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AIHA to Congress: Don't reduce NIOSH's budget

ERCs, AFF at risk

CongressTaking issue with President Obama's bid to cut funding for two key occupational safety programs, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is urging Congress to maintain funding levels for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

In official comments submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations – Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, the AIHA recommended that fiscal year 2013 funding for NIOSH be comparable to its 2012 funding. That would run counter to a budget proposal by the President that would eliminate all federal funding ($24 million) for the NIOSH Education and Research Centers (ERCs) and $20 million of the budget for the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AFF).

"NIOSH is the sole federal agency responsible for conducting research, making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury, and leading the effort to ensure that there are occupational safety and health professionals trained to protect America’s workers," pointed out the AIHA in a recent statement. "Elimination of funding for the ERCs and the AFF program would have negative impact on worker occupational safety and health for years to come as fewer and fewer individuals would have access to this specialized training.

"The AIHA mission is to promote healthy and safe working environments by advancing the science, principles, practice, and value of industrial hygiene. Firmly aligning with the dedicated efforts of NIOSH, AIHA supports continued endeavors to maintain and advance measures for a healthy American work force. A strong and healthy work force is essential to the success of American industry, our economic recovery, and our future position in the global economy."

Click here to read the full text of AIHA's official comments.

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