the domain of the Mining Program. Fundamental research (e.g., to determine appropriate permissible exposure limits) is vital and should be conducted elsewhere within NIOSH, though it is not clear to the committee what and where relevant research is currently being conducted. Surveillance, health effects research, and technology transfer activities are conducted by the Mining Program, but these constitute a small fraction of the overall effort. Surveillance is conducted as part of specific projects to document exposures and effects. Specific surveillance projects may be undertaken, such as the recently initiated demographic survey of miners and the investigation of chemical hazards in mining. Mining Program involvement in the areas of health effects research and health services is limited.
It is evident to the committee that the Mining Program is an important research component of an overall system to improve health and safety in mines. Quantifying the impact of the Mining Program on industry health and safety improvements is a formidable task. However, without the contributions of the Mining Program, the efforts of others in the mining safety and health community may not be sufficient to result in rapid improvements in mining safety and health.