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Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


Notice with comment period.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies the opportunity to comment on a proposed and/or continuing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collection project titled Understanding Long-term Respiratory Morbidity in Former Styrene-Exposed Workers. The purpose of the interviews and medical testing is to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function abnormalities among a cohort of former styrene-exposed workers with different exposure levels to evaluate the long-term impacts of styrene exposure on the respiratory system.


CDC must receive written comments on or before April 28, 2020.


You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2020-0022 by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Jeffrey M. Zirger, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. CDC will post, without change, all relevant comments to

Please note:

Submit all Federal comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal ( or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

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To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact Jeffrey M. Zirger, Information Collection Review Office, Start Printed Page 11989Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email:

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Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to the OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

The OMB is particularly interested in comments that will help:

1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

5. Assess information collection costs.

Proposed Project

Understanding Long-term Respiratory Morbidity in Former Styrene-Exposed Workers—New—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Background and Brief Description

Styrene is used in the production of automobile parts, boats, computer housings, food containers, wind energy components, and many other products. An estimated 90,000 U.S. workers are potentially exposed to styrene at more than 5,000 U.S. manufacturing plants. Occupational exposure to styrene has been associated with deleterious health effects, including changes in color vision, mucous membrane irritation, hearing loss, and neurocognitive impairment. Workplace exposure to styrene has also been associated with cases of non-malignant respiratory disease (NMRD), including COPD and obliterative bronchiolitis. However, little is understood about the long-term respiratory effects on styrene-exposed workers. NIOSH is requesting a three year OMB approval.

The goal of this project is to understand the prevalence of long-term respiratory morbidity in styrene-exposed workers. The objectives of the proposed study are: (1) To characterize work exposures by acquiring job histories and comparing with historical exposure levels obtained from a past industrial hygiene survey, (2) to examine prevalence of respiratory morbidity by duration and level of styrene exposure and other characteristics, (3) to apply research biomarkers of lung injury to a styrene-exposed workforce, and (4) to describe the prevalence of color vision impairment with the presence of respiratory morbidity. Our hypothesis is that workers previously exposed to high concentrations of styrene (≥5 ppm), even those with short tenure (<1 year), will have a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lung function abnormalities compared with workers exposed to low concentration of styrene (<5 ppm).

We will conduct face-to-face interviews with members of a cohort of workers from two reinforced plastic boatbuilding plants that closed in 1989 and 1993. The purpose of the interviews is to collect demographic information, detailed job history during and after the worker's tenure at the boatbuilding plant, upper and lower respiratory symptoms, physician diagnoses of respiratory diseases, cigarette smoking history, and medication use. A NIOSH employee will conduct the interviews. We will also conduct several lung function tests including: Exhaled nitric oxide, impulse oscillometry, multiple-breath washout, spirometry, bronchodilator reversibility testing, and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan.

The purpose of the lung function testing is to identify small and large airway abnormalities that are consistent with NMRD. With the exception of the HRCT scans, NIOSH technicians will perform the lung function testing. An accredited imaging center will be hired to perform the HRCT scans. We will collect blood to analyze for biomarkers associated with lung injury caused by obliterative bronchiolitis. A NIOSH phlebotomist will collect the blood samples. Finally, we will assess cohort members for color vision abnormalities using the Lanthony D-15 Color Test. Color vision assessment will be completed by a NIOSH technician. The total estimated burden hours are 1,449. There are no costs to respondents other than their time.

Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

Type of respondentsForm nameNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden per response (in hours)Total burden (in hours)
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersQuestionnaire and medical survey consent form676115/60169
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersQuestionnaire676145/60507
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersExhaled Nitric Oxide—no form67615/6056
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersImpulse Oscillometry—no form676110/60113
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersSpirometry—no form676110/60113
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersBronchodilator Test—no form50120/6017
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersMultiple-Breath Washout—no form676130/60338
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersColor vision test—no form67615/6056
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersBlood test—no form67615/6056
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersHRCT consent form7015/606
Boatbuilder Cohort MembersHRCT Imaging—no form70115/6018
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Jeffrey M. Zirger,

Lead, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. 2020-04081 Filed 2-27-20; 8:45 am]