The Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (NIOM) was established in 1954. It has evolved from a small unit at the Medical University of Lodz into an independent research and development centre with activities covering various areas of occupational and environmental health. NIOM provides background research and expertise to the Ministry of Health and serves as an advisory body to numerous governmental agencies. NIOM also promotes healthy lifestyles among Polish workers with the main goal of improving the quality of life and having a positive impact on workers’ health, work environment and work capability. It has been involved in post-graduate training, editorial activities, and regulatory activities with respect to occupational safety and health and environmental health hazards. Thanks to the impressive scope and extent of its activities as well as the professional qualifications of the staff and the technical capacity, NIOM is a unique institution for occupational health research in Poland and within the Central and Eastern European region.
The primary task of the Institute is to conduct research and development activities and to provide expertise on health hazards arising from occupational and environmental exposure to noxious agents. The multidisciplinary nature of the research performed at NIOM makes solving complex problems of the work environment and workers health possible.
Major research areas:
- occupational medicine, environmental health, public health, occupational hygiene, radiation protection (ionizing and non-ionizing radiation)
- occupational pathology, prevention of occupational and work-related diseases with special regard to occupational allergy, diagnostics and treatment of acute poisonings
- toxicology, including toxicometry, toxicity assessment of chemicals and methodology of exposure assessment of chemical hazards in work environment
- epidemiology of occupational diseases and other health effects of exposure to physical, chemical and psychosocial hazards
- assessment of health risk from environmental exposure to hazardous agents
- physiology, psychology, sociology of work and ergonomics
- health promotion in workplace
- management and economics of occupational health services
- health-based criteria of vocational selection and capability for work
The expertise and consultancy areas:
- organization of workers health care
- diagnostics and medical certification of occupational diseases
- in-patient and out-patient care and counselling for allergic patients
- assessment of occupational exposure to physical and chemical hazards, including determination of total and respirable dust concentration in workplace atmosphere, air concentration of MMMF, asbestos and free crystalline silica as well as assessment of microclimatic and lighting conditions
- determination of air concentration of chemical hazards in work environment (also in ambient air and drinking water)
- determination of toxic chemicals or their metabolites in biological material
- measurements of noise, vibration and electromagnetic radiation in workplace
- measurements of ionizing radiation
- toxicity and carcinogenicity assessment of chemical substances and preparations (chemical data sheets)
As a result of the scientific activities, approximately 300 original research papers, peer reviews and reports are published per year, mostly in internationally renowned professional journals e.g. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Environmental Health Perspectives, Archives of Toxicology, Mutation Research, Contact Dermatitis, Clinical Toxicology, to name the most important ones. The staff is actively involved in developing monographs and other training materials for occupational physicians, hygienists, medical students etc., which are essential for occupational health practice. A significant activity is also the translation and dissemination of WHO monographs.
A dynamic development of international collaboration has also proceeded. Our cooperation with WHO has always been essential. Since 1975 the Institute has acted as the WHO Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health, and recently it has been granted the status of the WHO Leading Institution in Integrated Workplace Health Management. Several international seminars, training courses and conferences were jointly organized, and the Institute participated in the implementation of a number of research projects e.g. coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and International Agency for Research on Cancer. At present, the Nofer Institute participates in different activities initiated by WHO, ICOH, MEDICHEM, IARC, EUROTOX, IUPAC, and ACGIH, NCI, and ATSDR in the US. The staff of the Centre is frequently invited to participate in WHO missions as WHO Temporary Advisers, IAEA/ICRP experts and others.
We are seeking partners for joint research and networking in occupational and environmental health both within the European region and other parts of the world, not only to exchange experience, update scientific knowledge and master methodology, but most of all to translate the theory into practice and find solutions to common problems, with the ultimate goal of improving the health, well-being and quality of life of contemporary communities. We welcome everybody who would like to join us in this challenging yet worthwhile task.
8 Sw. Teresy, Str.
tel.: (48 42) 631 45 02
fax: (48 42) 656 83 31
e-mail: impx – at – imp.lodz.pl
Please, visit NIOM website: http://www.imp.lodz.pl
Source of information: NIOM website