The purpose of the scientific and scientific-organizational activity of the Institute is to define and develop priority areas of research in the field of occupational health, to create conditions for improving their effectiveness, and to implement the obtained results in the practice of the health care, to ensure the effective prevention of occupational and work-related diseases, preservation and restoration of the workforce in Ukraine.
During the years of the Institute's activity three well-known scientific schools have been formed which are now successfully operate:
Toxicology of Pesticides and Heavy Metals (Founder - Academician L.I.Medvyd, the followers are Academicians Yu.I.Kundiyev and I.M.Trakhtenberg).
Extreme influences of factors of physical nature (Founder - Academician G. Kh. Shakhbazyan, follower - Corr. Member of NAMSU V.I.Chernyuk).
Occupational stress associated with high nervous-emotional stress (Founder - Academician O. O. Navakatikyan, follower - Professor V.V.Kalnysh).
Main trends of scientific studies and perspectives of their development
• Studying mechanisms of isolated and combined effects of harmful work-related factors of different origin and improvement of scientific and methodical foundations of their hygienic regulation
Following this direction there are conducted toxicological studies on the biological action of different chemical substances of micro-and nanosized range. Using modern electron microscopic cytological, cytochemical, biochemical and immunological methods in vitro (on cell and tissue cultures) and in vivo (Wistar rats), the regularities of cell and systemic reactions on the effect of heavy metals, depending on the size and specific surface of nanoparticles, patterns of their penetration through the skin and endothelium of the blood vessels, peculiarities of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics are studied; the possibility of using solvation hybrid equations for assessing the risk of skin resorption of pesticides used in agriculture in Ukraine is proved. New methods of analysis of pesticide formulations, using multi-residual and elemental chromatographic analysis are under study; the peculiarities of the biological effect of LED light sources on the functional state of the organ of vision and cardio-vascular and nervous system of office workers are investigated.
The ideological bases and systemic principles of the software and normative and technical support of the State Register of occupational diseases are developed as well as target technical tasks for a special standardized work place (SWP) software for occupational pathologists and statisticians are being developed. There is a provision of getting modern technique equipment for the Register operation.
The part of occupational factors in the risk of morbidity of occupational cancer among health workers is exploring.
• The problem of occupational stress associated with high nervous-emotional stress in persons of operator’s professions and improving principles of the psychophysiological selection.
The studies have been started on the development of the scientific basis of psychophysiological rehabilitation of ATO combatants, suffered from stresses.
The studies on the determination of the age regularities in disorders of adaptive reactions in individuals, working in extreme conditions by a shift schedule (miners, rescuers, car drivers, and others) are going on as well as elucidation of their role in the decrease of the bioenergetics activity of the cerebral cortex and disorders of the vegetative regulation in the activity of the cardiovascular system.
Research in this direction in the near future are devoted to the clarification of the role of the genetic component in development of COPD of the dust etiology in miners, to gene expression "proteolysis-antiproteolysis" under the influence of the coal dust.
The Institute initiates implementation of the methodology for assessing occupational health risks for workers in harmful and hazardous working conditions as a scientific basis for establishment of a system of social and hygienic monitoring of the health of the working population in Ukraine. This concept concerns epidemiological studies of not only occupational diseases in the working population, but in general - the health of workers, depending on conditions of work and the state of the environment. First of all it concerns such socially important diseases as tuberculosis, HIV / AIDS, various types of hepatitis. Also, epidemiological studies on occupational cancer are actively conducted.
On the basis of large-scale epidemiological studies, together with the Columbia University, a hygienic norm for radiation of the lens of the eye in work conditions was substantiated. This standard has been approved at the international level as a part of the International Basic Safety Standards for IAEA Radiation Safety (Part 3, GSR) and introduced for EU Member States by the Directive 2013/59 / EUR-ATOM of 5.12.2013.
An important result of the Institute's research is the determination of the dependence of the biological effects of chemical compounds (heavy metals, pesticides, corrosion inhibitors of metals, etc.) on their chemical structure and physical and chemical properties; elucidation of the relationship of the general and ///////////specific in the Nation; responses to exogenous effects; regularities of development of adaptation reactions; compensation and formation of states of prepathology and pathology under the influence of chemical compounds.
At present, the Institute has begun research on biosafety in the manufacture of nanomaterials and in the use of nanotechnologies. A new direction of industrial toxicology "Nanotoxicology" has been formed.
In the Institute, during the years of functioning as an academic institution, there have been established regularities of biological adaptation in the combined action of physical factors of different energetic nature as well as relationship between disorders of biorhythms in a man-operator in the shift work, occurence of internal desynchronosis and a syndrome of “chronic fatigue” as the basis for development of cardiovascular and nervous diseases in workers, engaged in shift work. A hypothesis has been formulated on the connection between the level of resistance to stress and reliability of human activity, depending on the complexity of tasks in stressful situations, and adequate research methods are developed to predict the reliability of the activity of a man-operator.
A modern technology of psychophysiological examination for its use in the system of occupational selection of specialists, working in conditions of high danger, is grounded and developed.
The usual practice of scientific activity of the Institute is a wide interinstitutional cooperation, in particular with institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Paton Institute of Electric Welding, Bogomolets Institute of Physiology, Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics, Pisarzhevsky Institute of Physical Chemistry, and others.
In creative collaboration with Paton Institute of Electric Welding a new formulation of welding electrodes with low Mn content has been developed, allowing to eliminate the occupational morbidity of Mp parkinsonism among welders in Ukraine, whereas industrial corporations in the leading countries of the world (USA, France, Germany, and others) still spend tens of millions of dollars on compensation for the victims from this occupational disease.
Research is continued in development of a new generation of welding electrodes with low content of hexavalent chromium, which is a recognized carcinogen; the implementation of these elaborations should lead to a significant decrease the risk of morbidity of occupational cancer among electric welders.
With the participation of the Institute, a highly effective technology of demercurization was developed for purification of soils, building constructions and other environmental objects. New technology based on the use of ultrasonic oscillations, allows to remove up to 99.9% of mercury, and thus provides the possibility of returning soils for further exploitation.
Based on the application of modern innovative technologies in instrumental, clinical and genetic research, standards for diagnosing occupational diseases of the bronchopulmonary system in miners of coal mines have been developed and improved, which opens up new possibilities for early detection of manifestations of diseases and timely use of preventive measures.
On the basis of the Clinic of Occupational Diseases at the Institute, a “Center for Medical-Psychophysiological Rehabilitation” was created, where over 400 injured ATO participants were treated and rehabilitated.
A scientific methodology for assessing carcinogenic risks in all sectors of Ukraine's economic activity has been developed, based on the data on the carcinogenic potential of agents and exposure levels.
National epidemiological monitoring on carcinogenic risks and cancer morbidity of asbestos cement workers in Ukraine and employees of underground extraction of uranium ores has been established, which is the basis for developing new approaches to prevention of cancer pathology.
In order to implement an effective strategy for energy saving, there have been substantiated hygiene norms of LED lighting for industrial enterprises.
The norms for the geomagnetic field at workplaces, as part of the "State Sanitary Norms and Rules for protection of the population from the effect of electromagnetic radiation" – SSN 239- ( ), have been developed.
The Institute trains highly skilled personnel - in the postwar years 47 doctors and 220 candidates of sciences were trained. The assistance in training was given to institutes of Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and developing countries. Since 1976, the Institute has a specialized Council for Defending Doctor’s Dissertations, in which, over that time, 86 doctor’s and 350 candidate's theses are defended.