Members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association have voted to retain the original name of the association’s annual conference and exposition. The AIHA Board of Directors voted last year to change the name from “American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition” to the “Environmental Health and Safety Conference and Exposition”, effective with the 2001 meeting in New Orleans, but the membership vote reverses that decision.

About 10,000 eligible voting members received ballots in July, nearly 4,000 voted, and nearly 60 percent of those were opposed to the name change. In an Internet forum devoted to fighting the name change, members said they were protesting the lack of discussion about the change and were concerned by the new name’s lack of recognition for the field of industrial hygiene. AIHA claimed the new name better reflected the conference’s content and the broadening responsibilities of industrial hygienists.

AIHA members have twice previously rejected new names for the association, with name-change efforts in 1991 and 1998 failing to get the two-thirds majority vote mandated by the group’s bylaws.