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Category: Respiratory Health

50 Years of Protecting Worker Respiratory Health

2017 is an important year for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Respiratory Health Division (RHD). This is the 50th anniversary of our establishment in 1967 as the Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Respiratory Disease (ALFORD) within the U.S. Public Health Service. ALFORD subsequently joined NIOSH in 1971, changed into the Division of Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD, and Doug Johns, PhD 2 Comments

Continuous Personal Dust Monitor

Until recently, underground coal miners and mine operators had little way of knowing—in real time—if miners were being exposed to hazardous levels of respirable coal dust during their shifts. NIOSH collaborated with an instrument manufacturer, government partners, labor representatives, and coal industry leaders to develop the continuous personal dust monitor (CPDM), a technology that offers Read More >

Posted on by Steven Mischler, PhD, and Valerie Coughanour, MA, MFA 4 Comments

Occupational Health Issues in the USA

Happy New Year. As we start afresh in 2017 I wanted to share my recent editorial in the British journal, Occupational Medicine, “Occupational health issues in the USA”.  The article highlights some of the occupational safety and health issues identified as needing attention by the industry sector groups of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).  Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD10 Comments

Help Set the Research Priorities for Occupational Respiratory Diseases

  Work-related respiratory diseases include both those that are uniquely caused by work, such as coal workers pneumoconiosis, and those that are caused by both work and non-work factors. Asthma is an example of this second type of condition.  Work-related asthma is the most common respiratory disease treated in occupational health clinics in the United Read More >

Posted on by Paul Henneberger, ScD, and David Weissman, MD 18 Comments

Are Hospital Cleaning Staff at Risk When Using a One-step Cleaner?

  Workers’ health and safety is an important consideration when choosing cleaning and disinfectant products. In health care settings, disinfection products help minimize healthcare-acquired infections.  In January 2015, the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOSH), received a request to conduct a health hazard evaluation at a Pennsylvania hospital using a new surface cleaning product consisting Read More >

Posted on by Brie M. Hawley, PhD13 Comments

Coffee Workers at Risk for Lung Disease

  Obliterative bronchiolitis, an irreversible form of lung disease in which the smallest airways in the lung (the bronchioles) become scarred and constricted, blocking the movement of air, was previously identified in flavoring manufacturing workers and microwave popcorn workers who were occupationally exposed to diacetyl (2,3-butanedione) or butter flavorings containing diacetyl. Now, NIOSH research finds Read More >

Posted on by Rachel L. Bailey, DO, MPH; Ryan F. LeBouf, PhD, CIH; and Kristin J. Cummings, MD, MPH 8 Comments

Factors Associated with Poor Control of 9/11-related Asthma

  Many people who were exposed to dust and fumes during the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks developed asthma. Although asthma is a chronic illness, symptoms can be prevented with medications and avoidance of triggers. However, many factors, including co-existing medical conditions, can make it difficult to keep asthma symptoms under control. Read More >

Posted on by Hannah Jordan, MD, MPH6 Comments

N95 Respirator Use During Pregnancy – Findings from Recent NIOSH Research

  Recent NIOSH research has shed some light on the topic of the safety of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) use by pregnant workers. Women make up approximately one-half of the US work force. At any given time, about 10% of those female workers of child-bearing age (15–44 years of age) will be pregnant. Because Read More >

Posted on by Raymond Roberge, MD, MPH; Jung-Hyun Kim, PhD; and Jeffrey B. Powell, MS8 Comments
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