Synergist Solutions Articles

Synergist® Solutions Articles are vendor-sponsored discussions of practical topics related to industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety. For information about participating in the Synergist Solutions series, email Holly Klarman at Network Media Partners.

Neither AIHA nor The Synergist endorses, supports, or verifies the Solutions Articles' contents or expressed opinions. 

December 2018

Passive Samplers in 2018: New Advances Lead to New Applications
By Debbie Dietrich
Sponsored by SKC

Passive samplers have evolved in a manner that mirrors many advances in active samplers, expanding both their reliability and applications in industrial hygiene and environmental studies.

Read the complete article.

December 2017

Sampling Solutions for Mixed-phase Contaminants
By Debbie Dietrich
Sponsored by SKC

Sampling mixed-phase contaminants in air is challenging. During sampling, it is possible that the distribution of the two phases may change: aerosol droplets may evaporate and vapors may condense.

October 2017

A New Approach to Dust Monitoring
By Peter Briscoe
Sponsored by Nanozen

A new approach to dust monitoring is starting to spread throughout the industrial hygiene field. It relates to the application of compact wearable products that simultaneously combine real-time direct dust count readings with traditional filter-based sample collections for composite analysis in the lab.

April 2017

Regulating Legionella: Choosing an Analytical Method
By Christopher Goulah
Sponsored by EMSL Analytical, Inc.

During the summer of 2015, a series of fatal legionellosis outbreaks forced the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to take emergency action to contain the rapid spread of the infection. After determining that the source of the outbreak was a centrally located cooling tower, emergency ordinances were put in place that mandated the disinfection of all cooling towers citywide. 


December 2016

Aggressive Moves in Passive Sampling
By Debbie Dietrich
Sponsored by SKC Inc.

By 1980, both 3M and DuPont had begun to offer passive organic vapor monitors. Since that time, there have been advances in the types of commercially available passive samplers and organizations such as NIOSH, ANSI/ISEA, ASTM, and the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have developed passive sampler validation protocols. 


October 2016

Big Data in Occupational Hygiene
By Peter Briscoe
Sponsored by Nanozen

Humans are visual beings. Fully two-thirds of our brains’ processing ability is engaged with visualizing our world. The result is that we can make better decisions much faster if the information to make those decisions is in a visual form.


April 2016

The Pros and Cons of Portable Gas Detection
By Steve Luecke
Sponsored by Nextteq LLC

Many instruments measure airborne levels of toxic gases and vapors, and for industrial hygienists and others who oversee firefighting and emergency response, understanding what types of portable devices will be most useful is not an easy task. Whether you’re responsible for hazmat response, post-fire overhaul activities, or determining the need for respiratory protection, obtaining meaningful measurements of atmospheric hazards is of critical importance. 


December 2015

A Formaldehyde Blowout Floored Us in 2015
By Debbie Dietrich
Sponsored by SKC Inc.

The products of formaldehyde chemistry have permeated our world. Classified as an organic chemical intermediate, formaldehyde is a building block for resins and a raw material for chemical production. As of 2003, a total of 40 formaldehyde production sites in the U.S. and 11 in Canada produced approximately five million metric tons of formaldehyde for a variety of uses. The Formaldehyde Council reports that more than four million workers in the U.S. and Canada depend on the formaldehyde industry for direct or indirect employment.


April 2015

Originally published in August 2014.

Review of Whole Air Sampling for Industrial Hygienists
By Steve Luecke
Sponsored by Nextteq LLC
Because whole air sampling has not been historically used to perform personal monitoring, this method is not commonly associated with industrial hygiene strategies or sampling activities. The most common type of industrial hygiene air sampling is personal air monitoring, where small personal sampling pumps or passive monitors are used to collect air contaminants through a preselected sorbent, filter, or collection media. 

May 2014

A Global Focus on the Hazards of Peracetic Acid
By Debbie Dietrich
Volunteers in the AIHA® Healthcare Working Group are among the many health and safety professionals around the world who are focused on the hazards of peracetic acid. Also known as peroxyacetic acid or PAA (CAS No. 79-21-0), this chemical is being increasingly used as a chemical disinfectant in healthcare and other industries. 

May 2013

Silica Hazards: New Concerns and Sampling Options
By Debbie Dietrich
Occupational exposure to silica surfaced as a priority issue for OSHA in the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s 2013–2014 biennial survey of its members on the top public policy issues of concern for occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals. In February 2013, U.S. congressional committee leaders echoed AIHA members’ concern in a letter requesting action from the White House on OSHA’s proposal to update the agency’s crystalline silica exposure standard. 

March 2013

Gas Detection Help and the Industrial Hygiene Process
By Bill Smith
One of industrial hygienists’ possible roles is to ensure successful gas detection programs within their organizations. This article reviews gas detection in relation to the industrial hygiene process: anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control.

November 2012

Plastic Polymers and the Changing Nature of Fires
By Robb Zurek and Draeger’s Engineering Team
Research shows that over the past 50 years there has been rapid growth in the use of plastic-based products in building structures and their contents. This has drastically changed the nature of fires and the combustion byproducts as plastic materials burn. There is growing evidence that, along with the well-known threat of carbon monoxide (CO), life-threatening concentrations of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas can be present in combustion byproducts.

October 2012

Changes to LEED Program Upcoming in 2013
By Bill Walsh
The next update to the LEED standard was scheduled to be implemented this November. However, the update has been delayed for a year. Concerns voiced by the various stakeholders within the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have pushed the rollout to June 2013, although an earlier implementation may be possible if a consensus can be reached prior to that date.

September 2012

Advantages of Real-time Measurements in Industrial Hygiene
By Sreenath Avula and Greg Olson
Real-time monitoring in industrial hygiene has revolutionized the measurement of workplace hazards. Direct-reading instruments have enabled industrial hygienists to be proactive, allowing them to measure physical and chemical hazards as they are being generated. The time-consuming alternative is to wait for an 8-hour reference method sample to be completed at the end of the work shift and then send it to a laboratory for subsequent analysis.

May 2012

Celebrating the History of Methods and Media
By Debbie Dietrich
The history of air sampling methods and media demonstrates commitment and collaboration on the part of professionals working in government, industry, and ​commercial production. All practicing hygienists should be inspired by the vision shown by these pioneers. Based on their efforts, workers around the world have been protected from toxic air contaminants. We all share in this legacy and continue the vision for the future, whether our job is to develop methods, produce sampling media, or deploy these valuable tools in our workplace.

May 2011

Developing Air Sampling Solutions When the Unexpected Happens
By Debbie Dietrich
Logically, we all know that nothing lasts forever. However, most of us would not even consider that sample collection media specified in long-standing methods could become obsolete. Unfortunately, it happens all too often. When it does, technical experts in the health and safety community must collaborate to quickly find suitable alternatives.

April 2010

Datalog the Time Away
By Brad Day
It’s 4 a.m. and you have been called in to work early. A gas release has injured several refinery employees during the night shift.
Fortunately, gas detection instrumentation saved their lives. Still, many questions remain. The instruments have been quarantined for investigation, and all eyes are on you. It’s your job to determine the type of gas released and the severity of employees’ exposure. At this moment, you realize the importance of industrial hygiene datalog monitoring.