App Puts Chemical Info in Hand
In an effort to educate workers, employers and occupational health professionals about workplace chemicals and hazards, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a mobile application (app) tool to share the information.
NIOSH, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has published its Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards for more than 40 years. When NIOSH partnered with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1974 to develop a series of occupational health standards for substances with existing “permissible exposure limits,” or PELs, it also created the Pocket Guide to make the technical information in those draft standards more conveniently available to those needing it.
Updated regularly to reflect new data regarding the toxicity of various substances and any changes in exposure standards or recommendations, the Pocket Guide gives general industrial hygiene information for hundreds of chemicals/classes and helps users recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.
The new app version of the publication will provide this information at the fingertips, the agency says.
“The mobile app pocket guide to chemical hazards provides even easier access to information on over 600 chemicals,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.
“The development of this app takes us into the 21st century world of knowledge dissemination and allows quicker access to information that can keep workers safer on the job.”
Using the App
The new app contains all of the content from the Pocket Guide publication, NIOSH says, allowing for quick searches by chemical name, trade name or synonym, Department of Transportation number and Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number.
A user can also store chemical records as “favorites” for later use, and control which data about a given chemical are displayed for clarity in the field, it adds.
No data is sent between the user device and NIOSH other than the initial download and updates, so no privacy concerns are present, the agency explains.
The app was developed as part of the Worker Health History Small National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Project Award and can be used on any device with a Web browser.
More information: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/.