Category: Chemicals

Women’s Health at Work

This week is Women’s Health Week. With over 58% of U.S. women in the labor force[i], the workplace must be considered when looking at women’s overall health.   We must keep in mind that susceptibility to hazards can be different for men and women.  Additionally, women face different workplace health challenges than men partly because men Read More >

Posted on by Naomi Swanson,Ph.D.; Julie Tisdale-Pardi, MA; CAPT Leslie MacDonald, Sc.D.; Hope M. Tiesman, Ph.D. 53 Comments

Help! What do you want from a mobile Pocket Guide?

Since its first printing in 1978, the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) continues to be the Institute’s most popular document. The NPG provides general descriptive, exposure, and protective and emergency recommendations for 677 chemicals commonly found in the work environment. Workers, employers, and occupational health professionals all use the NPG in the course Read More >

Posted on by Donna Van Bogaert Ph.D. and Glenn Doyle157 Comments

Dangers of Bathtub Refinishing

At least 14 workers have died since 2000 as a result of using stripping agents containing methylene chloride during bathtub refinishing.  Many stripping products (including those that may also be available to consumers) contain high percentages of methylene chloride. Methylene chloride is extremely dangerous when not used properly.  Alternative products and processes exist for bathtub Read More >

Posted on by Ronald M. Hall, CDR, USPHS, MS, CIH, CSP 153 Comments

Safety and Health in the Theater: Keeping Tragedy out of the Comedies…and Musicals…and Dramas

On Sunday, the 2012 Tony Awards celebrated the year’s best offerings from “The Great White Way.”  While the theater provides entertainment, the preparation and production of live performances can also pose hazards to those working in all aspects of the theater –from actors on stage to set designers behind the scenes and musicians in the Read More >

Posted on by Gregory A. Burr, CIH and Deborah Hornback, MS37 Comments

Help Wanted: Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Research

Help NIOSH with our research. We need you if you are in the spray foam business. Spray foam contains vapors with unknown health implications. Our researchers are taking air samples at worksites where spray foam is being installed. This research will help us develop interventions to help keep workers healthy. Read More >

Posted on by David A. Marlow, BS25 Comments

Hair, Formaldehyde, and Industrial Hygiene

A recent settlement requires the makers of Brazilian Blowout hair straightener to warn consumers and hair stylists about formaldehyde in their products. Read more from guest blogger, Dede Montgomery on how the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology at Oregon Health and Science University worked with their partners to raise awareness of this issue.  Read More >

Posted on by Dede Montgomery163 Comments

Erionite: An Emerging North American Hazard

Recent cases of lung disease suggest that erionite, a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral with health effects similar to asbestos, may pose a greater threat to workers than previously realized. Read more about erionite and how to prevent exposure in at-risk occupations such as road construction and maintenance work in areas where erionite-containing gravel or soil is present. Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD, and Max Kiefer, MS, CIH41 Comments

The Continuing Persistence of Silicosis

Silica is the most abundant compound in the earth's crust. Inhalation of crystalline silica is the only cause of silicosis, a preventable but incurable type of lung fibrosis. Inhalation has also been associated with lung cancer, tuberculosis, COPD and other conditions.  Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD, and Paul Schulte, PhD24 Comments

Pleuropulmonary disease in a polyacrylate facility

Recent reports from India implicate dusts created by grinding polyacrylate polymer as an emerging occupational respiratory hazard causing interstitial lung disease and pneumothorax.  Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD, Charles L Geraci, PhD, and David Weissman, MD4 Comments

Titanium Dioxide: A Changing Paradigm in Occupational Risk Management

A recently released NIOSH guidance document on handling titanium dioxide (TiO2) powders in the workplace is possibly the first to recommend separate occupational exposure limits for the same material based on particle size. This document reflects increasing attention to evaluating and mitigating risks of emerging hazards in the workplace before adverse health effects occur in workers. Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD12 Comments

Warning: Surgeon General Finds that Cigarette Smoking Is Even More Dangerous to Your Health

Yesterday, the Surgeon General issued the 30th Surgeon General's Report on the dangers of smoking tobacco. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and is responsible for 443,000 deaths each year. Tobacco use can increase risk of illness for those exposed to carcinogens in the workplace and second-hand smoke can place non-smoking workers at risk for smoking-related diseases. Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD, David Weissman, MD, Casey Chosewood, MD30 CommentsTags

Secondhand Smoke and Casino Dealers

Simply working in a casino does not mean dealers must gamble with their health. Results of new research conducted by NIOSH on secondhand smoke—the exposure of non-smokers to tobacco smoke—confirm that dealers at the casinos investigated were exposed to secondhand smoke. Read More >

Posted on by Christine West, RN, MSH, MPH54 CommentsTags

Take Aim at Protecting Yourself

If you work or train regularly at indoor firing ranges, you could be exposed to hazardous levels of lead and noise. An estimated 16,000–18,000 indoor firing ranges operate in the United States.  Read More >

Posted on by Chucri A. Kardous, MS, PE68 Comments

NO2 Emission Increases Associated with the Use of Certain Diesel Particulate Filters in Underground Mines

Emissions of and exposure to diesel particulate matter can sometimes be controlled through use of newer diesel engines, better engine maintenance, alternative fuels, or ventilation upgrades. Some mines may need to use diesel particulate filters, however. This has created concern about potential exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) resulting from their use.  Read More >

Posted on by Steven Mischler, PhD, Emanuele Cauda, PhD108 Comments

1-BP: A Potential Occupational Hazard

The toxic nature of 1-BP is not fully understood. Case reports demonstrating neurotoxic, reproductive, development and other health effects in workers who use or make 1-BP indicate that the brominated solvent may represent an unrecognized occupational health risk. In this week's issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) presents two independent cases of 1-BP exposed workers diagnosed with the clinical manifestations of neurotoxicity. Read More >

Posted on by Administrator5 Comments

Diacetyl and Food Flavorings

Commercial flavorings used in the food service industry are often complex mixtures of flavoring chemicals, many of which are volatile, meaning that they evaporate into the air from their liquid or solid form. Diacetyl is a prominent chemical ingredient in butter flavorings and is a component of the vapors coming from these and other flavorings. Inhalation of butter flavoring chemical mixtures, including diacetyl, has been associated with severe obstructive lung disease popularly know as "popcorn lung." Read More >

Posted on by Lauralynn Taylor McKernan, ScD, CIH; Kevin Dunn, MSEE, CIH; Kathleen Kreiss, MD; David N. Weissman, MD 34 Comments

Preventing Health Hazards from Metal Working Fluids

Metal working fluids are used to lubricate, cool, prevent corrosion of, and remove chips from tools and metal parts during grinding, cutting, or boring operations. There are several types of MWFs: straight or soluble oils, semisynthetic oils, and synthetic oils. Exposures to MWFs can occur through inhaling aerosols, skin contact with contaminated surfaces, and splashing of fluids. Employees who have been exposed to MWFs often report skin disorders (skin irritations, oil acne, and rashes); eye, nose, and throat irritation; and respiratory symptoms (cough, asthma, or other breathing problems). Read More >

Posted on by Administrator18 CommentsTags

NIOSH Dose Reconstruction Program

Dose reconstruction is a scientifically complex process. In fact, the entire Compensation Program involves many challenging issues—many of them outside the realm of science. The NIOSH process has always been an open one. And, as always, we welcome comments and questions.  Read More >

Posted on by Larry Elliott31 Comments