Draft Research Agenda Addresses Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Prevention
For the first time, NIOSH has proposed a national research agenda to address the prevention of immune, infectious, and dermal disease. The draft agenda outlines six objectives: investigating effects of recurring low-level occupational exposures on dermal, immune, and infectious diseases; examining the contributions of skin exposure to the overall body burden of toxic substances; improving current skin exposure measurement methods; reducing the incidence and transmission of infectious disease in the workplace; reducing the incidence of allergic disease in the workplace; and exploring autoimmune disease risk associated with occupational and environmental exposures. “Transmission of infectious disease in the workplace can contribute to substantial costs and loss of productivity,” the document reads. “In addition to traditional occupational infection concerns like bloodborne pathogens and tuberculosis, other respiratory, enteric, and dermally shed pathogens are being recognized as important sources of occupational illness.” According to NIOSH, the draft agenda was “developed considering information about injuries, the state of the science, and the probability that new information and approaches will make a difference.”  The draft National Occupational Research Agenda for Immune, Infectious, and Dermal Disease Prevention is available as a PDF in the docket on Regulations.gov. NIOSH invites comments on the draft agenda until Jan. 7, 2019. Instructions for submitting comments are available in the Federal Register notice.