March 2019 – President’s Message

Hello fellow NJAIHA members.  Despite two snow storms to start March, spring will be here soon!

Welding fumes are very small particles that are formed when the vaporized metal rapidly condenses in air.  Metals in welding fumes may include Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silver, Tin, Titanium, Vanadium, and Zinc.  There are also gases produced by welding including Carbon Monoxide, Ozone, Phosgene, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Carbon Dioxide.  My aunt Jeanne was a journeyman welder at nuclear power plants in Texas and Maine for about 20 years and her job included welding repairs during the shutdowns.  She was also incredibly talented at other types of welding including original, welded works of art such as sculptures, picnic beverage holders, beer can chicken cookers and barbecues.  She was not a union worker at the power plants, and unfortunately, didn’t have the health and safety protections of the union.  Similar to many workers that I have encountered throughout my career, she was fiercely independent and set in her ways.  Jeanne got sick at an early age and went through a painful sickness before she died of intestinal cancer when she was just 57 years old.  I suspect that she became sick because of the welding fume exposures over the course of her career.  There are other non-unionized welders out there today who are not being protected by their employers.  I wish that I had been an Industrial Hygienist 20 years ago and been part of the NJAIHA so that I could have the community of professionals to help advise Jeanne about the hazards of her work environment and perhaps avoid her sickness.  Luckily for the workers in NJ today that there is an organization like ours with amazing people who can look out for their health and safety.

In the pursuit of worker protection in New Jersey, there is an exciting opportunity at NJAIHA to actively participate with the Executive Board as President-elect.  We have an outstanding group of industrial hygiene professionals on the Board and I am sure whoever decides to participate will enjoy their time and involvement.  I have personally enjoyed participating on the board and encourage others to reach out to me or anyone on the board if you are interested or have any questions.  The term for this position is only one year.  The president-elect is primarily responsible for organizing the monthly meetings.

We had an excellent February NJAIHA Meeting.  Thomas Abdallah, P.E. of NYC Transit and Columbia University presented on sustainability at NYCT and other innovative transit agencies around the world. He also educated us with case studies from his book Sustainable Mass Transit.  Tom discussed sustainable initiatives including regenerative breaking and dedicated bus services that have been included in train and bus networks to maximize energy efficiency.  Jack Glass, MS, CIH of ALC Environmental presented the after-dinner session on NYC Local Laws 55 and 61.  Jack presented on the moisture intrusion and microbial remediation that are required by the newly-enacted NYC Local Laws 55 and 61.  Thanks to Tom and Jack for great presentations.

We look forward to seeing all of you at our March meeting.

Doug Glorie, PE, CIH
President NJAIHA