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24 July 2008

[Federal Register: July 24, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 143)]
[Page 43242-43243]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[Docket Number NIOSH 099-A]

Revised Draft Document ``Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongated 
Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research''

AGENCY: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of 
Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Notice of Draft Document Available for Public Comment.


SUMMARY: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
announces the following revised draft document available for public 
comment entitled ``Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongated Mineral 
Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research.'' The 
document and instructions for submitting comments can be found at
    Public Comment Period: July 24, 2008 through September 30, 2008.
    Status: Written comments may be mailed to the attention of Diane 
Miller, NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 4676 Columbia 
Parkway, MS-C34, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, telephone (513) 533-8450, 
facsimile (513) 533-8285. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to All material submitted to the Agency should 
reference the NIOSH Docket number 099-A. All electronic comments should 
be formatted as Microsoft Word.
    All information received in response to this notice will be 
available for public examination and copying at the NIOSH Docket 
Office, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.
    Purpose: To obtain comments from the public on the revised draft 
document entitled, ``Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongated Mineral 
Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research,'' referred to 
as Roadmap. Asbestos has been a highly visible issue in public health 
for over three decades. Many advances have been made in the scientific 
understanding of worker health effects from exposure to asbestos and 
other elongated mineral particles (EMPs), and it is now well documented 
that fibers of asbestos minerals, when inhaled, can cause serious 
diseases in exposed workers. Yet, many questions and areas of 
scientific uncertainty remain.
    Background: As the Federal agency responsible for conducting 
research and making recommendations for the prevention of worker injury 
and illness, NIOSH is undertaking a reappraisal of how to ensure 
appropriate protection of workers from exposure to asbestos fibers and 
other EMPs. NIOSH prepared a first draft of the document ``Asbestos and 
Other Mineral Fibers: A Roadmap for Scientific Research,'' and invited 
comments at a public meeting, from the Internet, and from selected 
expert peer reviewers on the occupational health issues identified and 
the framework for research. As a result of comments received during the 
public and expert peer review process, NIOSH has substantially revised 
the earlier draft and is now inviting comments on a revised draft of 
the document with the new title ``Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongated 
Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research.'' The 
previous draft, public comments, peer review comments, and the 
responses to peer reviewers' comments on the previous draft can be 
found at
    The purpose of the revised draft Roadmap is to outline major areas 
of controversy and to recommend a research agenda that can serve as a 
guide for the development of specific research programs within and 
across disciplines. The intended goal is to provide answers to current 
scientific questions, reduce scientific uncertainties, and provide a 
sound scientific foundation for future policy development so that 
optimal health protection can be assured.
    NIOSH is seeking comments on the scope and information used to 
support the development of a research framework for asbestos fibers and 
other EMPs. Of special interest are comments on the following revisions 
to the draft document:
    1. A discussion of particle characteristics (e.g., dimension, 
chemistry) and their potential influence on biological responses 
(Sections 1.6.1, 1.6.2, 1.6.3, and 1.6.4).
    2. Toxicological research with EMPs (Section 2.2).
    3. Epidemiological studies of workers exposed to EMPs (Section 
    4. Capabilities and limitations of analytical instruments used to 
identify EMPs (Section 2.4.2).
    Also of special interest are comments on the entirely new content 
in the document:
    1. A rephrasing of the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for 
asbestos and related EMPs (Section 1.8.2).
    2. The inclusion of ``How the proposed research could lead to the 
development of improved public health policies for asbestos and other 
EMPs'' (Section 2.5).
    3. Clinical issues (Section 1.4).
    4. Recommendations for clinical research (Section 2.3.4).
    NIOSH continues to be interested in available and forthcoming 
research results that can help answer the questions set forth in the 
Roadmap, as well as information on existing

[[Page 43243]]

workplace exposure data, health effects, and control technologies.
    Submitted comments on the revised draft Roadmap should indicate the 
pertinent page(s) and line(s) in the draft document being addressed.
    Contact Person for Technical Information: Paul Middendorf, Office 
of the Director, NIOSH, CDC, telephone (513) 533-8606, e-mail

    Dated: July 16, 2008.
James D. Seligman,
Chief Information Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. E8-16946 Filed 7-23-08; 8:45 am]