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Occupations with High Obesity Prevalence in Washington State

Categories: Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Safety and Health Data, Smoking, Total Worker Health, Transportation

If work and the workplace contribute to poor health behaviors, should employers attempt to improve those behaviors?  It likely is in the employer’s best interest to do so.

Poor health behaviors can lead to chronic disease.  Workers with chronic disease may be at higher risk for workplace injury, have more absenteeism, and diminished productivity at work. Once injured, workers with chronic diseases take a longer time to return to work.  So the best strategy would be for employers to promote healthy behaviors to prevent the occurrence of these chronic diseases.

So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?

Categories: Hearing Loss, Technology

Figure 1. The SoundMeter app on the iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4S (R) compared to ½” Larson-Davis 2559 random incidence type 1 microphone (C).

As of June 2013, 60% of all mobile subscribers use smartphones—that’s more than 140 million devices. Apple iOS and Google Android platforms account for 93% of those devices [Nielsen, 2013]. Smartphone developers now offer many sound measurement applications (apps) using the devices’ built-in microphone (or through an external microphone for more sophisticated applications). The use of smartphone sound measurement apps can have a tremendous and far-reaching impact in the areas of noise research and noise control in the workplace as every smartphone can be potentially turned into a dosimeter or a sound level meter

Do We Need to Challenge Respirator Filters With Biological Aerosols?

Categories: Personal Protective Equipment, Respiratory Health

Figure 1. Typical particle sizes found in various workplace and environmental aerosols. The dashed green line represents the 0.3 um mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) sodium chloride aerosol used by NIOSH for respirator filter testing of N95-class air purifying respirators. Note: adapted from various sources.(16-18)

The purpose of this NIOSH Science Blog is to explain what is currently known about an important aspect of respirator filtration.  For decades, respirator researchers have been asked whether filters need to be tested with aerosols similar to those encountered in the environment (Figure 1).  Common sense suggests that viruses or bacteria are collected differently from engineered nanoparticles, silica dusts, oil mists or other types of workplace aerosols.

Making of the New NIOSH Homepage

Categories: Technology

NIOSH proudly introduces the new, streamlined NIOSH Homepage.

What you told us

Did you catch the St. Patrick’s Day launch of the new, streamlined NIOSH homepage? For those expecting a routine makeover, we want to take you behind the scenes. For over four years, the NIOSH Web Team has collected information through user testing and from feedback and discussions with users. We heard that the homepage was “link-heavy,” “busy,” “overwhelming,” and “a little dated.” Users told us they were distracted by too many links and found it harder to focus on finding what they wanted. The message was clear. A simpler interface design would make life easier.

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