Biosafety and Environmental Microbiology Committee

Mission

To provide a forum for disseminating and exchanging ideas and information about hazardous microbiological agents and their byproducts to health professionals and to the community. 

Goals and Objectives

Goal: Assemble, evaluate, and disseminate to occupational and environmental health professionals information on biohazardous agents in industry and the built environment to facilitate the recognition, evaluation, and control of their risks. A biohazardous agent is one of biological origin that has the capacity to produce deleterious effects upon humans, and includes organisms, toxins, and allergens.

Objective #1: Discuss and act upon biosafety and environmentally linked microbiological issues.

Strategies:

  • Designate specific members to track and report on identified issues.

  • Respond to AIHA Board requests to address specific issues.

  • Meet at the AIHce and at other times as appropriate.

  • Solicit papers; organize sessions; and provide session arrangers, chairs, and monitors for the AIHce.

  • Communicate plans and activities to other AIHA committees that may be affected or concerned. Provide liaison support and technical assistance to other professional committees.

Objective #2: Provide education and training on Biosafety and Environmental Microbiology issues.

Strategies:

  • Develop new PDCs and keep existing PDCs up to date.

  • Prepare timely, relevant information for publication.

Goal: Actively participate in identifying and responding to biosafety and environmental microbiology issues.

Objective #3:

  • Identify and report on hazardous microbiological agents and the occupations and environments in which they occur.

  • Identify and provide guidance in evaluation and control techniques used for biological agents.

  • Prepare publications concerning approaches for risk assessment, evaluation and control of biological agents.

  • Identify, evaluate, and comment on proposed legislation, regulations, and standards affecting biological agents.

Strategies:

  • Participate in the development of standards by organizations such as OSHA and NIOSH.

  • Develop and recommend positions to the AIHA Board.

 

BEM Topics

Facts About Mold

AIHA's "Facts about Mold" document represents a consensus statement by a group of experts about important aspects of the “state of the science.” The guidance offered is practical information based on years of experience addressing mold issues, and this document does not claim to be a definitive or comprehensive position statement. Because it is not comprehensive, it should always be used in conjunction with other existing guidance documents, as well as professional judgment by qualified consultants and public health officials.

Corrosive Dry Wall White Paper

As announced in an Oct. 13, 2010, press release, the white paper identifies the problems posed by corrosive drywall and the role of science in understanding the resulting safety and health issues. Sponsored by the AIHA® Biosafety and Environmental Microbiology Committee, Construction Committee, and Indoor Environmental Quality Committee.

 

The H. Kenneth Dillon Memorial Award

The Ken Dillon Award is presented annually by AIHA’s Biosafety and Environmental Microbiology Committee in honor and memory of Dr. Ken Dillon, a former member of the committee, an AIHA fellow, and the principal instructor for several years of the top ten PDC “Prevention, Determination, and Remediation of Biological Contamination in Indoor Environments”. 

The award, which entails a certificate and honorarium, is made to the best student poster presented at AIHce on a topic germane to the areas of Biosafety and Environmental Microbiology.

2011 Winner – AIHce Portland, Oregon

  • Sara C. Funk, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Evaluation of Seasonal Ventilation Charges and Their Effect on Ambient Dust, Endotoxin and Bioerosol Concentrations in a Dairy Parlor.

2010 Winner – AIHce Denver, Colorado

  • Umesh Singh, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Comparison of Airborne Exposures to Endotoxin and (1 3)-β-D-Glucan in Fine Particle Size Fraction in Farm and Home Environments

2009 Winner – AIHce Toronto, Ontario

  • L. Johnson, J.D. Miller, M. Smith, B. Fraser, L. Maheux. Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Cleaning Office Environments of Microbial Contaminants

2007 Winner – AIHce Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Y. Iossifova, C. Crawford, T. Reponen, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati; M. Daines, GK Khurana Hershey, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Comparison of the LAL & EIA Assays for Detecting (1-3) – ß- Glucan

2006 Winner – AIHce Chicago, Illinois

  • Rena Saito and Stephen Reynolds. Modification and Amplification of a GC / MS Method for Endotoxin Analysis in Agricultural Dusts

2005 Winner – AIHce Anaheim, California

  • Matthew W. Murphey. Airborne Antibiotic Exposures in Animal Feeding Operations