AIHA Urges Congress to Increase Funding for NIOSH in 2004

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) sent a letter to the chairman and members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services and Education requesting increased funding levels for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 2004.

AIHA is asking for a portion of this additional spending to be earmarked specifically for NIOSH's current and future efforts to protect American workers against terrorist attacks and reduce their vulnerability to chemical and biological agents.

"NIOSH is a key agency in the fight to prevent work-related disease and injury and an important part of homeland security efforts," said former AIHA President Gayla J. McCluskey, CIH, CSP, ROH, QEP. "Further reducing NIOSH's funding at this time would limit their ability to move forward with research and program priorities aimed at emergency response and preparedness."

AIHA's letter recommends Congress maintain the agency at its FY 2003 funding level of $273.4 million (plus inflationary increases). The association further urges Congress to appropriate an additional $15 million to assist NIOSH's efforts to staff its Office of Emergency Response and Preparedness; to respond to greater demands for NIOSH prevention and outbreak investigations in the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks; to support research efforts at NIOSH's National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory; and to develop and expand guidance resources for business emergency planning, among other homeland security related programs.

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