Asbestos Medical Surveillance Program
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.