NIOSH Releases Revised Carcinogen Policy for Public Comment


November 15, 2013
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina Spring (202) 245-0633

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released today the draft document, “Update of NIOSH Carcinogen Classification and Target Risk Level Policy for Chemical Hazards in the Workplace.” This significant update to NIOSH’s carcinogen policy, which was first issued in 1978, reflects advancements in cancer science and stakeholder concerns regarding the relevancy of the previous policy. The draft document can be viewed at icon. Public comments on the revised policy must be received by February 13, 2014.

“Our understanding of the science of cancer and our ability to measure potential exposures in the workplace have advanced a great deal since our original policy from 1978,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This revised policy reflects an adaptation to this scientific progress, and we hope that our stakeholders and the public take time from their busy schedules to closely review and provide us with valuable feedback on the Revised NIOSH Carcinogen Policy.”

Individuals can provide their comments on the revised policy in writing to the NIOSH Docket Office. In addition, NIOSH will be holding a public meeting on Monday, December 16, 2013. The meeting information can be found in the Federal Register here: icon.

In developing this revised policy, NIOSH solicited input from stakeholders and members of the public. The proposed policy outlines an approach that is expected to improve the efficiency of classifying carcinogens by utilizing classifications from relevant federal and international organizations, specifically the National Toxicology Program (NTP), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

NIOSH foresees this revised policy as improving the relevance of the information on workplace exposures to carcinogens, which will help the occupational safety and health community achieve healthy and safe workplaces. For more information on the NIOSH carcinogen policy, please go to

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about our work visit

Page last reviewed: November 15, 2013