ALARA Update

iom120The ALARA Update is essentially a blog where we will talk about issues of importance to the wider occupational hygiene community as well as those of specific interest to our consulting clients and the participants in our professional development courses. This section of the site is intended as a spot where we can update visitors with news of our course offerings, notifications of upcoming meetings and conferences, and other items that may be of interest to our clients and our course attendees.

Come back periodically to check the posts below for our latest updates.

14th Report on Carcinogens released

ROC14thEdOn November 6th, 2016, the National Toxicology Program of NIH released its 14th Report on Carcinogens.

The Report on Carcinogens (RoC) is a US science-based, public health report that identifies agents in the environment that pose a carcinogenic risk.

Substances are listed in the RoC following a multi-step process with several opportunities for scientific and public inputs and using established listing criteria. For each listed substance, the RoC contains a profile that contains the listing recommendation and a summary of the scientific evidence used in reaching that recommendation. The profile also contains information on potential sources of exposure and current US federal regulations to limit exposures.

The technical content of the RoC makes it a valuable toxicological reference for occupational hygiene professionals. We think that many of the visitors to our website would want to have a copy in our electronic reference library.

The RoC can be downloaded free of charge as a 24.3 Mb zip file from this link: https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/roc14.zip. Once the file is extracted to a folder on your computer or tablet, its contents can be viewed in you web browser by simply clicking on the start.html file.

 

New NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (5th Ed)

NIOSH has just released an updated version of the NIOSH Manual of NMAMAnalytical Methods. NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, surfaces, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed. These methods have been developed or adapted by NIOSH or its partners and have been evaluated according to established experimental protocols and performance criteria. NMAM also includes chapters on quality assurance, sampling, portable instrumentation, etc. At ALARA we make extensive use of the NMAM when planning field work and also find the “chapters” to contain invaluable background information.

If you are interested in occupational hygiene air sampling, you may want to browse the new edition. It can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nmam/

Are you trying to reach us with an old email address?

If you haven’t been to our website for a long while and if you searched for alara.ca, you would have been forwarded to this new site, alaraihs.com. We’re still the same people. This site has most of the content of our old one with a new look.  You should update your bookmarks to point to this site, because the address alara.ca will eventually be used for a new project we are planning that will focus on collaboration with occupational hygienists internationally.

Our email addresses have also changed. You should change the email address you have on file by replacing the alara.ca portion of the old email address with alaraihs.com. You can also contact us using the contact form accessed by clicking Contact Us on the menu bar. We look forward to hearing from you.

Marg and Chuck


Potential problem for users of datalogging equipment

Today I read a TechRepublic article that reveals a potential problem for occupational hygienists using older direct reading instruments that connect with their computers using the RS-232 (serial) interface. This interface was used on older occupational hygiene equipment and used a  cable to connect to a 9-pin or 25-pin serial port on the computer. It could use a “USB-to-serial” adapter for connecting to computers with USB ports. The concern is not with the instrument, but rather with Continue reading Potential problem for users of datalogging equipment

Cancellation of IEQ Course – Nov 5-6, 2015

The ALARA course Evaluating Indoor Environmental Quality, scheduled for November 5 – 6, 2015 has been canceled due to insufficient enrollment. Because of the need to cancel room bookings, we normally cancel a course if we do not have sufficient enrollment 4 weeks before the course is scheduled. We apologize to those individuals who wanted to take this course . We will be offering it again in 2016, at a date to be determined, if there is sufficient interest.

Chuck Pilger

Health Hazards of Workplace Chemicals, Oct 14, 2015

The ALARA course Health Hazards of Workplace Chemicals is scheduled to be held on October 14, 2015. If you have an interest in this course and have not yet submitted a registration, you should do so without delay.  We normally fill this course a month before the course date. You can follow this link to the course description and this link to the registration form.

Air Monitoring with Direct Reading Instruments

Direct reading instruments for monitoring air contaminants are becoming more common and their use in occupational hygiene is becoming more widespread. While safety instruments such as those for detection of flammable atmospheres have been used for many years, more sophisticated and more versatile instruments are now widely used for detecting both specific toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and classes of compounds such as aromatic solvents. Other instruments can detect and quantify aerosol contaminants such as dusts and fumes. These instruments employ a variety of different detection principles to identify and quantify specific contaminants. In order to determine which instrument will meet a specific need requires that we understand the basis of operation of these instruments.  Generally these devices must be both highly sensitive and highly selective to measure a specific contaminant in an atmosphere that usually will contain other contaminants as well.

ALARA is in the process of developing a new practical course focused on the use of such “real-time” instruments in occupational hygiene.  We are interested in comments from our site visitors about their use of and interest in direct reading instruments to determine if there is sufficient interest to merit development of this course. If you would be interested in taking such a course or if you have views on the potential value of such a course, we would like to hear from you. You can use the contact us form here to give us your comments.

Air Sampling Workshop

The 42nd offering of our Occupational Hygiene Air Sampling Workshop was held on May 6 – 8, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Toronto, Downtown Centre at 30 Carlton Street Toronto. We enjoyed ourselves immensely  teaching the course and hope the  participants did as well. After reorganizing and repacking our demo equipment we will be starting planning for our next air sampling workshop. If you think you might be interested in attending a future session of this course, the course details are available here.