ACGIH®, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists is a voluntary, not for profit, professional scientific society dedicated to promoting worker health and safety. Since 1938, ACGIH® members, including industrial hygienists from the academic community, from government and from industry and labor have worked diligently to develop guidelines for use by industrial hygienists in their review of workplace exposure levels for various chemicals. ACGIH® members volunteer for this effort. ACGIH® does not receive federal or state funding to develop workplace exposure guidelines. ACGIH® members who are government employees attend ACGIH® meetings and work on ACGIH's committees on the same basis as other government employees who attend meetings of other professional associations, such as the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association.
The ACGIH® guidelines, commonly known as TLVs®, are recognized worldwide as being based on the highest level of independent scientific study. Health and safety professionals in more than 60 countries rely on TLVs® to protect worker health.
Certain industries have expressed concerns that ACGIH® guidelines are too restrictive and have sued ACGIH® in the United States District Courts in Georgia. ACGIH® is confident that it will successfully defend itself in these actions. However, in what appears to be a related matter, Georgia Congressman Charlie Norwood has written a letter to the Secretary of Labor claiming that recent ACGIH® TLVs® lack scientific basis and that government employees should be essentially prohibited from participating in ACGIH® activities.
ACGIH® will be writing to you directly explaining its position. We ask that you write to the Secretary of Labor and request that she take no action in response to Congressman Norwood's letter until a full investigation is made of the facts. Such an investigation will prove that Congressman Norwood's allegation cannot be substantiated and that his recommendations, if followed, would have major adverse consequences on worker health and safety worldwide.
Thank you for your assistance.
Very truly yours,
Posted June 6, 2001
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