Industrial Hygiene

Updated August 19, 2010

Industrial Hygiene is the art and science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling workplace conditions that may cause injury or illness. Industrial hygienists have historically focused on limiting personal exposures to chemicals, but the field has evolved to address the control of other potential workplace stressors such as noise, heat, repetitive motion and indoor air quality.

As a part of Environment, Health, and Safety at MIT, the primary responsibilities of the Industrial Hygiene Program include:

  • Identifying and evaluating chemical and physical hazards that may impact an individual's health,
  • Recommending controls to limit exposures to identified hazards, and if necessary assisting in the evaluation and selection protective equipment;
  • Designing and testing ventilation controls such as fume hoods and specialty exhaust systems; 
  • Reviewing laboratory chemical hygiene plans and other protocols;
  • Supporting medical surveillance for individuals exposed to critical or highly regulated toxins. 
  • and providing the training and resources to ensure regulatory compliance and foster best practices throughout the MIT community

EHS operates on the principle that preventive education, planning, focused hazard analyses, and timely response to concerns about potential exposures, coupled with a collaborative working relationship with the MIT community, are critical to supporting MIT's EHS goals and creating a healthier work environment.

Key areas on the MIT EHS website related to industrial hygiene include: