January 8, 2001

Brookhaven Lab Researcher Wins Hammer Award


UPTON, NY - Doan Hansen, an industrial and public health researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been presented with Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award. He received the honor on December 20, in Washington, D.C.

The Hammer Award represents a change from the $400 hammer of yesterday's government. Fittingly, the award consists of a pin in the shape of a hammer and a note from Vice President Al Gore that reads: "With appreciation to Doan Hansen, Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Team, for your contribution to building a government that works better and costs less."

Hansen represents the U.S. Department of Energy on the National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances (AEGL), which, since 1994, has been developing guidelines for exposures to acutely hazardous airborne chemicals. These guidelines will protect the health of the general public in the event of an accidental chemical release.

Hansen said, "I am pleased to receive the Hammer Award. These AEGL guidelines will be used by anyone involved in planning for emergencies. This includes hospitals, police, fire departments, municipalities, the military, and other public health organizations, so they can have plans in place - before an accident - to reduce public injuries or deaths in case of an accidental chemical release."

"Many organizations participate in the development of these guidelines," Hansen continued. "Branches of the U.S. government, foreign governments, private corporations and watchdog groups participate in the AEGL development process. The meetings are open to the public. Proceedings are published in the Federal Register. Everyone involved in preventing chemical exposures to communities - from scientists and rule makers to industry and the public - sits at the same table and has input into the AEGL guidelines. By bringing everyone into the same room, we resolve and avoid conflicts, litigation, mistakes and oversights."

A certified industrial hygienist, Doan Hansen received a B.A. in biology in 1975 from Albion College, a master's degree in public health in 1981, and a Ph.D. in industrial health in 1986, both from the University of Michigan. He joined Brookhaven in 1986 and is currently a project engineer in the Laboratory's Emergency Services Division.

Doan Hansen is the technical program coordinator for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of of Emergency Management's Subcommittee on Consequence Assessment and Protective Actions (SCAPA). SCAPA standardizes emergency planning and response activities for all Department of Energy national laboratories. He is also vice chair of the American Industrial Hygiene Association's Emergency Response Planning Committee and a member of both the World
Health Organization and the International Program on Chemical Safety. Hansen received the U.S. Department of Energy's annual "Excellence in Emergency Management" award in 1997.

NOTE TO LOCAL EDITORS: Doan Hansen is a resident of Miller Place, NY.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.