The Monthly Newsletter of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Volume 18 Number 03, July 2020

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Update on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response

Upcoming Webinars

Moving Forward in A Pandemic: Forecasting and The Role of Testing and Other Considerations for Sustainable Fitness Center Operations 

On July 8, 3-4 p.m. (EDT) an expert panel will present guidance for sustaining safe medical fitness and other health fitness facility operations beyond the reopening phase. Register here.

COVID-19 Webinar Series: Contact Tracing—How it’s done, and how you can help

On July 16, 2–3 pm (EDT) an expert panel will present on ways to prevent the spread of COVID disease on job sites. Join us for updates on resources available and to learn about contact tracing. Register here.

New Web Resource

CDC has developed a toolkit for reviewing and recognizing both workplace and workforce characteristics that are recommended for consideration during investigations and public health actions in work settings. This toolkit can help state and local health departments, as well as occupational safety and health professionals, more effectively investigate and respond to COVID-19 cases in non-healthcare work settings.


From the Director's Desk
John Howard, M.D., Director, NIOSH

Annual NIOSH Awards Recognize Excellence in Science and Service


The dedication of staff to the NIOSH vision of safer, healthier workers can be seen in the current work being done across NIOSH to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

NIOSH recently took time to recognize the important work achieved over the last year by holding the annual NIOSH Science and Service Awards. The awards ceremony provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the previous year for NIOSH staff across the Institute, from laboratory science and technology to communication and research to practice. 

This year, the awards ceremony, previously known as the NIOSH Science Awards, was expanded to include a new Service Awards category—the Service Excellence Award. 

2020 NSSA Winners Book Cover

This new award recognizes NIOSH staff who provide excellent administrative and managerial support to the Institute’s mission and projects. The award identifies distinction in three categories: Excellence in Administration, Excellence in Human Capital, and Excellence in Leadership.


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Research Rounds

Inside NIOSH:
Expanded Firefighter Cancer Study Finds More Deadly Risks
Compared to the general U.S. population, firefighters face a greater risk of death from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or NHL, according to new research published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Additionally, their risk of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, increases with the amount of time spent at fires.

Outside NIOSH:
Number of Work-related Asthma Cases
Work-related asthma is triggered by exposure to substances on the job that cause or worsen the respiratory disease. More than 300 known or suspected substances are associated with work-related asthma, and some studies link asthma to the use of cleaning agents or substances.



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Download or Update Your NIOSH Mobile Pocket Guide App Today!
The new NIOSH Mobile Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards video demonstrates the features and use of the NIOSH Mobile Pocket Guide app. Updated in 2019, this redesigned version of the Pocket Guide app is easier to use and has improved functionality on smaller mobile screens. Learn how to search through the full NIOSH library of common workplace chemicals, store chemical records as “favorites” for later use, control which chemical data are displayed, and enable enhanced accessibility features. Learn more about the NIOSH Mobile Pocket Guide app or download it now from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

New Study: Health Risk Behaviors Among Construction Workers
New research from NIOSH suggests that several behaviors that contribute to higher health risks are more prevalent among construction workers than workers in other industries. Construction workers are in physically demanding jobs and are exposed to many chemical and physical workplace hazards. Falls remain the leading cause of work-related deaths in construction, accounting for about one-third of the total number of fatalities in this industry. Learn more in a recent NIOSH Update.

New NIOSH Resource for Sharing Your Occupational Safety & Health Events
Check out our updated and enhanced webpage for NIOSH and partners to share external Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) related conferences, meetings, events, and webinars. In addition to expanding the types of events that can be shared, the new page has a search function so the list can be filtered by location or meeting type. This page can be accessed through the link above or from the NIOSH homepage. We encourage you to use this webpage to share announcements about your meetings and encourage your partners to submit items as well.

Learn More Ways to Keep Up to Date on NIOSH Research  
Did you know that in addition to NIOSH eNews, you can subscribe to other lists to keep up to date on NIOSH research? You can subscribe to receive email updates anytime a new science blog or FACE report is posted, for example. You can also sign up for weekly updates of “what’s new” on the NIOSH website, which includes new publications. You can also subscribe to topic-specific NIOSH newsletters from Total Worker Health®, the Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, and the National Firefighter Registry. To see the full list and subscribe, go to the CDC Newsletter webpage to browse newsletters and topics. You can enter “NIOSH” or another term into the search box to narrow the results.

NIOSH Lab Recognized for COVID-19 Response 

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) was recently recognized by Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware in a letter to the CDC Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, for their work on the COVID-19 pandemic response. Senator Coons specifically recognized their work with a Delaware-based manufacturing company to help them scale up production to meet the demand for their products. The company credited their accomplishment to a terrific supply chain and a significant increase in production workers, and also recognized the amazing effort from NPPTL.

In Memoriam: Dr. Eula Bingham

NIOSH is saddened to learn about the passing of Dr. Eula Bingham, former Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health at the U.S. Department of Labor. During her tenure at OSHA Dr. Bingham adopted many standards including benzene, dibromochloropropane (DBCP), arsenic, cotton rust, lead, roof guarding, and access to medical records—all of which could be directly traced to the work of NIOSH scientists.

Monthly Features



This monthly e-newsletter is published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to inform members of the occupational safety and health community, including partners, employers, workers, and other stakeholders, of NIOSH-related news, new publications, and updates on programs, research, and initiatives.


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