The purpose of the University of Arizona's Industrial Hygiene Program is to provide Master's level graduate training in the core occupational safety and health area of Industrial Hygiene. This will assist NIOSH in meeting its goal of supplying qualified personnel to carry out the purposes of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Industrial hygiene has been offered as an educational program at the University of Arizona since 1978. The Program is housed in the College of Public Health (COPH). Its physical home is in Drachman Hall, but it has laboratory facilities in two adjacent buildings. All of the buildins are on the Health Sciences Campus, which is also the location of the Medical Center Library. The Program offers three tracks, an MPH, an MS, and a PhD. NIOSH support is requested only for the masters degree program. There are eight regular faculty members and one academic professional with a wide background in IH and EOH. The Program is guided by the faculty and an Industrial Advisory Committee which is made up of OSH/IH professionals from the region. The Committee and the faculty meet each semester. There are currently eleven masters' students and five doctoral students in the program. The plan is to admit six to eight new masters' students and three to five PhD students each year; eight masters and four PhD students have been offered admission for the 2011-2012 academic years. A special strength of the UA IH program is a focus on mining health and safety issues. Arizona and the Southwest have one of the richest endowments of copper and related commodities on the planet. Mineral resource development is a science- and technology-intensive industry, with a long history of occupational health and safety exposures that lead to workplace injury and illness. Examples include exposure to workplace contaminants like lead, arsenic, asbestos, and solvent exposure. Solving these problems and providing a healthy and safe workplace is the role of the professional Industrial Hygienist. The UA-COPH-IH program is the only program of its kind in the Southwest so it must provide the bulk of the new Industrial Hygienists for the region. The masters' programs require forty-two credit hours to graduate, and this is usually accomplished in two years. It includes coursework in the key areas of Industrial Hygiene including basic IH, Exposure evaluation, Occupational Safety, Ergonomics, Toxicology, Noise, Ventilation, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health. Program graduates find employment as OSH professionals in industry, government, and academia. With education obtained in the program, and depending on their previous background, they can expect to sit for the CIH and/or the CSP exam early in their career. Most students enter the program with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences or engineering, but other degrees are acceptable if students have taken the necessary science courses. Diversity is a priority for the program, and the University supports this through its emphasis on diversity recruiting throughout the southwest. During each of the past two years, one of the students had been the recipient of a prestigious American Industrial Hygiene Foundation scholarship. The program goals for the next budget period are: to complete the ABET Self-Study document, and schedule the ABET visit for the Fall 2012; to expand our connection to the western mining industry with additional internships and joint research projects; to also increase the number of non-mining industrial summer work experiences; to complete a regional needs assessment for OSH professionals and for needed OSH continuing education topics; and to conduct a survey of graduates over the past ten years to determine ways in which the IH program can be improved.
Each year there are more than one-half million occupational illnesses reported in the United States. Eight of the ten occupational health and safety objectives set forth in the DHHS Healthy People 2020 initiative are issues addressed by the industrial hygiene profession. Clearly, occupational illness is a major public health priority that must be addressed by trained professionals capable of understanding and solving the underlying problems creating these illnesses.