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.

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