Guideline Foundation Seeks Comments on Proposed Emergency Guidelines The Emergency Response Planning Committee of the AIHA Guideline Foundation seeks public comments on newly proposed Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPGs), which are air concentration guidelines for single exposures to agents. The committee is proposing ERPGs for the chemicals chloroacetyl chloride and phosgene. The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards describes chloroacetyl chloride as a “colorless to yellowish liquid with a strong, pungent odor.” Symptoms of exposure to chloroacetyl chloride can include irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory system; eye and skin burns; and difficulty breathing. In 2016, NIOSH published an Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) value profile for chloroacetyl chloride, which can be viewed on the agency's website. According to NIOSH, phosgene is used in many industries, including in the manufacture of other chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. Workers may be harmed from exposure to phosgene, which NIOSH describes as “a colorless gas with a suffocating odor like musty hay.”
ERPGs comprise three values, designated as ERPG-1, ERPG-2, and ERPG-3, that indicate thresholds below which nearly all individuals could be exposed for up to one hour without experiencing certain health effects. Concentrations that exceed ERPG-3 values for longer than one hour may cause life-threatening health effects.
The AIHA Guideline Foundation’s proposed ERPGs for chloroacetyl chloride and phosgene can be viewed online as PDFs from the foundation's webpage. In addition to comments, the committee encourages individuals to share additional references or resources for consideration. The deadline for feedback about the ERPGs for chloroacetyl chloride is close of business on Jan. 31, and individuals have until close of business on Feb. 14 to submit feedback about the proposed ERPGs for phosgene.
ERPGs are intended for use as tools to assess the adequacy of accident prevention and emergency response plans, including transportation emergency planning, community emergency response plans, and incident prevention and mitigation. For more information, please contact AIHA’s Michele Twilley, DrPH, CIH, via email or call (703) 849-8888.
“Healthier Workplaces, Healthier Communities” Video Series Showcases OEHS Professionals AIHA, in partnership with the video production firm dBase Media, has begun production of an online video series titled “Healthier Workplaces, Healthier Communities.” The series will present true stories about the effects of occupational or environmental hazards and will follow OEHS professionals and the outcomes of their work. Videos in the series will spotlight hazards across multiple industries and narrate how OEHS professionals identify, manage, and mitigate exposure risks. This docuseries will also communicate the diverse career paths of OEHS professionals who have dedicated their lives to protecting worker health, safety, and well-being. One case study will focus on the use of enhanced air filtration to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in schools. Professionals engaged in disaster planning, response, and recovery will be highlighted.
AIHA’s new video series is scheduled to premiere in May 2023 during AIHce EXP in Phoenix, Arizona. The series will be hosted first on the AIHA website and then distributed and promoted through a campaign managed by dBase Media.
For more information, see AIHA’s press release.
AIHA also encourages members to listen to the “Healthier Workplaces Show,” a new podcast series launched in September in cooperation with multimedia company Healthy Indoors. The program is dedicated to highlighting the efforts of industry professionals who protect workers and their communities from occupational health and safety and environmental hazards. The show can be found on most major podcast streamers—Amazon, Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Podbean, for example—and on the Back to Work Safely website.
AIHA’s Mark Ames Recognized Among Top Advocacy Professionals for 2022 Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of government relations, has been recognized as one of the Advocacy Association’s “Top 20 in 2022,” a selection of 20 advocacy practitioners employed by nonprofit organizations who have been nominated by their peers for professional excellence throughout the year. The Advocacy Association describes these professionals as having proven that they are passionately involved in the advocacy community and have advanced the profession through innovation, thought leadership, and mentoring. More information about this accolade can be found on the Advocacy Association website.
Ames was also honored as a top lobbyist for 2022 by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics (NILE). This designation recognizes lobbyists who have taken innovative approaches within their field and demonstrated commitment to giving back to their communities as well as adherence to the highest ethical standards. A press release from NILE contains further details.
“Helping people is what I love most about government relations,” said Ames. “At its core, this profession is focused on helping people live better lives.”
“In 2022, with the aid of many volunteers and colleagues, we’ve achieved historic successes, such as increasing AIHA volunteer engagement in government relations by more than 250 percent, and helped build a better world,” Ames continued. “I can’t wait to see all the progress we’ll continue making together in 2023.”
Prior to joining AIHA in 2016, Ames led the government relations activities of major national and global nonprofit associations representing educators, school leaders, engineers, and other professionals. He serves as vice-chair of the Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Advisory Council for the American Society of Association Executives and as a member of the Board of Directors for the [Re]build America’s School Infrastructure Coalition. Ames is the author of The 30-Minute Leader: Your Guide to Influence, Power, and Transformation, and his work has been published by USA Today, NBC, and CBS, as well as in multiple trade publications.
Students: AIHF Scholarship Applications Due Feb. 6 The American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) is accepting scholarship applications for the 2023–2024 academic year. Students are evaluated on academic record, extracurricular activities, future goals as an industrial hygienist, and potential for leadership in the industrial hygiene profession. Several AIHF scholarships have specific criteria, and schools or students who meet those criteria will be given first consideration.
All application materials must be submitted by Feb. 6. For more information on AIHF scholarships and eligibility requirements, please visit the foundation's website.
Since 1982, AIHF has distributed more than $2.3 million in scholarship funds to students pursuing degrees in industrial hygiene or occupational and environmental health and safety. More information about AIHF, including reflections from scholarship recipients, can be found on AIHA's website.
Cast Your Ballot in the 2023 AIHA Board Election
AIHA will partner once again with ElectionBuddy to provide a safe, secure web-based voting system during the 2023 Board of Directors election cycle. Instructions on how to vote in the election, which will run from Feb. 10 to March 3, will be emailed to members in February.
Nominations by petition are due soon. In addition to nominations made by AIHA’s Nominating Committee, nominations for officers and directors may be made by petition of not less than two percent of members who are eligible to vote. Each petition must include a letter from the nominee stating the nominee’s willingness to stand for election. Petitions must be emailed to the chair of the Nominating Committee by Jan. 27.
Important information about AIHA governance is available on the association's website. Email questions to Thursa Pecoraro.
AIHA Accolades Congratulations to AIHA member John Flores, MPH, CIH, who is the recipient of the 2022 Meritorious Achievement Award from the Utah Section of AIHA. Flores is principal lecturer in the public health program of Utah State University’s Department of Biology. At the award ceremony, Kyle Naylor, president-elect of the local section, praised Flores’ efforts as a teacher, mentor, and adviser to students and AIHA members. Learn more in an article published online in Utah State Today.
In Memoriam Dr. Donald Ross, who joined AIHA in 1956 and was active in the association’s Leadership and Management Committee during 1987–1991, passed away on Sept. 4, 2022. He was 99. Ross was a Manhattan Project chemist who later helped develop and implement radiation health and safety programs for the Atomic Energy Commission/Department of Energy. He was a mentor to many industrial hygiene professionals. Read more about Ross in the obituary or in a Catalyst post by Paul Wambach.
New Organizational Group Membership AIHA is now offering organizational group membership as a cost-effective way of bundling multiple individual AIHA memberships into one organizational membership. Previously, organizational membership cost $999 for three individual memberships and additional organizational benefits. In a SynergistNOW blog post, Gouhar Nayeem, AIHA's membership marketing specialist, explains how AIHA has made membership more cost effective for organizations.
Dates and Deadlines
Jan. 10–March 16 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. Jan. 24 Synergist webinar: "The Role of Site Noise Surveys in OSHA Compliance." Jan. 26
AIHA University webinar: “AIHA and the IH/OEHS Community: Your Role in Consensus Standards.”
Jan. 31 Deadline to submit comments on proposed ERPGs for chloroacetyl chloride and phosgene.
Feb. 6 Deadline to submit American Industrial Hygiene Foundation scholarship applications.
Feb. 10–March 3 Vote in the 2023 Board of Directors election.
March 15 Deadline to apply for a position on AIHA’s Continuing Education Committee and to submit proposals for student posters and presentations for AIHce EXP 2023.
For a complete list of events, visit AIHA's website.