A Review of the NIOSH Roadmap for Research on Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles
Alan R. Nelson, Catharyn T. Liverman, Elizabeth A. Eide, Eileen Abt, Editors
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was requested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and supported by Award No. 211-2006-19152, T.O. #2, between the National Academy of Sciences and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The views presented in this publication are those of the editors and attributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.
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Suggested citation: IOM (Institute of Medicine) and National Research Council. 2009. Review of the NIOSH roadmap for research on asbestos fibers and other elongate mineral particles. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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COMMITTEE FOR THE REVIEW OF THE NIOSH RESEARCH ROADMAP ON ASBESTOS FIBERS AND OTHER ELONGATE MINERAL PARTICLES
ALAN R. NELSON (Chair),
American College of Physicians, Fairfax, Virginia
SARKIS G. AMPIAN,
Ampian And Associates, Mount Airy, Maryland
JOHN R. BALMES,
University of California, San Francisco
PATRICK N. BREYSSE,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
ROBERT D. GIBBONS,
University of Illinois at Chicago
TOM K. HEI,
Columbia University Medical Center, New York
KARIN O. HOAL,
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
JOE L. MAUDERLY,
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico
GREGORY P. MEEKER,
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Colorado
ANDREA KIDD TAYLOR,
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
ERNEST E. McCONNELL,
ToxPath, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
CATHY LIVERMAN, Study Director
EILEEN ABT, Senior Program Officer
ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Senior Program Officer
FRANKLIN BRANCH, Research Associate (until July 2009)
JUDY ESTEP, Program Associate
ANDREW M. POPE, Board Director,
Health Sciences Policy
GREGORY H. SYMMES, Deputy Director,
Division on Earth and Life Studies
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Caroline Baier-Anderson, Environmental Defense Fund
Brad Black, Center for Asbestos Related Disease
Peter Buseck, Arizona State University
David C. Christiani, Harvard School of Public Health
John Dement, Duke University
Mickey Gunter, University of Idaho
John G. Hadley, Owens Corning
Bob Hamilton, Parker, Colorado
S. Katharine Hammond, University of California, Berkeley
Thomas Mathew, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Roger O. McClellan, Toxicology and Human Health Risk Analysis
Brooke Mossman, University of Vermont
Gunter Oberdorster, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Laura Welch, CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training
Haining Yang, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lonnie Bristow, Consultant, Walnut Creek, California, and John C. Bailar III, The University of Chicago, (emeritus). Appointed by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
The statement of task assigned to the committee for the study Review of the NIOSH Research Roadmap on Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles1 asked five questions. In this report, the committee answers each question with a qualified “yes” and submits a series of recommendations that are intended to help the users of the Roadmap successfully reach their destination and address the scientific challenges and ambiguities that have beset this area of research in the past. The committee recognizes fully the technical complexity of the Roadmap and acknowledges the hard work of the staff of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in its development. The committee’s report particularly notes and commends the extensive background research that went into the section of the Roadmap entitled “Review of Current Issues.”
The committee was tasked specifically with assessing the January 2009 Roadmap document, which describes research to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of elongate mineral particles that may potentially impact human health. While recognizing the strengths of the Roadmap, the committee also identified a number of areas for improvement that are described in this report. Much discussion focused on the mineralogical terminology, nomenclature, and glossary advanced in the Roadmap. In particular, the committee carefully considered the use of the new term elongated mineral particles and concludes
that this is a nontechnical term that should be used only to describe a broad group of respirable mineral particles of certain aspect ratios. Additionally, the committee urges use of the adjective elongate rather than elongated in the purely descriptive use of this term. One of the recommendations asks NIOSH to ensure that mineralogical terminology and nomenclature in both the text and the glossary are supported by acknowledged mineralogical terminology sources. The committee makes a number of additional recommendations including a need for increased emphasis on relevant epidemiological research opportunities internationally and in the United States.
The committee, in its discussions, repeatedly referenced the need for the Roadmap to be one portion of a broader strategic plan for NIOSH, other organizations, and federal agencies—a plan that might include a statement of purpose, consideration of available resources, interdisciplinary and interagency collaboration, prioritization, time lines, and accountability. This observation is offered with the understanding that broader strategic planning may already be an ongoing activity within NIOSH and the other relevant agencies.
Finally, the committee acknowledges with gratitude the assistance of the National Academies staff in the preparation of this report, including the study director, Cathy Liverman; senior program officers, Eileen Abt and Elizabeth Eide; research associate, Franklin Branch; and program associate, Judy Estep.
Alan R. Nelson, Chair
Committee for the Review of the NIOSH Research Roadmap on Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles
AFM atomic force microscopy
AGI American Geological Institute
ATF activating transcription factor
ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
CAS Chemical Abstracts Service
CNMNC Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature, and Classification (IMA)
COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CT computed tomography
EBSD electron backscattered diffraction
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPMA electron probe microanalysis
EXAFS extended X-ray absorption fine structure
ICD International Classification of Diseases
ILO International Labour Organization
ILSI International Life Sciences Institute
IMA International Mineralogical Association
IOM Institute of Medicine
MSHA Mine Safety and Health Administration
NIEHS National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NRC National Research Council
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PCM phase contrast microscopy
PEL permissible exposure limit
PET positron emission tomography
PLM polarized light microscopy
REL recommended exposure limit
SEM scanning electron microscopy
TEM transmission electron microscopy
USBM U.S. Bureau of Mines
XRD X-ray diffraction
XRF X-ray fluorescence