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NIOSH Hamilton, Keogh Awards for 2001 Recognize Scientific Excellence, Service

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
April 25, 2001

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) presented annual awards on April 25, 2001, to recognize the scientific excellence of publications by NIOSH scientists and engineers, and to honor exceptional service by an individual in the occupational safety and health field.

The Alice Hamilton Award for 2001 was presented to four NIOSH publications of exceptional merit from 2000. The award was presented in the categories of biological sciences, educational materials, engineering and physical sciences, and human studies. The publications were judged by outside panels of scientists under several criteria, including the complexity and originality of the research, the significance of the research for addressing serious or prevalent workplace hazards, and the clarity of the presentation.

The award, first given 13 years ago, is named for Dr. Alice Hamilton, a pioneering researcher and occupational physician.

NIOSH also presented William E. Halperin, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., Chairman and Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, New Jersey Medical School, with the 2001 James P. Keogh Award for Outstanding Service in Occupational Safety and Health.

The award is named for the late Dr. James P. Keogh, a scientist and advocate for worker safety and health. The award each year recognizes a current or former NIOSH employee for outstanding service in protecting workers’ health and safety.

Before joining the faculty of New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Halperin worked at NIOSH for more than 20 years and held several senior positions, including NIOSH Deputy Director. He initiated and oversaw much of NIOSH’s groundbreaking epidemiological research on occupational cancer related to dioxin, benzene, and beryllium, and promoted research on special populations not regularly included in occupational health research, such as children, women, and minorities.

The winning recipients of the Alice Hamilton Award for 2001, as chosen by outside scientific panels, include:

  • A study that provides new data on the performance of various types of widely used earplugs in reducing noise exposures under two different fitting procedures. The findings provide new information for selecting earplugs that will most effectively reduce the risk of job-related hearing loss, a leading occupational illness.
  • An innovative safety training video for new, inexperienced miners in metal and non-metal mines. The video builds on NIOSH’s mining safety experience and extensive knowledge of miners’ training needs.
  • A study that advances the potential use of liver enzymes as markers for predicting risk of adverse health effects from occupational chemical exposures. The study provides new information for estimating differences between individuals in how they metabolize chemicals.
  • A study that provides new findings for assessing the use of back belts for preventing job-related back injuries. Based on a large sample of retail workers who lifted or moved merchandise, the study compared rates of back injury among workers who frequently wore back belts, with rates among workers who never or infrequently wore back belts.

The awards were presented at a ceremony at NIOSH’s Spokane Research Laboratory in Spokane, Wash.

Dr. Michael Silverstein, Assistant Director for Industrial Safety and Health with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, presented the keynote speech.

The ceremony was broadcast simultaneously to other NIOSH locations in Cincinnati, Ohio; Morgantown, W.Va; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Washington, D.C.

A complete list of the Alice Hamilton Award winners and honorable mentions, and the James P. Keogh Award winner can be found on the NIOSH homepage. For further information about NIOSH research, call the toll-free NIOSH information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674) or visit NIOSH on the World Wide Web .