NIOSH to Issue Final 'Asbestos Roadmap' Soon

In his latest message about the agency's work, Director Dr. John Howard said a final version of Asbestos and Other Elongated Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research will come out "in the early weeks of 2011."

The first item mentioned in NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard's early 2011 message to the safety and health community is issuing a final edition of Asbestos and Other Elongated Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research, known as the Asbestos Roadmap. He listed it first in his outline of the core research work the agency will do this year, which is the 40th anniversary of both NIOSH and OSHA, as well as the 15th anniversary of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).

He said the document will be released early in 2011. It identifies gaps to be filled by research about the identification and application of the term "asbestos" for health and regulatory purposes, in Howard's description. The document has undergone scientific review and comments by the National Academies. Once it is issued, NIOSH will work with partner organizations to carry out the research it outlines, he wrote.

He then mentioned NIOSH's nanotechnology research, saying the agency will review public comments on the draft current intelligence bulletin on carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers it issued in November, and a recent current intelligence bulletin on titanium dioxide. "Like the Asbestos Roadmap, this document has received extensive public and peer review. To our knowledge, it is the first scientific document to recommend respective occupational exposure limits for both fine and ultrafine forms of a material. As such, it represents an important pioneering document in national efforts to address the occupational health implications of nano-scale materials," he said.

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