Certified Industrial Hygienists Offer Assistance Following Northern California Earthquake
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) supports the efforts of industrial hygiene professionals helping in the wake of recent earthquake damage.
Following an earthquake or almost any natural disaster, CIHs can bring their special expertise to the general public, businesses, institutions and government agencies.
Last month, the strongest earthquake to hit Northern California in a quarter of a century left the Napa region with extensive damage and injured more than 200 people. Homes and businesses suffered damages as power, water and gas services were lost for thousands of people. The earthquake measured 6.0 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was recorded just 6 miles southwest of the town.
News broadcasts of properties burning, collapsed walls and structurally damaged homes and businesses showed the severity of the situation to the nation. Last week, the Chicago Tribune published a story that estimated total insured losses from the earthquake at $500 million to $1 billion and much higher uninsured losses.
Some area residents have already begun the process of rebuilding their homes, businesses and community. Many have been advised to be aware of a number of potential health and safety hazards that may be present in damaged structures. These issues range from lead and asbestos hazards in some older buildings to mold growth and microbial contamination from broken pipes and sewer lines. Altered work environments and industrial processes in damaged facilities could also lead to potential hazards not recognized before the earthquake.
Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) are able to help with these issues and many more because of their comprehensive knowledge base of so many of the issues people in the area now face. Those industrial hygiene professionals who have earned the CIH® designation are uniquely qualified to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control health hazards, both seen and unseen. A number of CIHs already live and work in the vicinity of the impacted area or are able to travel to the region to help residents, workers and communities safely rebuild and get back to business.
“Following an earthquake or almost any natural disaster, CIHs can bring their special expertise to the general public, businesses, institutions and government agencies,” reported Tracy Parsons, CIH, Administrative Program Manager at ABIH. “They offer crucial support in managing the risks associated with rebuilding and their knowledge of air sampling, chemical and biohazards, community exposure, health risk analysis and work environments are all critical skills following a powerful earthquake. Companies and people in need of contacting a CIH can easily locate them using a Roster search on the ABIH website.”
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, the accredited CIH program or to locate a CIH in a specific geographical region, please visit www.ABIH.org, email abih@ABIH.org or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene
Since 1960, ABIH, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world’s largest, premier organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH is responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6700 people are certified to use the CIH designation.
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