An Overview of the NIOSH Health-Related Energy Research Branch Occupational Radioepidemiology Program

S.H. Ahrenholz (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

The Dept. of Energy (DOE) and the Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 1990 that transferred management of epidemiologic studies of the DOE weapons complex workforce to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), within DHHS. The primary objective of this action was to significantly enhance the credibility and autonomy of this epidemiologic research. Types of studies conducted include hypothesis based (analytical) epidemiology studies, exposure assessment for past and current workers, and study feasibility analyses. These studies include workers with potential occupational exposures encountered in the DOE nuclear complex and the associations with adverse health outcomes of interest. Particular emphasis is given to those risk factors which are: unique; primarily limited; or especially suited to being studied among these workers. The NIOSH research agenda strives to include a number of approaches and research principles which enhance the value of study findings and build upon lessons learned from previous studies of the DOE workforce.

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