What's on YOUR Workplace Surfaces?
Recent developments have put greater emphasis on the need for surface sampling and standard protocols for such sampling. This article describes available surface sampling methods, with a focus on consensus standards, as well as caveats to consider when sending these samples to a laboratory for analysis.
Measurement of Trace Metals and Metalloids
In light of impending reductions in limit values for metals and metalloids, all aspects of validated measurement methods, including sampling, sample preparation, and instrumental analysis, may need to be reviewed. An ASTM workshop was held in 2019 to debate these issues.
Fixing Lab Safety Failures
Laboratory environments challenge industrial hygienists in ways unlike other workplaces. While the rapidly changing research environment advances the frontier of scientific knowledge, innovation also introduces new hazards and risks to this unique work environment.
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.
AIHA LAP's Response to COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, OHS professionals may require clinical testing or SARS-CoV-2 testing of surfaces and air. Those experts relying on laboratories accredited by AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs should remain confident in the quality of these laboratories’ analysis.
Pneumoconiosis Deaths in the United States
A CDC report published in June indicates that deaths attributable to pneumoconiosis declined during 1999–2018 but calls for increased focus on pneumoconiosis attributable to "other inorganic dusts" such as beryllium, iron, and tin oxide.
Fume Hood Performance Tests
People working in laboratories rely on proper performance of fume hoods as their primary means of protection from overexposure to hazardous airborne chemicals generated during scientific activities. This article describes methods to verify that fume hoods are functioning properly.
AIHce EXP Goes Virtual
Forced online by COVID-19, AIHce EXP 2020 demonstrated the potential of virtual education. In six weeks, AIHA staff transformed the conference into a fully virtual event that was broadcast online June 1–3, the same days attendees were supposed to gather in Atlanta, Georgia.
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 Other Hygienists
From the December 2019 issue: Dentists and dental personnel face unique occupational exposures, including bacteria, viruses, dusts, gases, radiation, and other respiratory hazards. In addition, many dental offices are small employers that may be exempt from some OSHA requirements. What does all this mean for dental workers when it comes to workplace hazards?
The official publication of AIHA
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