Finding 1: The NIOSH Roadmap is generally consistent with the state of scientific understanding of the toxicity, occupational exposures, epidemiology, and sampling or analytical methods. The committee identified several areas that could be strengthened and references those areas in the narrative and in the committee recommendations. The Roadmap would be made more coherent and useful if it included or refined four key components: vision or purpose, rationale, goals, and framework (systematic plan for conducting the research).
Statement of Task Question 2: Does the document clearly and adequately explain the scientific rationale for research on the mineralogy, morphology, dimensions, and surface characteristics of elongate mineral particles, and is its treatment of this issue consistent with the state of scientific understanding of the toxicity, occupational exposures, and epidemiology of elongate mineral particles?
Finding 2: The Roadmap explains the scientific rationale for research on the mineralogy, morphology, dimensions, and surface characteristics of elongate mineral particles. This is presented primarily through discussions of toxicological studies of asbestos and of synthetic fibers that provide the background on why research is needed to examine mineral particle characteristics and their impact on toxicity. However, the mineralogical discussions were found lacking in many areas. Adding more information on the occupational and environmental health rationale for research in this area would be helpful, including available data on the types of occupations and environmental situations likely to result in exposure to more specific types of elongate mineral particles. As noted in its recommendations, the committee urges that the Roadmap include a clear statement of the overarching vision for the research. The committee also believes that since the term elongate mineral particle covers a broad range of mineral particles of interest in this research, its use should be limited to