Respiratory Health Program

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The Respiratory Health Program (RHP) provides national and international leadership for preventing work-related respiratory diseases and optimizing workers’ respiratory health by generating new knowledge and transferring that knowledge into practice to benefit workers. The RHP specializes in identifying, evaluating, and preventing work-related respiratory diseases and delivers resources, products, and services to those in need and to those who can effect prevention.

Featured Items

Continued increase in prevalence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in the United States, 1970-2017
The prevalence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) among working coal miners has continued to increase since the late 1990s. The national prevalence of CWP in working coal miners with at least 25 years tenure exceeds 10% nationally and exceeds 20% in central Appalachia.

Dental Personnel Treated for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis at a Tertiary Care Center — Virginia, 2000–2015
In 2018, NIOSH investigators identified the first known cluster of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) among dental workers.  Further research is needed to determine the occupational exposures of dental personnel and whether these exposures are associated with IPF.

Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool – General Buildings
Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool – School Buildings

In 2019, NIOSH released the Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool for both general buildings and schools to help assess areas of dampness in buildings and to help prioritize remediation of problems areas.  These assessment tools have been validated and can be applied with minimal training.


Worker COPD Youtube video screenshot

Faces of Work-related COPD

The National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Respiratory Health Cross-sector Council developed an impact video series on the causes and prevention of work-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Page last reviewed: November 13, 2019, 12:00 AM