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Textbook of clinical occupational and environmental medicine. Rosenstock L, Cullen MR, eds. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company, 1994 Jul; :169-193
Industrial hygiene is the health profession devoted to the recognition, evaluation, and control of environmental hazards. Environmental hazards include chemical hazards, physical hazards, hiologic hazards, and ergonomic factors that cause or contribute to injury, disease, impaired function, or discomfort. Industrial hygiene is thus a major component of primary prevention programs for occupational and environmental diseases. Industrial hygienists share responsibilities with physicians for identification of adverse health conditions of possible environmental origin. Industrial hygienists provide information concerning industrial processes, potential exposures, and measured exposure levels that can be used to establish a probable causal link with a worker's adverse health condition. Industrial hygienists apply engineering controls, improved work practices, and protective equipment to reduce or eliminate occupational exposures and the adverse health conditions associated with these exposures. In addition to their traditional roles in the recognition, evaluation, and elimination of current occupational hazards, industrial hygienists play a vital role in exposure assessment for epidemiologic investigations and medicolegal case reviews. Many environmental exposures result in chronic diseases many years after the initial exposure. Industrial hygienists use knowledge of industrial processes, controls, and exposure measurements, in conjunction with detailed occupational histories, in order to reconstruct exposures and potential exposures for individuals. Combined with the task of direct measurement of evident exposures, industrial hygienists contribute importantly to our database of tbe causal effects of exposures and exposure-response relationships. Industrial hygiene involves integration of knowledge from several scientific disciplines, including engineering, chemistry, physical science, toxicology, and medicine. Industrial hygienists are usually trained in one of these disciplines, and their graduate study is grounded specifically in industrial hygiene or a closely related field. In the United States, industrial hygienists are certified through work experience and a written comprehensive examination administered by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
Industrial-environment; Industrial-exposures; Industrial-hazards; Industrial-hygiene; Industrial-hygiene-programs; Industrial-hygienists; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Health-hazards; Chemical-processing; Biological-effects; Air-contamination; Aerosols; Dusts; Fumes; Vapors; Gases; Bacteria; Molds; Fungi; Fire-hazards; Explosions; Combustible-materials; Exposure-limits; Standards; Oil-mists; Toxicology; Particulates; Biological-monitoring; Exposure-assessment; Work-environment; Epidemiology; Control-methods; Ventilation; Respirators; Personal-protective-equipment; Education; Training
Textbook of clinical occupational and environmental medicine
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division