AIHA Recognizes Hammond for Contributions

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recognized Katharine Hammond, Ph.D, CIH, as the 2008 recipient of the Henry F. Smyth Jr. Award.

Hammond, professor and chair of the Environmental Health Sciences Division at the University of California, Berkeley, has been from the start of her career actively involved in industrial hygiene. She received her doctorate in chemistry from Brandeis University, and earlier, a master's degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in environmental health sciences, where she later conducted research and taught as a visiting lecturer. After positions at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, she joined the faculty at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where she headed the industrial hygiene program for several years.

"Industrial hygiene is as relevant as ever in the 21st century. New products and processes such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and alternative fuels require the basic industrial hygiene skills of recognition, evaluation, and control be adapted with the concomitant development of new techniques," said Hammond. "As we strive to address these emerging needs, we must never forget that those workers who maintain our bridges, repair our cars, and clean our homes need our protection; our challenge here is meeting the needs of independent workers and small employers."

Hammond's early work centered on the pulmonary effects of exposures to silicon carbide in manufacturing, the carcinogenic potential of diesel exhaust exposures in railroad workers, the effects of exposure to solvents among boat builders, and the effects of exposure to machining fluids in the automobile industry. Her research has focused on developing methods to assess exposure for epidemiologic studies; she headed the exposure assessment component of the studies of spontaneous abortion and other reproductive outcomes among women who work in the semiconductor industry.

Hammond served as a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Board in its review of the environmental tobacco smoke documents that culminated in the publication of Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. Her current research includes work on causal and nonlinear models of cancer risk among autoworkers, and neurologic and reproductive effects of hexane on workers. Throughout her career, she has used her expertise in industrial hygiene to inform exposure assessment and epidemiologic studies.