WHWB Forum

Cutting core samplesWelcome to the Workplace Health Without Borders Forum. This is where we  post news items and discuss WHWB projects and issues of importance to the international occupational hygiene community.

For example, you will see below a post from Marianne where she describes our first crowdfunding campaign to fund a workshop in India in partnership with  Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP) to educate employers, workers, government and public health staff about the health hazards associated with exposure to silica.

We continue to look for mentors and people seeking mentors through our Mentor program, matching experienced occupational hygienists with new entrants to the occupational hygiene field. We continue to work on a training module on the hazards of silica exposure and their control. This will be contributed to the collection of modular occupational hygiene training materials produced by OHTA and available at the www.ohlearning.com website.

If you are registered with WHWB, please login using the Login link at upper right to post your ideas and comments on the forum. Comments and new posts will normally appear here within 24 hours of submission. If you are not registered, but wish to do so, just send an email to the webmaster at: webmaster@whwb.org. If you have difficulties with any part of the web site, please contact the webmaster.

Setting up Asbestos Analysis Lab in Mongolia

WHWB has received a request from Mongolia for advice and assistance in setting up an asbestos analysis laboratory. If any of our members are interested in volunteering to provide advice and assistance with this subject they are encouraged to contact Chuck Pilger at c.pilger@whwb.org.

NTP symposium on assessing exposures and health effects related to indoor biomass fuel burning

Cooking Tortillas in Guatamala

Cooking tortillas in Guatamala

NTP is offering a free one-day symposium on August 18, 2014, on exposures and health effects related to indoor biomass fuel burning. The symposium will be presented live at NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC and also online as a webcast, August 18, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST.

Details and a link to a registration form can be found at:

The burning of solid fuels (e.g., wood, charcoal, dung) for cooking and heat results in significant global health problems. Over 4 million premature deaths per year can be attributed to indoor air pollution from inefficient combustion of solid fuels.  Addressing this widespread public health challenge requires a determined cross-disciplinary effort involving exposure scientists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, engineers, and public policy experts. This free symposium will bring together researchers working in the area of indoor biomass fuel burning emissions and health effects to discuss the latest science, policy, and future directions. The symposium should be of interest to all health professionals, particularly those with an interest in environmental health in the developing world.

We encourage all of our members who can do so, to register for this important environmental health symposium.

Buy Quiet!

NIOSH has launched a “Buy Quiet” website that encourages industry to specify low noise emissions when purchasing tools and machinery. This initiative also provides information on equipment noise levels and encourages manufacturers to design quieter equipment. As the site points out, noise-induced hearing loss can’t be reversed, but it is 100% preventable. NIOSH recommends that workers should not be exposed to noise at a level that results in the equivalent steady state noise level of more than 85 decibels (dBA) for 8 hours. Buy Quiet strategies can help employers to ensure their employees have noise exposures below this recommended exposure level for noise. View the Buy Quiet website here.

Calculating the cost of work-related stress and psychosocial risks

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work have just released a report – Calculating the cost of work-related stress and psychosocial risks, that summarizes the results of recent studies on the problem of workplace stress and its negative impact on workplace and societal health.

Work-related stress represents an expensive workplace hazard for workers, employers and society at large . Taking action to reduce stress and the attendant psychosocial risks is frequently viewed as being too costly, but in fact ignoring them is far more expensive for everyone. Stress affects performance and leads to absence from work. Prolonged stress may produce serious health problems including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases. This report summarises studies that have looked at calculating the costs of work-related stress and psychosocial risks. For individuals these costs are related to health impairment, lower income and reduced quality of life. Employers are affected by costs related to absenteeism, presenteeism, reduced productivity and higher staff turnover. Health care costs and poorer business outcomes ultimately affect national economies and society.

The report can be downloaded here. We encourage all occupational health practitioners to download and read this important document.

AIHce2014 – Lauréat du concours du Comité d’Enjeux Sociaux (AIHce2014 SCC poster winner)

*Traduction libre. En cas de discordance, la version en anglais prévaut. Diffusion autorisée par l’auteure*

Facteurs de risque et symptômes des troubles musculo-squelettiques professionnels chez les coiffeuses (tresseuses) Africaines

O Sy and M L. Phillips, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, OK

 Introduction: Les tresseuses Africaines sont potentiellement sujettes aux troubles musculo‑squelettiques professionnels (TMS) puisqu’elles effectuent des mouvements manuels répétitifs et demeurent dans des positions inhabituelles pendant plusieurs heures. La présente étude caractérise les facteurs de risque potentiels des TMS chez Continue reading AIHce2014 – Lauréat du concours du Comité d’Enjeux Sociaux (AIHce2014 SCC poster winner)

Please support our first crowdfunding campaign – a workshop to prevent silica exposure in India

We’re now more than half way to our goal — your contribution of any amount will help us get there. And your donation will have double the impact through our matching funds program. You can donate through the buttons on the side bar or at our crowdfunding site.   Read more in our previous post.