The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) voted this week to give $100,000 to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) to defend and improve its threshold limit value (TLV) process.
ACGIH formally requested assistance from AIHA in a June letter sent to AIHA President Henry B. "Hank" Lick, PhD, CIH, CSP, ROH. In 2000, three plaintiffs sued ACGIH over its development process for threshold limit values. In a member referendum conducted in July, the AIHA membership subsequently voted in favor of contributing money to the ACGIH legal defense fund.
"The AIHA board of directors received confidential financial and other documents and spent a lengthy amount of time on the telephone with ACGIH representatives prior to making this decision," said Lick. "The board then fully and vigorously debated the information available before arriving at this decision."
One of the lawsuits was settled after the AIHA membership vote and before this vote of the AIHA board. A second TLV lawsuit was settled July 3 - after the AIHA member referendum.
AIHA's donation is intended to assist ACGIH with its legal defense of the TLV process as well as to assist with improving future development of TLVs. The AIHA board of directors believes that a one-time donation of this amount will permit ACGIH to meet its legal defense obligations during 2001.
"Given the importance of the TLV and occupational exposure limits (OEL) processes to the occupational and environmental health and safety profession, the AIHA board of directors felt compelled to provide ACGIH with monetary assistance," said Lick.
"Based upon our understanding of the direct legal expenses associated with existing litigation, coupled with the current state of the general economy, AIHA's own financial projections and all of the information presented, the board feels this is a substantial contribution," he added.
edited by Sandy Smith