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IH in the Wake of Terror

Four occupational safety and health professionals share their experiences of helping to protect workers at the World Trade Center.

The cover story of the January 2002 issue of The Synergist, the American Industrial Hygiene Association's news magazine, features interviews with occupational health and safety professionals who helped protect workers at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon clean-up, the Hart Senate Office Building and the Fresh Kills landfill (where the WTC debris is being deposited).

The story, "Industrial Hygiene in the Wake of Terror," tells the stories of four occupational health and safety professionals and their experiences at sites directly impacted by Sept. 11 and the anthrax attacks. The article also includes photographs taken by these professionals as they worked to protect others from noise and construction debris at Ground Zero, carbon dioxide exposure at Fresh Kills, lead dust and asbestos fibers at the Pentagon and anthrax exposure at the Hart Senate Office Building.

Industrial hygienist Aaron A. Ondo had no idea the extent to which he would jeopardize his own safety by helping to protect workers during rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. Ondo, who works for the International Union of Operating Engineers National HAZMAT Program in Morgantown, W.Va., had two near misses during the two weeks he spent at Ground Zero

In one near miss, a flatbed semi almost backed into him when the noise level at the cleanup site prevented him from hearing the trucks backup signal. Ondo reports he got out of the way just in time. Not long after, he slipped and fell off the track of an excavator into the 50-foot pile but managed to walk away uninjured.

To read more about Ondo's experiences and to get the industrial hygienist's-eye view of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and the ongoing efforts to clean the Hart Senate Office Building of anthrax, read the article in the January 2002 Synergist or go online at

The Synergist presents news and information about the occupational and environmental health and safety fields and the industrial hygiene profession. Articles focus on industry trends and news, governmental and regulatory activities, key issues facing the profession, appropriate technical information, and news on AIHA events and activities.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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