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Live on Jun 18, 2024, 1 pm – 2 pm Eastern

Health hazard evaluations (HHEs) on Unintentional Occupational Exposure to Illicit Drugs

By Sophia Chiu, MD, MPH, Douglas Wiegand, PhD and Jessica F. Li, MSPH, CIH


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Recent increases in the rate of drug overdose-related deaths, the emergence of potent opioids such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, and media reports of incidents have raised concerns about the potential for work-related exposure to a variety of illicit drugs among emergency responders and other workers in the United States, including healthcare personnel. NIOSH has conducted Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs) to evaluate potential exposures to illicit drugs and the reported health effects among various occupational groups. Findings and recommendations from select HHEs on this topic will be discussed.


At the end of the presentation, attendees can


. Understand why there is concern about unintentional occupational to illicit drugs

. Describe findings from HHEs about unintentional occupational to illicit drugs

. Be familiar with NIOSH guidance about preventing occupational exposure to healthcare personnel in hospital and clinic settings





1. Describe findings from health hazard evaluations (HHEs) of unintentional exposure to illicit drugs

2. Share recommendations based on NIOSH guidance and HHE findings

3. Increase familiarity of the NIOSH HHE program



Speaker Bio:

Sophia Chiu is a Lead Physician in NIOSH’s Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch (HETAB), where she conducts health hazard evaluations. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and completed medical school at the State University of New York—Stony Brook. As part of residency training in occupational medicine at the University of Iowa, she earned an MPH degree in occupational and environmental health. She also has master’s degrees in statistics and philosophy. She completed CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship at NIOSH.




Douglas Wiegand, Ph.D. is a behavioral scientist within the Health Hazard Evaluation Program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In this role, he responds to requests to investigate potential occupational health hazards and make recommendations for improving working conditions and worker safety and health. His primary focus involves the assessment of work organization and psychosocial risk factors for job stress and other negative health outcomes.





Jessica Li is an industrial hygienist within the NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation program. She evaluates workplaces hazards and exposures and provides recommendations to protect worker health and safety.









Requirements for Completion: Successful completion of this activity includes submitting an accurate registration, making necessary payment, and reviewing all activity slides and the webinar presentation. Completion of the evaluation form is required.


Type of Activity: Knowledge


Disclosures: AOHP does not guarantee, warrant, certify, verify, and/or authorize the content of this seminar, and/or any subsequent use of the information presented at this webinar. This webinar is not a clinical/medical service but is intended for educational purposes only. Planners of this educational activity have no real or apparent financial, professional or personal conflict of interest to disclose. Faculty/presenter disclosure is stated following each presenter’s bio-sketch. AOHP has implemented a mechanism to identify and resolve all conflicts of interest before the delivery of this educational activity.


Commercial or Sponsor Support: N/A

Continuing education Contact Hour: This activity awards one (1) contact hour.


Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 17664.


Conflict of Interest: A conflict of interest occurs when an individual has an opportunity to affect educational content about healthcare products or services of a commercial company with which she/he has a financial, professional or personal relationship.


The planners and presenter(s)/author(s) of this education activity have disclosed no relevant financial, professional or personal relationships with any commercial companies about this activity.


Non-Endorsement of Products: The Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare's accredited provider status refers only to continuing education activities and does not imply that there is real or implied endorsement of any product, service or company referred to in this activity nor of any company subsidizing costs related to the activity.

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