Press Release

ACGIH® Honors Its 2009 Awards Recipients



Cincinnati, Ohio — March 10, 2009 — ACGIH® will honor its 2009 Awards recipients at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo held May 30-June 4, 2009 in Toronto, Canada. Each year, ACGIH® honors individuals and/or groups who have made significant contributions to the profession through their leadership and dedication. This year's awardees join that distinguished list.

Herbert E. Stokinger Award Recipient: Vincent Castranova, PhD

The Herbert E. Stokinger Award is presented each year to an individual who has made a significant contribution in the broad field of industrial and environmental toxicology. Dr. Castranova has spent his career making such contributions.

Dr. Castranova's research interests have been concentrated in pulmonary toxicology and occupational lung disease. He has been coordinator of the Nanotoxicology Program at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) since its inception. He has been a co-editor of four books and has co-authored over 450 manuscripts and book chapters.

Dr. Castranova is the Chief of the Pathology and Physiology Research Branch in the Health Effects Laboratory Division of NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia. He holds the grade of a CDC Distinguished Consultant and received the Shepard Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award from CDC in 2008. Dr. Castranova is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Castranova's contributions to the field of industrial and environmental toxicology have earned him a place on the distinguished list of Herbert E. Stokinger Award recipients.

John J. Bloomfield Award Recipient: Jessica Ramsey

The John J. Bloomfield Award is presented to a young industrial hygienist who pursues the problem of occupational health hazards primarily by doing fieldwork, and who demonstrates significant contribution to the profession.

Ms. Ramsey designs surveys, conducts industrial hygiene sampling, and collects data on occupational exposures during worksite investigations. She then makes written recommendations to the facility on ways to prevent occupational hazards based upon interpretation of the ergonomic and environmental monitoring data collected. Her investigative reports are disseminated to management, union, and employees at the workplace.

In the past year, Ms. Ramsey has actively responded to requests for assistance both within NIOSH and from the general public. She has completed several health hazard evaluations, and presented her findings in program reviews and all-hands meetings. Ms. Ramsey has participated in follow-back surveys that allowed her to determine how effective recommendations have been in reducing occupational hazards. She also assisted with the HETAB Field Evaluation and Response Vehicle display at AIHce 2008.

Ms. Ramsey's dedication to occupational safety and health is evident in her work and she continues to make significant contributions to the profession.

Meritorious Achievement Award Recipient: Gyan S. Rajhans, ROH, CIH, PE

The Meritorious Achievement Award is given to members of ACGIH® who have made an outstanding, long-term contribution to the field of occupational health and industrial hygiene.

Mr. Rajhans served and contributed to the Province of Ontario in the field of Health and Safety as Chief Industrial Hygienist and District Manager in the Ministry of Labour for many years. Since his retirement, Mr. Rajhans has established his own consulting firm, GSR & Associates Inc.

In 1997, Mr. Rajhans was elected Chair of ACGIH®. He has been a member of ACGIH® Industrial Ventilation Committee since 1974 and now serves as its Chair. Mr. Rajhans has received several honors for his contributions in the field of Health and Safety, including the Amethyst Award for outstanding achievement by an Ontario public servant, OHAO's Hugh Nelson Award of Excellence, OHS Magazine's Award of Excellence, and India International Friendship Society's Pride of India Award.

Mr. Rajhans is the principal author of four reference books and has co-authored 68 scientific and technical papers. He is most celebrated for his 1976 work, which demonstrated the link between carbon dioxide levels in indoor air as an indicator of inadequate fresh air supply.

Mr. Rajhans' dedication and service to the occupational health and industrial hygiene profession, and his commitment to ACGIH®'s mission render him a worthy recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award.

William Steiger Memorial Award Recipient: Rosemary Sokas, MD, MSc, MOccH

The William Steiger Memorial Award honors individuals from the social/political sphere whose efforts have contributed to advancements in occupational health and safety. Initiated in 1979, this award is not limited to occupational safety and health professionals.

Dr. Sokas rejoined the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in November 2008, as Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine in the Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, a position she previously held from 1997-1999. She previously served as Lead Medical Officer and as the Associate Director for Science at NIOSH.

Dr. Sokas currently holds a research professorship at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (UIC). She has held a tenured professorship, directed the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and founded and directed the Illinois Public Health Research Fellowship Program at UIC. Prior to her tenure at UIC, she held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr. Sokas has delivered clinical care in migrant and community health centers and in the VA. Her research publications evaluate the impact of occupational exposures on common health outcomes, training intervention effectiveness in health care and construction, and novel approaches to addressing the needs of immigrant, high-risk, contingent and low-income workers.

Dr. Sokas' contributions to advancements in occupational safety and health have earned her this distinguished award.

ACGIH® is a member-based organization that advances occupational and environmental health. ACGIH® is one of the industry's leading publications resources, with approximately 400 titles relative to occupational and environmental health and safety, including the renowned TLVs® and BEIs®. For more information, visit the ACGIH® website at or call our Customer Service Representatives at 513-742-2020.


Amy Bloomhuff, Esq., CAE
Associate Executive Director