Environmental science

Course Textbook APA Citation:

Plog, B. A., & Quinlan, P. (2012). Fundamentals of industrial hygiene (6th ed.). Itasca, IL: National Safety Council.



Discussion Board.

In today’s world of information overload and the ability to find “anything” on the World Wide Web, workers and bosses alike have a perception that industrial hygienists can sample for anything.  I (the professor) think that this misperception is fostered by television shows like CSI, NCIS, and many others.  Laypeople have come to believe that we have the technology to do anything and get instantaneous results.  In addition, they are reading all kinds of information about how TOXIC Chemicals are killing us (There is a lot of very bad information on the internet).  As a health and safety professional, we are dealing more with a chemophobic workforce.

In May of 2013, I (the professor) participated in an Ignite session at the AIHce in Montreal.  This is a “face-paced” presentation format designed to enlighten the audience “quickly.”  Each presenter had a 20 slide PowerPoint presentation that auto advances every 15-seconds.  It was very fun to do.  My presentation addressed this misperception.  Take a look at the presentation:



Extra Video relating to Unit 7 by instructor:


Based on my (the professor) video, assume that you are the health & safety professional at a facility and some maintenance personnel are using lubricating oil on door hinges within the facility.  Workers are complaining of headache and nausea and think it is from the oil.  You talk to the maintenance supervisor and find out that the mechanics had a 6 oz can of WD-40.  The task of oiling the hinges takes about 10 – 15 minutes; however, workers insist that they can “smell something sweet” that is making them sick and insist that you come out and do air monitoring and tell them if it is safe to be in the building.  From an IH technology standpoint, there is no technology that exist that can sample for an oil mist or vapor at the incredibly low level that might exist following the oiling of a few hinges in this workplace.


Discuss how you might address this situation and communicate with the employees and facility management.

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