John McCray Dement

Professor Emeritus in Family Medicine and Community Health
2200 W Main St Ste 400, Durham, NC 27705
(919) 684-8136

Research interest focus on occupational and environmental epidemiology including exposure assessments for epidemiological studies. Exposure assessments involve the development of new and innovative exposure assessment methods and application of these methods to cohort and case-control studies of exposed populations. Research topics include occupational lung diseases and occupational and environmental carcinogens such as asbestos fibers, man-made fibers, and benzene. Epidemiological studies involve the development of quantitative risk estimates for occupational diseases among cohorts of workers exposed to substances such as asbestos. Other ongoing occupational lung disease studies include assessments of exposures and lung diseases among construction workers at Department of Energy nuclear facilities. The objective of this research is to identify possible occupational and personal factors related to the risk of lung diseases such as asbestosis, silicosis,and COPD.

Construction industry health and safety research is another area of research focus. This research includes development of epidemiological surveillance methods for work related diseases and injuries using existing data sources such as medical claims and worker compensation data. Work related musculoskeletal diseases among carpenters are currently being studied in collaboration with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Other ongoing research includes the development and implementation occupational safety and health surveillance systems for health care workers. The objective of this research is to develop, implement, and evaluate a model surveillance program which can be implemented in other health care settings. This project involves both population-based and case-based surveillance strategies. Surveillance and prevention programs for workplace violence experienced by health care workers is a research interest,

Prevention and management of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among workers participating in multi-employyer health funds is a current area of research interest.

Education and Training

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph.D. 1980


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Lipscomb HJ, Nolan J, Patterson D, Dement JM. Continued progress in the prevention of nail gun injuries among apprentice carpenters: what will it take to see wider spread injury reductions?. Journal of Safety Research. 2010 Jun;41(3):241-245. PubMed Central PMCID: 20630275.

Takaro TK, Davis D, Van Rensburg SJ, Arroyo Aguilar RS, Algranti E, Bailar JC, Belpoggi F, Berlin M, Bhattacharya S, Bonnier Viger YV, Brophy J, Bustinza R, Cameron RB, Dement JM, Egilman D, Castleman B, Chaturvedi S, Cherniack M, Choudhury H, Demers PA, Digangi J, Digon A, Edwards JG, Englund A, Erikson B, Corréa Filho HR, Franco G, Frank AL, Freund A, Gee D, Giordano A, Gochfeld M, Gilberg M, Goldsmith DF, Goldstein BD, Grandjean P, Greenberg M, Gut I et al. Scientists appeal to Quebec Premier Charest to stop exporting asbestos to the developing world. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2010 Apr;16(2):241-248. PubMed PMID: 20465068. (Letter)

Dement JM, Welch L, Ringen K, Bingham E, Quinn P. Airways obstruction among older construction and trade workers at Department of Energy nuclear sites. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2010 Mar;53(3):224-240. PubMed Central PMCID: 20025074.

Rodríguez-Acosta RL, Myers DJ, Richardson DB, Lipscomb HJ, Chen JC, Dement JM. Physical assault among nursing staff employed in acute care. Work (Reading, Mass.). 2010 Jan;35(2):191-200. PubMed Central PMCID: 20164614.

Pompeii LA, Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM. Predictors of lost time from work among nursing personnel who sought treatment for back pain. Work (Reading, Mass.). 2010 Jan;37(3):285-295. PubMed Central PMCID: 20978335.

Lipscomb H, Nolan J, Patterson D, Dement JM. Surveillance of nail gun injuries by journeymen carpenters provides important insight into experiences of apprentices. New Solutions : a Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy : Ns. 2010 Jan;20(1):95-114. PubMed Central PMCID: 20359994.

Rodríguez-Acosta RL, Richardson DB, Lipscomb HJ, Chen JC, Dement JM, Myers DJ, Loomis DP. Occupational injuries among aides and nurses in acute care. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2009 Dec;52(12):953-964. PubMed Central PMCID: 19852018.

Welch LS, Anderson HA, Balmes J, Braun L, Brody A, Castleman B, Davis D, Dement JM, Frank A, Gochfeld M, Goldstein BD, Guzmán JR, Henderson DW, Huff J, Infante PF, Ladou J, Landrigan PJ, Leigh J, Levin SM, Mulloy KB, Michaels D, Oliver LC, Pepper L, Rosenman KD, Schwartz BS, Silverstein M, Sokas RK, Takahashi KEN, Takaro TK, Teitelbaum DT, Vojakovic R, Watterson A. Research on mesothelioma from brake exposure: Corporate influence remains relevant concern. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2009 Dec 1;15(2):234-238. (Letter)

Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM, Silverstein B, Cameron W, Glazner JE. Who is paying the bills? Health care costs for musculoskeletal back disorders, Washington State Union Carpenters, 1989-2003. J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Oct;51(10):1185-1192. PubMed PMID: 19749603.

Dement JM, Myers D, Loomis D, Richardson D, Wolf S. Estimates of historical exposures by phase contrast and transmission electron microscopy in North Carolina USA asbestos textile plants. Occup Environ Med. 2009 Sep;66(9):574-583. PubMed PMID: 18805888.