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Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program

Purpose

The The Navy’s Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program (AMSP) is the largest program of its kind in the world. The AMSP maintains a record of Navy service members and DoN civilian employees with a history of occupational exposure to asbestos. Elements of this program include a medical examination and a chest x-ray. The chest x-ray is evaluated by specially certified physicians in a process called “B-reading.” The medical examination and B-reading results are maintained in the Navy’s AMSP registry by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) Occupational and Environmental Medicine Division.

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Notice of Recent Program Changes

Because both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have determined that digital X-rays are suitable for asbestos surveillance, the Navy is now accepting digital images for AMSP B-reading. As of March 5, 2014, plain film (conventional) X-rays will no longer be used in the AMSP.

Detailed guidance is available at Digital Chest X-Rays for B-reading.

Enrollment in asbestos medical surveillance programs shall be based upon current industrial hygiene risk assessments and interviews by occupational health professionals.

Chest X-Rays for B-Reading

All requests for B-Readings of Chest X-Rays for the AMSP shall be processed within 10 working days after being received by NMCPHC. All requests for B-Readings shall be returned to the requester by e-mail or by fax by NMCPHC. If you do not receive your contract order within two weeks, please call DSN 377-0779 or commercial (757) 953-0779, or by fax or email. The secure fax number is number is (757) 953-0670, the email address is usn.hampton-roads.navmcpubhlthcenpors.list.nmcphc-amsp@mail.mil All B-Reading requests can be issued for 1 to 100 X-Rays films. This enables you to send requests on a routine basis and avoid any backlog for your program. It is critical that your B-Reader request matches the actual number of x-rays that you are going to send to the B-Reader.

To ensure requests for B-Readings are processed accurately and that confirmations of requests are received promptly, please be sure requests for B readings include the following information:

  • Point of contact
  • The complete commercial phone number of the requesting MTF
  • Complete Fax number
  • Email (optional)
  • UIC of clinic

Do not send the B-Reader X-Ray images directly to NMCPHC. If the radiograph images are received by NMCPHC, they will be returned (without B-reading). This will cause delays in processing images for B-reading and will also cause delays in patient care.

If there are questions regarding the B-reading process, please contact us at DSN 377-0728, 757-953-0728, Fax 757-953-0670 or email us at usn.hampton-roads.navmcpubhlthcenpors.list.nmcphc-amsp@mail.mil.

Note: As of 05 January 2005, C-reading is no longer required for the Navy AMSP. The NMCPHC Field Operations Manual has been revised to reflect this program change. Review of the AMSP database reveals a decreased incidence of substandard or “unreadable” chest radiographs forwarded for B-reading. As a result, the Navy requirement for submission of films for C-reading for quality assurance and certification of radiography equipment was cancelled. Film quality problems will be identified and addressed through continued quality assurance.

ATSDR - Asbestos Exposure and Your Health (This is a link to the ATSDR web site containing information on asbestos exposure and health.)

Occupational Safety & Health Administration letter of September 24, 2012 regarding Standard Number 1910.1001; 1910.1001(l)(2)(ii); 1926.1101; 1926.1101(m)(2)(ii)(C); 1915.1001; 1915.1001(m)(2)(ii)(C).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Workplace Safety & Health Topics Chest Radiography Digital Imaging Updates. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Division of Respiratory Disease Studies. October 17, 2012.