AIHA Addresses Proposed Asbestos Rulemaking, Other Federal OHS Policies Through a series of letters addressed to United States lawmakers and federal agencies over the course of summer 2022, AIHA has provided feedback on several major policy efforts related to occupational health and safety. The range of topics covered by these policies include heat illness and injury and EPA’s proposed rulemaking on chrysotile asbestos.
On May 19, AIHA publicized its response to federal OSHA’s proposal to withdraw its approval for the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or ADOSH (PDF). AIHA recommends for ADOSH to remain in place, citing the state plan’s efforts “to engage the community in occupational safety and health through their consultative service, Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), and outreach programs.” AIHA’s letter also mentions ADOSH’s “aggressive heat stress outreach program” and its outreach to the public sector.
A letter dated June 2 expresses AIHA’s support for H.R.7267, the Cabin Air Safety Act of 2022 (PDF). This bipartisan bill aimed at improving air quality within airplane cabins would require air carriers to install and operate onboard air monitoring equipment.
AIHA published on June 10 its feedback on EPA’s notice of proposed rulemaking that would ban the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos (PDF). Chrysotile asbestos is the only known form of asbestos currently imported into the United States. AIHA’s comments discuss the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls approach as an alternative to banning materials. The comments also address concerns regarding EPA’s risk assessment for chrysotile asbestos and methods of measuring asbestos exposures.
In a June 17 letter, AIHA indicates its support for S.1482, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (PDF). “Violence in the health care and social service industries remains a leading cause of traumatic workplace injury and death in the United States,” the letter states. “The bill would help solve this problem by requiring covered employers to develop and implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans that are tailored to meet their individual needs.”
A June 20 letter urges Congress to pass S.1068, the Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act (PDF). If passed, this bill would require heat hazard training for employees and supervisors and require OSHA to issue a standard addressing occupational heat-related illnesses and injuries.
On June 28, AIHA encouraged lawmakers to pass a bill intended to protect student athletes, coaches, other school personnel, and families from heat-related illness, injury, and death (PDF). HR.7478, also known as the Supporting Athletes, Families and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth (SAFE PLAY) Act, would require agencies to develop heat advisory and acclimatization guidelines for school athletics, disseminate these guidelines to appropriate individuals, and require public schools to develop excessive heat action plans that apply to all school-sponsored athletic events.
And on July 21, AIHA expressed support for S.2660, the Get Toxic Substances Out of Schools Act (PDF). This bill would provide schools $52 billion in grants over 10 years to identify, prevent, and eliminate student and staff exposures to hazardous chemicals. “AIHA is particularly supportive of the bill’s requirement that work performed under a grant be stamped by a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or similar accredited occupational health and safety professional,” the letter states.
To learn more about AIHA’s advocacy efforts, visit the AIHA website or email Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of government relations.
Coming Soon: Webinar on EHS Data Management
A Synergist Webinar focusing on managing environmental, health, and safety (EHS) data will be held on Sept. 14 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET. This webinar aims to help OEHS professionals implement health and safety performance metrics programs at their organizations. An effective performance metrics program can aid OEHS professionals in better protecting workers’ health and safety and improving organizations’ productivity. Webinar attendees will learn how to distinguish between different types of metrics and how to select the right metrics for their organizations. Presenter Dave Risi, CIH, CSP, the principal solutions strategist of industrial hygiene at VelocityEHS, will also discuss the benefits of a performance metrics program as well as the steps to building and maintaining such a program.
Thanks to sponsor VelocityEHS, the webinar is free to attend. AIHA updates Synergist Webinar participants’ educational transcripts to reflect their attendance. Register online.
Get Involved with New AIHA Volunteer Groups AIHA has announced the creation of three new volunteer groups dedicated to serving the OEHS community and protecting worker health and safety: the Emerging Economy Microgrants Advisory Group, the LGBTQ+ Special Interest Group, or PR(IH)DE, and the Dermal and Surface Sampling Working Group.
The Emerging Economy Microgrants Advisory Group was originally created as a subcommittee of the International Affairs Committee (IAC). It was reestablished as a separate volunteer group to lend more stability to AIHA’s Emerging Economy Microgrants Program (bit.ly/iacmicrogrants), previously managed by IAC. The new advisory group will be responsible for reviewing, selecting, and recommending funding amounts for microgrants program proposals and working with AIHA staff to create a database of funded projects.
PR(IH)DE aims to support OEHS professionals at all career levels who identify as members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as to promote research related to the health, safety, and well-being of workers belonging to this community. Membership is open to everyone who strives to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in the OEHS profession and its associated practices.
The Dermal and Surface Sampling Working Group proposes to coordinate aspects related to environmental and occupational dermal exposures in order to better respond to scientific and regulatory developments. The working group intends to remain active for the next five years, at which point progress and needs will be assessed.
To learn more about AIHA’s many volunteer groups, visit the AIHA website.
JOEH Achieves New Record for Impact Factor The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene has attained a 2021 “impact factor” of 3.359, according to JOEH publisher Taylor & Francis. The new impact factor surpasses the 2020 ranking of 2.155 and is JOEH’s highest ranking since it began publishing in 2004.
Impact factor is a measurement that attempts to quantify the influence of a scholarly journal by measuring the number of citations it receives in other journals over the previous two years. The impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of citations received by the total number of papers published by a journal over a period of time.
According to Taylor & Francis, the five most cited JOEH papers during 2019–2020 are “Relative Contributions of Transmission Routes for COVID-19 Among Healthcare Personnel Providing Patient Care,” July 2020 issue; “Personal Protective Equipment Doffing Practices of Healthcare Workers,” July 2019 issue; “Occupational Exposure to Gaseous and Particulate Contaminants Originating from Additive Manufacturing of Liquid, Powdered, and Filament Plastic Materials and Related Post-Processes,” March 2019 issue; “Modeling the Role of Fomites in a Norovirus Outbreak,” February 2019 issue; and “Particle and Vapor Emissions from Vat Polymerization Desktop-Scale 3-Dimensional Printers,” in the May 2019 issue.
A Change of Address for AIHA In September, the AIHA office will move to 3120 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 360, in Falls Church, Virginia. The new location is across the street from the building where AIHA has resided since 2012, having relocated to northern Virginia from Ohio in 1992.
Present at AIHce EXP 2023 AIHce EXP is accepting proposals through Sept. 14. Consider presenting a professional development course, education session, pop-up session, or poster on the latest OEHS information, trends, technology, and best practices at AIHce EXP 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more on the conference website.
AIHA’s New Military Membership AIHA is offering all U.S. military personnel (with military ID) a discounted rate of 50 percent off full or early career professional membership. There are no additional administrative fees for membership or costs to participate in AIHA’s many volunteer groups. Learn more on the AIHA website.
In Memoriam Southern California Local Section Member John Froines, PhD, passed away on July 13. He was 83. Widely known as a member of the Chicago Seven, Froines was acquitted in 1970 for charges related to anti-Vietnam War protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Froines went on to serve as head of toxic chemical standards at OSHA, deputy director of NIOSH, and professor of toxicology at UCLA. For more information, read Froines’ Washington Post obituary.
Dates and Deadlines Sept. 13–Nov. 17 Virtual Comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Review Course. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12–2 p.m. ET, co-sponsored by the University of Michigan and the Michigan Industrial Hygiene Society.
Sept. 15 AIHA webinar: “The Role of Context and Reason in Ethical Decision-Making for the Industrial Hygienist.”
Sept. 26–29 AIHA Road Course: “Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene” in Westerville, Ohio.
Oct. 3–5 AIHA Road Course: “Exposure and Chemical Monitoring – Beyond IH Fundamentals” in Westerville, Ohio.
Oct. 12 AIHA webinar: “Welding Field Guide, 2nd Edition: Updates and Control Banding Strategies.”
Oct. 18–20 PSX 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky.
May 22–24, 2023 AIHce EXP 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
For a complete list of events, visit AIHA's website.