WHWB Forum

Welcome to the Workplace Health Without Borders Forum.

This is where all WHWB members are invited to  post news items related to WHWB projects and issues important to the international occupational hygiene community. In addition to this website, we communicate with one another through a monthly teleconference, using Calliflower, a web-conferencing application. To learn how to connect to the teleconference, go to this page.

If you have subscribed to the WHWB web site, please login using the Login link at upper right to post your ideas and comments on the forum. If you have not subscribed, but wish to do so, read this then send an email to the webmaster at: webmaster@whwb.org. If you have comments or questions, please contact the webmaster.


WHWB member seeks assistance to attend 7th Model ASEM conference

Battsetseg1Battsetseg Ulziikhuu, a young occupational hygienist and long-time member of WHWB is asking for assistance to fund her expenses to travel to the 7th Model ASEM conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Battsetseg, who lives in Vancouver, but is a native of Mongolia, has started a crowdfunding effort in order to raise $2500 to assist with her travel expenses.

The 7th Model ASEM is a 3-day youth conference and political simulation of the actual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit. It is a platform for political debate and negotiation where over 150 participants from the 51 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries have the possibility to experience Asia-Europe diplomacy through role-play exercises, practical training as well as meetings with the ASEM Leaders of today. Through role-play, research, case-studies and practical training students will enhance their diplomacy, negotiation, consensus-building and public-speaking skills.

Battsetseg has been accepted by the Asia-Europe Foundation as a delegate to the 7th model ASEM meeting, a youth conference held conjunction with the Asia-Europe 11th meeting. There were 4000 applicants to be delegates to the 7th model conference and Battsetseg has been selected to represent Mongolia.

Details of the work of the Asia-Europe Foundation can be found on their web site here: http://asef.org/ and more details on the 7th Model ASEM conference can be found here:

Please consider helping Battsetseg fund her travel to this conference. You can find her funding appeal at this link: https://www.crowdrise.com/7th-model-asem-delegate

New NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (5th Ed.)

NMAMNIOSH has just released an updated version of the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods. NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, surfaces, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed. These methods have been developed or adapted by NIOSH or its partners and have been evaluated according to established experimental protocols and performance criteria. NMAM also includes chapters on quality assurance, sampling, portable instrumentation, etc. At ALARA we make extensive use of the NMAM when planning field work and also find the “chapters” to contain invaluable background information.

If you are interested in occupational hygiene air sampling, you may want to browse the new edition. It can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nmam/

South African miners win right to pursue class action case

Thousands of mineworkers who contracted silicosis and tuberculosis while working on South Africa’s gold mines are finally able to pursue a class action suit for damages.

Judge Phineas Mojapelo ruled in the South Gauteng High Court that class action was the only realistic way that the miners could effectively pursue damages claims against the 32 gold companies.

Judge Mojapelo also said that the dependents of miners should be included in the case.

Applicants in the case, Bongani Nkala and 55 others, have waited for four years simply to hear whether they will be allowed to pursue the case against 32 mining companies.

The companies include Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo American.

For the complete story, please follow this link: https://www.health-e.org.za/2016/05/13/22136/

Canada ‘moving forward’ on asbestos ban

According to CBC Ottawa, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has made the federal government’s first commitment to move forward with a plan to ban asbestos. In an article published early today on the CBC website, they quoted Trudeau as saying:

“We’ve actually made the commitment that we are moving forward on a ban … here in Canada,” said Trudeau in response to a question from a trade union leader. “We know that its impact on workers far outweighs any benefits that it might provide.”

Canada continues to import construction products and automotive parts that contain asbestos, but no longer exports asbestos.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the government is currently reviewing its strategy on asbestos and may implement a complete ban.

For the complete article, please follow this link:

Eliminating extraneous noise on Calliflower calls

If you are like me you have frequently been annoyed by extraneous noise during our Calliflower conference calls. Periodically, Calliflower sends out a brief email to remind people how to avoid these interruptions. I have based this note on the Calliflower email, with a few modifications and suggestions of my own.

The vast majority of audio issues on conference calls can be completely avoided if call participants recognize their individual responsibilities for call quality. Follow these suggestions to avoid contributing to echo, static, background noise and unwanted interruptions on our calls. Continue reading Eliminating extraneous noise on Calliflower calls

Sign petition telling Sherwyn Williams and Valspar to stop making lead paint

As explained in our previous post, OK International has successfully campaigned to get PPG to stop making lead paint.  It is continuing its campaign to get other manufacturers to remove lead from paint.  You can help by signing this petition.