December 5, 2017
Max Chmielinski, a former ERC trainee now pursuing his PhD, was featured in the Synergist Now blog as part of the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s ongoing #IamIH campaign.
Max is working with a team of DEOHS researchers, including Dr. Chris Simpson and Dr. Tania Busch Isaksen, to determine the levels of UV radiation exposure experienced by workers in the cannabis industry. The work is funded by a Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) grant.
Little is known about occupational exposures in the new, and sometimes controversial, commercial cannabis industry. Max and his mentors are blazing the trail of research into the health and safety of workers in an industry that shows signs of continuing to bloom.
Preliminary data has shown that UV exposures among indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse workers is above the daily recommended maximum. Max and his fellow researchers site certain bulbs used in indoor growing, and their distance away from workers, as a main cause for indoor worker’s exposure, while outdoor and greenhouse workers may be lacking necessary sun protection during work hours and when taking breaks outside.
Now that data collection is complete, the research team is working with the Cannabis Alliance to produce useful training guides for employers and workers in Washington State.