Pavement Magazine Column August 2016: PCTC Observes NIOSH Study

In the August 1, 2016, issue of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction Magazine, Allan Heydorn reported on the beginning of the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) study of sealcoat applicators. For the article, Heydorn interviewed NIOSH project director Kevin Hanley, project volunteer Girish Dubey of STAR, Inc., and human exposure study expert Dr. Mark Bookbinder. Read the article here.

PCTC’s column in the August issue describes the Council’s involvement in the project. In a recent letter to NIOSH Director, Dr. John Howard, PCTC wrote

PCTC members are confident that the results of a well-conducted occupational exposure study of sealcoat application will demonstrate that industry practices are protective of the health and safety of its employees and the public, and will provide insight into a product that has been used safely for seven decades.

PCTC wrote to Dr. Howard to explain its view that science that is conducted with regulatory concerns in mind should be subject to the same standard of transparency and rigor whether the study is conducted by regulated entities or government agencies. For the NIOSH study,

PCTC is particularly concerned about protocols. A well-designed study detailed in a comprehensive protocol that adheres to the spirit of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) is essential to ensuring that the study can be described as well-conducted.

The Pavement Magazine column goes in to some detail about the steps PCTC is taking to document that the NIOSH study of sealcoat applicators is a “well-conducted study.”

One part of PCTC’s role is to facilitate participation of companies in the NIOSH study. An important aspect of PCTC’s facilitation is making sure that the industry understands NIOSH’s goals, procedures, analytical methods, and interpretation of results. Another aspect is understanding what companies and applicator crews can expect when volunteering to participate in the NIOSH study…. PCTC has taken steps to ensure that the study is a well-conducted science study, including retention of Dr. Bookbinder and keeping track of study protocols and procedures.

Read the entire August column here. Read the letter to Dr. Howard here. Read PCTC’s comments on the draft protocol here. The final protocol was issued August 21, 2015, and is posted here.


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