Asbestos fibers are known to "cause lung cancer and other types of serious lung disease in workers when inhaled," according to a NIOSH statement. While there has been considerable progress make to protect workers from the risks, there are still questions, especially about particles with mineralogical compositions that are identical or similar to the asbestos minerals and those already known to cause asbestos-like disease. There are also uncertainties about the physical and chemical characteristics in the particles that determine toxicity.
The new document, Current Intelligence Bulletin: Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research, does not set any new NIOSH policy regarding asbestos fibers or other elongate mineral particles. Instead, it establishes a strategic framework for designing, conducting, and applying the research to address the remaining questions.
Priority areas for research include:
- Developing a broader understanding of the factors that determine the toxicity of asbestos fibers and other elongate mineral particles.
- Developing information and knowledge on occupational exposures to asbestos fibers and other elongate mineral particles, and related health outcomes.
- Development of improved sampling and analytical methods for asbestos fibers and other elongate mineral particles.
- Applying research outcomes to improve public policy.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 21, 2011
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