Obama budget slashes NIOSH spending

Washington – President Barack Obama’s proposed budget (.pdf file) for fiscal year 2012 would reduce NIOSH funding by almost $115 million.

Released Feb. 14, the budget request allocates approximately $315 million to NIOSH. The cuts include almost $50 million through the elimination of NIOSH’s education and research centers and the agricultural, forestry and fishing sector of the National Occupational Research Agenda. According to NIOSH, the research centers have met their intended goal to provide seed money to develop and expand occupational safety and health training programs, and the agricultural, forestry and fishing program lacks a “cohesive vision” to drive research.

The proposal also eliminates $70 million in discretionary funding for the World Trade Center Program due to the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (.pdf file), which establishes a program to provide medical treatment to first responders.

Mine safety research would remain at the FY 2010 level of $53 million, and nanotechnology research would receive a boost of $7 million, bringing the total to more than $16.5 million.

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