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Posted by on in Policy/Regulatory Support

Posted on behalf of Angela Perez

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

There has been a proliferation of tools and approaches designed to help stakeholders, such as product manufacturers, certify how "green" their chemicals and products are. These tools/approaches can also help in the earlier stages of product design, when choosing among alternatives. However, with a large number of choices in the marketplace, understanding the assumptions and outputs of these tools/approaches is necessary for correct implementation. In an earlier effort, we assessed and scored 32 tools, discovering that there is an emphasis on hazard evaluation among them.

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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
Pierce et al. published “An updated evaluation of reported no-observed adverse effect levels for chrysotile asbestos for lung cancer and mesothelioma” in the online version of the Critical Reviews in Toxicology journal last month. This article is an update to the review article published in 2008 titled “An evaluation of reported no-effect chrysotile asbestos exposures for lung cancer and mesothelioma.”

The general findings of the updated study are:

·         Based on our review of 16 eligible groups of chrysotile-exposed workers, we determined a best-estimate NOAEL range for lung cancer of 89-168 fibers/cc-years and for pleural mesothelioma of 208-415 fibers/cc-years. 

·         None of the studies of workers exposed to medium and short (grade 4 – 7) chrysotile reported an increased risk of either disease at any exposure level.  This supports that medium and short fiber chrysotile, which was used in hundreds of products (e.g., automotive brakes, and clutches, gaskets, roofing products, joint compound, etc.) may have no carcinogenic potential.

·         Of the seven cases of peritoneal mesothelioma reported in all studies combined, none were observed in the analyses of medium and short chrysotile-exposed workers in the absence of crocidolite exposure.

The abstract of the article is available here.

Please contact Jennifer Pierce for more information.
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Posted by on in Centers of Excellence

Brooke Tvermoes, Ph.D., will be speaking at the GMA Science Forum – Connecting Sound Science with Sound Policy, to be held April 18-21, 2016, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. The GMA, or Grocery Manufacturers Association, is a trade association "representing the makers of the world's favorite food, beverage and consumer products" and assisting their members with diverse issues such as to "spur economic growth; ensure access to safe, healthy, and affordable foods; market [their] products responsibly; and tackle hunger relief." For the past decade, the GMA Science Forum has kept scientists and decision makers in the industry informed. This year's Forum will "provide attendees with multiple views and actions to be taken in order to ensure policies, laws and regulations are based on sound, up-to-date science, and achieve compliance with the ever changing regulatory environment."  

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Posted by on in Epidemiology
Over the past several weeks, the National Football League (NFL) has once again faced increased scrutiny regarding its response to concussion-related health effects.  The league’s top official for the health and safety of players only recently formally acknowledged the link between playing football and degenerative brain disorders, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).  And last week, the New York Times raised more questions about the legitimacy of NFL-funded concussion research conducted by the league’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee in the 1990s and 2000s.  Here, we continue our discussion of occupational injuries sustained by NFL players.  Our previous post can be found on our website

Perhaps overshadowed by the publicity surrounding the aforementioned issues, last week the league approved several new rule changes for the upcoming 2016 season, many of which are intended to protect players from injury.  One noteworthy change will move touchbacks from the 20- to the 25-yard line.  This rule is intended to protect players by discouraging returns made during kickoffs, plays that have especially high injury rates.  Our recent study of the effects of the NFL’s 2011 amendments to the Free Kick rule, changes that were similarly aimed at reducing the incidence of injuries during kickoffs, demonstrated that almost all of the positive effects of the rule changes were attributable to a decrease in active gameplay rather than to safer gameplay (see abstract here).  We additionally showed that, though kickoff injury rates decreased, the types of injuries suffered, including those to the head, did not significantly change.  Our study highlights the need for detailed assessments of injury prevention interventions to understand exactly how they influence injuries and why. 

Furthermore, additional research into the mechanisms of and risk factors for sports injuries, particularly those that can lead to long-term disability, will be key to their prevention.  The need for the rapid collection and synthesis of such information has become critical to the viability of the game of football.  Our company’s collective expertise in program evaluation, risk assessment, study design, and data analysis can help organizations maximize the effectiveness of their injury prevention strategies, conduct high-quality research, and effectively disseminate findings. For more information about our work in this area, please contact Dr. Peter Ruestow.  
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