Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health through innovative strategies to reduce exposures to industrial pollutants. We seek to address inequities in environmental standards between developed and developing countries by working in partnership with industry, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) works to build capacity in developing countries to identify, monitor, and mitigate environmental and occupational exposures to hazardous materials in order to protect public health and the environment. The organization provides technical assistance through partnerships, training, and environmental audit and certification programs, with a commitment to public health tenets, scientific principles and corporate responsibility. Millions of people around the world are exposed to hazardous materials including lead, mercury, silica and asbestos.
Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) works to build capacity in developing countries to identify, monitor, and mitigate environmental and occupational exposures to hazardous materials in order to protect public health and the environment. The organization provides technical assistance through partnerships, training, and environmental audit and certification programs, with a commitment to public health tenets, scientific principles and corporate responsibility.
The following is a brief description of our program areas:
We believe that new opportunities are emerging to further cooperation between businesses and nonprofit organizations in improving environmental programs at industrial facilities in developing countries. To exploit these opportunities, we have initiated an environmental certification program for lead battery manufacturing.
OK International works with lead battery companies to improve their operations. We offer technical evaluations of company operations and work with them to adopt measures to minimize exposures to employees and the environment. We then document those improvements and gain recognition for these companies’ efforts among consumers and the environmental community. As an incentive, we offer a product certification program to facilities that meet specific environmental performance goals.
Technical Assistance/ Grantmaking
The goal of the technical assistance and grantmaking program is to facilitate exchange of information, monitoring and testing capabilities, environmental regulatory structures, standards, and enforcement capacity to countries with developing environmental programs and institutions. We work in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government and communities to conduct public health investigations and environmental cleanup projects. These activities are conducted by OK International staff and outside “peer” resources from government, the private sector, and other NGOs.
The purpose of our environmental education program is to further the knowledge of environmental health, hazardous materials in the workplace and the environment, and waste minimization. Our courses are typically custom designed for the intended audience and cover such topics as air sampling, respiratory protection, and environmental testing methods.
Exchange of Technology and Access to Technology
The purpose of the technology exchange program is to facilitate the exchange of environmental technology to countries with developing environmental programs and limited resources. The following activities are conducted by the our staff:
- Seek donations from companies offering equipment, laboratory services or consulting services to governmental agencies, legislators and NGOs with limited resources to establish environmental programs.
- Seek and distribute funding resources for environmental work abroad by working as liaison to foreign environmental NGOs and U.S. based companies and funders.