Workplace Health Without Borders- US
(Dedicated to ensuring healthy working conditions for workers everywhere)
1100 N. Main St, Suite 001 Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Tel: 734 998-0160
18 January 2017
Board of Directors
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
3141 Fairview Park Dr., Suite 777
Falls Church, VA 22042
Dear AIHA Board of Directors:
WHWB-US Board of Directors would like to encourage you to support the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology commentary calling for the global control of lead exposure to eliminate lead poisoning. The AIHA has championed occupational control of lead exposure in the US since its inception.
The AIHA 2016 position statement clearly states that, unless otherwise noted, AIHA “ will not take a position to support a ban on the manufacture, sale, import, export or use of any product.” The Board of Directors of WHWB-US support AIHA’s position on this difficult matter but would like to remind the AIHA Board of Directors on what the profession entails - “Industrial hygienist anticipate health and safety concerns and design solutions to prevent them,” of which the hierarchy of controls is the basic tenet of the profession.
One of the steps in the ISEE call for action does ask all governments, not AIHA, to ban the manufacture, export and import of four products that often contain lead: fuel, paint (coatings), plumbing fixtures and plastics. Understanding that actions of this type are governed by many agreed upon rules and regulations such as trade treaties which are overseen by the World Trade Organization and other groups, it would be imprudent for governments to act unilaterally in this regard. Nonetheless, if all governments banned the manufacture, import and export of lead in fuel, paints, plumbing and pipes it would go a long way towards reducing lead exposure globally. The ISEE call for action also includes 12 other ways that lead exposure can be reduced and/or eliminated which do not intersect with commercial interests.
The global and domestic concerns related to occupational and environmental lead exposures, and the risk associated with those exposures, are becoming more evident. With the widespread use of social media, public outrage over issues related to lead exposure is a key driver for the elimination of lead poisoning.
As the AIHA considers how to protect workers in this changing world, please supportthe International Society of Environmental Epidemiology’scall to action for the global control of lead exposure to eliminate lead poisoning. As the preeminent professional association devoted to protect worker health, partnering with the ISSE and other stakeholders to eliminate lead poisoning will further increase both AIHA’s recognition and leverage here and abroad.
Thank-you so much for your leadership and continuing inspiration!
WHWB-US Board of Directors