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Summer 2018

President's Message - Kyle Vogel

When I joined the AIHA-RMS 4 years ago I was amazed by about how engaged our local section was with the industrial hygiene profession.  This could not be more true today, evident in our members involvement with AIHce 2018 in Philadelphia.  During the conference, Bradley King, Jeff Citrone, Evgeny Andronov, Brian Carnduff, and Mwangi Ndonga led a new professional development course on upstream oil and gas exposures.  Additionally, Bradley King and Roberta Smith led an educational session on worker safety and health concerns in the emerging cannabis industry while Robert Strode and Daniel Hall presented on air dispersion modeling for industrial hygienists. Perhaps the most visible member of our local section at the conference was Deborah Nelson who served as president of AIHA for the last year, culminating in her hosting role at AIHce.  On behalf of the entire local section, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Deborah for all the time and effort she has dedicated to our organization, especially during her tenure as president.

Numerous local section members were also recognized for their work in the field.  Eric Esswein was named an AIHA Fellow, a designation that was awarded to less than 10 of the 22 professionals that were nominated.  Roberta Smith was awarded the 2017 Critics Choice Award for her contribution to the AIHA publication “Guidelines for the Selection and use of Environmental Disinfectants in Healthcare”.  Finally, the AIHA Infection Control Subcommittee, whose team includes our local section members Cynthia Elwood, Rob Strode, and Roberta Smith, was awarded Outstanding Project Team.  And this is just a sample of our members’ involvement in this year’s conference!

We have benefited from great leaders, volunteers, and members in the past, and as we move forward to the future, our board strives to continue growing our local section and improving the benefits we offer members.  Our new monthly email to members, currently titled The STEL, is a great resource for discovering learning opportunities, social events, and other activities in our community.  We have some exciting PDCs, lunch and learns, and technical tours coming up in the second half of 2018, not to mention our annual Fall Technical Conference, which will take place on September 11th and 12th.  For those of us who cannot travel away from the office during workdays, the 2018 AIHA eLearning Subscription, which is available at no cost to AIHA-RMS members, is a great way to stay current on topics and issues in the profession while also earning CEUs.

One endeavor our board recently embarked on was exploring the option of refreshing the AIHA-RMS logo.  Our current logo, which was created by a local section member, is a wonderful symbol for our organization, one that many of us have grown very fond of.  So why explore the idea of a new logo?  There are a couple of reasons, the first of which has to do with shape versatility.  In this modern day and age, it is helpful to have a logo that fits dimensions of platforms that we advertise our local section on (Facebook, LinkedIn, PowerPoint, the AIHA-RMS website, etc.).  Our current logo is available in a limited set of aspect ratios, which causes it to appear distorted on some websites and marketing materials.  The second reason has to do with remaining fresh and relevant.  Color and font trends change, styles evolve, and there is an opportunity to update our logo accordingly.  We recently used the website UpWork to recruit and pay a graphic designer $75.00 to create two mock logos for the AIHA-RMS.  A poll is now open via email for active members to view and vote on which logo they would like to keep as the AIHA-RMS logo.  If you are an active member and did not receive a link to the poll, please contact me. I encourage all of you to cast your ballot in favor of the design that you believe will represent the AIHA-RMS best going forward, be it one of the two new designs or our current logo.  Thank you and have a safe summer!

Fall Technical Conference
Save the Date: September 11-12 at the Arvada Center for Performing Arts

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION! The abstract submission form is now live! The deadline to submit an abstract to present at the conference is Tuesday June 26th. Speakers that are selected can attend the conference free of charge on the day that they are presenting.
Many of you have information that would make for a great presentation – we’d love to hear from you!!!
  • Case study using a problem-solving approach in a specific situation, perhaps related to a new methodology or equipment
  • Scientific research – understanding mechanisms of physical, chemical or biological agents; data review and analysis
  • Professional practice topics
An example abstract is posted online for your reference. Presentations have typically been 35-40 minutes.
Member's Corner
AIHA-RMS is bringing back the "Member's Corner" portion of the newsletter. Going forward, a member will be randomly selected and emailed a few questions; be on the lookout in August in case you're our next selected member! This newsletter we are starting with Eric Esswein who was selected as an AIHA Fellow. 

Eric J. Esswein, MSPH, CIH, FAIHA
Q: How were you introduced to the field of industrial hygiene?    

A: My supervisor at my first job following undergraduate school was a CIH.  The City of Seattle hired me to rank and classify hundreds of MSDS’s based on chemical and physical factors that might lead to worker exposures.  I knew little about the principles of workplace health and safety or IH; my degree was in environmental health/toxicology.  My supervisor contracted out all IH work to a small consulting company but she let accompany the owner of the company on some studies.  Exposure assessment techniques and controls implementation interested me.  The owner of the IH Company invited me to dinner.  After our meal and with no fanfare, he handed me a stack of business cards. The cards were imprinted with his company logo, but also with my name and Industrial Hygienist as the job title.  I worked for the Company long enough to understand I needed formal education and training in IH.  I applied and was accepted to the graduate program in IH at the University of Utah, Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.

Q: Tell us about a time you feel you feel you made a significant impact to improve workplace health and safety conditions?  

A: I see the 4 horsemen of the occupational health apocalypse as: asbestos, benzene, silica and lead.  Silica and lead alone have caused uncountable occupational disease and death since the times of Greeks and Romans and we’re still dealing with worker exposures to each of these four toxicants today.  While at NIOSH I had the opportunity to conceive and invent technology that detects and decontaminates skin and surfaces from lead. Two NIOSH co-inventors and I developed a lead detection and decontamination technology that was commercialized and is sold nationally and internationally. I feel our work has made a difference preventing lead exposure and poisoning.  I was also part of a team of NIOSH researchers that identified previously unknown risks for silica and benzene exposures to oil and gas extraction workers during drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations.  I believe our research improved risk awareness for silica and benzene exposure risks and facilitated implementation of controls to mitigate exposures and prevented worker exposures to some very serious health hazards.

Q: What was the most gratifying moment/time/project in your career so far?   

A: Various emergency response operations including the World Trade Center, NYC, and anthrax attack on the U.S. Capitol, deploying to Taiwan during the SARS pandemic, Thailand after the tsunami, Dallas, TX and Liberia to prevent Ebola infections in healthcare workers.  These were challenging missions, each took me far outside the scope of my training and experience and taught me invaluable lessons, especially in the area of soft skills, (i.e., communication).  Each were so rewarding upon completion, especially when the team delivers and everyone returned home.

Q: Give us one piece of advice you would give to young IH professionals?

A: It’s always about communication.  You might be the best at quantitative/analytical/computer skills but your career success in our craft is largely going to be due to your ability to be a standout at written and verbal communications.  You are going to have write and speak effectively your entire career; it’s not an easy skill to learn.  Do everything you can to learn and become an effective written and verbal communicator.  If you are successful, the skill of effective communication will pay you lifelong dividends, not only at work, but in your social and home life as well. It’s always about communication.
Q: How can members get in touch with you should they want to reach out to you?     

A:   (720) 693-1656 mobile
International - Bevin Luna
Hello everyone!  We are excited to report that we sent two international committee members to Iasi, Romania to present at the 7th Annual Occupational Health and Safety Workshop at TUIASI from June 4th until June 12th. This workshop included presentations, site visits, and laboratory tours for local industry and research groups. There were 100+ attendees including graduate students and occupational health and safety professionals from across the country. Dr. Josh Schaeffer from Colorado State University and Bevin Luna from Colorado's OSHA Consultation Program presented a lecture titled, "An Introduction to Industrial Hygiene Sampling Methods".  It was interesting because although TUIASI has worked very hard over the years to establish and develop their occupational health and safety program, the group as a whole has not performed personal air monitoring.  When asked by a show of hands who had ever performed personal air monitoring, only two out of the 100+ attendees raised their hands.  The presentation was very well received, there were many questions and attendees were engaged throughout Josh and Bevin's presentation.
The Chief Labor Inspector, George Albulescu, for the Iasi Region attended the conference and at the end he stood and congratulated the two on their presentations. He then addressed the entire group to indicate that it is time for Romania to begin to incorporate this type of monitoring into their occupational safety and health activities countrywide. This is an identified gap in the field of health and safety in Romania and the presentation inspired further discussions within the university, the regional Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Environment. 
Currently, health and safety practitioners are considered medical specialists that identify problems, however, there are no preventive measures in place. By working to establish a more technical training program in the field of industrial hygiene, the university can work towards recognizing industrial hygiene as an actual profession and ultimately anticipate injuries and illnesses versus addressing these issues after they have already developed. 
The University of TUIASI has the only industrial hygiene specialization program in Romania and it was very rewarding to participate in an exchange that will influence positive change in the coming years.
In September, TUIASI is sending a delegation of four occupational safety and health faculty and staff to Colorado to attend the AIHA-RMS Fall Tech Conference and present their recent research projects. They will also spend time lecturing at Colorado State University in the Environmental Health Program. We hope that the local section members will take advantage of this opportunity to visit with our Romanian counterparts to discuss this ongoing partnership, the recent achievements, and areas where members benefit from this partnership. These activities continue to fulfill our local section and national AIHA international affairs goal to develop a unified occupational hygiene discipline through a dynamic exchange of global ideas and resources.

We want to thank our hosts Constantin Baciu, George Albulescu, Brindusa Sluser, Tudor Alexandru, Silvia Georgescu, and Costica Bejinariu for being extremely generous and welcoming!! Also, we appreciate the local section members for their continued support!! For updates, feel free to check the AIHA-RMS website, Facebook page, or contact the Internațional Committee director, Bevin Luna at, to learn how to get involved. Have a wonderful and safe summer!!

Outreach - Sarah Kaiman
A team of AIHA-RMS volunteers convened at the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus on April 5th to serve as special award judges at the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) for the 4th year in a row.  The goal was to identify one or two projects with potential to positively impact occupational safety and health in the future. This year, the team identified five projects deserving recognition. Because it was hard to pick one that stood out more than the others, the team elected to award $50 to each of the projects.  Interesting, 4 of the 5 awards went to junior high students. The high school student receiving an award this year also received an award from AIHA-RMS in 2017; she continues to take her project aimed in increasing safety of wildland firefighters to the next level! Let’s give a round of applause to these amazingly smart, motivated, and caring Colorado junior high and high school students! Thank you to the Special Award Judges: Don Archibald, Ron Hill, Tom Koch, Chris Lorenzo, Kassey Braun, and Sarah Kaiman. Recognized projects are summarized below. 
1. Title: Detection of Chemical Contaminants in Water Using Carbon Nanotube Sensors
Student: Gitanjali Rao
School: STEM School Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Summary: Gitanjali’s project addresses the core issue of speedy detection of lead water contamination using nanotechnology devices to detect contaminants and almost immediately provides readout on mobile phones. The technology is easy to use, fast, accurate, inexpensive and portable. This application could save lives by providing fast, accurate, inexpensive and portable technology to the field.  Ms. Rao was recognized on CNN for being “America's top young scientist” and received a $25,000 award! Check it out
2. Title: Redesigning Ventilation to Minimize Airborne Pathogen Transmission in Multiple Bed Hospital Wards
Student: Matthew Anderson
School: Challenge School, Denver, Colorado
Summary: The goal of this project was to find the optimal configuration of four ventilation control factors (humidity, airspeed, air change rate, and ventilation regime) that minimize the mean age of air in ward patients’ breathing zones using computational fluid dynamics and Taguchi design. The optimal configuration of ventilation control factors was: 45% humidity, 1 m/s inlet airspeed, 12 air changes per hour, a supply vent above the patients’ bed on the wall, and a return vent to the lower right of the bed. This configuration is The mean age of air in this 93.4% better than the current standard in hospital wards. The AIHA-RMS award is highlighted on the Cherry Creek School’s newsletter from May 8th.
3. Title: Robotic Exoskeleton
Student: Nicholas Foster
School: The Classic Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Summary: This project designed, tested and built two robotic exoskeleton prototypes to help factory/truck/shipyard workers, soldiers, elderly people, and paralyzed people to move faster, be agiler, and become stronger, potentially saving lives in the process. The second prototype met 100% of the design criteria, even though there were some minor bugs. Next years’ prototype will have metal and 3D printed parts, better servos, better batteries, and have a more user-friendly interface.
4. Title: Wildland Firefighter Defense System: Phase 3
Student: Aaliyah Garcia
School: Center High School, Center, Colorado
Summary: Aaliyah’s father is a wildland fire fighter. After years of being scared for her father’s life and after learning about the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, she knew a change had to be made in wildland fire fighting safety equipment. She has spent the last three years designing, testing, and perfecting a potential fabric system for protection shelters. Her goal has been to develop a shelter that will decrease heat transfer while being light enough to carry through tough terrain. This year, she tested a combination of Temptrol, Pyrogel XT-E, and a carbon fiber hybrid mesh and found that, by rearranging the Temptrol and carbon fiber hybrid material, less heat was able to transfer to the bottom surface under high temperatures.  Click here for a link to story published last year about Aaliyah’s project.

Legislative - Brian O'Malley
The Summer 2018 Legislative Update can be found through the following link Legislative Update - Summer 2018.  All new information added within the regulatory and legislative sections since the Spring 2018 update is highlighted in red.
The AIHA-RMS board should know within the next couple of weeks if the grant proposal submitted for a pilot program with the Safety Matters curriculum has been accepted. Stay tuned for additional announcements on this initiative.

Membership - Brandy Howard
Starting with renewals for the 2019 membership year, AIHA-RMS members will need to pay their annual dues through the website.  There will no longer be an option to pay for local section dues when you pay for National AIHA dues.  We are making this change due to the length of time it takes (5+ months) to receive membership funds and an updated roster from National. Membership is still a great value at $30 for the calendar year. Benefits of membership include access to our social events (ski-day in February and the holiday party), discounts on our continuing education opportunities (lunch and learn events, PDCs, free webinars), and discounted access to our Fall Tech conference. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at   
Programs - Charles Koch
June 20 - Wyoming Department of Workforce Services "Safety and Workforce Summit" at the Little America, in Cheyenne, WY
NREL Tour on July 24, 2018 from 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM with lunch served.  Look on the AIHA-RMS website calendar for more information.

Education - Lindsay Parker Wilcock
Thursday July 19: Gas, Vapor, and Aerosol Monitoring Methods 8 Hour PDC
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 131 E. 17th Place, Aurora, CO 80045
Check the AIHA-RMS website for more details and to register!

Treasurer - Emily Schmick
We are looking for members who would like to help audit our financial systems. Learn about how our sections financials are managed, and help increase member knowledge! Estimated commitment is less than 2 hours per month. For more info email me at
Copyright © 2018 AIHA - Rocky Mountain Section, All rights reserved.

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