American Industrial Health Council

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The American Industrial Health Council (AIHC) was an industry-funded group that lobbies against "excessive" regulation of carcinogens. (AIHC no longer appears in the Washington D.C. phone book). It was an umbrella lobbying organisation for the Chemical Manufacturers' Association (CMA), the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers' Association (SOCAM), and the Soap and Detergent Association.' It was based at 1075 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale, New York and 1612 K Street, NW Washington DC

SOCAM was itself associated with the Manufacturing Chemists Association (??different from CMA??) and the Society of the Plastic Industry. It established the AIHC in October 1977 to present a broad front to industry lobbying efforts against the carcinogenic standards being imposed by the Carter Administration's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

The AIHC describes itself as ...

"a broad-based industry trade association whose mission is to promote the sound use of scientific principles and procedures in public policy for the assessment and regulation of risks associated with human health effects and ecological effects. AIHC membership includes the manufacturers of consumer products, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, paper, chemicals, motor vehicles, foods, high technology and aerospace products. AIHC does not act as an advocate for any product or chemical."[1]

Paul E Oreffice, the ex Chairman of Dow Chemicals, appears to have funded and helped with the establishment of the AIHC and he also helped found the CMA-funded think-tank run by Frederick J Stare and Elizabeth M Whelan, the American Council on Science & Health (ACSH). To protect his investment, Oreffice became an ACSH trustee. Oreffice was also on the steering committee of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

The ACSH received $75,000 in funding in 1978 which was laundered through the Rollin M Gerstacker Foundation from Dow Chemical Company.[1] This money laundring service would have been provided by Carl A Gerstacker who was on the Board of the family foundation and also a Director of a half-a-dozen investment banks, K Mart ... and also on the board of Dow Chemical. [2]

Contact Information

American Industrial Health Council
2001 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Suite 760
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-833-2131

Documents & Timeline

1977 Oct The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manfacturers Association (SOCMA) established the American Industrial Health Council (AIHC) to coordinate a broad-front industry effort to comment ('attack') the OSHA's proposed carcinogenic standards. The AIHC was led by Paul E Oreffice, President of Dow Chemicals, and William H Bricker, Pres of Diamond Shamrock Corp. The intention was to:

a) assist and encourage companies to become active in modifying the OSHA standards
b) the organisation will present testimony itself
c) the organisation will also sponsor some witnesses

1977 Dec 2 The first AIHC newsletter outlines the formation and intentions. They have established a number of committees:

American Industrial Health Council has been operating in a variety of areas through a series of Committees which are addressing key problems posed by the OSHA proposal. These Committees include

  • a Committee composed of Association representatives of OSHA) affected industries,
  • one coordinating work in measuring the economic impact of the OSHA proposal,
  • another to assist public affairs contacts which will be established by individual companies,
  • a Committee coordinating work in the public relations area,
  • a collection of scientists addressing the toxicological questions posed by the OSHA standard and coordinating the presentation of scientific papers at the April 4th hearings,
  • an international group looking, at the international trade aspects of the proposal,
  • a Committee investigating possible allies among the unions and
  • a Legal Committee.

The overall effort is being directed by a Steering Committee composed of Messrs Paul E Oreffice, William H Bricker, Richard Fleming of Air Products, Harold Imbus of (Health and Hygiene, Inc) Burlington, Paul F Deisler of Shell, William C Krumrei of Procter and Gamble, George Dominguez of Ciba-Geigy and EP Blanchard of Du Pont. [3]

1978 June 20-22 Giving evidence before US Department of Labor (OSHA) hearing on toxic substances in the workplace.
These were the witnesses for the American Industrial Health Council (AIHC) (a front for the Chemical Manufacturers' Association):


1981 Jan President Reagan inauguration. James G Watt of the Wise Use movement became Secretary of the Interior; Thorne Aucher a building contractor with a bad record became director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and James J Tozzi became deputy at the OMB and head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs]] (OIRA) in charge of blocking regulatory activities.

1981 May 20

  • Anne McGill Burford sworn in as the first female Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She pledged rule reform and decentralization of decision-making.[5] She also advocated regulatory reform and budgetary cuts. Under her leadership, the EPA's budget (excluding Superfund) dropped by $200 million and the staff was slashed by 23%. The American Industrial Health Council (AIHC) became a top-level advisor.
    President Reagan also nominated to the EPA:
  • John A Todhunter Assistant Administrator for Pesticides and Toxic Substances
  • Kathleen M Bennett Assistant Administrator fo Air Noise and Radiation. (Hearings on IAQ in June recommended standards revision and that the words "ample margin of safety" be deleted from the standard.
  • John Hernandez Deputy Administration. He was reviewing functions of Science Advisory Board Committees. Recommended adding environmental and industry groups to the SAB peer review panels on scientific data.
    A number of the old EPA staff resigned between May and June in 1981.

Administrator Anne Gorsuch filled new posts which had been created as part of reorganisation:

  • Frank Shepherd, Associate Administrator for Legal Counsel and Enforcement (ex Miami lawyer)
  • Nolan E Clark Associate Administrator for Policy and Resource Maangement(Washington lawyer)
  • William A Sullivan Jr]. Associate Administrator for Legal Counsel and Enforcement (ex lawyer/consultant to steel communities)
  • Robert M Perry, EPA General Counsel (Houston corporate trial attorney)
  • John E Daniel, Chief of Staff for Administrator (ex lawyer and Washington Representative)
  • Thornton W Field, Administrator's special assistant for hazardous wastes (enver attorney and regulatory affairs specialist)
  • Kitty Adams, special assistant for regulatory reform (environmental consultant and leg. assistant to US Senate)
  • Joseph A Cannon, special assistant for regulatory reform (Washington attorney)
  • Christopher J Capper, Special Assistant/Acting Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response. (no background)
  • Paul Milbauer, special assistant to the Administrator and adviser on toxic substances
  • Byron Nelson III, Director, Office of Public Affairs (ex journalist and Senatorial press secretary) ] (Also biogs for Horton, Todhunter and Bennett) [6]


  1. George P. Daston, "Comments on a Children's Health Effects Testing Program", Environment Protection Agency, Attachment P: Statement by George Daston, undated but first indexed on the web in November 2002. The appendix notes that Gaston is from Procter & Gamble.

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