May 1, 2020

Quick Takes 2020 May

Important Dates and Deadlines:


Join Rotary’s Volunteer Surge
Volunteer Surge was established recently with partners to provide free, online training of volunteers, to perform the most basic care-taking tasks for vulnerable people so that healthcare professionals can focus on the most acute needs. How you help is up to you. And, whatever you end up doing will make a difference.

For more information, watch this short video or visit

Be a Leader by Helping AIHA Reach out to Governors and Mayors to Help America Get Back to Work Safely

Your help is urgently needed. Throughout the country, States are reopening their economies and workers are going back to work. Please help us reach out to governors and mayors to raise awareness of AIHA's 8 back-to-work safely guidelines. Doing so will help protect the health and safety of the workers, their families, and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're interested in working on this project, please email Mark Ames at [email protected].

IOHA Postpones International Scientific Conference

The International Occupational Hygiene Association has tentatively rescheduled its upcoming conference. The 12th IOHA International Scientific Conference, which was originally scheduled for October 2020, is now set to be held Aug. 21–26, 2021, in Daegu, South Korea. Read More.

Register for the AIHA 2020 Annual Business Meeting

AIHA’s Annual Business Meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, June 11, from 12 to 1 p.m. ET, to introduce incoming officers and directors and address other association business. All members who wish to attend the meeting must register in advance.
To ensure a quorum for the meeting, a call for proxy votes was issued electronically. Through the proxy vote form, members who cannot attend the meeting may designate another AIHA member to vote in their place, including members of the AIHA Board of Directors.

Call For Nominations: Allan K. Fleeger Distinguished Service Award

The Product Stewardship Society seeks nominations for the 2020 Allan K. Fleeger Distinguished Service Award. The award is named after the society's first president, Allan Fleeger, CIH, CSP, and recognizes the contributions made by a product steward to support the growth and success of the society and the product stewardship profession.

AIHA Volunteer Groups Officers Training

The following training opportunities are available for all volunteer groups officers – click on the links below to learn more, as well as to add these events to your calendar. All volunteer group officers are encouraged to participate, especially new officers.

• Level 3 Conferencing—Wednesday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (ET)
• Catalyst Online Community—Wednesday, July 29 at 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (ET)
• Officers Training: Roles & Responsibilities—Wednesday, August 26 at 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (ET)


AIHA’s New Brand Reflects the Future of the Occupational Health & Safety Profession
AIHA unveiled its “brand evolution” at Virtual AIHce EXP 2020, which better reflects its diverse membership today and looks toward the future of the profession. The new brand continues to reflect our acronym “AIHA”, with a more modern logo and new tagline: “Healthier Workplaces. A Healthier World.” This pivot is designed to help the association better communicate the value of our profession to “stakeholders who are not industrial hygienists”.

The name of the association will remain “American Industrial Hygiene Association”, and you’ll continue to see this moniker reflected on and in other capacities. However, the new logo and tagline will help create awareness of the mission critical role our members play in society, especially now as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While we will always be the home for industrial hygienists, we are extending our reach to the broader realm of “occupational health and safety science”, which is in harmony with changes in names of degrees offered by colleges, as well as reflective of evolving job titles.

The "Courage Scale": Opening Session Speaker Calls for OHS Professionals to Lead by Example

Author and speaker René Rodriguez opened the first fully virtual AIHce EXP conference on Monday morning with a discussion of the central role occupational health and safety professionals can play in leading their organizations' response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

AIHA Announces Recipient of the 2020 President’s Award

AIHA is pleased to announce Perry W. Logan, PhD, CIH, as the recipient of the 2020 President’s Award. The President’s Award is given to an individual, task force, special interest group or local section for outstanding contribution to efforts to achieve the mission of AIHA during the presidency year. The award will be presented in the Fall at the 2020 Virtual Mark of Excellence.

AIHA Announces ‘Back-to-Work Safely’ Guidelines and Resources

As businesses begin to reopen, AIHA has made available industry specific guidelines and resources to help employers and employees get back to work safely. The guidelines and other resources are available to download on a new website – Additionally, COVID 19 resources on PPE and re-entry into the workplace hazards can be found at AIHA Media Outreach Center.

IH Careers for Vets

AIHA is seeking responses to five initial questions to help us start the conversation about serving veterans and encouraging them to pursue careers in IH. This new Catalyst community is open to all members. Thank you in advance for your feedback and we look forward to the conversation!

AIHA Joins National Safety Council SAFER Task Force

The "SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns" initiative is a comprehensive, multifaceted plan developed to guide employers through the process of safely resuming traditional work and operations now and after the pandemic.

Volunteer Now

Volunteers are the lifeblood of AIHA and are needed more now than ever! Consider joining one of more than 50 volunteer groups, learn valuable leadership skills and earn CM points for active participation. Micro, macro, and virtual volunteer opportunities means you can volunteer on your time and on your terms.

COVID-19 Resource Center

Stay Updated On the Latest Developments Regarding COVID-19

Even as AIHA continues to provide accurate and timely resources to the public about the current coronavirus pandemic, the Association is also doing its part through partnerships, government relations, and member outreach to the public health sector. Check out what AIHA is doing in the during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Ergonomics Infographic to Help Those Working From Home
Social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions have left many of us working from home for an indefinite period. Recognizing the importance of the ergonomics of homeworking, AIHA’s Ergonomics Committee has adapted An Ergonomics Guide to Computer Workstations, 3rd edition book into a free infographic.

Five Ways to Stay Productive During a Pandemic
Within the span of a few weeks, we have had to drastically adapt our lives and routines to the COVID-19 crisis. As IH/OEHS professionals, many of you are on the front lines, protecting the health and safety of workers on the job or at home, in addition to your own families. Now more than ever it's crucial for you to be able to share information, discuss, question, debate, and pool resources with other industry experts and peers in efforts to protect people from the disease.

Recovering from COVID-19 Building Closures
Managing the risks associated with COVID-19 has resulted in widespread closures of businesses, schools, universities, resorts, and other facilities deemed “non-essential.” For building owners and operators, this poses a significant challenge to protect their assets and to ensure they are ready to reoccupy once the pandemic subsides. In response, the AIHA Indoor Environmental Issues Committee has issued a new guidance document.

AIP Webinar: The Truth About COVID-19 (Recorded)
The Allied Industry Partners (AIP) present an informative discussion covering COVID-19. The webinar will cover how the disease is spread, address environmental disinfection and testing, as well as review what you need to know to run your business in this environment. Leaders within the AIP come together for the first time on a webinar to share their expertise on this important topic.

AIHA Urges White House to Resume United States’ Funding of World Health Organization
AIHA is calling upon the White House to resume the United States’ funding for the World Health Organization, after President Donald Trump announced on April 15 to cut off new funding for the organization due to its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AIHA Applauds White House's Guidelines for Opening Up America, Urges Leaders to Consult Industrial Hygienists to Protect Workers
AIHA welcomes the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America, which focuses on protecting Americans as they resume work in phases though an approach led by science, data, and expert recommendations, implemented on a county-by county and state-by-state basis, without any set deadlines.

Occupational Health and Safety Professionals Recognized as “Essential Workers” by the Federal Government
AIHA applauds the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for updating the language of its “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory list. The updated guidance now explicitly incorporates occupational health and safety workers, as recommended by AIHA.

AIHA Urges Congress to Protect Healthcare and Other Industry Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic AIHA supports the enactment into law of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and urges Members of Congress to provide additional protections to workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 COVID-19 Safe Return to Work – New Catalyst Community
Initiated by Dr. John Howard and being led by Dr. Lauralynn McKernan, this initiative seeks to connect NIOSH with its colleagues to hear learned lessons from reopening operations in workplaces beyond healthcare (e.g., services sector, manufacturing, transportation, retail, agriculture). NIOSH would greatly appreciate the opportunity to connect with others who have already implemented return to work/reopening industry procedures.


Members Making a Difference
Protecting the health and safety of people at work has never been as critical as it is now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our members have used their expertise and knowledge to mobilize and collaborate online, at work, in communities, and in households. Take Laurence Svirchev, CIH, AIHA member since 2003, and AIHA ambassador to China… click here to read more.

AIHA Annual Membership Meeting Announcement
The annual membership meeting, normally conducted as a part of AIHce EXP will be conducted virtually as well. The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 11 at 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. ET. To access the meeting, please click here and use password 858147. For dial-in only, please click here to find your local number.

Not a Member?
Now is the time to join! AIHA offers a multitude of various resources vital to the support and growth of the IH/OEHS profession and the professionals that make it up. Don’t be left out without access to the latest news, developments, research, education, career development and networking opportunities. We are in this together! Join AIHA membership as an individual or organization (up to 3 individual memberships included!).


Facing and Embracing Change
In the April Issue of The Synergist, AIHA President Kathy Murphy reflected on changes in the industry and in our organization in her president’s message, What’s Happening in Our Industry. It is a compelling article, worth reading—and rereading. Here, I would like to weigh in on… click here to read more.

Strength in Numbers
AIHA has a long history of collaboration with allied organizations in pursuit of common goals. Recognizing that partnerships are often the best way to serve our mission, we’ve incorporated collaboration into our strategic plan, which calls for us to work with other occupational and environmental health and safety groups to develop educational resources for targeted audiences and to expand awareness of AIHA… click here to read more.

A Deeper Bond
In the association world, we often talk about the importance of “engagement.” People today have so many demands on their time; an organization like AIHA needs to figure out how to cut through the noise, not only to reach different audiences and attract new members, but to deepen our bond with current members, volunteers, and stakeholders. An engaged individual is one who is likely to find our mission inspiring and our vision worth pursuing. And so we dutifully track the many measures of engagement… click here to read more.


NEW in eLearning: Intermediate Topics in IH Analytical Chemistry
Are you a laboratory chemist or technician who analyzes routine IH air samples? Gain a deeper understanding of the concepts that underlie IH sampling and analysis with AIHA’s new eLearning course: Intermediate Topics in IH Analytical Chemistry.

Webinar: "The Ear Poisons: An Introduction to Ototoxicants" April 30 from 1-2pm ET

This webinar goes beyond hearing loss caused by noise to discuss ototoxicants, ear poisons that enter the worker’s body through inhalation and absorption. We will address the etiologies of hearing loss, be it by exposure through noise or chemicals.

eLibrary Subscription

The AIHA University eLibrary provides online access to 50 of our top publications, including newly released titles. View entire publications or full chapters via our responsive subscription site on your desktop, tablet, or mobile device – perfect for the IH/OEHS student or professional on-the-go!


Become a Safety Data Sheet Registered Professional
Do you write safety data sheets or labels for your company, clients, or customers? Are you responsible for reviewing SDSs to make sure they meet current GHS requirements? If so, you should consider becoming a registered SDS and Label Author through AIHA Registry Programs. You can take the exam, via remote proctoring, from the comfort of your home.


AIHA Local Sections Government Relations Goals
The AIHA Local Sections Government Relations Goals conference call is set for the Thursday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern (12:00 p.m. Central / 11:00 a.m. Mountain / 10:00 a.m. Pacific). To add this event to your calendar, please click the link above and select ‘Download to Your Calendar.’ Please note… you must be logged into Catalyst to access.

AIHA Local Sections Business Meeting
The Local Section Business meeting, a component of AIHce EXP, will be held virtually in mid to late June. This meeting will feature a session with the Local Section Advisory Group, as well as Ted Gerber, a professional with more than 30 years of experience as an executive, consultant, trainer mediator and coach, who will facilitate an interactive session entitled Building Highly Effective Performing Teams. More details will be forthcoming.

Are Your Virtual Meetings Inclusive?
If your local section is considering holding virtual meetings, we wanted to share the ‘Management Tip of the Day’ that was recently featured in the Harvard Business Review. The tip was adapted from 15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered, by Tsedal Neeley.

How is Your Local Section Responding to COVID-19?
Now is the time to share what your local section is doing to address COVID-19. Need inspiration or ideas? Check out the Local Section Officer Catalyst community.

March 2020 Local Section Dues Report
If we have not received an updated officers roster for any local section that has undergone an officers rotation in 2020 (YTD), you will not have access to this report. Please send an updated officers roster to Thursa Pecoraro via email at [email protected].


Spring Semester Coming to an End
With the spring semester coming to a close many of you are probably busy finishing up projects, defending a thesis, and studying for exams. In this post, a student member shares one of her favorite assignments during her my graduate studies.

Mentoring Rated a Top-Priority by Early Career Professionals
Early career professionals (both members and non-members) indicated via a survey, that mentoring was among one of the top four area’s AIHA should focus on to help them manage their career development and growth. The AIHA mentoring program is tailored to customize the mentor/mentee relationship based on your specific needs. Get your mentoring journey started today! Questions? Contact Gouhar Nayeem via email at [email protected].

Student Local Sections Council Meeting
The Student Local Sections Council meeting, a component of AIHce EXP, will be held virtually in mid-to-late June. Student local section officers, or those students thinking about establishing a student section, are invited to attend. More details will be forthcoming.


The 34th Annual AIHF Fun Run Goes Virtual!
The American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) presents the 34th Annual Fun Run Walk in a virtual format taking place June 1- 15 Have fun, get exercise, and support AIHF. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to participate; you can run 5k or walk 2k and know that you’re helping AIHF serve the IH/OH professionals in need. And now you can do it at your convenience. Register by May 10 to get your free commemorative T-shirt before the event (while supplies last) one shirt per household.

New Scholarships Established in 2019
AIHF annually award scholarships to IH/OH students. The AIHF Scholarship Award Committee will be selecting and recommending recipients of this year’s scholarship program to the AIHF Board of Trustees in the coming weeks. A number of new scholarships were established in 2019, including:

President's Leadership Award is the highest scholarship and professional development honor that will be given annually by AIHF. The Award consists of a major scholarship and a professional development opportunity to graduate students who demonstrate scientific, literary, and research acumen in industrial hygiene, environmental and occupational health disciplines. Established by John Henshaw, MPH, CIH, FAIHA.

The Frederick W. Boelter Risk Science Endowed Scholarship is awarded for the advancement of risk science in the practice of industrial hygiene. Established by RHP Risk Management to honor Fred Boelter, CIH, PE, BCEE, FAIHA.

The Gary S. Kephart Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students with a GPA of at least 3.0 in either emergency management and response, health physics, industrial hygiene, occupational health, safety management, or other related program. Established by the AIHA Tennessee Valley Local Section to honor the legacy of Gary Kephart, CIH, CHMM, CHP, CSP.

Sampling and Laboratory Analysis Committee Scholarship is awarded to an Undergraduate or Graduate student studying IH or related disciplines of chemistry and biology as they relate directly to an IH/EHS career path. Established by the AIHA Sampling and Laboratory Analysis Committee.

Make a lasting legacy by investing in the education and professional development of the next generation of leaders and innovators in a profession that works tirelessly to improve workplace health and safety.

To view a complete list of our generous AIHF donors, to learn more about AIHF, scholarship eligibility and applications, or to make an impact on the future of the profession by making a tax-deductible donation online visit:


OSHA Releases Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19
OSHA issued an interim enforcement response plan, which outlines procedures for responding to reports of workplace health and safety hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving priority to fatalities and imminent danger exposures. To view the press release on the response plan, please visit The plan itself can be found at

OSHA Issues Interim Guidance on Employer’s Good Faith Efforts to Comply with Occupational Health and Safety Standards During COVID-19
OSHA issued interim guidance for the enforcement of occupational health and safety standards during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance takes into account employer's good faith efforts to comply with such standards.

AIHA Submits Letter to HHS on CDC Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers and COVID-19
AIHA has asked Alex Azar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to rescind recently issued interim guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19".

AIHA Joins 50+ Organization in Letter to Federal Leaders Calling for COVID-19 Tests to be Made Available to All Employers Operating During Pandemic
While supporting the prioritization of COVID-19 testing for healthcare workers, AIHA and more than 50 other organizations sent a letter to U.S. Vice President Michael Pence and the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, calling for tests to be made available to other employers who are operating during the pandemic.


Proud to Be an IH: Shaping the Future
This article is part of the SynergistNOW series “Proud to Be an IH.” Read the introductory post for more information.

As an undergraduate student studying to attend medical school and then practice pediatric oncology, I learned about the field of industrial hygiene and occupational health through a cooperative educational program with federal OSHA. After attending several rotations in various area field offices, I felt that my education and talent could be better used to help people by… click the link above to read the full article.

Online Community Resource
The Catalyst Open Forum is a member-driven portal featuring a wealth of information and resources. Check out the top discussion threads going on right now!


Protecting Modified Worker Health Biohacking and the Workplace
By Spencer Pizzani, CIH
Advancing technology presents new industrial processes and agents to understand, new controls and materials to characterize, and new topics to master. The same approach applies to adapting evaluation techniques to protect workers who may be unusually vulnerable to certain risks, or who have been modified in a variety of emerging ways.

Chemical Protective Clothing 101: A Primer on Premeation, Penetration, and Degradation
By Norman W. Henry, III, MS, CIH, FAIHA; Curtis Hintz, CIH, CSP; and Robert N. Phalen, PhD, CIH, FAIHA
IHs know the importance of chemical protective clothing, but not always the extent to which CPC materials can resist any of the numerous chemicals present in the workplace, particularly those new to the market. In these circumstances, IHs continually face the problem of how to select appropriate CPC while lacking data on the materials’ chemical resistance.

It’s the Heat—And the Humidity; Critical Factors for Heat Stress Assessment and Prevention
By Robert N. Phalen, PhD, CIH, FAIHA and Catherine L. Besmar
Heat-related illnesses are insidious conditions that can affect almost anyone with little warning, especially since symptoms may affect one’s ability to recognize the danger. All that is needed for the onset of heat stress is for the energy and blood demanded by the muscles to compete with the body’s cooling mechanisms.

AIHA COVID-19 News Center
As industrial hygienists mobilize to address the most severe public health crisis of our lifetimes, Synergist staff remains committed to sharing practical knowledge, guidance, and perspective for IH leaders and respected authorities.

COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: N95 Decomtamination Methods, Elastromeric Respirators Webinar & More
The weekly roundup is a colmunation of information from various sources such as the FDA, NIH, NIOSH, Journal of the American Medical Association, NIEHS, CDC, National Academies, DOL, AAOHN and AFCI.

EPA Seeks Feedback on Draft Scope Documents for 13 “High Priority” Chemicals
EPA seeks public input on draft scope documents for 13 “high-priority” chemicals for upcoming risk evaluations under the Toxic Substances Control Act. These substances are part of a group of 20 chemicals that EPA designated as high-priority for risk evaluation in December 2019.