Elements of Industrial Hygiene

Homework 1 – Ethics Essay
Scenari0
Tyler (Ty) Morgan, CIH, is a 10-year industrial hygienist working for one of many firms that provides environmental health, safety, and

industrial hygiene (EHS) services to a private sector research laboratory. Ty’s small company (7 people all with chemistry or industrial

hygiene backgrounds) normally performs only “routine” EHS tasks for the laboratory. However, unexpectedly, Ty’s company is being asked by

the research laboratory if they are capable of and willing to perform sampling and analysis of a series of brominated phenols to assess

laboratory worker exposure. Apparently, the laboratory is experiment with making lower cost isomer of 2,4,6-tribomophenol which is a

fungicide as well as an intermediate chemical used in the synthesis of flame retardants. The laboratory is synthesizing batch vats of

bromophenol isomers and then either further reacting it with other chemicals to form flame retardant materials or testing batches of it

for unique fungicidal characteristics. The laboratory thinks, based on their processes, that there is a real possibility of worker

exposure while it conducts these activities.
Ty’s company is pleased that it has been given this “exotic” sampling and analysis task opportunity because the company has not been able

to penetrate the other larger consulting companies’ stronghold on providing these higher-level EHS services, which pay better than routine

tasks. Ty’s boss asks Ty if he can provide these services. Knowing the importance that the company is placing on this opportunity, Ty

immediately says, “Sure.” However, the problem is that Ty, when he said, “sure,” has no idea how to sample and analyze for worker

exposure to 2,4,6-tribromophenol isomers. However, he feels that he is knowledgeable enough in the field of industrial hygiene to “think”

his way through the sampling and analysis issue. He believes he has enough experience to come up with a suitable protocol and to

implement it.
Ty begins to investigate protocols on the internet. He finds some procedures for the analysis of these types of brominated compounds in

water, sediments, and in biological samples like fish. These procedures involve extraction with organic solvents followed by gas

chromatography and electron capture detection or by gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. But he is unable to locate any protocols

specifically for assessing worker exposures to these semi-volatile brominated phenolic compounds.
Ty generates his own protocol, adapting know procedures for sampling and analysis of other semi-volatile organic compounds (which are

fluorinated, not brominated) and believes that his adapted protocol will be acceptable. At first Ty feels confident that he has

formulated something that will work. But the day before the sampling campaign Ty is beginning to have major doubts. What if he is wrong?

Was he mad agreeing to do this task? Or, more insidiously, what if the other larger contractors were offered this same task first and

declined it given that no protocols are available? Is his and his company’s reputation at stake here? Is this a set up?
There’s a lot riding on his company’s ability to successfully perform these unique types of analyses. He doesn’t want his company (or

himself) to fail. Ty also doesn’t want to confess his doubts especially at the final hour before the sampling campaign begins. He

doesn’t want to look incompetent to his boss, or want his company to appear unable to perform these higher level analyses to the

laboratory client.
A part of Ty thinks it is his obligation to express his uncertainties. On the other hand, another part of Ty thinks that he should

actually proceed to conduct the sampling without confessing his doubts by thinking, “This is an exotic task. By its very nature there

will be doubts as to the proper protocol. Also there’s always the first time to do an task. I may not be implementing the very best

sampling and analysis scheme, but I know I’m darn close.”
Dilemma
What is the ethical thing for Ty to do in this situation? Should he express his doubts to his company or client regarding his intended

sampling and analysis methodology or continue with the sampling and analysis as schedule? Overall, can Ty be considered an ethical

industrial hygienist?
Assignment:
Using the ABIH Industrial Hygiene Code of Ethics and the Industrial Hygiene Canons of Ethical Conduct, write a 1 to 2 page essay answering

the questions in the Dilemma section above.
Formatting Requirements:
Use the FPSET Guideline for Written Work to assist you with correct grammar, formatting, and presentation. You do not need an abstract or

cover page.

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