NIOSH is asking for public comment on a draft research strategy document on asbestos and other mineral fibers. The draft suggests avenues of new research to answer current scientific questions about occupational exposure and toxicity issues relating to asbestos and other mineral fibers; reduce current scientific uncertainties in those areas; and provide a sound scientific foundation for future policy development.

The draft document, “Asbestos and Other Mineral Fibers: A Roadmap for Scientific Research,” is posted on the NIOSH Web site It was developed by a working group of NIOSH scientists and engineers with combined experience in toxicology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, analytical chemistry and other disciplines.

Potential research goals and objectives suggested by the draft include:
  • Development of improved sampling and analytical methods for asbestos and other mineral fibers;
  • Development of information and knowledge on occupational exposures to asbestos and other mineral fibers and fiber-like cleavage fragments, and the health outcomes of those exposures; and
  • Development of a broader understanding of the important determinants of toxicity for fibers and fiber-like cleavage fragments.