From the Desk of Chris Trahan Cain, Executive Director
Researchers Recommend Occupational Exposures be Considered in Early Lung Cancer Detection Programs
Low-dose CT scans can save lives by identifying lung cancers at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to be effective. A newly published CPWR study, "Early detection of lung cancer in a population at high risk due to occupation and smoking," validates the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommendation that Early Lung Cancer Detection (ELCD) programs include both smoking and occupational exposures to define populations eligible for CT screening.
The Building Trades National Medical Screening Program's (BTMed) ELCD program screened 1,260 former construction workers, and researchers analyzed the results. This population included both heavy and light smokers who had been exposed to harmful vapors, gases, dusts, and fumes - including known carcinogens - during their years on the job. Using criteria that included occupational risk, researchers detected a rate of lung cancer (1.6%) equivalent to that found in the previous studies of heavy smokers, even though less than half the BTMed cohort met the heavy smoking criteria used in the other studies.
The bottom line: Early Lung Cancer Detection programs should include individuals at high risk from occupational exposures even if they don't meet the general smoking criteria. The study has been published online ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. CLICK HERE for a one-page summary of the study's key findings.
Training Program Reminder
CPWR has a number of free training resources available on a variety of topics, including resources in English and Spanish. Click on the following links to learn more:
The 2018 Thanksgiving weekend was the coldest on record in many cities across the Northeastern United States, reminding us that winter weather is upon us. Construction workers who work outside during the winter months are at risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and trench foot. We invite contractors, safety professionals, and others to visit CPWR's Working in Cold Weather page, which includes a Hazard Alert, Toolbox Talk and cold weather infographics (all available in English and Spanish), plus resources from NIOSH, OSHA, and other government agencies.
Mixed-Reality Technology and Site Safety Communication
Mixed-reality technology blends virtual reality with the physical world. In a recent CPWR-supported study, construction site personnel used mixed-reality headsets to share information about site safety hazards with colleagues in a remote location. The reaction from study participants about the potential value of this technology for improving safety was positive. A majority of participants reported that the shared, real-time visual information was likely to make communication more accurate and efficient than traditional communication channels such as phone calls and emails. About one-third said the technology was ready for adoption in its current state. CLICK HERE for the full study, Holographic Visual Interaction and Remote Collaboration in Construction Safety and Health. For a one-page summary of the key findings, CLICK HERE.
NEWS & EVENTS
December 13 @ 2pm ET (30 min). Update on Nanomaterials in Construction: Epidemiology, Exposures, and Awareness. Engineered nanomaterials are an emerging hazard in multiple industries, including construction. This webinar will cover the latest efforts to address nanomaterial risks in a world being rapidly transformed by technology. After relying heavily on animal studies, recent epidemiologic research is providing new insight into potential health effects among workers. The speakers will also present CPWR's latest research on nanomaterial exposure assessment and control, and a CPWR-funded study that investigated awareness of nanotechnology among the California building trades. CLICK TO REGISTER
Recent CPWR Studies
Testing of Disposable Protective Garments Against Isocyanate Permeation From Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation. Michael P. Mellette, Dhimiter Bello, Yalong Xue, Michael Yost, Anila Bello and Susan Woskie, 2018. Annals of Work Exposures and Health
CPWR in the News
Fatality rates on the rise among small construction companies: CPWR. Safety & Health