NIOSH Science Blog Posts

Students’ Contributions to Wikipedia: Making it easier for everyone to find, understand, and use health information

  In 2018, we blogged about an exciting partnership between NIOSH and university graduate programs to improve occupational safety and health information on Wikipedia (see related blog). Using the Wiki Education platform and in coordination with NIOSH researchers, 15 courses were taught since 2016 involving 163 students at seven universities. The impact of these courses Read More >

Posted on by Thais Morata, PhD, and John P. Sadowski, PhD1 Comment

Health Hazard Evaluation Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Act gives NIOSH the authority to conduct evaluations at workplaces to identify potential workplace hazards. Through the NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program employees, employers, and union representatives can request an evaluation of potential health hazards in their workplace. The evaluations are done at no cost to the requestor or Read More >

Posted on by HHE ProgramLeave a comment

COPD Awareness

November is National COPD Awareness Month and November 17, 2021 is World COPD Day. This year’s theme, “Healthy Lungs – Never More Important,” highlights that even during the COVID pandemic, COPD remains a leading cause of death worldwide and it remains important to focus on lung health. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a Read More >

Posted on by Girija Syamlal, MBBS, MPH2 Comments

Extinguishing the Risk of Forever Chemicals: State of the science to protect first responders

Forever Chemicals, aptly named because they are resistant to breaking down, are artificially produced chemicals used to enhance everyday products like stain resistant clothing and furniture, cosmetics, and food packaging material. Scientists refer to them as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS includes thousands of individual compounds that have been used worldwide since the early Read More >

Posted on by Susan M. Moore, PhD; Miriam Calkins, PhD, MS; Stacey Anderson, PhD; Crystal Forester, MS; and Meghan Kiederer, BA2 Comments

Researching Risk of Birth Defects Among Pregnant Nail Salon Workers and Hairdressers

Workers at Risk There are currently around 400,000 active nail technician licenses and roughly 600,000 employed hairdressers in the United States. Most of these workers are women of reproductive age, and many are foreign-born or people of color. Nail technicians often work in environments where haircare services are also provided. Nail and hair salon workers Read More >

Posted on by Kristen Van Buren, MPH; Miriam Siegel, DrPH, MPH; Carissa Rocheleau, PhD; and Kendra Broadwater, MPH, CIH3 Comments

Bruceton Research Center – Protecting Workers for 110 Years

The Bruceton Research Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a long and storied history going back more than a century. Today, two NIOSH divisions conduct extensive research in this location – the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) and the NIOSH Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD). This site is also home to an office of Read More >

Posted on by Evan Lybrand, MA, and Valerie C.L. Coughanour, MA, MFA1 Comment

Exploring the Future of Worker Health and Safety in the Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on work. The short-term consequences of the pandemic, including new safety requirements at work, mandatory remote work arrangements, reduced working hours, and even unplanned furloughs or lost jobs, were unexpected and severe for many workers around the world [1-3]. Though the economy is now showing signs of recovery, experts Read More >

Posted on by Sarah A Felknor, MS, DrPH; Jessica MK Streit, MS, PhD, CHES®; and Nicole T Edwards, MS3 Comments

Transformation of H&S Real-time Sensors Data into Information and Knowledge: Experiences, Future Needs, and Applied Processes

  Data is the oil of the 21st century [1] and the key component of the fourth industrial revolution. Data will affect every aspect of life, including the workplace. In the workplace, sensors used for production, optimization, logistic, quality control, and health and safety are the among the largest contributors of data. Like oil, data Read More >

Posted on by Emanuele Cauda, PhD; Eelco Kuijpers, PhD; and Jean-Philippe Gorce, PhDLeave a comment

50 Years of NIOSH and 30 Years of NIOSH in Alaska

For the past 30 years, NIOSH has operated a small research office in Anchorage, Alaska. The NIOSH Division of Safety Research established the Alaska Field Station in 1991 to address the high rate of occupational fatalities among workers in the state. Surveillance from 1980-1989 showed Alaska had the highest rate of occupational fatality in the Read More >

Posted on by Theodore D. Teske, MA; CAPT Ryan Hill, MPH; CAPT Mary O’Connor, MS; and Devin Lucas, PhD3 Comments

A Way Forward: The Translational Impacts of World Trade Center Health Program Research

  In 2017 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct a four-year study of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program’s research portfolio and its translational impact. The report was released on October 25, 2021. A summary follows. Background The WTC Health Program is a federally Read More >

Posted on by Robert D. Daniels, PhD, CHP, and Travis Kubale, PhD2 Comments

The Rise and Fall of Lead in the Workplace

Lead Seemed to be Everywhere From ancient civilizations to the mid-20th century, lead seemed to be a gift from the gods. Its durable, malleable, and corrosion resistance properties made this metal invaluable. It was in such high demand, the Roman Empire began massive lead mining operations. In fact, the English word “plumbing” came from the Read More >

Posted on by Mike Reh, BA; Rebecca Tsai, PhD; and Amy Mobley, MEn2 Comments

Advanced Sensor Technologies and the Future of Work

  Measuring worker exposure to hazardous substances is a key step to reducing risk and protecting workers. Sensors used in the workplace provide exposure data to inform prevention measures. Newer sensor technologies have the potential to greatly accelerate advances in occupational exposure science. A new commentary, Advanced Sensor Technologies and the Future of Work, in Read More >

Posted on by John Howard, MD; Vladimir Murashov, PhD; Emanuele Cauda, PhD; and John Snawder, PhD, DABT2 Comments

The Role of Demographics in the Future of Work

  The future of work continues to be shaped by ongoing changes in the workplace, work, and workforce. Shifting workforce demographics will present both opportunities and challenges for occupational safety and health (OSH). A central challenge will be ensuring the equitable distribution of work-related benefits and risks that accompany these transformations. To meet this challenge, Read More >

Posted on by Laura Syron, PhD, MPH; Marie-Anne S. Rosemberg, PhD, MN, RN, FAAOHN; Michael A Flynn, MA; Jacqueline Sivén, PhD, MA, MPH; Andrea Steege, PhD, MPH; Sara L. Tamers, PhD, MPH1 Comment

From Brick and Mortar to Beyond: Protecting Workers in the Wholesale and Retail Trade Industries

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the 15th year of the Wholesale and Retail Trade (WRT) Sector Program. The WRT sector is one of the largest employers in today’s workforce employing nearly 19 million people in 2020. [1] Historically, the businesses within this sector Read More >

Posted on by LCDR Adrienne Eastlake and Debbie HornbackLeave a comment

10 Steps Employers Can Take to Keep Young Drivers Safe

  From 2011–2019, 846 workers ages 16–24* died in motor vehicle crashes at work, accounting for 26% of all work-related deaths in this age group.1 This week, as we observe National Teen Driver Safety Week, we share recommendations to reduce these preventable deaths by keeping young workers that perform driving duties as part of their Read More >

Posted on by Rosa L. Rodríguez-Acosta, PhD; Rebecca Knuth, MS; Rebecca Guerin, PhD, CHES1 Comment

Digital Version of the Impactful Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation Applications Manual Now Available

The NIOSH 50th anniversary is not the only one being celebrated this year; 2021 also marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of the original version of the NIOSH Lifting Equation (NLE) in 1981 and the 30th anniversary of the first presentation of the Revised NIOSH Lifting Equation (RNLE) in 1991. Publication of the RNLE Read More >

Posted on by Jack Lu, PhD, CPE; Ursula Brogan, BA, and Jennifer Tyrawski, PhDLeave a comment

Supportive Leaders Drive Organizational Improvements and Employee Health and Well-Being

  Job stress has significant impacts on the short and long-term health and well-being of the U.S. workforce. Interpersonal conflict, lack of supervisor support, low job control, task overload, and work-family imbalance are examples of job stressors that can have detrimental health effects and interfere with the ability of employees to function optimally both in Read More >

Posted on by Leslie Hammer, Lindsey Alley, Jasmine Nelson, and Leslie MacDonald2 Comments

Using CPWR’s Small Study Program to Explore Emerging and Persistent Health and Safety Hazards and Innovative Solutions in the Construction Industry

  Construction is a complex and high hazard industry. Every day, millions of construction workers are employed on worksites across the United States. Each worksite and type of construction (e.g., residential, highway) involves variables including type of work performed (e.g., electrical, plumbing), number of employers and employees, project designs, materials and products used, and working Read More >

Posted on by Chris Cain, CIH; Patricia Quinn; Richard Rinehart, ScD; Pete Stafford; and Eileen Betit1 Comment

National Nanotechnology Day: A big day for small things

Every year on October the 9th we celebrate National Nanotechnology Day. The date 10-9 pays homage to the nanometer scale: 10-9. Anything that can be measured in nanometers (nm) is extremely small!  For instance, bacteria can be between 300-5,000 nm, a virus can be 5-300 nm, the diameter of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is 2.5 nm, Read More >

Posted on by Laura Hodson, MSPH, CIH, FAIHA, and Adrienne Eastlake, MS, RS/REHS, MT (ASCP)1 Comment

NIOSH “L” Building Marks 25 Years of Innovative Research

During this year commemorating the NIOSH 50th anniversary, another family milestone is approaching. October 19 marks the 25th anniversary of a close, though lesser-known, NIOSH relative: a building on the Morgantown, West Virginia campus. At its inception in 1996, the “L” building, so-called due to its resemblance to that particular letter, was groundbreaking, literally and Read More >

Posted on by Anne Blank, MS2 Comments