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History

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) surveillance strategic goals (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/surv/goals.html) address activities involving dissemination of surveillance information and access to data for public health action. The Respiratory Health Division within NIOSH published the first Work-Related Lung Disease (WoRLD) Surveillance Report in 1991 (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/91-113/). This report presents data for asbestosis, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, silicosis, byssinosis, exposure to cotton dust, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, toxic agents, dust diseases of the lung, and Black Lung compensation for 1968–1987.

In 2008, the seventh and final WoRLD Surveillance Report was published (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-143/). This report consists of two volumes and covers a time period between 1968 and 2004. Volume I has 17 subsections, each concerning a major disease category and (where available) related occupational exposures, and one subsection concerning smoking status. Volume II has nine sections presenting data on respiratory conditions by major industrial sector, as defined by the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).

To continue to provide surveillance information and access to data for public health action, the content presented in the 2007 WoRLD Surveillance Report was made available on-line through an electronic surveillance system. This surveillance system became the Work-Related Lung Disease Surveillance System (eWoRLD). Since 2008, eWoRLD has gone through three revisions and has provided morbidity, mortality, and workplace exposures data on work-related respiratory diseases by geographic region, industry and occupation, and demographic groups. Diseases include pneumoconioses, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, respiratory tuberculosis, pneumonia and influenza, and certain cancers. Exposures include asbestos, coal mine dust, cotton dust, pneumoconiotic agents, and respirable quartz and cristobalite. Black Lung compensation and Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/surveillance/ords/CoalWorkersHealthSurvProgram.html) data are also available.

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