Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Protecting the Health and Safety of Communities and Workers in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) applauds the efforts of so many industrial hygiene and environmental professionals offering their help after Hurricane Florence.

Lansing, MI, September 24th, 2018 -- Hurricane Florence has left a path of destruction across large parts of North and South Carolina.  In addition to the tragic loss of life, the historic storm also caused an estimated $17 to $22 billion dollars in damage. In fact, according to Moody’s Analytics, Hurricane Florence is among the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

 

Much of this destruction is associated with property damage to residential, commercial, and institutional properties. As residents begin the long process of repairing and rebuilding their homes, businesses, schools, and communities, health and safety professionals are reminding residents to be aware of a number of potential hazards that Hurricane Florence left behind. These issues range from electrical hazards to mold growth and exposure issues with chemicals, sewage, and other microbial contamination associated with flood damage.

 

Improper demolition and repair activities could even aerosolize asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paints that exist in many structures. Workers also need to be aware of altered work environments and industrial processes in damaged institutions and commercial businesses.

 

Fortunately, on the frontlines working to protect employees and residents in hurricane damaged areas are Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs). Industrial hygiene professionals who have earned the CIH® credential are uniquely qualified to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control health hazards, both seen and unseen. 

 

“A number of CIHs that already live and work in the vicinity of the Carolinas, or have been able to travel there, have been busy helping residents, workers, and communities safely rebuild and get back to business,” said Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “These dedicated professionals offer crucial support in managing the risks associated with rebuilding and their knowledge of air sampling, chemicals, biohazards, community exposure, personal protective equipment, health-risk analysis, and work environments all contribute to the critical skills needed at this time. The expertise of Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEP®) and Environmental Professionals In-Training (EPI), with their broad understanding of environmental issues, can also be instrumental when responding to natural disasters like Hurricane Florence.”

 

Institutions, companies, and individuals who wish to contact a CIH® can easily get in touch with those offering their services by using the public roster search on the ABIH® website. Simply click the Find a CIH Near You button on the home page.

 

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. For inquiries regarding the QEP® or EPI designations, please visit www.ipep.org, email ipep@ipep.org, or call (517) 853-5766.

 

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. ABIH® also administers the QEP® credential for established environmental practitioners and the EPI designation for early-career practitioners.