Archive for June, 2012

What is an association? a correlation? Is there a difference between these two words? 

While writing my MPH thesis, I was immediately corrected for using the two interchangeably. I’d like to hear from my fellow upcoming and practicing occupational epidemiologists what you think about these two words and how you use them. 

Looking forward to your comments!


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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) on June 12, 2012.

In 1988, IARC classified diesel exhaust as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). An Advisory Group which reviews and recommend future priorities for the IARC Monographs Program had recommended diesel exhaust as a high priority for re-evaluation since 1998.

The scientific evidence was reviewed thoroughly by the Working Group and overall it was concluded that there was sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. The Working Group found that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer (sufficient evidence) and also noted a positive association (limited evidence) with an increased risk of bladder cancer (Group 1).

The Working Group concluded that gasoline exhaust was possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a finding unchanged from the previous evaluation in 1989.

The link below will direct you to the press release of WHO IARC:


Since numerous efforts have been made by many scientists for the WHO IARC to declare diesel exhaust a human carcinogen, the recent studies by Dr. Debra Silverman and her colleagues bore the fruit. A news article from New York Times delivers a story:


Joon (Joonhyun Ahn)

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Thought it would be of interest to connect you to another occupational blog that has some current (June 2012) information about the ongoing American Industrial Hygiene Conference. It also contains a video of a talk by Dr. John Howard, Director of NIOSH. See http://johncherrie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/day-3-at-american-industrial-hygiene.html#!/2012/06/day-3-at-american-industrial-hygiene.html

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Junior Seau, retired San Diego Chargers football player, committed suicide.  It is believed that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused by mild brain trauma.  CTE is known to causes depression and increased aggression.  Seau isn’t the only retiree that has committed suicide.  There have been several retired players who have recently committed suicide.  The many retired players are trying to sue the NFL for the brain damage they received while playing.  This is causing the condition to be studied more intensely by the NFL and many NFL athletes are deciding to allow their brains to be studied after they pass away.  I find this interesting because I enjoy watching football and played football for 4 years in high school, but what makes this study unusual and important is the amount of publicity it is receiving.  The NFL is the top grossing professional sport but football could suffer a huge blow if studies suggest a direct association between CTE and football.  It would affect whether or not people decided to play, employee contracts, and public relations.  This will be an important study to follow.  It could very well affect the way that occupational epi studies are conducted.  The link for an article by the Center for Neurological Studies, CNS follows: http://news.yahoo.com/cns-neurologist-collaborate-brain-injury-study-among-nfl-143038468.html


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