Federal agencies

‘Continuing to grow’: NIOSH reflects on a half-century of work, looks ahead

Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Washington — As NIOSH marks its 50th anniversary in 2021, Director John Howard is looking back at the agency’s accomplishments while anticipating successes to come.

“It is a testament to NIOSH’s strong foundation in science and commitment to the health and safety of our nation’s workers that we have become the organization we are today,” Howard writes in the January edition of NIOSH eNews. “As we look to the future, NIOSH is committed to continuing to grow and adapt to changes in work, the workplace and the workforce.”

Established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, NIOSH – a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – has strived to inform the public on occupational safety and health issues by conducting research and publishing resources and recommendations.

In 1971, the agency published its first criteria document – on asbestos – and toxic substances list. Through the years, NIOSH has stayed abreast of emerging safety and health concerns, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, while welcoming additional areas and industries into its scope of expertise.


Howard notes that NIOSH operates facilities and laboratories in seven states and the District of Columbia, buoyed by a staff of almost 2,000 researchers, support staff and contractors.

NIOSH encourages current and past partners to spotlight accomplishments that stemmed from collaborations with the agency by emailing [email protected].

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