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.


A day to remember workers who have died due to their jobs


Day of Mourning - April 28

Today, April 28,  is International Workers’ Memorial Day, observed  in the US, the EU and many countries, the National Day of Mourning in Canada, and  World Day for Safety and Health at work, declared  by the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO).  On this day we remember the 2.34 million workers in the world who die every year from work-related causes, and the additional 160 million who get sick from occupational disease.

ILO has focused on workplace stress as the theme for this year’s World Safety and Health Day. You can read more about this theme and link to the ILO’s paper on stress here.

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.

Protesters raise lead paint issue at Sherwin-Williams shareholder meeting

A group of protesters led by San Francisco-based based Occupational Knowledge (OK) International, displayed a banner outside Sherwin-Williams’ annual shareholders meeting in Cleveland on Wednesday. This was part of an ongoing effort to pressure the paint company to do more to control the use of lead in its products.

The group consisted of members of OK International, which aims to reduce workers’ exposure to industrial pollutants in the developing world, and a local non-profit organization, Environmental Health Watch. Protesters said the paint company is poisoning children outside the United States by its continued use of lead in its industrial products and failure to adequately police licensees that make its residential paint in other countries.

Sherwin-Williams claims it does not produce lead-based residential paint for sale anywhere, however its licensees in other countries Continue reading Protesters raise lead paint issue at Sherwin-Williams shareholder meeting

PPG to phase out lead-based paints by 2020

In an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday, it was announced that PPG Industries will phase out lead from all of its paints by 2020.

Michael McGarry, president and chief executive of PPG, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting that PPG’s sustainability committee adopted the new policy to reduce and eventually eliminate lead from its industrial paints. They eliminated lead from their household paints several years ago.

Exposure to lead-based paint is known to cause severe health issues in children and adults including damage to body organs, behavioral problems, and impairments to mental and physical development.

Perry Gottesfeld, executive director of OK International and member of WHWB, asked PPG to stop making and distributing lead paint and presented a petition signed by more than 5,700 people.

The petition was also delivered to Sherwin-Williams, in Cleveland, Ohio. In it, the companies were to eliminate lead compounds from their paints, recall all lead-based paint and dispose of it using environmentally safe methods.

In a report on their web site (www.ppg.com) PPG said it has no plans to develop new products that contain lead and plans to eliminate lead from products that become part of its portfolio through acquisitions. PPG is working to reformulate its industrial paints to meet customer specifications without using lead-containing ingredients.

For more details, go to the original article on the Post-Gazette web site: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2016/04/21/PPG-income-rises-while-sales-remain-flat-pittsburgh/stories/201604210165.

WHWB-UK Meeting at BOHS Conference in Glasgow on April 26‏

Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB)-UK will meet at the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) conference at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 17:30 local UK time. Current members of WHWB-UK, as well as those interested in learning more about WHWB are invited to join this meeting.

The objectives of the meeting will be to:
– formally establish a UK branch of WHWB as a UK-based charity
– adopt a constitution for the branch
– elect 5 trustees
– discuss future activities

If you are not yet a member and want to join WHWB, please download and send in the WHWB membership form .

For more information, please email Dorothy Cook at dorothyjcook12@hotmail.com

Thanks – we look forward to seeing you in Glasgow.

Mary O’Reilly receives Alice Hamilton Award

Dr Alice Hamilton

Dr Alice Hamilton

AIHA has announced that Mary O’Reilly, PhD, CIH, CPE a founding member and current member of the WHWB Board of Directors, has been honored as the 2016 recipient of the Alice Hamilton award. This award is named for Dr. Alice Hamilton (1869 – 1970), a pioneering researcher and occupational physician.

The Alice Hamilton Award is presented by AIHA to a woman who has made a definitive and lasting achievement in the field of occupational and environmental hygiene through public and community service, social reform, technological innovation or advancements in the scientific approach to the recognition, evaluation, and control of workplace hazards.

In addition to her contributions on a number of WHWB committees, Mary has been instrumental in the formation of an American Branch of WHWB. WHWB is proud to have Mary as a member and grateful for her efforts to promote global occupational health.

The award will be presented at the second annual Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast at AIHce 2016 on Wednesday May 25, 2016.