Alerts.
  • Assess hazardous drugs in healthcare settings and promote best practices for risk management to protect exposed workers.
What have we accomplished?
What’s next?
  • Publish Current Intelligence Bulletin: Health Effects of Occupational Exposure to Silver Nanomaterials.
  • Publish three hazardous drugs documents: NIOSH List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, the NIOSH Procedures for Developing the NIOSH List of Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings, and Managing Hazardous Drugs Exposures: Information for Healthcare Settings.
  • Assess emerging technologies such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence,
  • biotechnology, and robotics regarding workplace safety and health impact, and provide possible solutions to maximize utility and safety.
  • Investigate the dermal route of exposure to chemicals in the workplace and publish additional control recommendations in skin notation profiles and cumulative risk assessment guidance.
  • Partner with OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency, other Federal agencies, labor, and industry to identify and address critical needs and gaps in workplace recommendations.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The NIOSH Authoritative Recommendations Program seeks to maximize the impact and reach of science and policy across the spectrum of occupational hazards affecting workers in all industries through the development and dissemination of evidence-based recommendations.

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March 2021

Page last reviewed: March 13, 2021