The AIHA Mentoring and Professional Development Committee (MPDC) is Looking for Mentors!

The MPDC is making looking for mentors for students.  An immediate need is for the UT-Houston School of Public Health, who just started up a new AIHA Student Local Section.  If you are able to mentor please send an email to:  aiha.southregion.mentor@gmail.com or mentor@aiha.org

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American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) Awards $167,200 in Scholarships!

“The mission of the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) is to advance the profession by awarding scholarships for students in industrial hygiene and related disciplines.

In 2015, AIHF will award $167,200 in total scholarships to 42 students; scholarships range from $1,600 to $7,800. Of the 42 students receiving a scholarship, 32 registered to AIHce this year.

Since 1982, AIHF has distributed $1,784, 926 to 591 students studying industrial hygiene and related disciplines at 54 different schools and universities. These scholarships have enabled talented students to complete their education and have encouraged the most promising scholars to enter or remain in the industrial hygiene profession.”

– AIHA Quick Takes AIHce 2015

Mentoring Corner: Discussion Topic – Ethics

Pick out an ethical dilemma at work that the mentee recently had to deal with (preferably of a technical nature).  What was the situation, how did they deal with it, and what was the outcome. Which philosophical approach did they take, if any?  Consequentialism, Deontology (rights-based), or Applied Virtue Ethics.

Supplemental questions to consider:  How do you define ethics?  Are there codes of conduct for my profession that I have to follow?  How will/do you FEEL about your decision?

If the mentoring pair needs guidance in applying the three major philosophical approaches to Ethical Decision-Making or for any other reason, please contact the Joint Industrial Hygiene Ethics Education Committee (JIHEEC).  A committee representative can help guide the discussion as necessary.  One note of caution:  The JIHEEC is careful to avoid offering “prescriptive”  solutions or advice other than in general terms.  For example, JIHEEC Committee Members try to offer thought provoking scenarios but not provide specific guidance.  They welcome the opportunity to provide educational assistance, but are very careful to not render “judgments”.

The AIHA publication, “Ethics for the Safety and Health Professional:  Approaches and Case Studies” is an excellent resource that can be used to facilitate this topic.

If the mentee doesn’t have an ethical dilemma at work or prefers not to discuss specific ethical decisions they are currently faced with at work, here is a sample case study the mentoring pair can analyze instead.  If the mentoring pair has access to the publication mentioned above, they can choose to discuss any of the case studies mentioned in that book.

Case Study: An industrial hygienist working in a foreign country is using sampling and analysis methods which are legal for the country but not consistent with best practices.*

Lorne, an industrial hygienist working in Shanghai, is tasked with determining worker exposures to naphthalene by determining airborne concentrations of naphthalene vapor.  He ignores the fact that naphthalene may also be airborne as dust.  According to good industrial hygiene practices, he should have measured particulate naphthalene as well.  However, the results from measuring only the vapor phase are acceptable to the local authority because it is the “legal” specified method for measuring naphthalene in China.  Lorne is utilizing a Chinese industrial hygiene laboratory to analyze the samples.

Dilemma: Is Lorne doing the right thing in reporting only vapor-phase naphthalene?  What obligation does Lorne have to go above and beyond a host country’s legal requirements for sampling and analysis for this analyte?

*Source:  “Ethics for the Safety and Health Professional:  Approaches and Case Studies”

The Three Magical Letters: C.I.H.

By Kerry Schmid

A Certified Industrial Hygienist; that is what many students and young professionals strive to achieve. Spring Exam season is quickly approaching and you might be similar to me; I am sitting for my CIH Exam. The communications team has put together an issue with a CIH Exam focus. Last year at the AIHce, I was inspired by Paula Steven’s CIH Boot Camp – 30 days to a Better Score which was a part of the Perspectives on Preparation for the CIH Exam Roundtable. To all the test takers this spring, the past and the future enjoy the article on Paula’s boot camp and the information packed article on the Perspectives on Preparation for the CIH Exam!

Tech Corner: The Industrious Hygienist Blog

By Michelle Coutu

While blogging about her adventures and observations in the consulting world, Morgan Bliss takes the time to inject creativity and humor into her work. Frequently she uses manga, a Japanese cartoon style, to illustrate herself as “The Industrious Hygienist,” tackling current issues and obstacles. Her most recent posts include a series of holiday-themed manga that address workplace grievances in Santa’s Workshop and a “Sock Puppet Safety” feature on proper PPE donning and doffing procedures for Ebola Virus Disease infection prevention. Check out her work at:

http://industrious-hygienist.blogspot.com/ We got a chance to catch up with Morgan, and ask her some questions:

Why did you start your blog?Industrious hygienist_never too busy for safety

“I started my blog as a way to share my experiences, useful resources, funny (redacted) stories, and manga with a wider audience. Most of my early drawings were a “client appreciation” activity, where we would have a particularly trying or frustrating experience on a project, and I would make a manga about it to help bring the humor back into the relationship.”

How has the online community responded to your creative depiction of the profession?

The online community seems…bemused. Some of them feel that safety and industrial hygiene should be a very serious thing, while others beg to use my posts and drawings in their EHS training to lighten things up and keep the workers’ interest. Fans of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, where my character stylings are borrowed from, find the adventures entertaining.”

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in the field of environmental, health, and safety?

Network, network, network. Go to society (ASSE, AIHA, EIA, etc.) meetings in your area whenever possible. Attend every free or cheap educational event you can – there’s always a chance you’ll meet a potential client or company to partner with. Don’t assume your employer (future or current) will help you with your career growth. You’ll have to do that yourself. Seek out training and certifications in areas that challenge you. Learn to be a generalist before you become a specialist, otherwise you might find yourself pigeon-holed into a specialty you don’t particularly enjoy. Don’t be afraid to be your complete self – it takes a special kind of crazy to be successful in safety and industrial hygiene.” industrious hygienist_panel 1

SECP Liaison Sessions

By Jennifer Sheffer and Carter Ficklen

With so many opportunities to volunteer, deciding which group to join can be overwhelming for new AIHA members. During 2014 and carrying into 2015, the SECP integrated overviews from various committee members, which has been very well received by the SECP members. More specifically, the high impact overviews have provided SECP members with various committee’s objective, duties, and chance to ask questions. SECP members are better informed to make a decision to volunteer, and they have an overall improved understanding of the many committees.

SECP members have had the opportunity to hear from the following committees:

Respiratory Protection Committee  Steve Graham

Management Committee – Scott Larson

Real Time Detection Committee – Terri Pearce

Career and Employment Services – Richard Prodans

International Affairs Committee – Richard Hirsh

Noise Committee – Carl Johnson

Consulting Committee – Alden Strealy

Publications Committee – Corey Wooland

Nanotechnology Working Group (NTWG) – Jennifer Dimitri and Chuck Geraci

If you have any questions or wondering how you can get involved, contact Christina Elish at celish39@gmail.com