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Occupational Health and Safety Concerns Associated with Legal Marijuana Grow Operations

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to protect employees from occupational hazards.


Lansing, MI – WEBWIRE

Workers from this growing industry have a right to a safe work environment and Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) are uniquely qualified to help protect these employees.

Although the use, possession, sale, cultivation and transportation of marijuana is illegal under federal law, over half of all states have now either legalized marijuana in one form or another or have decriminalized the possession of small amounts. These changes in state laws have led to the creation of commercial marijuana grow operations (MGOs) and extraction facilities in many states throughout the country. 
 
Today, this rapidly developing industry employees thousands of workers. If growth rates continue as predicted by many business professionals, the industry will likely employee hundreds of thousands of people in just a few years.
 
“MGOs and extraction facilities have the potential to expose workers to some unique health and safety issues,” said David Roskelley, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “For example, the concentrated use of UV lights at indoor grow facilities necessitates the use of eye and skin protection for workers. Exposure to mold, pollen, pesticides, fertilizers, insect fragments, dust and other allergens and particulate matter are all respiratory concerns. Decreased ventilation rates and the intentional introduction of carbon dioxide to enhance plant growth can also lead to increased levels of airborne pollutants. The use of solvents at extraction facilities poses yet additional respiratory concerns.”
 
Workers from this growing industry have a right to a safe work environment and Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) are uniquely qualified to help protect these employees. Their services also help to keep companies in regulatory compliance with existing occupational health and safety regulations. CIHs are trained in risks assessments; air sampling and instrumentational analysis; chemical and biohazards; engineering controls and ventilation; health risk analysis and hazard communication; and work environments and industrial processes. This knowledge, and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), can be instrumental in reducing potential exposure risks.
 
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, 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 organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement.  Currently, more than 6900 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® credential.
 


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 ABIH
 CIH
 Industrial Hygiene
 EHS
 Occupational Health


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