About Us

Continuing Education Program

Hazardous Substance Training

Academic Programs

Industrial Hygiene

Occupational Health Nursing

Occupational Epidemiology

Safety and Ergonomics

Occupational Medicine






Continuing Education and Outreach

Kathleen Buckheit, MPH, RN, COHN-S/CM/SM, FAAOHN
Continuing Education Director
NC OSHERC Continuing Education and Outreach Programs

Phone 919-962-2101 | Fax 919-966-7579

  NC   Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research CenterComing   soon from NC OSHERCUNC   School of Public Health  
32nd Annual Winter Institute

January 29 – February 3, 2012
The Florida Hotel and Conference Center Orlando, Florida

Certification ReviewCheck out our Certification Review courses:

NEW Certificate Program for Healthcare Health & Safety
Coming in January 2012
. EPA Lead RRP Training
NC-Approved Courses
Offered in English and Spanish
Online courseFundamentals of Industrial Hygiene course available online
Approved for Technician Certificate Program Credit.

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EPA Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP)

EPA training requirements are now in place for Certified Lead Renovators! This 8-hr EPA course approved by the State of North Carolina will certify participants for compliance with the Initial Lead (RRP) Renovation, Repair and Painting training requirements. On April 22, 2010, the US EPA implemented new rules (40 CFR Part 745) which apply to contractors who renovate or repair housing, child-care facilities or schools built before 1978. Under the new rules, trained contractors and workers must follow lead-safe work practice standards to reduce potential exposure to dangerous levels of lead during renovation and repair activities. The requirements apply to anyone who could potentially expose children to lead dust during their work and includes builders, painters, plumbers, and electricians.

This course is for anyone who could potentially expose children to lead dust.  Make sure your business is prepared for this new regulatory mandate by attending our Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting course.

Lead-safe work practices, strategies for implementing work practices and documentation and recordkeeping requirements will be taught.

Class size is limited. Early registration is suggested.

Click HERE to visit our website!

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Dr Dilip Shah

Dilip T. Shah, PhD, CIH, Associate Professor at NC Agriculture and Technology State University (NC A&T), School of Technology,  Department of Construction Management and Occupational Safety and Health was honored to be nominated by past department chair, Dr. David Dillon, for the Teacher of the Year Award for 2010-2011.  A portfolio of Dr. Shah’s accomplishments, including letters of recommendations from fellow faculty members, current and former students, and professional colleagues was presented to the Dean of the School and reviewed by a committee of peers.

This award was presented to Dr. Shah at the NC State University Honor's Day Convocation in March 2011.  He was awarded a plaque and monetary stipend of $ 1,000.  Showing his generosity and care for the students, Dr. Shah donated the award money to five student organizations in the School of Technology.
Dr. Shah has been in the Occupational Safety and Health field for over 30 years in academia and has taught for the NC OSHERC Continuing Education Program in Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene.  He has been actively involved with student growth and regularly participates in the professional activities with students seeking opportunities for professional growth.  Dr. Shah strongly believes that “I am in the academic environment because there are students.”  Congratulations to Dr. Shah on this prestigious award!

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Craig Schroll, CSP, CET

Craig Schroll

It is with great sadness that we report NC OSHERC has recently lost one of its star instructors.  On March 10, 2011, Craig Schroll, CSP, CET, 54, passed away after a short, but courageous, battle with cancer.  Craig was one of the country’s leading authorities on hazardous materials training and confined space entry training.  As a very important member of the faculty for the Continuing Education and Hazardous Substances Training Programs, he taught in several continuing education courses including Confined Space Entry, Industrial Hygiene Sampling, and Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene. He was the coordinator for the Industrial Hygiene Lab, providing an extensive array of sampling equipment and expertise, and an advisor for the HAZMAT courses for many years. 

Craig was a Certified Safety Professional, Chartered Professional Member Safety Institute of Australia, Certified Environmental Trainer, Certified Utility Safety Administrator, and Certified Hazard Control Manager.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Management from Troy State University where he graduated with honors and an Associate’s degree in Fire Science Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

Prior to starting his own company, FIRECON, in 1980, Craig served in several occupational and environmental health and safety capacities. He was an instructor for a state Fire Academy, where he worked with industry and the fire service.  As Operations Chief of a Hazardous Materials Response Team, he developed policies and procedures, planned and conducted training, selected equipment, prepared emergency response plans, and commanded the response at hazardous materials incidents. Craig was a Fire Protection Specialist in the U. S. Air Force where he served in both the response and technical services areas.  He held numerous positions in the volunteer fire service and county HazMat team.

Craig’s articles have been published in many professional and trade journals and he authored a book titled "Industrial Fire Protection Handbook" published by CRC Press.  Craig did extensive volunteer work with ANSI standards committees, committees of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and groups ranging from the Lancaster County Industrial Safety Council to the Safety Institute of Australia.

Craig’s passion and tireless commitment for worker safety will be missed, as will his generosity, quick smile, and booming laugh.  Thank you to Craig for his many years of collaboration with the staff of NC OSHERC and his contributions to occupational and environmental safety and health.

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North American Association for Environmental Education
Promoting Excellence in Environmental Education

OCTOBER 12-15, 2011
Raleigh, North Carolina

Help NAAEE celebrate four decades of teaching people how to be more environmentally literate. Join more than 1,000 environmental educators from North America and abroad on October 12-15, 2011, in Raleigh. Come two days earlier for overnight field experiences or the two-day Research Symposium. Or come one day earlier for Wednesday workshops or Wednesday Field Experiences. Stay one day later for a Sunday Field Experience. 
Download the Conference Brochure here
or visit the NAAEE website for conference information and registration.

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The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center provides Hazardous Substance Training (HST) courses as scheduled and contract courses that can be tailored to a particular group's needs. The target audiences for HST training include:

  1. State and local health and environmental agency personnel;
  2. Other professionals engaged in the management of hazardous substances; and
  3. Community residents, educators, and leaders with concerns regarding the environmental contamination and issues of public health arising from exposure to hazardous substances.

The training is intended to prepare professional personnel to properly carry out their responsibilities in the hazardous substance response and site remediation activities authorized by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. This workforce is in continuing need of training through continuing education courses with specialization in the occupational and environmental health and safety field.

Some HST courses include:

  • HAZWOPER : 40 Hour initial; and 16 Hour and 8 Hour refresher courses
  • HAZWOPER Incident Command
  • Confined Space
  • Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab Awareness Training
  • Radon
  • Mold Assessment and Remediation
  • Health Effects of Pesticides
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Disaster Preparedness
  • DOT Regulations in Transporting Hazardous Substances
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Health Effects of Exposure to Heavy Metals
  • Environmental Risk Assessment

For additional information on Hazardous Substances, go to the NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program

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NEW Certificate Program for HazMat Specialists

A NEW certificate program for Hazmat is coming soon! The content will focus on practical application of chemistry, equipment, PPE, and specific emergency response activities.

Check the WEBSITE in January!

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Occupational Epidemiology Program

The program emphasizes research training at the doctoral level. Completion of the PhD typically requires three to five years following the master's or professional degree. Applicants who are interested in the PhD but do not have a graduate degree may be admitted to the doctoral program, but are expected to earn the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) as an intermediate step. The MPH in epidemiology is also available as a terminal professional degree for physicians and others with prior doctoral-level professional degrees.

The PhD in epidemiology prepares students for careers in research and teaching. Students develop skills in occupational epidemiology through course work, involvement in research projects and practice opportunities.


Managing Disease through Linking Data
Hospital and ambulance services may help provide the missing link

Carolina Public Health Solutions

Download the PDF:  Managing disease through linking data  

The Challenge

If knowledge is power, information and the tools to understand disease could be the most powerful way to control, or even end, suffering from our most common diseases.  Local and state medical service providers can supply information that can lead to better decisions about health care education and services.

The data are there -- if we can assimilate information currently stored in scattered systems, then we may develop a better understanding of the distribution of diseases and their causes.  Drawing upon records of thousands of actual cases, we have a better chance of understanding disease and reducing human suffering.  Collecting and interpreting those data is crucial to understanding how diseases behave and how they are being treated.

More complete information will result in a better understanding of the causes of disease, and more effective efforts at prevention and treatment.

The Solution

This innovation lab will gain useful insight through collecting and interpreting data so that the spread of diseases is controlled or stopped.

Asthma will be used as the model for this innovation lab's initial efforts.  Who is most affected by the disease, possible environmental triggers and what kinds of treatment patients currently receive will be under investigation.  Of particular statistical interest will be asthma attacks that result in hospital or emergency room visits.

Innovative computer systems that can link and analyze data collected by hospitals and ambulance services will be developed.


David Richardson, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, leads the team.

Partners include: UNC Department of Emergency Medicine, Orange County (NC) EMS, UNC Schools of Information and Library Science.

David Richardson, PhD
Director, Occupational Epidemiology Program
Gillings School of Global Public Health 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Campus Box  #7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435
Phone: 919-966-2675
Fax: 919-966-2089

For more information on the Occupational Epidemiology Program, visit:

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Occupational Health Nursing Program

Bonnie Rogers, DrPH, COHN-S, LNCC, FAAN
Director, NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
Director, Occupational Health Nursing Program
Phone: 919-966-1765

Master of Public Health Program

We have two new students who will start the MPH Program in January 2011.   They are Kim Dennison, from Perry Michigan, and Saundra Trouslot from Virginia Beach, VA.  Kim completed the Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program in May 2010 and passed her COHN-S exam in the fall.  She has been very busy but still found time to apply to the MPH Program and we are glad to have her back.   We welcome Kim and Saundra to our program.         

Applications for the Master of Public Health (MPH) in the Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) Concentration, fall (August) semester will be accepted until October, 2011. Information about the MPH Program in the OHN concentration may be accessed at

The Program provides partial funding for tuition through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Training Grant.
If you have questions about the program, please contact, Judy Ostendorf at 919-966-2597 or

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Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program

Believe it or not, we will be meeting our fifth group of Certificate students in August, when they come to campus for eight days to attend Dr. Bonnie Rogers’ Occupational Health Nursing I class. There are eight students in the fifth group; they are Barbara Choryan from Wyoming, MI; Mindy Guillory from Mechanicsburg, PA; Pam Herschfeld from Bensalem, PA; Kirk Huslage from Durham, NC; Joel Malak from Brooklyn, WI; Linda Mensing from Mapleton, MN; Ambir Pankau from Guam; and Susan Schueler from Louisa, VA.  During these eight days on-campus they will attend class and the NORA Seminar and reception, visit several manufacturing sites in the area, and deliver presentations. The remaining coursework for PHNU 781 will be completed throughout the fall semester, after the students return home.
Applications for the Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program, fall semester (August 2012) will be accepted until February, 2012.  Information about the Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing Program and the application can be accessed at

If you have questions about the program, please contact, Judy Ostendorf at 919-966-2597 or

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OHN Publications

OHN faculty had two articles accepted for publication about occupational health nursing education.

  • Rogers, B., Randolph, S.A., & Ostendorf, J. (2011). Occupational Health Nursing Education. AAOHN Journal, 59(6), 243-246.
  • Randolph, S.A., Rogers, B., & Ostendorf, J. (in press). Evaluation of an Occupational Health Nursing Program through Competency Assessment: On-Campus and Distance Education, 2005 and 2008, AAOHN Journal.

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Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

  • Kerry Garth, BSN, RN, a student in the On-Campus MPH Program in Occupational Health Nursing, received one of the 2011 Imogene Pence Klingenfus Scholarship Awards during the 2011 Public Health Leadership Program Award ceremony on April 21, 2011. He entered the military in 1985 and served in leadership positions as Chief of Epidemiology and Surveillance at Ft. Bragg, and as Chief of Community Health Services at West Point (United States Military Academy). When H1N1 pandemic occurred, Kerry was responsible for the vaccination of thousands of cadets, troops, family members, and civilian employees. He writes, “I have been committed to education by speaking to soldiers and leaders regarding the hazards associated with personal choice and the benefits of better choices…In the future, I see myself playing a role in policy. Policy will never be a replacement for my passion for education but I can assist with influence from leadership down to the soldier. …I look forward to a civilian career in either public or occupational health upon retirement from active federal service.”
  • Henry Guevara, PhD, MPH, RN, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN (2011 MPH graduate) was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 during the AAOHN Symposium and Expo held in Atlanta, GA. The Fellows comprise a group of leaders who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments through significant contributions in the areas of clinical practice, education, research, management, or policy.
  • Nadine Jones, MPH, RN, COHN-S/CM (2002 MPH graduate) is Chair of the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses.
  • Susan Randolph, MSN, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN, faculty in the Occupational Health Nursing Program, was invited to present “Activities and Priorities of the Scientific Committee on Occupational Health Nursing (SCOHN)” on May 1, 2011  during the 1st AAOHN 2011 Global Summit, OHN Contributions to a Healthy Workforce in Atlanta, GA. She also co-moderated the last panel discussion on Next Steps for OHN: International View.

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Leena Nylander-French, PhD
Director, Occupational Hygiene Training Program
Phone: 919-966-3826

For more information on Industrial Hygiene, contact Dr. Nylander-French at or visit

Program Trainee and Faculty Awards/Honors/Appointments/Recognitions

Congratulations to our trainees who graduated this spring and summer!
Kyle Messier (advisor Prof. Marc Serre) and Zachary Robbins (advisor Prof. Leena A. Nylander-French) received Master of Science degrees.  Both of them continued in our doctoral program.  Mark Salsbury (advisor Leena A. Nylander-French) received his Master of Science in Public Health degree.  Jennifer Thomasen (advisor Leena A. Nylander-French) received her Doctor of Philosophy in degree. Jennifer also received the best student poster award by the AIHA Dermal Project Team in the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Portland, Oregon in May 2011.  She is currently a post-doctoral fellow in ESE continuing development of novel exposure assessment techniques for isocyanate exposure and investigating the methodologies to prevent diisocyanate exposure.

We also congratulate our program faculty, Professors Rebecca Fry and Michael Flynn, who were co-recipient of Newton-Underhill Teaching Award in May 2011.
Summer is here and we have geared up to begin field sampling in our joint research project with the University of Washington NIOSH ERC (Prof. Michael Yost) and the Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention Program of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry to investigate diisocyanate exposures and the effectiveness of protecting clothing to prevent diisocyanate exposure in automotive refinishing industry.  This experience will provide our trainees with research experience in conducting filed studies to develop exposure assessment methods, to investigate exposure-dose-response relationships, and to calibrate models for the optimal control of exposure.  Our trainees have also been very busy in writing scientific publications this year.  So far they have published 5 manuscripts and 3 have been submitted for publication.

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Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (OSE)
North Carolina State University Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering

David B. Kaber, PhD, CHFP
Director, Occupational Safety and Ergonomics Training Program
Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering
Phone: 919-515-3086

For more information on this program, contact Dr. David Kaber via email or visit The Ergonomics Lab website at:

Publications prepared by NIOSH Trainees

  • Lee, L. & Kaber, D. B. (2008). Assessing interactive system effectiveness with usability heuristics and markov models of user behavior. Proc. of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (CD-ROM), Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Zhang, Y., Jin, S., Garner, M., Mosaly, P. & Kaber, D. B. (in press) The effects of aging and cognitive stress disposition on driver situation awareness and performance in hazardous conditions. To appear in Proc. of the IEA2009 – 17th World Congress on Ergonomics. Beijing, China (August 9-14): Elsevier.
  • Zhang, T., Zhu, B., Lee, L., Swangnetr, M., Mosaly, P. & Kaber, D. (in press). Service robot anthropomorphism and interface design for emotion in human-robot interaction. To appear in Proc. of the IEA2009 – 17th World Congress on Ergonomics. Beijing, China (August 9-14): Elsevier.

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Recently Funded NIOSH Trainees

PhD Students:

Michael Clamann


Michael Chamann

Michael is the lead for the project, “Haptic Simulation Design for Motor Rehabilitation and Fine Motor Skill Training.”

The purpose of this work is to design and investigate novel features and strategies that incorporate virtual reality (VR)-based haptic simulations to retrain impaired motor functions and train new fine motor skills in veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Consideration of critical applications, like motor skill training, in haptic simulation design is expected to promote effective design from a human performance perspective.

For this study, we will design and prototype advanced VR haptic simulators requiring use of fine motor skills, such as drawing and simulated surgical tasks. Through human factors experimentation with the simulations, we will also assess interventional strategies for motor development, including virtual haptic aids (e.g., force boundaries and potentials). Finally, we propose to validate the effect of the haptic simulations on neurocognitive and motor performance using behavioral indices and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

We will conduct a series of motor training sessions using the haptic simulators. We will expose subjects to the various settings of the simulation design parameters along with the virtual haptic aids and gradual reduction of force feedback, relative to nominal forces, across sessions. Post-therapy motor and simulator tests, as well as follow-up fMRI scanning will be conducted to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the simulation design and rehabilitation efficacy.
We hypothesize that experience with a haptic simulation design based on motor skill training demands and human performance metrics will accelerate skill development relative to a fidelity-centered approach to design. We also expect that haptic-simulator experience will improve fine-motor control and motor planning, and brain blood flow will increase in regions mediating motor control.

If our hypotheses are supported, the broader impacts will include: identification of VR-based rehabilitation treatment regimens that may have real-world implications for various populations suffering from brain injuries (e.g., stroke patients); and identification of improvements in existing rehabilitation strategies for motor and praxis impairment in individuals suffering from TBI.

Masters Students:

Will Heath


Will Heath

Will is currently assisting Shruti Gangakhedkar on an ergonomics based project for Duke Energy.  The project is focusing on muscle fatigue in assembling and disassembling scaffolding for nuclear station maintenance tasks.  The project will look at two alternative methods of clamps and tie downs.  Currently, Will is busy developing a statistical model to test the effects of the many factors that go into this job.  In the coming months, Will and Shruti will begin to filter the data and begin a statistical analysis.

Meghan Rogers


Meghan Rogers

Meghan is currently involved in two research projects. The first of these projects is working on a team to research the consequences of driver distraction on situational awareness. With the overwhelming popularity of in-vehicle information systems, concerns have been raised as to how these may affect driver attention to the roadway and consequently, driver safety. Many previous studies have shown that distractions have a negative effect on driver performance; however, these studies focus on performance outcome measures and not the effects on driver cognitive functions that may drive performance. The objective of the driving simulation study is to understand how visual and cognitive distraction affects driver situation awareness (SA) and, consequently performance.

Meghan’s second project is to analyze the effects of nine panel logo signs on driver visual distraction and performance. At many interchanges on North Carolina freeways, the number of businesses providing certain services exceeds the current maximum permissible number of panels per logo sign (six). In 2005, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) began experimenting with nine-panel signs at some of these locations. However, current DOT policy (the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) maintains that “no more than six logo sign panels shall be displayed on a single specific service sign.” A concern of some highway system researchers is that more signs or signs with more information might add to driver distraction. The present study will extend previous research by determining whether increased glances or scans of signs along the highway cause distractions that adversely affect driver ability to safely navigate on roadways.

Meghan also spends time each week working at the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina on a variety of projects.

Kinley Taylor


Kinley Taylor

Kinley is working on a team, with Biwen Zhu and Manida Swangnetr, conducting research with a nursing robot to assess the effects of combined humanoid robot features on human emotion during a simulated medicine delivery task. With the technology advances in healthcare and the potential nursing shortage, the Ergonomics Lab is assessing the emotional responses of people when they are approached by and have to interact with a robot. An experiment was designed including seven different robot humanoid feature configurations replicated three different times to create a total of twenty-one test trials. Physiological measures were used, including heart rate (HR), galvanic skin response (GSR), and electromyography (EMG), to determine the emotional responses of the participants during the trials. Surveys were collected at the end of each trial, and a final interview was conducted to obtain participants subjective ratings of the robot configuration.

Kinley has been working on this project since September 2009. Since then, she has assisted Manida and Biwen in planning, conducting, and doing data analysis for the experiment. They have found that increasing the humanoid features of the robot increases the positive emotional responses of the participants.

Kinley has also been working with Gukho Gil on updating and adding new material to this Ergonomics Lab website. She has taken pictures of the equipment in the labs, updated information, and helped to create these webpages for the NIOSH Trainees.

Chad Uy


Chad Uy

As the aging populating in the United States steadily increases, it is especially important to recognize the needs of the elderly. Along with increased age come new sets of functional challenges. Studies have shown that both cognitive and mental abilities decrease with age. These new challenges are not without their solutions. The advent of new technology and better medicine, coupled with a better understanding of the aging process of the human body, have allowed people to live longer than before. However, it is important not only to extend their lives, but also to ensure them a high quality of life. Removing the causes of pains and potential accidents are noted concerns of many. With that in mind, there have been a growing number of products, services, and industries tailored to the specific needs of the elderly.

The focus of this research is the design of bottles, in particular, the laundry detergent bottle. The act of pouring liquid out of a bottle is one similarly reproduced in many work and home environments. The laundry detergent bottle was chosen because of its ubiquity in households. The most common types of laundry detergents bottles are relatively heavy, and their handling may pose a problem for people with upper extremity disorders or weaknesses. Their use requires precise control to safely and accurately pour the desired amount of liquid into a small target (usually the bottle cap). Spilling the detergent could be potentially frustrating and hazardous to the user. The bottle redesign will incorporate the principles of universal design to ultimately reduce the physical stress on the user and extend access and usability to the largest possible population.


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The NC OSHERC Occupational Medicine Program
Duke University Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic

Dennis Darcey, MD, MSPH, FACOEM
Program Director
Occupational Medicine Residency Program
Duke University Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic
Phone:  919-286-1722 Ext. 226

For more information on the Duke Occupational Medicine Program and Residency, visit:

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Dennis Darcey featured in Neurology

From : Hayden KM, Norton MC, Darcey D, et al . Occupational exposure to pesticides increases the risk of incident AD: the Cache County study. Neurology 2010;74:1524–1530.

Occupational exposure to pesticides increases the risk of incident AD
The Cache County Study

K.M. Hayden, PhD, M.C. Norton, PhD, D. Darcey, MD, T. Østbye, MD, PhD, P.P. Zandi, PhD, J.C.S. Breitner, MD, MPH, K.A. Welsh-Bohmer, PhD and for the Cache County Study Investigators

Author Affiliations

  1. From the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (K.M.H., K.A.W.-B.) and Community and Family Medicine (D.D., T.Ø.), Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Department of Family Consumer and Human Development and the Department of Psychology (M.C.N.), Utah State University, Logan; The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (P.P.Z.), Baltimore, MD; and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System & University of Washington (J.C.S.B.), Seattle.


Background: Commonly used organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides inhibit acetylcholinesterase at synapses in the somatic, autonomic, and central nervous systems and may therefore have lasting effects on the nervous system. Few studies have examined the relationship of pesticide exposure and risk of dementia or Alzheimer disease (AD). We sought to examine the association of occupational pesticide exposure and the risk of incident dementia and AD in later life.

Methods: Residents of the agricultural community of Cache County, UT, who were aged 65 years and older as of January 1995, were invited to participate in the study. At baseline, participants completed detailed occupational history questionnaires that included information about exposures to various types of pesticides. Cognitive status was assessed at baseline and after 3, 7, and 10 years. Standardized methods were used for detection and diagnosis of dementia and AD. Cox proportional hazards survival analyses were used to evaluate the risk of incident dementia and AD associated with pesticide exposure.

Results: Among 3,084 enrollees without dementia, more men than women reported pesticide exposure (p < 0.0001). Exposed individuals (n = 572) had more years of education (p < 0.01) but did not differ from others in age. Some 500 individuals developed incident dementia, 344 with AD. After adjustment for baseline age, sex, education, APOE ε4 status, and baseline Modified Mini-Mental State Examination scores, Cox proportional hazards models showed increased risks among pesticide-exposed individuals for all-cause dementia, with hazard ratio (HR) 1.38 and 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.76, and for AD (HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.06–1.91). The risk of AD associated with organophosphate exposure (HR 1.53, 95% CI 1.05–2.23) was slightly higher than the risk associated with organochlorines (HR 1.49, 95% CI 0.99–2.24), which was nearly significant.

Conclusions: Pesticide exposure may increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease in late life.


  • Study funding: Supported by NIH/NIA R01-AG1380 and P30-AG 028377 [APOE genotyping].

    Disclosure: Author disclosures are provided at the end of the article.

    Received October 23, 2009. Accepted in final form February 5, 2010.

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Tamara James, Duke Ergonomics Director, published in the
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics

From: Hedge, A., James, T., Pavlovic-Veselinovic, S., Ergonomics Concerns and the Impact of Healthcare Information Technology, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Vol 41, Issue 4, July 2011, pages 345-351.

Ergonomics Concerns and the Impact of Healthcare Information Technology

The US healthcare industry is poised on the verge of a massive expansion of its information technology infrastructure. Healthcare information technology (IT) is permeating numerous areas of healthcare delivery and fundamentally changing the nature of many healthcare jobs. When a comparable expansion in HIT use occurred in the office environment in the 1980s, little attention was paid to ergonomic design principles for computer work and the consequence was an increase in work-related musculoskeletal disorders throughout the 1990s. There are already signs of similar problems among certain groups of healthcare professionals.

Consequently, it is vital that when the implementation of HIT is undertaken attention is paid to computer ergonomics programs. This review presents evidence that current patterns of HIT use may pose increased risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. It summarizes some of the main ergonomic design principles enshrined in standards that mitigate such problems. It points to the future expansion of ergonomics programs beyond the traditional workplace and into the realms of telecommuting.
Results from this review can be used to optimize the implementation of future HIT initiatives in ways that will benefit user performance while minimizing their injury risks.

Relevance to industry: This review describes the rapid proliferation of HIT applications and the importance of ergonomic considerations in mitigating injury risks and optimizing the implementation of HIT systems.

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OEM-L Support

This is the very brief season when the online Occ-Env-Med-L forum is soliciting support from those who rely on its availability for an ongoing sense of community among professionals in Occupational & Environmental Health. The forum's membership includes all disciplines, virtually all points of view, dozens of countries and represents the best opportunity to solicit opinions from colleagues across the spectrum of our professional world.

Donations to keep the infrastructure sound (including the moderator's continual efforts to maintain a civil and informative tone among our thousands of readers) should be sent to the University's donation
(deductible) fund. Contributions do more than pay for a necessary service. It also shows the world (and both agency and commercial potential sponsors) that the forum is valued by its thousands of readers.

Details on donating to support the forum are at . Please remember to mention if your employer will match contributions from staff.

Additionally, the forum is asking its readership to participate in a brief survey, so we can know more about those who ARE our community.
The survey is intended to include those who receive only a subset of the daily message traffic forwarded by their colleagues who do subscribe, so we can better estimate and characterize our actual readership.

The survey is brief (less than 15 minutes even if you're especially thoughtful), and intentionally anonymous. Please find the questions at or

If you have a question about the forum, or a want help enrolling a colleague, please contact me directly: Gary Greenberg:

Thanks for your participation in all the discussions and support of our virtual community..

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Join the Occ-Env-Med-Listserv!

Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH
Systems Operator/Moderator
Occ-Env-Med-L MailList
Occ-Env-Med-L email forum, hosted at the University of North Carolina by the Occupational Health Nursing Program. This dynamic community of electronic announcements, news, commentary and debate has operated continuously since 1983 (that pre-dates the whole World Wide Web!).

There are now more than 4,000 subscribers, but the reach is much greater since many readers routinely forward their favorite (or most important) messages to professional partners who choose not to
personally receive the approximately 200 messages distributed monthly. You can choose the option to receive one Email per day, listing the topics of the day, to read or not as your choice. Among subscribers, we include more than 70 different countries and a wide distribution of professions, employment sites and special topics in Occupational & Environmental Health.



Though subscription and participation is without charge, our recent fund-drive raised hundreds of voluntary contributions, provided to maintain the moderator and technical support required for a useful resource.

  • Subscription and further information are available at or
    simply enter your email address at

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    NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center
    Bonnie Rogers, DrPH, COHN-S, LNCC, FAAN, Director

    Supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

    North Carolina Institute for Public Health
    Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Phone 919-962-2101