Please help the people of Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico. Two weeks after the storm made landfall, the vast majority of Puerto Rico still lacks power, and most households don’t have running water. Residents are desperately in need of help during the recovery period.

Deborah Nelson, President of AIHA has issued a letter asking all AIHA members to do what they can to help. Her request follows:

Dear AIHA Member,

Over the last few weeks I’ve been keeping you informed about our efforts to help those affected by the recent natural disasters. Today I am calling on you directly to help the people of Puerto Rico, who will be facing infectious diseases and other hazards in the coming months.

I received an email from Professor Sergio Caporali Filho, Ph.D., CSP, CIH, the coordinator of the Industrial Hygiene Program at the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health. The full-time faculty and volunteer graduate students from the program want to provide their communities with the knowledge to protect themselves from injury and illness during the recovery process. However, to do so they will need protective gear. So I ask all of you, if you can, to please send one or more of the items listed on our Disaster Response Resource Center.

Each donor will receive acknowledgment of their donation’s arrival, including a general description of contents, within one week. When donated goods are delivered to communities, donors will be informed of what was donated and to whom. The program is not asking for, nor will it accept any monetary donations.

The IH community in Puerto Rico is seeking our help, and as I said in my last letter, our individual contributions may be small, but together, we can make a difference. Will you answer the call?

Please feel free to donate directly to support this urgent cause; however, if you have any questions, please email Professor Caporali. Please note, there may be a delay in his response due to the challenges in internet coverage.


Deborah Imel Nelson
AIHA President (2017-2018)

Note: Professor Caporali’s email is:

Requested supplies include:

  • Heavy duty gloves, all sizes
  • Latex and non-latex gloves, all sizes
  • Health care gowns, such as those normally worn by nurses and nurses’ aides
  • Full-face and half-face respirators, all sizes
  • Particulate filters, N95, as well as organic vapor, acid, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia cartridges
  • Filtering face pieces, dust masks
  • Safety shoes, sizes 8 through 14
  • Rubber boots, sizes 8 through 14
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shields, both clear plastic and metal or plastic mesh
  • Hearing protection, ear muffs
  • Hard hats
  • High-visibility clothing
  • Working pants and long-sleeve shirts
  • Portable water filtration systems
  • Tarps to protect from sunlight

Although Dr. Nelson’s appeal was directed to AIHA members, there may be WHWB members who are not members of AIHA who are in a position to help. All interested parties can send packages or pallets of donated goods to the following address (please include donor´s identification):

Industrial Hygiene Program
University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus
Main Building, 4th Floor
Office B-410
San Juan, PR 00936-5067
Att: Sergio Augusto Caporali Filho

Each donor will receive acknowledgment of their donation, including a general description of contents, within one week.  When donated goods are delivered to communities, donors will be informed of what was donated and to whom.

Low-Resource Contaminant Controls: A Student Development Challenge!

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Hazard Prevention and Engineering Controls Committee (HPECC),  Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB) and WHWB-US are co-sponsoring a workplace contaminant controls development challenge directed to students to promote worker health and safety in developing countries.

For this inaugural challenge, the focus is on silica exposures arising from work with agate. Agate stones have been shaped and polished into beads and other decorative items for thousands of years. The shaping and polishing of agate generates a fine crystalline silica dust when shaped and polished. People typically perform these jobs in workshops in their homes, a practice which has resulted in high incidences of silicosis among these workers, their families, and their neighbors.

Occupational health activists have tried to find effective strategies to confront this problem, with only limited success; huge challenges remain.

More details on this challenge are available as a downloadable PDF file at this link.

Mozambique OHS Training To Be Offered Funded By Underwriter’s Laboratories

WHWB-US has been funded through a grant provided by Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) in conjunction with WHWB International and Eduardo Mondlane University’s (UEM),Center for Industrial Studies, Safety and Environment (CEISA),  to deliver train-the-trainer OHS capacity building for UEM faculty and staff responsible for OHS. The curriculum will include a general overview of OHS, OHS Management, Safety Hazards, Occupational Health and Hygiene, Program Implementation, and Training Techniques. The train-the-trainer course will be held in at UEM in early 2018 with instructors from WHWB-US and WHWB International.  CEISA will provide the classroom infrastructure, translation and printing of training materials.

WHWB-US and WHWB International would like to thank their members who participated in the writing and submission of the grant to UL. We would like to especially thank our member Rita Galvin of UL and Brittany Wright, Corporate Citizenship/Giving Specialist UL for their assistance during the grant submission process.

WHO Offers New Free Online Courses for Frontline Responders

The World Health Organization has started a free online course platform aimed at responders to disease outbreaks and health emergencies.

OpenWHO is WHO’s new interactive, web-based, knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve responses to health emergencies. OpenWHO enables the Organization and its partners to quickly transfer life-saving knowledge to large numbers of frontline responders to environmental health emergencies.These are video courses on epidemics, pandemics and health emergencies. The courses are free and accessible to anyone wishing to register.

These courses can be found at the projects web site There is a video on the front page of the site describing the aims of the project and a list of courses that are available now. All of our members should visit this site.

OpenWHO’s aim is to transform complex scientific knowledge into easy-to-understand introductory video lessons, using as small a bandwidth as possible so that people in any country can access them. Offline versions of the courses are available for IOS and Android devices. These versions allow sharing of the course materials with persons who do not have Internet access.

A permanent link to has been added to the Links list at the bottom of the right hand column of this site to allow easy future access.

Introduction to Analytical Chemistry for Hygienists

Unless you entered occupational hygiene from a background in chemistry, analytical chemistry is probably not a hygiene rubric that you are strong in. If you have always wished that you knew more analytical chemistry as it applies to occupational hygiene, you may be interested in a new eLearning course being offered by AIHA. If you are a CIH in need of CE or CM credits this is a way to earn them while improving your understanding of this important facet of occupational hygiene. Full details of this ecourse are available at:

OHS Initiative for Workers and Community in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Garrett Brown has shared a third update on the OHS Initiative for Workers and Community in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  The project is well underway with the hiring of the four staff members and the launch of start-up activities.

The key activity this spring has been work on developing an effective and accessible curriculum, materials and lesson plans for the “train-the-trainer” (ToT) program to be conducted with the experienced worker educators designated by the Initiative’s six member organizations.  An Expert Committee of local and international occupational health and safety professionals to assist the Training Manager was formed and has met in April and May.

The first class of 25-30 participants in the ToT program will be recruited in June, and the courses are tentatively scheduled to begin in July. Continue reading OHS Initiative for Workers and Community in Dhaka, Bangladesh