Category: Manufacturing

World Cancer Day – Cancer Detectives in the Workplace

Today is World Cancer Day. Around the world, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and the number is expected to increase due to the growth and aging of the population, as well as reductions in childhood mortality and deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries (ACS 2011). Cancer is the leading cause Read More >

Posted on by Mary K. Schubauer-Berigan, Ph.D.; Tania Carreόn-Valencia, Ph.D.; Avima M. Ruder, Ph.D.; Lynne E. Pinkerton, M.D., M.P.H.8 Comments

Persistent Pain in the Neck! What Resources Help you Prevent MSDs in the Workplace?

Repetitive tasks, awkward postures, twisting and turning, or forceful exertions at work are often associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as neck or back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendinitis. These are disorders or injuries that affect muscles, tendons, nerves, discs, ligaments, etc. They remain a leading work-related condition. About 30% of all injuries and Read More >

Posted on by Tom Slavin, Kristine Krajnak, Brian D. Lowe, Thais C. Morata 16 Comments

Controlling Exposures to Workers Who Make or Use Nanomaterials

  Background It is difficult to estimate how many workers are involved in this field. By one estimate, there are 400,000 workers worldwide in the field of nanotechnology, with an estimated 150,000 of those in the United States [Roco et al. 2010]. The National Science Foundation has estimated that approximately 6 million workers will be Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer L. Topmiller, MS; Kevin H. Dunn, Sc.D., CIH 5 Comments

Happy N95 Day! A Guide to N95 Resources

  Welcome to year two of this NIOSH-approved observance, marking N95 day as an official annual event. (We debated about decorating our offices with N95s – but that seemed a tad wasteful). To those who missed the memo last year, let us update you. Because N95 respirators are so important to the health and safety Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA 13 Comments

How Does Work Affect the Health of the U.S. Population? Free Data from the 2010 NHIS-OHS Provides the Answers

You may have some hypotheses about how work affects the health of the U.S. population, but collecting data from a nationally representative sample is expensive and time-consuming. What if there was free data available at your fingertips? You’re in luck! NIOSH sponsored an Occupational Health Supplement (OHS) to the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), Read More >

Posted on by Sara E. Luckhaupt, MD, MPH; Dara L. Burris, BS 12 Comments

NIOSH HPD Well-Fit™: The Future is Fit-Testing

Today is Save Your Hearing Day.  For workers and others who are exposed to dangerously loud noises which cannot be reduced or eliminated, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are absolutely necessary to save their hearing.  But if HPDs are not properly selected or correctly worn, the devices may not block out enough noise and the wearer Read More >

Posted on by Captain William J. Murphy, Ph.D.; Dr. Mark R. Stephenson, Ph.D.; Captain David C. Byrne, M.S. CCC-A; Christa L. Themann, M.S. CCC-A 11 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

Work-Related Amputations: Who’s Counting?

Knowing how many, who and where injuries or disease are occurring is a basic premise of preventing injuries and illnesses. If we don’t have accurate information on injury/illness occurrence, we don’t know how many resources to devote, what action(s) to take or whether the action we do take is effective. New findings from Michigan State Read More >

Posted on by Kenneth D. Rosenman M.D. 11 Comments

New Findings on Lung Tumor Formation in Laboratory Mice Exposed to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Earlier today, at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, NIOSH researchers reported preliminary findings from a new laboratory study in which mice were exposed by inhalation to multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT).  The study was designed to investigate whether these tiny particles have potential to initiate or promote cancer.  By “initiate,” we mean the Read More >

Posted on by Vincent Castranova, PhD; Charles L Geraci, PhD; Paul Schulte, PhD11 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 157 Comments

Hypertension and Low Wages

If workers earning low wages didn’t have enough stressors in their lives, they can now add hypertension to the list.  Our new research finds that low wages are a risk factor for hypertension among working people.  The research was recently published in the European Journal of Public Health, “Are Low Wages Risk Factors for Hypertension?”, Read More >

Posted on by J. Paul Leigh, Ph.D. and Juan Du, Ph.D. 10 Comments

The Superhero Ensemble: Protecting More than a Secret Identity

It’s that time of year again – the time of mall madness and wracking our brains for gift ideas. Those of us reaching for the easy stocking stuffers are perhaps sharing the same idea – DVDs of this summer’s big screen blockbusters. We noticed many were of the superhero variety (The Dark Knight Rises, Avengers, Read More >

Posted on by Jaclyn Krah, MA 12 Comments

NIOSH Takes a Stand

Over the past year, NIOSH and its Total Worker HealthTM Program have been traveling the country sharing the evidence and benefits of comprehensively integrating health protection with health promotion, including workplace programs that encourage physical activity, weight loss and stress management.   Recently, we launched an internal NIOSH pilot program  to explore the use of sit Read More >

Posted on by L. Casey Chosewood, MD and Constance C. Franklin, MPA 63 Comments

Joint Pain in the Workplace

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) include a number of physical conditions affecting muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues that can be caused, or exacerbated, by work.  It is estimated that MSDs account for approximately one-third of injury and illness costs in U.S. industry.  Many musculoskeletal conditions can result specifically in chronic or short-term joint Read More >

Posted on by Brian D. Lowe, PhD, CPE; Brent A. Baker, PhD, ATC; Jim Grosch, PhD, MBA 38 Comments

Even a Dummy Knows October is Protect Your Hearing Month

Meet Nick.  Nick is a training mannequin who helps NIOSH teach young people and their families about preventing noise-induced hearing loss.  Hearing loss can result from working around noise–even non-powered hand tools–without wearing proper hearing protection. It is not uncommon for a 25 year-old farmer or carpenter to have the hearing of a 50 year-old.  Read More >

Posted on by Janet Ehlers, RN, MSN, COHC and Pamela S. Graydon, MS, COHC 29 Comments

Lung Cancer Screening in the Occupational Setting – An Update

  Last year we posted two blogs on the use of computerized tomography (CT) scans of the chest for lung cancer screening — Helical CT Scans and Lung Cancer Screening1  and Low-dose CT Scans and Lung Cancer Screening in the Occupational Setting.2   Since the postings, various organizations have provided guidance with differing implications for early detection Read More >

Posted on by Simone Tramma, MD, MS; Eileen Storey, MD, MPH; David Weissman, MD 2 Comments

How to Avoid Bear Attacks (and other small business concerns)

Small business can be a dangerous business. Not surprisingly, companies with better safety records are more likely to survive. But how can you promote a healthy, injury-free workplace with limited resources and no safety experts on staff? We have a few tips courtesy of the National Park Service in addition to NIOSH’s own Small Business Resource Guide. Read More >

Posted on by Thomas Cunningham, PhD, and Garrett Burnett, MS, MBA 21 Comments

Making the Case for Paid Sick Leave

Does it make economic sense for employers to offer or expand paid sick leave benefits to their employees? A new NIOSH study published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that workers with access to paid sick leave were 28% less likely overall to suffer nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without access to paid Read More >

Posted on by Abay Asfaw, PhD; Regina Pana-Cryan, PhD; Roger R. Rosa, PhD 34 Comments

Safe Handling of Advanced Nanomaterials

In the last five years, research and development activities in the field of nanotechnology have shifted to include advanced nanomaterials. The main feature of advanced nanomaterials that distinguishes them from simpler nanomaterials, such as carbon black and nanoscale TiO2 used primarily as additives, is the ability of advanced nanomaterials to change or evolve properties during Read More >

Posted on by Vladimir Murashov, PhD; Paul Schulte, PhD; John Howard, MD5 Comments

Safer and Healthier at Any Age: Strategies for an Aging Workforce

Profound changes continue to unfold in the American workforce as Baby Boomers—Americans born between 1945 and 1964—swell the ranks of our workplaces. This has led many employers to fear the possibilities of negative impacts associated with this demographic trend.  On one hand, they are concerned that having age-gifted workers on the job may mean escalating Read More >

Posted on by L. Casey Chosewood, MD16 Comments