Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Prevention Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Prevention Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia. The program focuses on these areas:

  • Reducing immune abnormalities (including immune aspects of asthma) associated with workplace exposures.
  • Reducing occupational skin disorders and exposures that result in disease.
  • Reducing exposure and transmission of infectious diseases in the workplace.
What do we do?
  • Conduct research to better understand the impact and basic mechanisms of occupational exposures on the immune system, including exposures to chemical, biological, or infectious agents.
  • Identify occupational allergens that cause disease in workers in high burden industries.
  • Develop strategies for prevention and raise awareness of skin injury materials.
  • Maximize resources by using statistical modeling to prioritize chemicals to research, rather than investigating all potentially hazardous chemicals.
  • Improve surveillance for hazard identification, exposure assessment, and risk characterization of chemicals absorbed through the skin that lead to immune or systemic toxicity (e.g., damage to internal organs).
  • Increase awareness of occupational immune and dermal health issues through collaborations with NIOSH sector programs; contributions to field investigations; and publications and presentations of research findings.
  • Conduct investigations of infectious disease occurring in workplaces.
  • Provide evidence-based recommendations and guidance on prevention measures for managers and workers to reduce transmission of infectious disease in the workplace.
  • Publish Skin Notation (SK) Profiles, hazard warnings used worldwide, to alert workers and employers to the health risks of skin exposures to workplace chemicals.
What have we accomplished?
  • Published research on the efficacy of face masks, neck gaiters and face shields for reducing the expulsion of simulated cough-generated aerosols.
  • Published review paper Occupational Respiratory Infectionsexternal icon in Clinics in Chest Medicine.
  • Published 30 worker-related COVID-19 guidance documents, 29 fact sheets, and 39 MMWRs and manuscripts.
  • Publishedexternal icon research on animal studies that characterize mouse pulmonary and neurological responses to repeated inhalation exposure to the indoor fungi Aspergillus versicolor.
  • Published skin notations for: diacetyl, dioxane, beta-chloroprene, toluene diisocyanate, and chlorodiphenyl.
What’s next?
  • Investigate the toxicity of dermal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances.
  • Publish research on how exposure to disinfectants affect the immune system.
  • Conduct research on bioaerosol sampling for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Conduct investigations and publish guidance on infections with B. cereus containing homologue of anthrax pXO1 plasmid among welders.
  • Investigate the effectiveness of indoor ventilation and 3-6 feet social distancing when attempting to prevent infectious disease transmission.
  • Publish updated guidance on protecting workers from histoplasmosis.

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 Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Program primarily focuses on hazard identification to prevent and minimize the effects of work-related dermal and immune diseases. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming projects and activities.

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October 2021

Page last reviewed: October 6, 2021