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The Role of State Public Health Agencies in National Efforts to Track Workplace Hazards and the Relevance of State Experiences to Nanomaterial Worker Surveillance

Roisman, Rachel MD, MPH; Materna, Barbara PhD, CIH; Beckman, Stella MPH; Katz, Elizabeth MPH, CIH; Shusterman, Dennis MD, MPH; Harrison, Robert MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue - p S38–S41
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821ad8bd
Medical Surveillance: Original Article

Objective: This essay examines the role state public health agencies could play in the surveillance of emerging workplace hazards including nanotechnology.

Methods: This essay describes existing state occupational health surveillance programs in order to demonstrate their potential applicability, and limitations, in regards to nanomaterial worker surveillance.

Results: State public health agencies have access to information and an ability to put surveillance information to use in ways that complement those of industry, academia, regulatory agencies, and federal partners.

Conclusions: Some state public health agencies have significant experience with occupational health surveillance and are therefore valuable partners in the development and implementation of nanotechnology worker surveillance programs. Including states in emerging hazard surveillance enhances surveillance activities and builds state capacity to help workers.

From the Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, Calif.

Address correspondence to: Rachel Roisman, MD, MPH, Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Parkway Building P, 3rd Floor, Richmond, CA 94804; E-mail: rroisman@cdph.ca.gov.

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine