Frank Mortl III, CAE & Phillip Rauscher MPH, CIH, CSP – ACGIH Ex. Dir. & Dir of Science & Education on TLV’s, Bioaerosols and More!

Air Date: 1-31-2020|Episode 572

This week on IAQ Radio+ we welcome ACGIH Executive Director Frank Mortl III, CAE  and Director of Science and Education Phillip Rauscher MPH, CIH, CSP.
As Executive Director, Mortl is responsible for providing guidance and support to the Board of Directors while leading ACGIH®’s team of professionals who are committed to serving a membership that strives to deliver critically important industrial hygiene knowledge along a wide spectrum of topics ranging from air sampling instruments, bioaerosols, biological exposure indices, industrial ventilation, as well as threshold limit values (TLVs®) for chemical substances and physical agents.

Mr. Rauscher is the ACGIH Director of Science and Education. He worked previously as an Industrial Safety Hygienist at the State of Ohio-Division of Safety and Hygiene. He worked primarily in the field performing comprehensive industrial hygiene and engineering surveys to anticipate, identify, evaluate and control airborne contaminants, noise levels and heat/cold stress. He also assisted employers of various industries with development of safety programs and implementation of best practice guidelines. He also worked with stakeholders to educate employers on common hazards in the workplace and compliance with federal and state law through development and implementation of both classroom and online training as well as publicly available educational materials.

Mr. Rauscher earned his BS degree in Public Health with a minor in Chemistry from Youngstown State University. He went on to earn his MPH in Environmental/Occupational Health from the University of Toledo. He since has earned a graduate certificate in Quality Management Systems from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. In addition to his MPH Mr. Rauscher is a Certified Industrial Hygienist CIH and Certified Safety Professional CSP.

Z-Man’s Blog:

Define Your Science

Frank Mortl III, CAE is the association executive who is running the ACGIH and Phil Rauscher, MPH, CSP, CIH is the ACGIH’s Director of Science and Education were the guests on today’s broadcast of IAQradio.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

Frank Mortl’s comments

While the acronym ACGIH is clunky, it is an acronym with rich history that resonates. ACGIH is where researchers, academics, scientists, health, and safety practitioners: engage, create dialogue to define the science of industrial hygiene and safety. ACGIH provides opportunities for members to serve on committees, comment on committee work, and earn CM points to maintain certification. ACGIH publishes a TLV/BEI book annually available in both print and digital version.

Since the organization’s founding in the 1930s as an unbiased peer review process for data collection on chemicals, biological and physical agents; significant changes have occurred. Governmental employment was an early requirement that no longer exists. The group isn’t a Conference, but rather a professional society.  Membership is open to those who spend more than 50% of their time working in activities related to the field of Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety. ACGIH must listen as well as provide guidance.

Members can volunteer and serve on:

Dividends on the investment in ACGIH membership include: complimentary reference books, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, continuing education via complimentary Action Level, reduced price webinars, etc.

Membership categories for: individuals, organizations, students, retirees.

Very excited about the reestablishment of the Bioaerosols Committee. (Don Weekes, Jack Springston, Paula Vance & Cheri Marcham.The committee is working on updating the Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control book most likely for release in 2022. The committee meets monthly by conference call. There are other bioaerosols besides mold. The committee is prioritizing subject matter and is currently reviewing literature to release TLVs for Biologically Derived Airborne Contaminants – a truly industry changing task.

AIHA and ACGIH are collaborating more closely. ACGIH volunteers work on AIHA’s Green Book.

ACGIH has the highest level of transparency and honesty.

ACGIH is financially stable with adequate reserves. Investing money in developing complimentary programs and adding member benefits. Imagine, asking Siri or Alexa for TLVs and BEIs.

ACGIH is trying to attract and bring in the younger generations. ACGIH participates on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Signature Publications on: TLVs, BEIs, Occupational Exposures, Industrial Ventilation, Air Sampling, Bioaerosols, Ventilation & Contaminant Control, Qualitative Industrial Hygiene, etc.

Phil Rauscher’s Comments

Phil, who was working in the field until July of 2019 describes himself as a generalist who provided IH and IAQ support. TLVs are the result of work done by ACGIH volunteer committees. While PELs are the law, TLVs are based purely on the science of risk assessment. TLVs are progressive/forward thinking limits based on ACGIHs vigorous committee process. Committee of 30 people comes to majority agreement and recommend changes to the board. The board then approves the changes in the form of making the committee recommendations a “Notice to Change or Notice to Establish” which allow the general public the opportunity to submit comments backed by data. After review the committee and board moves forward in formally adopting the TLV.

BEIs are based on a holistic review of the chemical substance and consider the overall burden to the human body.

Committee members also include, doctors, veterinarians, toxicologists, etc. New director of communications will strive to improve outreach regarding: worker life, safety and health. He is excited about volunteer work on BDACs (Biological Derived Airborne Contaminate) as a revolutionary change in the IH world. Committees are going beyond the traditional inhalation route and consider prior exposure and surface limits on work surfaces to protect workers via all exposure routes.

Joe Hughes question: What if someone worked in a building with an indoor pool and was concerned over irritation?

Phil Rauscher’s answer:

  • Compare chemicals on site in the HAZCOM program to corresponding TLVs
  • Physiological effects of exposure above TLV (in this case irritation) to help pin point the chemical of concern
  • Advise keeping a log, documenting when problem occurs so that future occurrence can be prevented.
  • ACGIH doesn’t suggest analytical methods rather this is left to qualified field professional to determine based on field conditions.

Phil- ACGIH is a cosponsor of the AIHA conference and Expo –(AIHce EXP).

Phil– Scheduled educational webinars on: TLVs, Fluid Dynamics and Industrial Ventilation. Association has deep archive of webinars (endotoxins, heat stress, etc.)

Frank- At ASHRAE’s recommendation, ACGIH is now delivering information through

Acknowledged Don Weekes as versatile, well rounded, collaborative and partnership orientated.

Closing Remarks:

Frank and Phil are the conduit through which everything at ACGIH flows.

Frank: The hard task of officially choosing 3 words: Define Your Science.

Phil: ACGIH is inclusive. First, join ACGIH and then join a committee. The genius of volunteers. Contact Phil at

Z-Man signing off


In what year were ABIH’s first examinations held and certificates issued for Comprehensive Practice?

Answer: 1963