AIHA Supports Vaccination Requirement for Healthcare Personnel AIHA joined a coalition of 17 organizations that sent a letter to state leaders in October urging the promotion of science-based information to address vaccine hesitancy. The letter states that “vaccination of all healthcare personnel [. . .] is a critical component of providing a safe environment for patients, visitors, and residents” and calls for all vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to be “required for healthcare personnel providing services in any healthcare setting.” ACIP currently recommends vaccines for COVID-19, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and several other communicable diseases, according to its adult immunization schedule.
The letter notes that legislation has been introduced in several states that would prohibit employers from requiring certain vaccines for their employees. “Some of these bills target healthcare facilities specifically, restricting their ability to require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment and could impact other immunizations recommended by ACIP, such as influenza, measles, and varicella,” the letter states.
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is tracking efforts among states to prohibit vaccinations. Earlier this year, Texas enacted a bill that would prohibit government from implementing COVID-19 vaccination mandates and closures of schools and businesses. The state’s general appropriations bill also prevents the Department of State Health Services from using state funds to promote COVID-19 vaccinations. Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Indiana have also enacted prohibitions on vaccine requirements in 2023.
Other signatories of the letter include the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), which led the coalition, as well as the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association.
The letter is available from the APIC website (PDF). For more information, read the APIC press release. NASHP tracks trends in vaccine-related legislation on its website.
AIHA Guideline Foundation Receives $10,000 for Emergency Response Planning Guidelines The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has awarded the AIHA Guideline Foundation a second donation of $10,000 to continue developing the Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPG) program. ERPGs are tools for assessing brief airborne exposures to hazardous chemicals associated with spills or releases. They may be used in accident prevention and emergency response planning and have been incorporated into the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook since 1989.
The AIHA Guideline Foundation is the sole organization to establish and maintain ERPGs. It also publishes the Emergency Response Planning Guidelines Handbook, which aids first responders in managing the initial phase of hazardous material transportation accident response.
“We deeply appreciate ACC’s continued support of the AIHA Guideline Foundation's Emergency Response Planning Guidelines program,” said AIHA CEO Lawrence D. Sloan. “This contribution sustains the development of ERPGs and reinforces the essential partnership between our organizations to equip first responders and disaster relief professionals with the tools they need to ensure effective emergency preparedness and response.”
“ACC values our ongoing partnership with AIHA, and we continue to support this valuable program,” said Jeffrey Sloan, senior director for regulatory and scientific affairs for ACC. “Our industry’s top priority is the safety of our facilities and their surrounding communities, and we are pleased to support AIHA’s mission of advancing community and workplace safety.”
More information about ERPGs is available from AIHA's website.
Synergist Articles, AIHA Resources Listed on OSHA Website OSHA has added links to several AIHA resources and Synergist articles to the agency’s website. To its “safety and health topic” pages on ventilation, OSHA added links to “Troubleshooting Industrial Ventilation” from the June/July 2016 Synergist and “Approaches to Ventilation Systems” from the February 2023 Synergist. Both articles were authored by D. Jeff Burton. The agency’s topic pages on indoor air quality now include links to an IAQ report and technical framework hosted on AIHA.org as well as IAQ resources from AIHA’s Healthier Workplaces and Commit to C.A.R.E. websites.
Explore OSHA’s topic pages on ventilation and IAQ.
Nominate Your Colleagues for Awards and Honors AIHA requests nominations for the 2024 AIHA awards and Fellows. AIHA’s awards recognize the accomplishments and contributions of industrial hygienists and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals of all career stages who have demonstrated their commitment to preserving, advancing, and ensuring the health and safety of workers and communities around the world. AIHA members who are in good standing may submit award nominations. The AIHA Fellow designation is limited to no more than five percent of the association’s national membership. AIHA local sections, special interest groups, committees, and peers may nominate individuals for consideration as Fellows.
AIHA’s awards include the Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award, which honors those who have made substantial contributions to OEHS through technical expertise, innovations, research, scientific advancements, and interaction with or influence on other scientific disciplines; the Kusnetz Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Early Career Professional, which honors industrial hygienists under the age of 40 who show promise for leadership in the IH profession; and the Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award for Outstanding OEHS Practice, which recognizes individuals who contribute to the knowledge and practice of the profession by advancing the practice of Total Worker Health, expanding the profession through collaboration via alliances and partnerships, and creating tools applicable beyond the OEHS profession. Other awards for which AIHA seeks nominations include the Alice Hamilton Award for Social Responsibility and the Yant Award for Outstanding International Service.
The AIHA Fellow designation recognizes full members in good standing who have at least 15 years of continuous membership and have made contributions to IH or related disciplines in areas such as original research, work in policy, leadership, and service to AIHA. Potential new Fellows will also be evaluated for their achievements in education and their professional IH experience.
The deadlines for nominations are Dec. 31 for AIHA Fellows and Jan. 12 for AIHA awards. The nomination portals can be found via the AIHA website.
Submit to AIHA’s Consultants Listing by Dec. 18 AIHA’s Consultants Listing provides a comprehensive online repository and search functionality, streamlining the process for individuals seeking industrial hygienists or experts in occupational and environmental health and safety within their locality. AIHA circulates a digital Consultants Listing to a wide-ranging audience, encompassing decision-makers across various sectors, including academia, healthcare, trade associations, and legal and real estate agencies. Prominent federal agencies such as EPA, FEMA, CDC, and OSHA frequently direct inquiries from consumers to consultants featured in the Consultants Listing.
The deadline for submitting order forms for the 2024 digital Consultants Listing is Dec. 18. For additional information or to complete the online order form, visit the AIHA website. For more information, email Wanda Barbour or call (703) 846-0782.
In Memoriam Steven P. Mlynarek, PhD, CIH, QEP, passed away Sept. 27. Mlynarek was a professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of South Florida School of Public Health. He had taught at the university since 2001. His research focused on aerosol behavior, and he published several papers on asbestos exposures. Prior to his teaching career, Mlynarek founded Applied Science Associates, a consultancy based in Baltimore that provided services in indoor environmental quality and industrial hygiene. Mlynarek was a member of AIHA, the Florida Local Section, ACGIH, and the Florida Public Health Association.
Sandman Risk Communication Work Collected on AIHA Website A new page on the AIHA website collects resources and case studies from Peter M. Sandman, an expert in risk communication who coined the “risk = hazard + outrage” formula. AIHA’s Content Portfolio Advisory Group identified work by Sandman, some of it originally published in The Synergist, that can help IH and OEHS professionals improve their risk communication skills for various audiences.
Members Sought for Advisory Group AIHA is seeking members to serve on its Emerging Economies Microgrant Advisory Group. The Emerging Economies Microgrant Program was created in 2018 to increase understanding and build capacity for occupational hygiene in developing nations. Microgrants are funded by AIHA each year.
Applications are due Nov. 7. Learn more.
Dates and Deadlines Sept. 12–Nov. 16 Virtual Comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Review Course. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12–2 p.m. ET, cosponsored by the University of Michigan and the Michigan Industrial Hygiene Society.
Nov. 7 Deadline to submit applications for the AIHA Emerging Economies Microgrant Advisory Group.

Nov. 27 Early bird registration deadline for the World Congress for Safety and Health at Work.
Dec. 7 Fifth and final workshop in the Many Paths – One Goal series on occupational risk assessment.
Dec. 18 Deadline to submit material for AIHA’s Consultants Listing.
Dec. 31 Deadline to submit nominations for AIHA Fellows.
For a complete list of events, visit the AIHA website.