On February 10, 2022, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a comprehensive report, Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards, addressing how the country can best protect the public and workers from respiratory hazards such as COVID-19 and air pollution.
Written by a committee of experts, the report indicates that the current regulatory system is too narrowly focused, with the respiratory protection needs of the public and many workers not being met. The report details a number of “failings and gaps” in existing approaches to respiratory protection, and makes recommendations to Congress, the President, and a variety of federal agencies for creating a better system of regulation.
The report was informed by work the National Academies commissioned from Professor Arden Rowell, and incorporates an 83-page analysis Rowell authored on “The Regulatory Landscape Regarding Respiratory Protection.” In addition, the committee relied substantially on Rowell’s analysis throughout the report.
Rowell’s contributions were specifically acknowledged in the preface section of the report:
“The committee is particularly grateful to Arden Rowell, professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and consultant to the committee. Professor Rowell authored a remarkably comprehensive paper on the regulatory landscape for respiratory protection that guided us through the maze of regulations and laws relevant to our task. She also provided always thoughtful and timely review of the draft report.”
Read the official press release from NASEM.
Read the full report.