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AIHce 2004: Promoting Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Excellence

The American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) is expected to draw nearly 8,000 occupational and environmental health and safety professionals to Atlanta on May 8-13.

Co-sponsored by American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), the AIHce celebrates its 65th year with a program of diverse topics ranging from mold to business continuity planning. Hundreds of hands-on educational opportunities will include professional development courses, symposia, podium sessions, roundtables, environmental health and safety crossover programs and poster sessions, along with more than 320 exhibitors offering the newest occupational health and safety products and services.

Following two days featuring 75 in-depth professional development courses on May 8-9, NBC special foreign correspondent Bob Arnot will officially kick off the conference theme of "Promoting OEHS Excellence" as the opening general session keynoter on Monday, May 10. Arnot is one of the most recognized names in the medical and health professions, and is frequently seen on MSNBC and CNBC broadcasts. A veteran correspondent, Arnot has covered the Gulf War, the Rwandan genocide, ebola in Central Africa, and AIDS in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Malawi. Most recently, he has captured the nation's attention with his coverage of the war on terrorism.

The Tuesday, May 11, general session will address achieving excellence by breaking down organizational silos. Keynote speaker John B. Copenhaver is senior vice president of crisis consulting for Marsh Risk Consulting and president of DRI International, a nonprofit organization that is the world's leading authority on business continuity. Copenhaver will demonstrate how to remove organizational silos to ensure that health and safety professionals have a seat at the table when companies plan for business continuity, emergency response, and crisis management.

Dr. James Hughes, director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will offer the keynote address on Wednesday, May 12. Hughes' topic will be "Promoting OEHS Excellence: Infectious Disease and the Workplace." As the director of CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases and an assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service, Hughes' current research interests focus on the identification of factors contributing to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases; the assessment of approaches to early recognition and rapid diagnosis of infectious agents; and evaluation of policies and practices for preparing for, rapidly detecting, and responding to such threats at the local, state, national, and global levels.

Week-long educational tracks are available for attendees who wish to focus their education on particular topics. For example, a mold track with approximately 70 hours of educational opportunities is available, and this year it will be supplemented by tracks in other subjects such as safety and chemical-biological terrorism/emergency response.

For those seeking more broad-based education, podium sessions and roundtables throughout the week will cover timely issues such as SARS, control banding, chemical hormesis, the OSHA hexavalent chromium rulemaking, management of IEQ problems, safety for employees with disabilities and building wellness programs. Other sessions will provide up-to-date technical information on perennial issues like ergonomics, confined space dangers, fall protection, lead, asbestos and more.

The exposition will feature the health and safety products and services of more than 320 companies will offer demonstrations of gas masks and other personal protective equipment, mold testing and remediation technologies and services, hearing protection, lab safety equipment and many other products and services. A special Networking Reception in the exhibit hall will give attendees a chance to mingle and connect with colleagues while exploring everything the expo has to offer. Exposition hours are 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., May 10; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., May 11; and 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., May 12.

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