March 12, 2020

AIHA’s Think and Act Fire Smart Resource Center is Featured on USA Today’s Special Supplement.

Dear AIHA Members,

USA Today recently published a special supplement on workplace health and safety. One of the articles in the supplement, “How Wildfire Hazards Can Impact You and Your Family,” focuses on AIHA’s Think and Act Fire Smart resource center, which aims to raise awareness about the hidden dangers in the cleanup process that follows a devastating wildfire, especially in urban areas.

Fires don’t just destroy property; they also leave behind a terrible sense of devastation and loss and create additional hazards that can cause lasting harm. It is imperative to think of the necessary steps to avoid the potential health hazards that occur during the cleanup and recovery phase. As families return to their homes, it is important that they have their property tested and evaluated by a certified professional to make sure it is completely safe.

The article I authored draws attention to the high price that firefighters pay to protect our communities: they have the higher rates of certain cancers, injuries, and diseases that affect the heart and lungs.

This is the second time that USA Today has asked AIHA to contribute to a news supplement on workplace health and safety. In 2018, the special supplement included an article on Safety Matters, the joint AIHA-NIOSH program that raises awareness among young people about workplace safety and health and provides an understanding of the skills they need to become active participants in creating safe and healthy work environments.

In light of the current wildfires in Australia, AIHA has reached out and offered its assistance to the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) as well as made a $5000 contribution to the Australian Red Cross Relief and Recovery fund. We encouraged AIOH to share the link to our Think and Act Fire Smart Resource Center with their local news outlets.

Here is how you can help: Please share the link to our USA Today article with colleagues and friends to raise awareness of wildfire recovery and cleanup safety. Sign our pledge indicating that you’ll become a disaster preparedness volunteer, or if you’re already a volunteer, that you’ll continue doing so and encourage others to do the same.

With warmest regards,

Kathy Murphy, CIH