Instagrams of the Week!

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Instagrams of the week. Yes, plural!

There are just way too many exciting grams being posted lately.  I couldn’t just select one to blog!

BTW. If you love hygiene as much and I do and you want to see your hygiene related grams here just tag your pics with one of the following tags (or all 😀):

#occupationalhygiene   #industrialhygiene   #occupationalhygienist   #industrialhygienist

So what hygiene work happened across the globe this week?

Well Gilberto Martínez @gilbertomb1 showed us how thermal exposure assessments are done inside large vessel!


 

Meanwhile, Anne Rogers @annie8621 has been setting things on fire!


And it looks like Pete Aspinall @insta_aspis has been out and about at a coal mine.

Moon-scape in the pit. Perfect silica exposure monitoring -weather & location. #occupationalhygiene #nofilter

A photo posted by Pete Aspi (@insta_aspis) on

Coal stockpiles. Black as the night. #occupationalhygiene

A photo posted by Pete Aspi (@insta_aspis) on

Young Hygienist Snapshot: Mark Houston [International Edition]

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Mark Houston lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and works in the Industrial Hygiene (IH) Department at Sandia National Laboratories (#SNL).  Previously, Mark had IH internships with CSX Transportation, Marathon Petroleum Company, and Marathon Oil Company, Pipeline LLC. Outside his Industrial Hygiene role, Mark is a soccer fanatic and enjoys doing anything (almost) outdoors! :)

So here’s 5 mins with Mark:

1. Best location I have worked: Tough question… My top 3 (in no particular order): Jacksonville Florida, Birmingham Alabama, and Albuquerque New Mexico.  Each place has is special to me in terms of my career and was/ is a great place to live!

2. The best thing about my job is: The best thing about my current job is the environment. Everyday working at a national laboratory is completely different from the last.  I really enjoy the IH challenges that stem from an R&D environment.

3. Career Highlight: I had the opportunity to work on a confined space welding project. I was able to work with upper management and union employees to implement engineering controls to mitigate over-exposures.

4. If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to:  Being able to explain your role in the success of the company/ organization. As an IH you have to be able to justify your worth to a company. Some people view IH as an overhead cost, that provides little benefit.  Be ready to “prove your worth” every day, and help to change these people’s minds.

5. People normally think my job involves: Scrubbing very large toilets ;)

6. The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Providing IH support following a chemical spill was a good learning experience, but it’s not the best…. I got to perform noise monitoring during explosive testing....The IH portion was okay, but watching the blast was phenomenal! 1F4A5

7. The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Fit testing for days on end… What has two thumbs and knows the rainbow passage by heart? … This guy.. I may even sing it in my sleep (who knows) :)

Mark_Pic_1 Mark_Pic_2

Instagram of the Week!

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This week’s Instagram has been brought to you by Claire Di Corleto @claire_amandah

This workplace not only has people that need protecting, it has Dalek’s too!

Young Hygienist Snapshot: Sammy Connell [International Edition]

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I was fortunate enough to meet Sammy Connell in London recently where both attended the International Occupational Hygiene Associations 2015 Conference. #IOHA2015

Sammy is a little pocket rocket and a super fun hygienist. I loved hearing about Sammy’s experience, especially the places she has worked around the world, not to mention the exciting projects! There is one thing that I know for certain about Sammy, that is she tackles life head on, never missing an opportunity.

So here is 5 mins with Sammy:

1. Best location I have worked: In terms of hygiene, my favorite was a refinery in Baton Rouge. I LOVED the people. In terms of ultimate living location, Orlando, Florida, USA or Lausanne, Switzerland.

2. The best thing about my job is: Saving lives, clearly. But the fact that we have so many opportunities within our field isn’t a moot point. We can work in a number of sectors and locations worldwide, we can see processes the general public couldn’t normally see and we have access to a network of exquisite individuals. Speaking of our network, AIHA’s Future Leaders Institute and IOHA London 2015 were among two of the most amazing experiences in my life.

3. Career Highlight: In a nerdy hygienist-sense, being able to implement an engineering control and having management buy into my rationale.

In a life sense, moving across the pond for a job I truly adore. How can it get better than that? Also, working on an EU Project, conducting research at multiple defense facilities in Europe. That covers hygiene and life…

Just to make a point [about how amazing OH can be], I’ve thought of about 40 other highlights I won’t include. Did I mention meeting Holly Fletcher and the rest of my Aussie OH soul mates?

4. If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to:  People telling you “no” or “it’s always been done this way”. It’s also slightly unnerving to continuously reassure someone that you’re essentially doing your job for his or her benefit – you understand that wearing a respirator isn’t actually fun, for example. You just have to remember why you’re there doing your job in the first place and fight for what you think is right!

5. People normally think my job involves: Cleaning teeth at someone’s workplace or keeping industrial equipment clean.

6. The best thing I’ve been asked to do was:  Work an emergency and assess a shark capture – not the same event. I almost forgot about reconstructing homemade explosive devices to sample throughout that process. 1F4A3

7. The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Roof inspections. We all know how hygienists feel about safety…

Sammy Connell 3

 

Check Sammy out working in a cleanroom at Oak Ridge National Lab during her first internship in 2010.

 

 

 

Sammy Sammy talking with the one and only Jimmy Perkins at #IOHA2015

Instagram of the Week!

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This week’s Instagram has been brought to you by Alden Strealy @aldenstrealy

I love this!

A great reminder of the famous Paracelsus quote The dose makes the poison” (Dosis facit venenum) (1493)

Instagram of the Week!

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This week’s Instagram has been brought to you by Derek Farmer @sosu2005

A classic example of the Tyndall effect used by hygienist’s to observe dust generation during material transfer activities!

Why would you wear that? PART 4

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airpollution

Respiratory Protection in Asia – The Truth About Masks Used

Do you want the truth?  Think you can handle the truth?

Well, the truth is the following three methods used to protect yourself from breathing in contaminated air will not provide you any protection at all!

IMG_2087 Respiratory Protection2 IMG_2298

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, however, this blog is not all about sunshine 1F304 and rainbows 1F308
This blog is intended to shed some light on the “masks” commonly used to protect people from airborne hazards in Asia, and tell you why they don’t work.

NOTE: The information presented below is not based on rigorous filtration efficiency testing repeated in a laboratory.   The information presented answers one simple question i.e. “will that mask protect me?”  It’s pretty simple to answer, either it will or it won’t protect you.

In Part 3 of this Respiratory Protection in Asia Series, we explored the Principals of Protection.  We now know that a mask will only protect you when all of the air that goes into your lungs passes through a filter that removes all of the bad stuff from the air. To achieve these two fundamental things need to occur:

1. the filter media has to be designed and tested to prove that the contaminants you are protecting yourself from will be removed from the air; and
2. all of the air has to pass through the filter before it reaches your lungs – that is, no bad air is can pass through the filter or travel through any gap.

So let’s apply these principles to the mask most commonly seen to be worn in Asia……the good old Medical Mask. Surgical-Face-Mask

Firstly what is a medical mask?

In the 1890’s a German bacteriologist and hygienist, by the name of Carl Flügge discovered infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera could be transmitted through droplets released from people’s mouths and noses (AKA Flügge droplets) .  This discovery lead to the development of the first medical masks consisting of gauze strips placed over the wearer’s mouth. It is believed French surgeon Paul Berger was the first to wear a surgical mask while operating in 1897.

These days, despite the introduction of immunisation and antibiotic drugs, used to control communicable diseases and infection such masks continue to be used for purposes of:

– limiting the transmission of infective agents from staff to patients during surgical procedures;
– protecting the wearer against splashes of potentially contaminated liquids; and
– reducing the risk of spreading infections, particularly in epidemic or pandemic situations.

Okay, so let’s apply the respiratory protection principles to test the Medical Mask:

Will the mask filter remove the airborne contaminants?

Dust captured in respirator with crossNo Square1No, the mask will not filter airborne contaminants.  Why? because fundamentally the medical mask is designed to stop germs released by the wearer from reaching the outside world – – they are not designed to stop airborne contaminants from the outside world getting in!

 

 


Will the mask fit the wearer’s face so no gaps between the mask and the wearer’s face are possible?

child-surgical
No Square1No, the mask does not mold to the wearer’s face to achieve an adequate seal.

 

 

 

What about the designer masks you ask? Surely they must protect you, they look so good.

IMG_2058

I am told that the designer masks are preferred over the medical masks, however, they are more expensive and, therefore, are less common.  I have also been told that an added benefit of these masks is you can wash them and they will last up to 3 or 4 months.

 

 

 

So what are the masks made up of?

FotorCreatedThe masks are made of 3 layers. The first layer is cotton fabric, the second is a foam insert and the third layer is mesh material.IMG_2306_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s apply the respiratory protection principles to test the Designer Mask:

Will the mask filter remove the airborne contaminants?

IMG_2363IMG_2363_2The simple answer is no No Square1
Why’s that you ask? Well, the material the masks are made of allows airborne contaminants to pass through and into your lungs. In Part 3 of this series, we demonstrated the size of airborne particles (PM10 and PM2.5) in comparison to a human hair. The photo on the left shows a human hair that has been pushed through the mask to demonstrate how big the holes are in the material are. The photo on the right shows how the large holes can be seen with the naked eye.

Will the mask fit the wearer’s face so no gaps between the mask and the wearer’s face are possible?

Designer Mask  No Square1No, the edges of the mask are not adequate to enough for the wearer to achieve a seal and prevent leaks.

 

 

 

 

 

What about covering your and mouth and nose with your hand for protection?

Covering mouth and noseNo Square1It’s actually quite difficult to apply the respiratory protection principles to this method of protection. The human hand is not pervious, i.e. air cannot pass through your hand.
Now, hypothetically speaking just say you were able to seal off your mouth and nose with your hand, then how would you actually breathe? Let’s face it, to breathe in clean air we need to remove the bad contaminants, to do this we need a filter. The hand is not a filter. Once you remove your hand away from your face you will continue to breathe in the contamination.

Don’t miss the final blog in this 5 part series where we take a look at the real challenges for protecting persons lungs in Asia.