Protecting Modified Worker Health
Advancing technology presents new industrial processes and agents to understand, new controls and materials to characterize, and new topics to master. The same approach applies to adapting evaluation techniques to protect workers who may be unusually vulnerable to certain risks, or who have been modified in a variety of emerging ways.
It’s the Heat—And the Humidity
Heat-related illnesses are insidious conditions that can affect almost anyone with little warning, especially since symptoms may affect one’s ability to recognize the danger.
Blood Lead Levels in Kentucky Workers
A hazard alert issued by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center drew attention to elevated blood levels among workers in the state. The alert identified several industries that expose workers to lead, including auto repair, firing range instruction, mining, and welding.
No Boundaries
From the April 2018 issue: As the incidence of highly hazardous communicable diseases continues to rise, all relevant professionals, including industrial hygienists, should be involved in prevention efforts, training and education for occupations with potential exposure, and advocacy for increased federal support.
COVID-19 News Updates
Information about the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly developing. The Synergist summarizes recent news on the novel coronavirus, including guidance from the National Academies on crisis standards of care and a training tool for responders and workers with potential COVID-19 exposure.
What’s Happening in Our Industry
Since AIHA’s founding in 1939, dramatic changes have occurred to transform the science and application of occupational health and safety. AIHA's president examines some of the ways the industrial hygiene industry, and even its name, has metamorphized in recent years.
Chemical Protective Clothing 101
IHs know the importance of chemical protective clothing, but not always the extent to which CPC materials can resist any of the numerous chemicals present in the workplace, particularly those new to the market.
Ethics and Communication of Risk
This month, The Synergist presents two scenarios to test your ethics IQ. Both scenarios place industrial hygienists in a position of having to decide whether and to what extent they are responsible for communicating risk in the given circumstances.
Protecting Home Healthcare Aides
From the April 2019 issue: Providing care in the home is one of the most cost-effective and efficient mechanisms for maintaining patient health, but home healthcare workers are among the most vulnerable workers in the United States.
The Ear Poisons
From the November 2018 issue: Noise is not the only etiology of hearing loss. Enter ototoxicants—chemical substances that cause hearing loss once they are introduced to the body through traditional routes of exposure.
The official publication of the American Industrial Hygiene Association
Although the print version of The Synergist indicated The IAQ Investigator's Guide, 3rd edition, was already published, it isn't quite ready yet. We will be sure to let readers know when the Guide is available for purchase in the AIHA Marketplace.
My apologies for the error.
- Ed Rutkowski, Synergist editor
Disadvantages of being unacclimatized:
  • Readily show signs of heat stress when exposed to hot environments.
  • Difficulty replacing all of the water lost in sweat.
  • Failure to replace the water lost will slow or prevent acclimatization.
Benefits of acclimatization:
  • Increased sweating efficiency (earlier onset of sweating, greater sweat production, and reduced electrolyte loss in sweat).
  • Stabilization of the circulation.
  • Work is performed with lower core temperature and heart rate.
  • Increased skin blood flow at a given core temperature.
Acclimatization plan:
  • Gradually increase exposure time in hot environmental conditions over a period of 7 to 14 days.
  • For new workers, the schedule should be no more than 20% of the usual duration of work in the hot environment on day 1 and a no more than 20% increase on each additional day.
  • For workers who have had previous experience with the job, the acclimatization regimen should be no more than 50% of the usual duration of work in the hot environment on day 1, 60% on day 2, 80% on day 3, and 100% on day 4.
  • The time required for non–physically fit individuals to develop acclimatization is about 50% greater than for the physically fit.
Level of acclimatization:
  • Relative to the initial level of physical fitness and the total heat stress experienced by the individual.
Maintaining acclimatization:
  • Can be maintained for a few days of non-heat exposure.
  • Absence from work in the heat for a week or more results in a significant loss in the beneficial adaptations leading to an increase likelihood of acute dehydration, illness, or fatigue.
  • Can be regained in 2 to 3 days upon return to a hot job.
  • Appears to be better maintained by those who are physically fit.
  • Seasonal shifts in temperatures may result in difficulties.
  • Working in hot, humid environments provides adaptive benefits that also apply in hot, desert environments, and vice versa.
  • Air conditioning will not affect acclimatization.
Acclimatization in Workers